ACARA has released its fifth National Assessment Program (NAP) – Science Literacy report. The report shows Australian Year 6 students’ science literacy levels have remained static.
Data from the NAP – science literacy assessments, held in late 2015, reveal little change in national performance levels in terms of both average student achievement and the proportion of students performing at or above the proficient standard. The proficient standard is set at a challenging level, and only just over half (55.1 per cent) of Year 6 students reached or exceeded it.
Other key findings of the report include:
- Female students performed better than male students nationally. (In 2012, female students had a higher mean than male students, but it was not statistically significant.)
- As seen in previous assessments, Indigenous students had a statistically significant lower mean achievement than non-Indigenous students.
- Students from metropolitan areas had higher mean scores than students in provincial areas, who in turn had higher mean scores than students in remote and very remote areas.
When undertaking the sample assessment, students were surveyed to determine the extent of their interest in science, their engagement in science-related activities and their understanding of how science is relevant in their lives.
The results of the student survey show that the great majority of students (over 80 per cent) appear to be interested in learning new things in science, learning about science and doing science-based activities.