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Moving beyond league table standings… On-going PIRLS Conversations

Posted on July 01, 2019

The Centre for evaluation and Assessment (CEA) will be hosting a series of seminars from 28 June 2019 to further explore the findings of the international study Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS 2016). South Africa is one of over 50 countries world-wide who participated in the PIRLS 2016, conducted under the auspices of the International Association for the Evaluation for Educational Achievement (IEA). PIRLS assesses reading comprehension and monitors trends in reading literacy at five-year intervals.

Dr Surette van Staden’s made the first presentation of the continuing PIRLS conversations entitled “Moving beyond league table standings: How Measures of Opportunity to Learn (OTL) can inform educational quality and policy directives.” This presentation aims to unpack the possible value of large-scale assessment data in measuring equal educational opportunity as conceptualised by the Opportunity to Learn (OTL). Among topics covered by the presentation are: Some evidence of OTL, Problems with Teacher Questionnaire data, the IEA’s tripartite model as well as Regression results.

South Africa’s participation across a number of international large-scale assessment programmes provide continued evidence of poor student achievement across grades and phases. Despite discouraging achievement results, evidence of slow progress begins to emerge, yet systemic inequalities persist. The seminar was attended by representatives from other institutions, including the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC, JET Education Services, Department of Basic Education (DBE) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) as well as other departments in the Faculty of Education.

The second presentation which will be done by Mrs Karen Roux in July 2016 and is entitled “Exploring the validity of PIRLS: What can the Differential Item Functioning tell us?

For PIRLS Seminar presentation Click here

- Author Gabriel Mokoena
Published by Thabo Masenamela

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