This paper deals with teachers’ statements about assessing students’ results from items with non-traditional science content in the national science assessments in Sweden. Non-traditional science content in this case is items that concerns social and scientific issues (SSI). The content deals with use of science in society. This content has emerged in the curriculum in several countries in an effort to improve students’ interest for science, to implement meaningfulness in learning and train students to learn science for adults use (Sadler, Barab, & Scott, 2007; Sadler & Zeidler, 2009; Dana L. Zeidler, Sadler, Applebaum, & Callahan, 2009; Dana L. Zeidler, Sadler, Simmons, & Howes, 2005). Sweden has shown descending results in international studies, particularly PISA (Skolverket, 2013) so voices are raised how to improve teaching. Curriculum reform is a common way to change premises in school (Fensham, 2008). Swedish students get accurate results from PISA on items concerning traditional curriculum content, but items with non-traditional curriculum content show lower students’ results (Skolverket, 2010). When looking into teachers’ statements of test items with unfamiliar content that mirrors the curriculum content the question raises; what do teachers think of SSI content? In teacher surveys attached to the tests more than half of answering teachers state that they use SSI in their own tests (Åström, 2013). This study focuses on what teacher write in own words about test items.
1) what do teachers find troublesome concerning social and scientific issuescontent in national tests?
2) what expectations and apprehensions do teachers have to SSI items?
3) do teachers comments concerning SSI content in tests develop between years?
ECER 2014, Porto The Past, Present and Future of Educational Research in Europe