APERA 2008 Conference (Asian-Pacific Educational Research Association). location:Singapore: National Institute of Education date:26-28 November 2008
Traditional tests for large-scale assessment of mathematics learning have been criticized for several reasons, such as their mismatch between the vision of mathematical competence and the content covered by the test, and their failure to provide relevant information for guiding further learning and instruction. To achieve that large-scale assessments can function as tools for monitoring and
improving learning and teaching, one has to move away from the rationale, the constraints, and the practices of traditional tests. As an illustration this paper presents an alternative approach to largescale assessment of elementary school mathematics developed in Flanders, Belgium
Using models of item response theory, 14 measurement scales were constructed, each representing a cluster of curriculum standards and covering as a whole the mathematics curriculum relating to numbers, measurement and geometry. A representative sample of 5,763 sixth-graders (12-year-olds)
belonging to 184 schools participated in the study. Based on expert judgments a cut-off score was set that determines the minimum level that students must achieve on each scale to master the standards. Overall, the more innovative curriculum standards were mastered less well than the more traditional ones. Few gender differences in performance were observed. The advantages of this approach and its
further development are discussed.
see also: http://www.apera08.nie.edu.sg/resources/APERA08_Day_1_Programme.pdf