RESEP held its 7th annual conference on Quantitative Education Research (QER) from 5-6 September 2023 at STIAS, Stellenbosch University.
Measuring learning outcomes (what learners know and can do) has been a contested terrain for many education systems and researchers, despite universal acknowledgement that assessment plays an important role in curriculum implementation (UNESCO 2013; Darling-Hammond & Wentworth 2010; Department of Education [DoE] 1995). Venkat and Sapire (this volume) refer to the ‘essential circuits’ of education and the
link between the curriculum, teaching practice, and assessment. Our focus is strictly on the Foundation Phase (FP), and where we refer to a specific subject, mathematics is our first concern. This chapter, therefore, only makes passing reference to the major external assessment, the National Senior Certificate (NSC) or matric examination.
In this note by Ursula Hoadley, she tracks curriculum and assessment policy changes over three years (2020 to 2023) in South Africa in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures. Some changes were made to the national CAPS curriculum documents in the form of trimming content (2020), identifying ‘fundamental’ knowledge (2020), and reviewing subject content (2022).
COVID-19 caused disruptions to schooling on an unprecedented scale. Emerging evidence indicate sthat these disruptions impacted schooling in South Africa in many ways, from shortened curricula to significant learning losses occurring over the two years of the pandemic (Hoadley, 2020; Ardington,
Wills and Kotze, 2021; Van der Berg et al., 2022). This report constitutes the first attempt at investigating how these outcomes affected broader system performance in terms of key outcomes such as learner flows through the system, matric results, and performance in school-based assessments (SBAs). The report also sheds light on some important other education issues.
Data quality – its accuracy, completeness, reliability, relevance and timeliness – is crucial for proper analysis, administration and policymaking. Data quality was therefore of great…
RESEP is engaged in a 3-year project (2022-24) to track learning losses, repetition, dropout and school completion patterns among school cohorts impacted by COVID-19 disruptions…
Three international testing programmes, including PIRLS, point to educational quality improvements in South Africa during the period 2002 to 2019. The gains were substantial, relative to the steepness of improvements seen in other countries. What lay behind these trends? National education quality trends are not easy to explain, and this is seldom attempted in a systematic manner.