On Understanding and Improving Teaching through Reflection on the Mathematics National Examinations and National Education Goals: A Case of Malawi

On Understanding and Improving Teaching through Reflection on the Mathematics National Examinations and National Education Goals: A Case of Malawi

Author(s) by Nancy Chitera
Pages 98-108
Keywords Validation; national examinations; national education goals; Secondary Education Goals, content validity
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Abstract


There have been so many reports that discuss the importance of validating examinations to check if they assess what they are intended to assess. The aim of this article is not to discuss the importance of validating nor the validation process but rather reflections of the extent to which National Educational Goals (NEGs) and Secondary Education Goals (SEGs) are reflected in a National Examination paper. In order to do this, I have used content validity analysis of the Mathematics National examinations from the year 2005 to 2009 in relation to the NEGs and SEGs. This content validity, grounded on Burnstein’s (1990) work, is established in a three-point framework: (1) internal analysis of the examination papers, (2) comparison of their contents with the Topic Objectives, and (3) comparison of their content with Subject Objectives and Secondary Education Goals. The results of the analysis show that there is consistency between the examinations and the Topic Objectives however, 56% of the Subject Objectives are not covered in the national examinations. This article also presents a discussion of the implications of these findings in the mathematics teaching and learning. The article ends with a number of recommendations derived from the results of the analysis.

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