Effects of national assessment on teaching in science education
2014 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
This paper reports results from a project that aims at investigating if and in which way the introduction of national tests in science education influence teachers’ opinions of what is ”good” education in science and how this influence teachers’ instruction and assessment of students. National tests in biology, physics and chemistry were introduced in 2009 in year 9 in Swedish compulsory school. Some of the governing arguments for introducing national tests are that they will work exemplary for teachers and create a more equal and fair assessment and grading of students.
A survey among Swedish science teachers were performed regarding various aspects of their practice. Selected teachers were then interviewed about their teaching. Analyses of the actual national tests were also carried out.
The theoretical framework is built on curriculum theory. The concept of curriculum emphases is used as an analytical tool for analyzing content selection in tests and instruction.
The results showed that different teachers put emphasis on different goals, contents, and assessment in their classroom practices and that these aspects can be systematically grouped as teaching traditions. Nevertheless, there were no significant differences in how teachers in different teaching traditions responded to national tests. Concerning the tests the analysis showed that, to pass the tests, the students need to answer correctly on questions dealing foremost with disciplinary knowledge. To get higher grades they also need to be able to answer questions on the use of science in relation to political and moral issues. The content within the three different tests, biology, chemistry and physics, also showed variations of what is tested. In the interviews the teachers talked about mainly three subject areas where the national tests have added their teaching new content related aspects. These subject areas are united by the call for a testing of an intellectual dimension of science; ways of thinking in the research process and ways to deal with the relationship between theory and evidence in science.
Conclusions from the different studies are discussed in relation to the question about the use of national tests as a way to generate a more equal and fair education.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject Curriculum Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-220576OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-220576DiVA: diva2:705682
Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA)
ProjectsNationella prov i biologi, fysik och kemi: eventuell betydelse för lärares undervisning och bedömning
FunderSwedish Research Council, UVK-2010-49