Friday, June 11, 2010

The Elementary School Mathematics and Science (ESM and ESS) Groups of NISMED developed diagnostic tests for 70 private school Madrasah teachers of Regions IX, XII, and ARMM to determine what they actually know and can do in relation to the mathematics and science subjects they are teaching. The assessment tools were developed based on DepED’s Standard Madrasah Curriculum (RBEC Component) for Science and Health and for Mathematics; information gathered from NISMED’s previous training programs and researches; and cognitive and inquiry/thinking skills included in the 2008 TIMSS Assessment Framework. The results, findings, and recommendations will determine the design of training programs lined up for the teachers in July of this year.

Development of the tests started in December 2009. The tests consisted of selected response (modified multiple choice) and constructed response items. One test each for three grade-level clusters was developed: Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 and 4, and Grades 5 and 6. Three tests per subject area therefore comprised the output, totaling six tests. The mathematics tests covered four main topics: Whole Numbers, Rational Numbers, Geometry and Measurement, and Data and Graphs. Across all clusters, the focus of the test in each main topic is the reasoning level.

The science tests were process- based, within the contexts of the RBEC themes of People, Animals, Plants, Materials, Energy, Earth, and Space. With an average of 40 items per test, each item was peer critiqued and later reviewed by mathematics and science consultants. The teachers belonging to a grade-level cluster are expected to take both the mathematics and science tests in that cluster.

The tests were administered by the USAID-funded Education Development Center (EDC) in February to teachers identified by EDC’s partner NGOs. A total of 67 teachers took the tests: 40 in Grades 1 and 2, 13 in Grades 3 and 4, and 14 in Grades 5 and 6. NISMED checked the papers, processed and analyzed the results, and drew up recommendations for the design of the training programs.