The factors that influence the increasing performance in Annual National Assessment testing at grade 6 in mathematics.
Penniston, Raymond Cedrick.
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This study investigates the performance of schools in the Umlazi district in Annual National Assessment (ANA) testing in Mathematics Grade 6. The ANA testing in Mathematics and Literacy in our schools has raised serious questions about the current South African education system. Three schools in the Umlazi district that performed well continuously for the past three years in ANA were sampled, together with four teachers from these schools who are teaching Mathematics at Grade 6 level. The data was collected through individual interviews and document analysis. The finding of the study revealed that there are complex factors that contributed to the increased performance of learners, namely the teacher content knowledge, learner‟s attitudes and the school ethos. The conclusions drawn from the themes are used to generate several recommendations to improve the performance of all schools in Mathematics. Spaull (2013b) has compared the Mathematics results of Grade 6 learners across four countries within Africa. He argues that the South Africa schooling system is failing its citizens, especially the youth of South Africa. The performance in Mathematics and Literacy has been amongst the worst in the world for several successive assessments. His analysis shows that the quality of schooling in our schools is failing our learners. However, it is possible that we are being blinded by the general poor performance in Mathematics, to such an extent that we overlook the fact that there are some schools which are consistently performing exceptionally well. It is from this perspective that this study has been motivated, to establish what factors in the sampled schools contribute to their consistent good performance in the ANA testing and how these factors maybe be emulated in other schools to improve or increase performance.