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This study explored primary students’ knowledge of maps through a sample of mathematics test items. One cohort completed these items annually for three years in a mass testing situation. Another cohort was interviewed once on the same map items. Mass testing results revealed that students’ performance generally improved over time. However, significant gender differences in favour of boys were noted annually on each item. Interview results highlighted key difficulties experienced by both girls and boys including interpreting vocabulary incorrectly, attending to the incorrect foci on maps, and overlooking critical information. Our results indicate a need for a focus on extracting and reading information from maps, and analysing and interpreting this information. Girls’ achievement should be closely monitored.


School of Education

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Conference Paper

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