Fact Sheet - Curriculum and Student Assessment in Jordan  

authors: 
Queen Rania Foundation

National Curriculum

  • Jordan has sought in recent curriculum reforms to switch from a content-driven curriculum to a competency-based curriculum that focuses on students achieving a set of outcomes at the end of each grade level and education cycle.[i]
  • The General Framework for Curriculum and Assessment emphasizes the use of 5 instructional strategies: Direct Teaching Strategies, Inquiry-Based/Problem-Solving Teaching Strategies, Group-Based Learning Strategies, Activity-Based Learning Strategies, and Critical Thinking Strategies.
  • In 2014, the Ministry of Education (MoE) revised the grade 1-3 curricula and textbooks with the main objective of improving the literacy and numeracy skills of lower primary grade students. [i] In 2015 and 2016 the reform was carried out to the rest of the grades (4-12) to make curricular content more relevant to students.
  • Upon the recommendation of the National Human Resource Development Strategy 2016-2025, a new center for curriculum and assessment was legally established in April 2017.

Classroom Assessments

  • A 2012 study found that lower primary teachers’ assessment practices appear to focus on collecting grades for students rather than gathering evidence to inform their teaching approach.[i]
  • System-wide resources and materials available to support teachers’ classroom assessment activities include in-service training offered by supervisors, guidance brochures on classroom assessment, student assessment reports, and an official curriculum and assessment framework.[ii]
  • The Teacher Education Professional Diploma (TEPD), a 10-month pre-service professional diploma offered by the Queen Rania Teacher Academy, currently has 2 units that provide training on formative assessment.

General Secondary Examination (Tawjihi)

  • Tawjihi is the most high-stakes examination within the Jordanian education system, certifying students at the end of secondary education. The exam results determine selection into higher education institutions.[i]
  • Tawjihi assesses the knowledge of grade 12 students in core subjects including Arabic, English, Islamic Studies, Civics and Computer skills, as well as specialized and elective modules within both academic and vocational streams.[ii]
  • Each year around 4050% of students who sit for the Tawjihi exam pass.[iii] [iv] However, a significant proportion of each 12th grade cohort do not sit for the test.[v] 
  • A study commissioned by the Ministry of Education in 2013 found that for the math proportion of Tawjihi, the weight given to information management was 68%, communication skills was 25%, with 7% for problem solving and critical thinking.[vi]

Large Scale International Assessments

  • Jordan participates in two international large-scale assessments; the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), for students in the eighth grade, and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), for 15-year-old students. Jordan has participated in 5 rounds of TIMSS (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015) and in 4 rounds of PISA (2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015). [i]
  • Participation in TIMSS and PISA allows Jordan to benchmark against other countries and track trends over time, allowing Jordan to assess system strengths and weaknesses and to judge the impact of reforms and education policy decision. These assessments also provide important policy-level information. For example, the 2015 PISA assessment showed that Jordan’s reverse gender gap in favor of girls persists.
References

 


[i] Ministry of Education Directorate of Curricula and Textbooks. (2012). The General Framework for Curricula and Assessment. http://www.moe.gov.jo/Departments/DepartmentNewsDetails.aspx?DepartmentNewsID=458&DepartmentID=6.

[ii] Directorate of Examinations and Testing. (2016). Regulations for passing, resitting, and failing in the Primary, and Secondary Cycle for the Year 2016/2017.  http://www.moe.gov.jo/Files/(27-10-2016)(1-51-17%20PM).pdf

[iii] Directorate of Examinations and Testing. (2016).

[iv] Ministry of Education Development Coordination Unit. (2014). Education Reform for Knowledge Economy Second Phase: Annual Narrative Report 2014. http://www.moe.gov.jo/Files/(8-7-2015)(10-53-09%20AM).pdf

[v] Brombacher, A., Collins, P., Cummiskey, C., Kochetkova, E., Mulcahy-Dunn, A.   (2012). Student Performance in Reading and Mathematics, Pedagogic Practice, and School Management in Jordan. http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00JBNH.pdf    

[vi] World Bank. (2014). Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) Country Report 2014: Jordan - Student Assessment. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/479831492510153289/pdf/114305-WP-PUBLIC-SABER-Student-Assessment-Jordan.pdf

[vii] World Bank. (2014).

[viii] Obeidat, O. & Dawani, Z. (2014). Disseminating and Using Student Assessment Information in Jordan. World Bank.  https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/21043

[ix] Obeidat & Dawani. (2014).

[x] National Committee for Human Resource Development. (2016). Education For Prosperity – Delivering Results: A National Strategy for Human Resource Development 2016 - 2025. https://www.hrd.jo/nationalstrategy.

[xi] National Committee for Human Resource Development. (2016).

[xii] Obeidat & Dawani. (2014).

[xiii] See http://www.oecd.org/pisa/ and http://www.iea.nl/timss for more details on Jordan’s participation.