ORGANIZED PROBES USED IN TANDEM WITH A STANDARDIZED INSTRUMENT: ASSESSMENT PROBES AND THE TEMA-2
Does the additional administration of organized probes, specifically the TEMA-2 Assessment Probes (Ginsburg, 1990), reveal higher comprehension of early mathematics concepts in children than as assessed by a standardized measure alone, the TEMA-2 (Baroody & Ginsburg, 1990)? Effectiveness of various probes designed to give a child varying amounts of adult support (i.e., readministration, rewording, strategy inquiry, provision of hint, modeling/teaching and using new manipulatives and/or visuals), as well as overall usefulness of conducting probes sessions were investigated. Two examiners administered the TEMA-2 and probes, following up on selected incorrect responses to TEMA-2 items, to 22 second graders. Probes sessions were coded to determine probe effectiveness and usefulness of probes. Examiners were interviewed for perceptions of usefulness of probes. Two groups of educational professionals were shown a selection of the reports; one group received only the standard report while the other received both the standard and probes report. The most effective probes were found to be mere readministration of the original item (children were shown to comprehend concepts and not simply guessing) and providing guidance using manipulatives and/or visuals not part of the original items. A majority of sessions were rated as indicating usefulness of probes, i.e., either showing “much change” or “some change” in information about a child’s comprehension of TEMA-2 items. Examiners noted ease of probes administration and ability to make more specific recommendations for remediation and instruction than indicated by the standard administration alone. The educational professionals shown results of only the standard testing made recommendations to probe incorrect answers to discover learning potential. The group also shown the probes report provided richer feedback and understanding of the children in question. The results of the study indicated that organized probes were relatively easy to administer and resulted in invaluable information about a child’s learning potential.