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Changes in the assessment process in Swedish compulsory school classrooms
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of 6th World Conference on Educational Sciences / [ed] Uzunboylu, H, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015, Vol. 191, 424-431 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates and analyses changes in the assessment process in Swedish classrooms between two consecutive years in two schools, with students aged 11-13 years. The assessment process is defined as the relationship between learning goals, teaching, and assessment. The first year, there were quite significant differences in the assessment process between the two schools. The second year, end-of-term grading was introduced, and national tests were administered in several subjects. The studiedclassroomslargely consisted of the same individual students and teachers in both consecutive years. The study is based on classroom observations, interviews and document analysis. The results indicated that the changes in the assessment process concerned the more frequent and detailed communication of learning goals and knowledge requirements, greater emphasis on students’ understanding, more focus on discipline in schoolwork, and increased documentation of students’ subject knowledge. The changes highlight that the assessment process in the two schools had more similarities in year 6 than in year 5. The conclusion is that the implementation of end-of-term grading and national tests, which are both based on new syllabuses and knowledge requirements, have strongly contributed to the changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 191, 424-431 p.
Series
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, ISSN 1877-0428 ; 191
Keyword [en]
Changes, grading, national tests, classification, framing
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-113689DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.538ISI: 000380560300073OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-113689DiVA: diva2:888440
Conference
Proceedings of 6th World Conference on Educational Sciences (WCES 2014), Grand Hotel Excelsior Convention Center, Valletta, MALTA, FEB 06-09, 2014.
Note

Originally included in thesis in accepted form.

Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2016-10-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Det kontrollera(n)de klassrummet: bedömningsprocessen i svensk grundskolepraktik i relation till införandet av nationella skolreformer
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Det kontrollera(n)de klassrummet: bedömningsprocessen i svensk grundskolepraktik i relation till införandet av nationella skolreformer
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
The controlled/controlling classroom : the assessment process in Swedish compulsory school practice in relation to the introduction of national school reforms
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to investigate the assessment process in Swedish compulsory school practice, and the changes that occur in relation to the introduction of national school reforms. The fieldwork forming the basis of the thesis was conducted in year five and year six classrooms between 2011-2013, a period during which new national syllabuses with knowledge requirements, grades in year six and extended national tests were introduced. The thesis consists of four articles, the first of which explores how the assessment process is put into practice in a year five classroom and how it is understood by the students and one of their teachers. The fieldwork on which the first article is based was conducted prior to the introduction of the above-mentioned reforms. The second article investigates the assessment process in two different year five classrooms in two schools, after the introduction of the new syllabuses but prior to the introduction of grades in year six and extended national tests. The third article investigates changes in the assessment process in the same two schools. The fieldwork was conducted in year five and year six, in relation to the introduction of grades in year six and extended national tests. The fourth article addresses how changes in the assessment process have affected students’ learner identities. The empirical material was collected during four fieldwork periods in three schools, chiefly through classroom observations, interviews and student essays. The analysis in the thesis is based primarily on Basil Bernstein’s (e.g. 2000) theoretical framework but also on the theoretical concepts of Torrance and Pryor (1998). The study shows that the reforms are exerting a significant influence on the assessment process in the investigated classroom practices. Teachers monitor their students’ performance more closely and students strive to acquaint themselves with what is expected of them. It also appears that the focus is increasingly on students’ performance in relation to the steering documents, that the more regulated practices restrict teachers’ and students’ autonomy and that the assessment process in the two schools investigated in both year five and year six are becoming increasingly similar. Furthermore, the study shows that students tend to pay more attention to their school work, while at the same time experiencing more negative pressure to perform. In the concluding analysis and discussion sections, connections are drawn between prevailing education policy and the reforms, as well as their influence on classroom practice, students and teachers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2015. 81 p.
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 0281-6768 ; 112
Series
Umeå Studies in the Educational Sciences, 6
Keyword
assessment process, classroom practice, school reforms, classification, framing
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-102925 (URN)978-91-7601-265-9 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Public defence
2015-06-03, Hörsal 1031, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-11 Last updated: 2016-09-13Bibliographically approved

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Olovsson, Tord Göran

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