Document Type Master's Dissertation Author Singh, Tholsiama firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-12062004-141525 Document Title School - Based Assessment: the interface between Continuous Assessment (CASS) and the external summative examination at Grade 12 level with special focus on Mathematics and Science Degree MEd (Assessment and Quality Assurance) Department Curriculum Studies Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof S Howie Committee Chair Prof T Plomp Committee Co-Chair Keywords
- summative assessment
- formative assessment
- continuous assessment
Date 2004-08-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractIn 2000, the Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal announced that all learners exiting the Further Education and Training band as from 2001 must accumulate marks in the subjects offered at Grade 12 through a process of Continuous assessment (CASS) (DoE, 2001d).
Apart from indicating the value of CASS to the external summative component in the ratio of 25% for CASS and 75% for the summative examination, there were and there still is no other policy to regulate the conduct of CASS at Grade 12 level. The situation is worsened by the non-preparation of educators to cope with the challenges of CASS implementation.
This study focuses on the implementation of CASS in Mathematics and Science since there is a body of firm evidence, which indicates that, the results in Mathematics and Science in South Africa is not very good. The TIMSS-R study conducted in 1998/1999 indicates that South African learners performed poorly in Mathematics and Science when compared to other participating countries (Howie, 2001). Since it has been established that continuous assessment conducted in a formative manner in subjects such as Mathematics and Science can lead to improved academic performance (Black & Wiliam, 1998), it is essential that attention be given, and initiatives taken to improve the quality of assessment in these critical subjects.
In the analysis of the 2001 Senior Certificate examination, it became evident that the CASS marks of learners in many instances were not valid (SAFCERT, 2000a). To address the concern of inflated CASS marks, Umalusi resorted to the use of statistical moderation to ensure that the CASS marks do not deviate drastically from the examination marks of learners.
This predominantly quantitative study makes use of surveys to gather data on the problems and challenges experienced by Grade 12 educators in the effective implementation of CASS and the kinds of support provided to educators to strengthen and to sustain the effective implementation of CASS in the classroom. In addition, the study seeks to examine to what extent the Grade 12 CASS marks are fair, valid and reliable.
Data was collected from a non - random sample of 21 subject advisors and 60 educators of Mathematics, Biology and Physical Science across six provinces namely, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Limpopo, KwaZulu - Natal, Gauteng and Mpumalanga and across all locations (rural, township and urban). Individual interviews were also conducted with four experts on CASS from national, provincial and district levels and an official from Umalusi.
It is apt to end this abstract by indicating that, “our education system has been subjected to many far - reaching initiatives which, whilst taken in reaction to concerns about existing practices, have been based on little evidence about their potential to meet those concerns. In the study of formative assessment there can be seen, for once, firm evidence that indicates clearly a direction for change, which could improve standards of learning. Our plea is that national policy will grasp this opportunity and give a lead in this direction” (Black & Wiliam, 1998).
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