Nemp Provides Useful Info On Student Performance
Wellington – NZEI Te Riu Roa has welcomed the release today of reports prepared by the National Education Monitoring Project (NEMP) as they provide valuable information on how students are performing in primary schools.
NEMP is run by the Educational Assessment Research Unit at the University of Otago. Each year around 3000 students are assessed in a number of tasks related to areas of the primary curriculum. Half the students assessed are chosen from Year 4, (age 8 to 9) which is midway through their primary education and half the students from Year 8, (age 12-13) which is the final year of primary schooling.
The assessments provide detailed information about students knowledge, skills and motivation. This identifies the areas in which their performance is improving, declining, or staying the same. The aim is to use this information to improve the education that the children receive.
The reports were released by the Ministry of Education. They cover the listening and viewing, the writing, and the health and physical education areas of the primary curriculum. They compare the results of the 1998 assessments with those made in 2002.
“The value of the NEMP reports is that they provide a valuable snapshot of how primary students are performing. We can see where things are going well and where we need to put in more effort to lift the students’ performance,” says NZEI National President, Bruce Adin.
LISTENING AND VIEWING The students performed tasks such as watching a TV news story or advert on a computer and answered questions about what they’d seen. They did similar tests with photographs, picture cards and a recorded phone message.
“The results are good as they show that most primary students are able to identify, recall and comprehend factual information,” says Bruce Adin.
“It is a concern that there was little improvement in performance between the 1998 assessment and the one in 2002 and that Pasifika students are performing at a lower level than other ethnic groups, particularly on listening.” HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION The students did tasks relating to personal health such as identifying foods high in calcium and iron, and developing a fitness plan. Their co-ordination and motor skills were tested in a variety of ways such as dribbling a ball, hitting a ball with a softball bat and doing forward rolls. They were also assessed on how they related to others at their schools, in their homes and in the wider community.
“Physical education is popular and the students perform well at it. Health education is less popular but most students like doing it and think that it is a useful area for them to learn about,” says Bruce Adin.
SECOND PAGE TO COME
WRITING The tasks students performed included watching a video and writing a news story about it. They also wrote an email and a postcard, and identified and corrected spelling mistakes.
“There are some successes in this area with boys in Years 4 and 8 doing considerably better in the 2002 assessment than they did in 1998,” says Bruce Adin.
“However the results show there is considerable scope for improvement in editing, punctuation, spelling and correct grammar. And most students were unable to achieve the clarity, personal feeling or humour present in top quality expressive writing.”
“These results provide strong messages that students need a broad range of writing experiences to build their knowledge and use of writing conventions and formats.”
“Teachers and schools
have been focusing their efforts on reading comprehension
and these results show that professional support for
teachers must help them integrate the teaching of formal
writing conventions into all their learning programmes,”
says Bruce Adin.