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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title Context for mathematics paper 1 and mathematics paper 2: an analysis of grade 12 mathematics papers in South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/19726/dissertation_magidi_j.pdf?sequence=1
In South Africa, there are two different examinations for Grade 12. The first one, is
called the National Senior Certificate (NSC), is administered to public schools by the
Department of Basic Education (DBE). The second one, known as IEB, is
administered to private schools by the Independent Examinations Body (IEB). The
2010, NSC matriculation examinations were written by 537 543 full-time
students at 6 670 schools (Gravett & Gillian, 2011). On the other hand, the
2010, IEB matriculation examinations were written by 8 285 students at 172
independent schools (Mail and Guardian [online], 04 January 2011).
The Independent Examination Body is an independent agency which offers an
alternative form of assessment and it is accredited by Umalusi, a South African
agency responsible for quality assurance in school examinations. Both the IEB and
the NSC offered the intended curriculum of the National Curriculum Statement
(NCS), that is, the curriculum offered in South African schools from 2008 to 2013.
The Mathematics Curriculum Document emphasises that “tasks and activities
should be placed within a broad context , ranging from the personal , home , school ,
business , community , local and global” (DoE , 2006: 19). Contextual word-problems
should include social, political, environmental, economic, health, cultural, and
scientific issues, whenever possible (Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement
(CAPS), 2012).
Contextual word-problems are presented using grammatical sentences, rather than
mathematical symbols. The intention behind the use of contextual word-problems is
to support the reinvention process which enables students to understand formal
mathematics using experimentally-real problem situations. Contextual wordproblems
– in assessment for learning, assessment as learning, and assessment of
learning – need to be sufficiently addressed in the intended curriculum, the
implemented curriculum, and the attained curriculum.

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