08 SES 04, Health literacy
In Finland, learning assessments are based on the Basic Education Act 1998, which states that pupil assessment should support learning and develop pupils’ abilities for self-assessment. In addition, national core curriculum for basic education (Finnish National Board of Education, 2014) clearly describes several key principles for assessment such it should be ethically sound and fair, take place in an encouraging atmosphere, use various assessment practices, and be used to develop teaching further. The same principles concern every subject including Health Education.
Health Education aims to promote health literacy of the pupils. Hence, the assessment should focus on five core components of health literacy described in the curriculum, namely theoretical knowledge, practical knowledge, critical thinking, self-awareness and citizenship (Finnish National Board of Education, 2014; Paakkari & Paakkari, 2012). Similarly, it should not focus on pupils’ ways of behaving, or their attitudes, or their values. However, every fifth of Finnish Health Education teachers have reported that they do include health behaviour within their assessment (Summanen, 2014), which is a question of inequity. The national curriculum and the instructions it provides should be followed, including ‘what’ should be assessed and ‘how’ the assessment should be carried out. Also, the question of ‘when’ is covered; the assessment should be both formative (assessment for learning) and summative (assessment of learning) (Harlen, 2005). In relation to latter, the curriculum for Health Education clearly states the criteria for the assessment of learning (corresponding to grade 8), which are to support equality in the assessment.
The aim of this presentation is to present the preliminary results about the study that focuses on Health Education teachers’ assessment competencies and practices. Following questions will be examined:
- What kinds of conceptions teachers have about the purposes of learning assessment in Health Education?
- What kinds of factors are included into the numerical grading (summative assessment)?
- What kinds of assessment practices teachers report they are using (summative and formative)?
The data will be collected in Spring 2019 using an online survey. The participants will be recruited in collaboration with The Association of Physical and Health Educators in Finland (member registry), and it is expected that 350 Health Education teachers (in basic education) will participate in the study from various parts of the Finland and different sizes of schools. The data will be analyzed using for example descriptive statistics and factor analysis.
The study is the first to report Health Education teachers’ assessment practices (‘what’, ‘how’, ‘when’) after the introduction of newest national core curriculum in 2014. Furthermore, the findings will increase our understanding about the conceptions of the purposes of learning assessment. Here, an identification of teacher’s conceptions of assessment is crucial as they influence teachers’ assessment practices (Harris & Brown, 2009). The findings can be used to develop Health Education teacher training and promote the development of teachers’ assessment competencies in Health Education.
Finnish National Board of Education (2014). National core curriculum for basic education 2014, Helsinki: Next Print. Harlen, W. (2005). Teachers' summative practices and assessment for learning–tensions and synergies. Curriculum Journal, 16(2), 207-223. Harris, L.R., & Brown, G.T.L. (2009). The complexity of teachers’ conceptions of assessment: tensions between the needs of schools and students. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 16(3), 365-381. Paakkari, L., & Paakkari, O. (2012). Health literacy as a learning outcome in schools. Health Education, 112(2), 133-152.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
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