A number of items designed to assess numeracy knowledge are context free in the sense that they do not sit within an authentic situation. These include, for example, items that assess a learner’s knowledge of number facts or their understanding of place value. These are deliberately without context so that the educator can determine whether the learners have control over specific sets of knowledge. When recognized or displayed automatically in isolation (context free) this knowledge will be available for the learner to draw on in any context. Of course an assessment that is set to guide teaching and learning is meaningful in its own right: assessments are set for purposes and in places that are relevant to the people undertaking them.
A similar approach is taken to assessing components of reading and writing as outlined in the Starting Points Assessment Guide (see below).
This guide has been developed to support Starting Points: Supporting the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy. It provides suggestions for assessing adults who are operating below the steps described in the Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy.
Some of these adults may be learning English as a second or other language. Although parts of this guide may be useful for assessing these learners, depending on their particular profile, we suggest that you refer to the English Language Partners New Zealand website www.englishlanguage.org.nz in the first instance.
The TEC has no plans to resume hard copy printing of these resources.
This Learning Progressions document by the TEC is licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt this document for non-commercial purposes, as long as you attribute it to the TEC and abide by the other licence terms.