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The assessment process in two different year-five classrooms in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2014 (English)In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 5, no 4, 561-581 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to explore, describe and analyse the assessment process in two different Swedish year-five classrooms. The study is mainly based on observations and interviews with pupils and teachers. The data were analysed in relation to Bernstein’s (1977, 2000) theoretical concepts of classification, framing, codes, and pedagogic device. The analysis indicated differences in the assessment process between the two classrooms: first, in the systematicity and transparency of the learning goals; second, in the approach to teaching; and third, in the focus of the assessment in the classroom. This study argues that the assessment process in the classrooms was affected by external influences. Direct impacts on it include the official national guidelines, the tools provided for pupil documentation and the teachers’ in-service training.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 5, no 4, 561-581 p.
Keyword [en]
assessment process, classroom, recontextualisation, classification, framing
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-97540DOI: 10.3402/edui.v5.24619OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-97540DiVA: diva2:774159
Available from: 2014-12-22 Created: 2014-12-22 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically 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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