27 SES 07 A, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
In the context of Swedish compulsory schools, curriculum guidelines have been decentralized since the 1990’s (Lindberg, 2005; Forsberg & Lindberg, 2010). Individual Swedish teachers (Lindberg, in press) have been trusted with a higher degree of autonomy in comparison to many other European countries, with teachers given considerable responsibility for the assessment and grading of students’ knowledge. Major reforms associated with assessment processes, e.g. revised curriculum guidelines with new knowledge requirements (SKOLFS 2010:37) and a new grading scale (SFS 2010:800) were implemented in Sweden in 2011. The guidelines emphasise assessment with formative purposes, i.e. assessment for learning (Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Hattie, 2009; Black & Wiliam, 2009), as well as equity in relation to assessment (Gipps & Murphy, 1994; Tierney, Simon & Charland, 2011). How teachers discuss and interpret assessment can vary depending on which discourses or thought collectives (Fleck, 1997) teachers participate in. Frequent interaction may change teachers’ discussions on their assessment practices, illuminating a shared meaning of assessment that may encourage teachers to elaborate tools that develop their assessment practices.
This paper aims to analyse and describe the discourses that emerge in the discussion on assessment among Swedish mathematics teachers. These teachers work in a tense environment that exists between pedagogical practice and the political expectations expressed by national and local level, policymakers. The paper’s focus is on assessment of students’ knowledge in mathematics in compulsory schools. Tentative research questions include: What and how do the teachers express with respect to the mathematical content? What do the teachers express with respect to the students’ learning and responsibility? What do the teachers express with respect to the responsibility of a teacher?
Discourse analysis in relation to collective beliefs will be used along with the concepts of thought style and thought collectives (Fleck, 1997). A thought collective develops thought styles about assessment. A thought style is a fixed view of coercion and an overall mental preparedness and desire to act in a certain way, and can vary depending on which thought collective one takes part in. The more a thought collective meets and interacts the more stable the thought style is assumed to become.
Black, P. & Wiliam, D. (2009). Developing the theory of formative assessment. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 21(1), 5-31. Fleck, L. (1997). Uppkomsten av ett vetenskapligt faktum. Inledning till läran om tankestil och tankekollektiv [The genesis and development of a scientific fact]. (Tyskt original 1935, Entstehung und Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache. Einfürung in die Lehre vom Denkstil und Denkkollektiv. Basel: B. Schwabeund Co.). Translation: Bengt Liliequist. Stockholm: Brutus Östlings Bokförlag Symposion. Forsberg, E. & Lindberg, V. (2010). Svensk forskning om bedömning: en kartläggning. [Swedish research on assessment – a survey]. Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådet. Gipps, C. & Murphy, P. (1994). A fair test? Assessment, achievement and equity. Buckingham: Open university pr. Hattie, J.A.C. (2009). Visible learning: a synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge. Hattie, J. & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of Educational Research, 77, 81-112. Krueger, R.A. & Casey, M.A. (2009). Focus groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. (4. [updated] ed.) Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications. Lindberg, V. (2003). Om betydelsen av sekventiella intervjuer. [On the significance of sequential interviews]. In V. Lindberg. Yrkesutbildning i omvandling: en studie av lärandepraktiker och kunskapstransformationer. [Vocational education in transition: a study of learning practices and learning transformations] Diss. (sammanfattning) Stockholm: Stockholms Universitet, 2003. Lindberg, V. (2005). Svensk forskning om bedömning och betyg 1990-2005 [Swedish research on assessment and marking]. In Studies in Educational Policy and Educational Philosophy: E-tidskrift, 2005:1, 1-32. http://www.upi.artisan.se SFS 2010:800. Skollagen. [Education Act]. SKOLFS 2010:37. Förordning om läroplan för grundskolan, förskoleklassen och fritidshemmet. [Curriculum for the compulsory school, preschool class and the leisure-time centre]. Tierney, R.D., Simon, M. & Charland, J. (2011). Being Fair: Teachers' Interpretations of Principles for Standards-Based Grading. Educational Forum, 75:3, 210-227.
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