An analysis of Grade 10 History assessment tasks.

17 February 2012

This paper examines the nature and scope of the assessment tasks that three Grade 10 history classes were required to complete in 2005. Data were collected from three different secondary schools located in different socio-economic areas in KwaZulu Natal. Three tests from each school are analysed using Bloom's revised taxonomy in terms of knowledge dimension and cognitive process. The findings show that the assessment tasks across the schools differ substantially in both the level and the range of cognitive demand required of learners. While the study cannot make strong claims about causal explanations for the differences, the data do support an explanation of curriculum continuity in the historically advantaged sector in that previously white and Indian schools have been using evidence and source-based teaching and assessment for a number of years.