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Culture-fair assessment: Addressing equity issues in the context of Primary Mathematics Teaching and Learning


Klenowski, V. and Gertz, T. 2009, Culture-fair assessment: Addressing equity issues in the context of Primary Mathematics Teaching and Learning, Assessment and Student Learning: Collecting, Interpreting and Using Data to Inform Teaching Research Conference.
  • Research paper that questions and looks to address issues of equity for Indigenous students in national testing.
  • Suggests that equity is a sociocultural issue rather than a technical matter
  • Emphasis that for Indigenous cultures, learning is greatly influenced by all the contexts that the students operate in – all contexts are an opportunity to learn something.
  • National testing over the last six years reflects a trend of Indigenous students continuing to underperform in all states and year levels.
  • Research is a case study based project that compares the data from eight schools in Northern Queensland.
  • Project looked to develop culturally fair assessment tasks and pedagogic practices to support these tasks.
  • Professional Development was provided for teachers who partook in the project to raise awareness of cultural protocols and practices needed for teaching Indigenous students.
  • Relationship building between teacher, student, parents and the students’ community was emphasized in the professional development.
  • In terms of pedagogy, hands-on games, eye contact and increased use of oral language were noted as important aspects of supportive pedagogy.
  • Noted that the language and visual representations used in NAPLAN tests can be difficult to decode and thus needs to be taught explicitly.
  • Recommend pedagogic practices for both the explicit teaching of concepts and the incorporation of more inclusive teaching practices are provided in the paper.

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