Enhancing Literacy and Numeracy: Teacher Use of Diagnostic Data
An increase in proficiency in literacy and numeracy is important for future economic and social outcomes, with underlying equity and social justice dimensions. This research examines issues related to the assessment of literacy and numeracy in the elementary school setting. In particular, it investigates teachers’ use of diagnostic testing supported by a software tool designed to enhance students’ literacy and numeracy learning. Information from testing provides important indicators for future learning/teaching strategies.
Effective assessment involves data collection, analysis, the recording of students’ progress and reporting of achievement. While multiple-choice/machine-marked tests have clear limitations and may not be seen as good predictors of performance (Holmes-Smith, 2005), they can provide data which have the potential to improve classroom practice. Studies by Young-Lovebridge (2003) and Axworthy (2006) found that the data-analysis aspect of assessment tasks was problematic for teachers. This is significant since accurate analysis of the test results is necessary in gauging student performance and progress which can lead to changed teaching practices and enhanced learning in literacy and numeracy.
Keywords: Literacy, Numeracy, Assessment, Elementary School
Dr. Lesley Ljungdahl
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (Education), University of Technology Sydney
Dr Anne Prescott
Senior Lecturer in Education, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (Education), University of Technology, Sydney