n South African Journal of Education - The PASS model for the assessment of cognitive functioning in South African schools : a first probe

Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



Diversity is an acknowledged characteristic of the South African society. Traditional standardised methods of assessment for cognitive functioning have been discouraged or abandoned, as they have been found to be discriminatory. Arguing for a systematic assessment process, a previous researcher has stated that standardised methods are the best ways of achieving understanding of the reasons for the breakdown in learning and ensuring effective intervention. An alternative mod el of intelligence and cognitive functioning developed in previous work is explored for possible application within the South African context. This model, referred to as the PASS model, refers to the cognitive processes of Planning, Attention, Simultaneous and Successive processing. The exploration of the PASS model is extended to the assessment tool used to quantify these four cognitive processes. The assessment tool is called the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS). The question posed in the study was whether results obtained with this PASS model of intelligence could provide insight into the cognitive functioning of South African children. To establish the validity of the CAS (the assessment tool), the scores were correlated with related achievement scores obtained. The sources for achievement were obtained from the normed standardised Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB) as well as the pupil's school year marks for the previous year. The data obtained from the CAS, Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery (WDRB), and the scholastic marks obtained from school subjects for December 2000 were therefore examined for correlations. The findings of this first probe indicated that the PASS model of intelligence correlates with reading and scholastic achievement in the South African context. The consequence of these findings impacts on the strategies employed for assessment of and intervention with reference to children having difficulties in learning within the South African context. The need for additional research to exp lore the diagnostic value of the CAS in the wider community is on e of the challenges emanating from this probe.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error