Cheeseman, J. & McDonough, A. (2013). Using photographs and diagrams to test young children's mass thinking. 1V. Steinle, L. Ball, C. Bardini. 146-153. Melbourne, Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia. Retrieved from http://www.merga.net.au/documents/Cheeseman_&_McDonough_MERGA36-2013.pdf
This paper reports the result of a pencil-and-paper test developed to assess young children's understanding of mass measurement. The innovative element of the test was its use of photographs. We found many children of the 295 6-8 year-old children tested could "read" the photographs and diagrams and recognise the images as representations of their classroom experiences. While the test had its limitations, it also required explanation, deductive reasoning, and justification of thinking through the open response questions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to develop pencil- and-paper tests that use photographs and diagrams to closely connect written assessment to classroom experiences of young children. Such assessment tools can reveal a range of children's thinking and can be a useful addition to various authentic assessment practices.
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