ERIC Number: EJ1178008
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Abstractor: As Provided
Proficiency in the Multiplicative Conceptual Field: Using Rasch Measurement to Identify Levels of Competence
Long, Caroline; Dunne, Tim; Craig, Tracy S.
African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, v14 n3 p79-91 2010
In the transition years, Grades 7 to 9, the shift from natural numbers to rational numbers and the associated multiplicative concepts prove challenging for many learners. The new concepts, operations and notation must be mastered if the student is to thereafter rise to meet the challenges of algebra and more advanced and powerful mathematics. The multiplicative conceptual field (MCF) groups together such concepts as fraction, ratio, rate, percentage and proportion, all of which are related yet subtly distinct from one another, each with its own challenges. Rasch analysis allows us to compare the difficulty of mathematical problems located within the MCF while, on the same scale, locating the degree to which individual learners have mastered the necessary skill set. Such location of problems and learners on the same unidimensional scale allows for fine-grained analysis of which aspects of the problems being analysed make one problem more difficult than another. Simultaneously the scale gives the teacher clear evidence of which students have mastered which concepts and skills and which have not, thereby allowing more targeted assistance to the class and individual learners. This paper illustrates the process involved in such analysis by reporting on results located within a larger study. It is suggested that implementing Rasch analysis within the school classroom on appropriately designed assessment instruments would provide clarity for the teacher on the locations of difficulty within the problems used in the assessment and the relative degree to which individual learners are achieving success at mastering the targeted concepts.
Descriptors: Multiplication, Mathematics Skills, Item Response Theory, Mathematical Concepts, Difficulty Level, Problem Solving, Mathematics Tests, Test Items, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, Foreign Countries, Item Analysis, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 7
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa