Publication Date



This article reports an innovative use of photographs in a pencil-and-paper test which was developed to assess young children’s understanding of mass measurement. Two hundred and ninety-five tests were administered by thirteen teachers of Years 1 and 2 children in 3 urban and rural schools. Many of these children of 6-8 years of age were able to “read” the photographs and diagrams in the test and recognise the images as representations of their classroom experiences. While the test had its limitations it also had some worthwhile features: it 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 with classroom experiences of young children. We believe that this study is important because it shows that such assessment tools can reveal a range of children’s thinking and can be a useful addition to the various authentic assessment practices teachers adopt.


School of Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access