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Testing teachers: perspectives on a pilot Numeracy Skills test

By Patricia S Drake


From May 2001 all teachers qualifying in England must be successful in computer-based skills tests in numeracy and literacy. The first test to be developed was the QTS Skills Test in Numeracy, which was a paper and pencil test taken on 1 June 2000 by approximately 22,000 trainee teachers. In this article I argue that the pilot test signals an unjustified departure from performance-based assessment, provides an example of inconsistency between national imperatives and teacher certification and was not robust. A small study of trainee teachers of secondary English was undertaken to explore perceptions of professional numeracy in relation to their experience in training, what was tested in the skills test and what is known about testing mathematics through questions set in pseudo-real contexts. I conclude that theoretically it would be difficult to devise an appropriate examination type test of professional numeracy and that in the event the pilot test was not successful

Topics: L1
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2002
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