The Measurement of Students' Achievement in Teaching Primary School Fifth Year Mathematics Classes*

By Doganay, Ahmet; Bal, Ayten Pinar | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

The Measurement of Students' Achievement in Teaching Primary School Fifth Year Mathematics Classes*


Doganay, Ahmet, Bal, Ayten Pinar, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate students' and teachers' point of views about preparing measurement tools used in mathematics classes, the level of learning that these tools are intended to measure, how often they are used and how they are scored in terms of assessing 5th grade primary school mathematic courses. The population of the study for the quantitative data was 226 primary school fifth-year classroom teachers and 881 students in the central school districts of Adana. Furthermore, in order to obtain qualitative data 25 teachers and 45 students were selected by using criterion sampling. As data collection tools, the Measurement and Evaluation Questionnaire (MEQ) developed by the researchers, semi-structured interview forms, and examination materials were used. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were performed on the data. Also, document analysis was done. As for the results, it was seen that teachers very frequently considered their students' levels and their acquisition when preparing traditional and alternative measurement tools. However, they ignored the analysis-synthesis level. In this context, it can be proposed that while preparing traditional and alternative assessment tools it should be paid attention to measure higher order thinking skills of students and to use more alternative assessment tools.

Key Words

Teaching Mathematics, Measurement and Evaluation, Primary School Curriculum.

In recent years, measurement and evaluation have gained importance as a significant factor in effective learning and teaching. This has been reinforced by related studies in the field as well (Black and William, 1998). Regarding mathematics courses, according to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), measurement and evaluation have been indispensable parts of mathematics teaching as they increase students' interests towards mathematics (NCTM, 2000). Therefore, measurement and evaluation can be regarded as a process of collecting evidence about students' mathematical skills and knowledge in order to find out students' tendency towards mathematics.

Nowadays, as a result of developments in cognitive psychology, traditional approaches based on behaviorism have been replaced by alternative approaches such as structuralism (detailed and multiple), investigating students' individual abilities, high-level thinking skills, revealing their manual skills, integrating new knowledge into already established one in solving complex problems, reasoning in relation to the real life and using different measurement tools in that process (Stiggins, 1999; Sheffield & Cruikshank, 2000; Krulick et al., 2003; Dominguez Carmino, 2004). Alternative measurement and evaluation include all evaluations, excluding traditional measurements (Atkin, Black & Coffey, 2001; Bryant, 2001; Atilgan, 2006; Bahar, Nartgün, Durmus, & Biçak, 2006). In addition, Palm (2008) said that alternative measurement and evaluation has begun after 1990, following the criticisms about multiple choice exams in the USA. Also, alternative measurement and evaluation provide students some skills which may help them solve daily and business life problems (Green & Emerson, 2008; Weigold, 1999). According to Wiggins (1989a), the main characteristics of alternative measurement and evaluation are that they are realistic, judicial, and innovative. Moreover, they guide students about what to do and provide opportunities in which students can use their prior knowledge and skills comfortably and evaluate their skills efficiently and productively.

It has been thought that investigating teachers' and students' perspectives about measurement tools in the mathematics teaching program followed since 2005 in Turkey is important as this increases the quality of education. In line with this, the study intends to find out teachers' and students' point of views about the process of preparation of measurement tools in the mathematics course, the level that the measurement tools intend to investigate, the frequency of administration of these tools, and finally scoring system of these tools. …

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