The need for invariant assessments in South African education
Presently, a plethora of instruments designed to assess a mathematical skill, disposition, or competence prevail in South Africa. Yet few of them adhere to the basic requirements of the unidimensionality and invariance of measures. The Marko-D is a mathematical instrument designed to test learners between the ages of 4 and 8. The instrument, thus far, appears to adhere to the central tenets of fundamental measurement, which hold that a test should be invariant across different groups of people and that it should measure a single variable to a level of precision that is useful practically and theoretically. The Marko-D was used to assess the mathematical competence of 249 foundation phase pupils. Even though we cannot conclude at this stage that the Marko-D satisfies the requirements of invariance and unidimensionality completely, this study provides an elucidation of the need for invariant assessments in South African
Keywords: foundation phase learners; invariance; mathematical competence; Rasch Model
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