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Twelve Years Old and Competent

Twelve Years Old and Competent
Cathy Wylie
PDF icon Twelve Years Old and Competent504.82 KB

A summary of the research report – Competent Children at 12

Cathy Wylie

The Competent Children project, funded by the Ministry of Education and NZCER, follows a group of about 500 New Zealand children from near age 5, when they were in early childhood education, through until they leave school.

This book gives a detailed summary of the main findings from the report of the fifth stage of the project – Competent Children at 12 – and provides a fascinating glimpse of 12-year-olds in contemporary New Zealand. Our look at these children covers a wide range of their current activities, experience, and views and also takes account of information from the study – children’s parents and teachers whom we interviewed. At age twelve, 53 percent of the study children were in Year 7 and 47 percent in Year 8.

As with the earlier stages of the project, we related the children’s past and present experiences and perceptions to their competency levels. The competency levels we chose to focus on at age 12 were: communication; perseverance; individual responsibility; curiosity; social skills with peers; social skills with adults; mathematics; literacy (reading comprehension, reading age, writing, vocabulary); and logical problem solving.

The first six competencies were measured by teacher observation ratings. The rating scales that were used and the children’s performance on them are shown for these. The last three – mathematics, literacy, and logical problem solving – were measured by the tests/tasks that the children did. The detailed teacher rating scale for writing is included. The other aspects of literacy mathematics, and logical problem solving were measured using standardised tests.

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The full report is also available: Download the full Competent Children at 12 report [pdf, 1.2 MB]

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