Enhancing year 9 performance and engagement in science

Jackson, Clifford, Lasen, Michelle, Callin, Robert, and Tsey, Komla (2010) Enhancing year 9 performance and engagement in science. In: Proceedings of STEM in Education Conference. pp. 1-11. From: STEM in Education Conference, 26 - 27 November 2010, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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This paper presents findings from an action research project designed to enhance Year 9 student performance and engagement in science at a regional secondary school. The project was initiated in response to poor performance of Northern High's Year 9 cohort on the 2009 Queensland Comparable Assessment Task (QCAT). The incoming 2010 Year 9 cohort (N=148) was baseline tested and surveyed using items from the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (OECD, 2007) and the 2009 QCAT (QSA, 2009c). The mean test score for students was below a 50% pass mark (4.4/10; SD±2.0). Attitudes towards science were largely positive, with just under three fifths of students perceiving science to be very relevant to them. Regression analysis revealed that personal relevance of science explained 8.2% of the variance in test scores (p<.0005). In focus group interviews, students (n=12) reported little exposure to science in the primary school, variable interest in their secondary science education, and no science career aspirations. The Head of Department (HOD) identified the need for greater engagement with the science ways of working and criterion-based assessment, as presented in the Queensland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting (QCAR) framework (QSA, 2007a), in the faculty's 2010 program. A marked improvement in performance on the 2010 QCAT suggests important links to the faculty's implementation of the QCAR framework, curriculum leadership provided by the HOD, and external support for curriculum reform through collaboration and data sharing with researchers.

Item ID: 16255
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
Keywords: science, testing, comparative, secondary, achievement, literacy
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Date Deposited: 12 May 2011 01:54
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930301 Assessment and Evaluation of Curriculum @ 50%
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