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Assessing ethical competence through national tests: an advantage or not?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. (EthiCo project)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4483-0597
2019 (English)In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 51, no 2, p. 262-278Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to describe, critically analyse and discuss the Swedish system of assessing ethics education in compulsory school through national tests. The publicly available tests from 2013 for grades six and nine have been studied as have the assessment instructions for teachers. Staff responsible for the test construction have been interviewed.The aims, core content and knowledge requirements of the curriculum were also studied. The concept ‘ethical competence’ was used as an analytical tool in the qualitative content analyses. Through the design of this study, the actual test, its process of construction and the curriculum were examined. The results suggest that ethics education, given (a) the curricular construction of what ability to assess, (b) complexities of test construction in ethics and (c) possible teach-to-the-test effects, runs the risk of being limited to an argumentative, conceptual competence, with ethics education being emptied of crucial content. However, being included in national testing can strengthen the position of a school subject. Is it then an advantage for ethics education to be tested in this way? The critical problems the study raises make the author conclude it to be a disadvantage for ethics education to be tested through national tests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019. Vol. 51, no 2, p. 262-278
Keywords [en]
ethics education, compulsory school, national testing, character education, ethical competence
Keywords [sv]
etikundervisning, grundskola, nationella prov, etikdidaktik, etisk kompetens
National Category
Pedagogical Work Ethics
Research subject
educational work; Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-153004DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2018.1533999ISI: 000458398800007Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85055701583OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-153004DiVA, id: diva2:1260110
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2014-2030Available from: 2018-11-01 Created: 2018-11-01 Last updated: 2019-04-16Bibliographically approved

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Sporre, Karin

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