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Exploring PE teachers’ ‘gut feeling’: An attempt to verbalise and discuss teachers’ internalised grading criteria
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur. Högskolan i Gävle. (PIF)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4225-2014
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6629-613x
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9965-0123
2014 (English)In: European Physical Education Review, ISSN 1356-336X, E-ISSN 1741-2749, Vol. 20, no 2, 199-214 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research shows that teachers’ grading is influenced by non-achievement factors in addition to official criteria, such as knowledge and skills. Some grading criteria are internalised by the teacher, who is sometimes unable to verbalise the criteria used and refers to what is called a ‘gut feeling’. Therefore, transparency, validity and reliability are problematic. The aim of this study was to explore which criteria physical education teachers consider important when grading. Such an exploration makes it possible to discuss how the verbalised criteria and the value they are given by the teachers can be understood. Four Year 9 teachers at different Swedish compulsory schools were interviewed using Kelly’s Repertory Grid technique. Among the verbalised criteria, four themes were identified: motivation, knowledge and skills, self-confidence and interaction with others. The teachers sometimes had difficulties predicting which criteria had relevance to the grades given, and the criteria considered important by the teachers were not always reflected in the grade. The verbalised criteria revealed teachers using grades to encourage such student behaviours that helped them to handle the classroom situation and to facilitate students learning. To become cognisant of and develop their grading, methods to verbalise their individual grading criteria were needed, and Kelly’s Repertory Grid technique is one possible option. The results provide discussion points about reasons for the way teachers are grading.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 20, no 2, 199-214 p.
Keyword [en]
Assessment, grading practice, physical education, repertory grid
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-3295DOI: 10.1177/1356336X13517437OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-3295DiVA: diva2:712560
Available from: 2014-04-15 Created: 2014-04-15 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Grading in physical education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Grading in physical education
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the thesis the aim is to investigate different aspects of what teachers value when grading in Swedish physical education (PE) and to analyses how sociological background factors impact students’ grades. Grades in PE have included aspects other than those prescribed in the grading criteria, for instance motivation and effort. Teachers sometimes find their value-setting difficult to articulate and refer to a “gut feeling”. In order to explore both explicit and implicit forms of value-setting, the Repertory Grid interview technique is employed.

The thesis includes four sub-studies, three interview studies with Swedish PE teachers and a fourth study based on registry data from the Swedish National Agency for Education. The data of all students leaving nine-year compulsory school in 2014 (n=95317) is analysed to explore how sociological background factors, such as migration background, parents’ education, school provider and gender, affect PE grades.

The results reveal aspects of grading that are not detectable in the official description of the grading assignment and highlight problems that teachers need to address when grading. Four themes are discerned in the teachers’ grading practices: motivation, knowledge, confidence and social skills. The implementation of a new national curriculum with specified knowledge requirements seems to improve the alignment with the national criteria, but there is still a gap between policy and practice. The knowledge requirements for movement are often interpreted as performances in competitive sports, even if the teachers try to find other interpretations. The odds ratio for getting a higher grade in PE is greater for the variables migration background and parents’ education than for the other investigated variables. The concepts formulated by Bernstein are applied to explore the relations between teachers’ grading practices and cultural and political influences and to discuss how the tensions between different interests could affect teachers’ grading.

The conclusion is that the gap between policy and practice confirmed in this study is related to tensions between the interests and purposes of different agents, all of whom strive to influence steering documents and practice. Cultural and political influences need to be considered and facilitate discussions about how to understand which knowledge is valued in PE and who has better possibilities to assimilate it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, 2017
Series
Avhandlingsserie för Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, 08
Keyword
physical education, assessment, movement qualities, criterion referenced, standards-based grading, internalised grading, gut-feeling, equity, Bernstein, Repertory Grid
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-4715 (URN)978-91-980862-9-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-02-17, Aulan, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Forskningslinjen Utbildning
Available from: 2017-01-13 Created: 2017-01-13 Last updated: 2017-02-13Bibliographically approved

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