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ERIC Number: EJ1177880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1029-8457
Accessing Students' Knowledge in a Context of Linguistic and Socioeconomic Diversity: The Case of Internal Human Anatomy
Dempster, Edith R.; Stears, Michèle
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v17 n3 p185-195 2013
Traditional forms of assessment, mainly by written tests and examinations, cannot be said to be fair in a multicultural, multilingual environment. In South African public schools, home language is strongly associated with socioeconomic context, with both factors related to performance in traditional assessments. Children attending poor public schools speak one or more African languages at home, and their performance in national and international assessments is below that of middle-class public schools. The present study investigates students' understanding of their internal anatomy in the ninth year of formal schooling (Grade 9; average age 15) by drawing instead of writing. Twelve teachers collected drawings from 310 Grade 9 students in nine different schools of different socioeconomic and linguistic contexts. Boys were slightly more likely to draw systems and organs than girls, but quality of the drawings did not differ significantly. The most significant finding is that the marked distinction between performance of middle-class schools and those from lower socioeconomic environments in traditional forms of assessment is removed. This has implications for fairer assessment of students' knowledge in a multilingual context.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A