National Report on Schooling in Australia 2009

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education

7.6 Assessment: NAP – Science Literacy

The National Sample Assessment in Science Literacy focuses entirely on measuring the scientific literacy of Year 6 students. Further information is available in the NAP – Science Literacy section of this report.
 
In 2009, approximately 13,000 Year 6 students, of which five per cent identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, participated in the NAP – Science Literacy assessment. The participating students were from both government and non-government schools.

 

Table 7.12      Proportion of Year 6 sample by Indigenous status, 2009 (per cent)

Indigenous status

Australia (per cent)

Non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

85.5

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

5.0

Missing

9.5

Total

100.0


Note:

Codes used in the NAP-SL Student Participation Form:

  • Non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander: Neither Aboriginal nor Torres Strait Islander origin

  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander: Aboriginal but not Torres Strait Islander origin; Torres Strait Islander but not Aboriginal origin; Both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin

  • Missing: Not stated/unknown

Source: ACARA, National Assessment Program – Science Literacy Year 6 Report 2009, p. 102

 

Key performance measure

The proportion of students achieving at or above the proficient standard (Level 3.2) is a basic measure of science literacy achievement in Australian schooling. This is a key performance measure (KPM) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia.
 
The proportion of students achieving at various proficiency levels is reported in Table 7.13.
 

Key Performance Measure 3 (a)

  Table 7.13    Proportion of students achieving at each proficiency level and at or above the proficient standard (Level 3.2) in Science Literacy, by Indigenous status, Australia, 2009 (per cent)

 

Proficiency level (%)

At or above the proficient standard

 

2 and below

3.1

3.2

3.3

4 and above

Indigenous

38.6

41.8

18.6

1.0

0.0

 

CI±

6.8

5.8

6.0

1.5

0.0

 

Non-Indigenous

7.4

38.7

46.1

7.6

0.1

 

CI±

0.1

1.9

1.8

1.2

0.1

 

Australia

9.1

39.0

44.5

7.2

0.1

51.9

CI±

1.2

1.7

1.8

1.1

0.1

2.2


Notes:

CI = Confidence Interval

The percentages reported in this table include 95 per cent confidence intervals.

Source: ACARA, National Assessment Program – Science Literacy Year 6 Report 2009

 

The National Assessment Program – Science Literacy Year 6 Report 2009 (p. 82) states that non-Indigenous students achieved ‘significantly higher levels of scientific literacy than Indigenous students, as was the case in 2006 and 2003’. The report observes that this finding was similar to that of other National Assessment Programs and that ‘strategies need to be found to address the gap in achievement between the two groups’.
 
The National Assessment Program – Science Literacy Year 6 Report 2009 is available on the National Assessment Program website.