Modeling and assessing mathematical competence over the lifespan

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Irene Neumann
  • Christoph Duchhardt
  • Meike Grüßing
  • Aiso Heinze
  • Eva Knopp
  • Timo Ehmke
Mathematical literacy is regarded as an important prerequisite to master-ing problems of everyday life. In the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), mathematics has therefore been included as a central domain of com-petence development over the lifespan. To track the development of mathemati-cal competence in individuals, instruments are needed that provide coherent and consistent measures. The instruments are based on a theoretical framework of mathematical competence over the lifespan. The framework consists of a content-related and a cognitive dimension. The content areas diff erentiate between four overarching ideas of mathematics. The cognitive component consists of six cogni-tive processes that are needed to solve mathematics-related problems. Following this structure, the NEPS framework for mathematical competence is compatible with the underlying framework of the PISA studies and with the framework of the German Mathematics Education Standards. The main focus of the manuscript is to accurately describe the NEPS framework of mathematical competence over the lifespan. First, the concept of mathematical competence, on which the NEPS mathematics tests are based, is explained in detail. Then, exemplary items for dif-ferent age groups illustrate the interplay of content areas and cognitive compo-nents. Finally, initial insight into the tests’ quality is provided on the basis of pilot studies in Grade 9 of secondary school and in the adult samples.
Translated title of the contributionModellierung und Erfassung mathematischer Kompetenz über die Lebensspanne
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal for Educational Research Online
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)80-109
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2013