The
assessments included fourteen tasks related to the *material world* strand
of the science curriculum.
Seven
tasks were identical or had many common components for year 4 and year
8 students. Four of these are trend tasks (fully described with data
for both 1995 and 1999), one is a released task (fully described with
data for 1999 only), and two are link tasks (to be used again in 2003
so only partially described here). Three other tasks, including one link
task, were attempted only by year 4 students. The remaining four tasks,
including a trend task and two link tasks, were attempted only by year
8 students.
The task
details and results for trend tasks are presented in the first section,
followed by the task details and results for released tasks. The third
section contains a little task information and the results for the link
tasks. Within each of the three sections, tasks used with both year 4
and year 8 students are presented first, followed by tasks used only
with year 4 students and then by tasks used only with year 8 students.
**Comparing
results for year 4 and year 8 students**
Averaged across 38 task components used with both year 4 and year 8 students,
15 percent more year 8 than year 4 students produced correct responses.
This indicates that, on average, students have made substantial progress
between year 4 and year 8 in the skills assessed by the tasks. Students
at both levels were more successful in carrying out experimental procedures
and reporting the results than in demonstrating their knowledge or giving
explanations of material world phenomena.
**Trend
results: Comparing 1995 and 1999 results**
Four trend tasks involving a total of 23 components were administered
to year 4 students in both the 1995 and 1999 assessments. More 1999 than
1995 students succeeded on 13 components, more 1995 than 1999 students
succeeded on eight components, and there was no difference on two components.
Averaged across the 23 components, two percent more students succeeded
in 1999 than in 1995. This difference is not large enough to be regarded
as important.
Five trend
tasks involving 26 task components were administered to year 8 students
in both the 1995 and 1999 assessments. More 1999 than 1995 students succeeded
on 15 components, more 1995 than 1999 students succeeded on ten components,
and there was no difference on the final component. Averaged across the
26 components, two percent more students succeeded in 1999 than 1995.
Again, this difference is not large enough to be important. |