The general objective of this paper is to investigate the mathematics achievement of middle grade students in Pakistan. Specifically: to determine whether mathematics achievement varies systematically across students and schools; to what extent the mathematics curriculum and frameworks are implemented in schools; to what extent gender and location account for differences in mathematics achievement (at item and test scores levels); to what extent student demographics, home background, and homework variables predict mathematics achievement; to what extent schools' physical and academic resources predict mathematics achievement; and to what extent student‐ and school‐level variables interact to predict achievement indirectly.
The approach was to undertake a quantitative survey of 14,440 students from 770 schools across the country. The analytic strategy included item‐level Rasch analysis, DIF analysis across gender and regional location, and MLM analysis to test various student‐ and school‐level models.
Rasch analysis indicated that students were able to pass low‐rigour items requiring simple mathematical skills. The DIF analysis indicated that items favouring female students in either content domain belonged to knowledge of concepts to recall basic facts, terminologies, numbers, and geometric properties. Items favouring male students in either domain belonged to the problem solving level. MLM analysis revealed that at the student level, gender, location, and some home background and homework variables contributed towards mathematics achievement. At the school level, availability of learning resources and better physical facilities were found to be associated with increase in achievement scores.
Only a few major variables with policy and research implications were tested to keep the interpretations clear and simple. The next stage of this study could examine the more complex pattern of relationships and interactions among relationships for subgroups.
The study has implications for a review of the gender gap in school enrolment, the national curriculum for mathematics, homework policy, the role of regional languages as a medium of instruction in schools, the provision of school resources, and learning aids in schools.
The paper shows that the estimated models were successful in explaining the variation in average achievement in terms of proportion of variance explained and significance of estimates of the effects.
Tayyaba, S. (2010), "Mathematics achievement in middle school level in Pakistan: Findings from the First National Assessment", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 221-249. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513541011031583Download as .RIS
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