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Showing posts from February, 2010

First Thoughts on Numeracy Assessment

SQA have just published  The Design Principles for the National Literacy and Numeracy qualifications.

Here are a few things that stood out for me after a first reading:

To get a 4 you need to get a 4 in every assessable component. If you get one 3 then you get a 3 overall.

Information Handling is going to be internally assessed.  Goodness knows what form that assessment will take!

The portfolio used to assess the other elements will "be drawn from across the curriculum or from more than one context" (emphasis added).  It could therefore consist entirely of work produced in the maths department.

Whole Class/Individual/Group?

Julie Arrol asked me this question yesterday on Twitter:
What are your views about amount of time to spend whole class teaching in maths vs. individual/group work etc.?
I told Julie I'd get back to her, but my response needs more than 140 characters - hence this short blog post.

The short answer is that there is no answer!  All three modes are useful, and an effective teacher will use all three, but it is not useful to attempt to prescribe an ideal mix.  At the risk of setting up a straw man, I think it's important to remember that there is no such thing as a perfect lesson, and that a lesson which suits one learner very well may fail completely to meet the needs of another member of the class.

Having said that, the reality is that learners still spend the majority of their time in secondary maths classrooms either being taught from the front or doing individual work.  This is especially true for the more academically successful learners in S3-S6.  One could argue, therefore, that…