Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Book
Title TIMSS 2015 grade 5 national report: Understanding mathematics achievement amongst grade 5 learners in South Africa
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
Publisher Human Sciences Research Council
URL http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/research-data/view/9116
Abstract
South African learners perform poorly by both local and international standards. Progress over the last twenty years has been steady, but slow, even in 2015, when compared to other countries. Across the country mathematics achievement is both highly unequal and socially graded. But what is the current state of the education system in the early grades? Against a policy landscape which increasingly places Early Childhood Development (ECD) at the heart of educational reform and strategies to reduce the impact of poverty and redress inequalities inherited under apartheid, this report provides baseline information regarding mathematics achievement at the Grade 5 level and is a new indicator of the health of our educational system. Our aim is to provide the first nationally representative, internationally comparative compendium of data on Grade 5
learners in South Africa. We take a broad look at a range of factors associated with achievement, including individual characteristics, family background and household resources, as well as a detailed look at schooling environments, and seek to unpack the nature of pervasive educational inequalities further, and earlier in the schooling system, than previous analysis has been able to. The findings highlight the importance of early achievement and the need to understand the multiple layers of influence on educational pathways, with the conclusions and recommendations highlighting an unequal, yet treatable system. We use data from TIMSS, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, which was conducted in South Africa for the first time at Grade 5 in 2015, and describe in detail the current picture of achievement for learners in the country, highlighting key individual, family, school and provincial differences. The analyses also include key developments concerning preschool attendance, early learning environments and academic skills, as well as the importance of educational expectations and academic beliefs, and the damaging effects of bullying. Finally, we use simple regression analysis to summarise the ways in which different factors operate together.
Isdale, Kathryn, Vijay Reddy, Andrea Juan, and Fabian Arends. TIMSS 2015 grade 5 national report: Understanding mathematics achievement amongst grade 5 learners in South Africa. : Human Sciences Research Council, 2017.
Copyright DataFirst, University of Cape Town