Authors and co-authors:
Laila Issayeva, Daniyar Temirtassov (Center for Pedagogical Measurements, Nazarbayev Intellectual schools, Kazakhstan), Nico Dieteren, Sjoerd Crans, Frans Kamphuis (Institute of Educational Measurement Cito, the Netherlands)
Having become one of the fifty most competitivecountries out of 148 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Indexin 2013-2014(OECD, 2014), Kazakhstan set a new goal to progress even further to become one of the top thirty most developed countriesin the world. President Nazarbayev (2012) claimed that, that the country has “all possibilities: resources, educated people, and a united nation to reach that goal” (Strategy: Kazakhstan 2050). Due to the purposefor the prompt improvement of its economic situation, Kazakhstan aims to strengthen the role of education in development of the competitive human capital by implementing progressive reforms based on the local needs and oriented to the international standards. President Nazarbayev (2011) emphasized the necessity of forming intellectually, physically and spiritually developed citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan in order to satisfy national needs in education that can provide success in the rapidly changing world (SPED RKfor 2011-2020, 2010).
Such ambitiousgoalsbecame realizablewith the support of the establishment of Nazarbayev Intellectual schools (NIS) –a flagship of Kazakhstani secondary education system. The implementation of the new subject programmes, in particular in Mathematics, whichweredeveloped by NIScollaboratively with Cambridge University,started in 2012. Along with that,criteria-based assessment system was createdaimingto provide transparent and fair assessmentof student academic performance, to increase student motivation for developing skills necessary to achieve the expected learning outcomes, etc. Theseinnovationsrequired the creationof an efficacious assessmenttool that could providereliable data on student achievements in dynamics, and, therefore, on the quality of the innovative subject programme. To address this crucial need NIS decided to developmonitoring of student achievementsin Mathematics.
His monitoring which has been developed by NIStogether with the Institute of Educational Measurement Cito, the Netherlands, since 2012, aims to diagnose student performanceand to help the progress of an individual learner. Candidates to study at NIS go through a strict selection test checking their abilities and competencies in Mathematics and languages. Therefore, NIS accept only talented and gifted students who are supposed to have high achievements in learning. However, differentialmonitoring results show that the distribution of NIS students across student achievements obeys a Gaussian curve. The Normal distribution curve was explained in terms of education by the American scholaras following: a large number of students do moderately well; some do worse than average, and some do better; and a very small number get very high or very low results(Muhammad, 2011).
Therefore, monitoring reports benefit both main stakeholders involved into the studying process; teachers are informed about student knowledge levelsand are empoweredto provide appropriate professional support, and students, in turn, are aware of their weaknesses and strengths, and are invited to take responsibility for the further improvement in Mathematics. Thus, monitoring reporting helps to define not only students who need extra help from teachers, but also students withhigh performance which needs to be used for further development their talents. Monitoring results also let policy makers use gathered information for making relevant decisions in order to improve coordination of a curriculum and a subject programme (Bartle, 2007). However, there are still some drawbacks in applying monitoring results in teaching and learning practice by teachers and students of NIS, respectively.The target of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of monitoring of NIS student achievements in Mathematics. Findings from this research will add to the knowledge basein the educational realm, and contribute into further improvement of the developing monitoring system in Mathematics at NIS of Kazakhstan.