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”I’m not the only teacher”: En explorativ fallstudie i hur gymnasielärare i Engelska resonerar kring formativ bedömning
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers of English in Swedish Upper secondary school reason as regards formative assessment. Formative assessment is defined through (a) Paul Black’s and Dylan Wiliam’s definition of formative assessment that focuses on the decisions that teachers make based on gathered information about student performance, and (b) Dylan Wiliam’s conceptualisation of formative assessment as five key strategies. In the study, a distinction is made between teachers’ intentions – their reasoning behind or ambitions of formative assessment – and their decisions – concrete examples of how the teachers express that they implement formative assessment in their teaching practice.

The study was organised as a case study in which qualitative semi-structured life world interviews were conducted with two teachers at the same upper secondary school in a large Swedish city. As such, the study focused on the teachers’ own experiences of formative assessment. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded through a process of ‘open coding’. For the analysis of the transcribed and coded interviews, an analytic model based on Wiliam’s five key strategies for formative assessment was constructed. The participating teachers’ answers were categorised in three steps: first, in accordance with the key strategies; second, into either intentions or decisions; and third, as concrete manifestations of intentions or decisions aligned with a specific key strategy. Schematic overviews based on the analytic model were constructed in order to illustrate a holistic interpretation of each teachers’ answers, and these were compared to each other in order to unveil patterns, similarities and differences.

Based on the interpretation through the lens of the key strategies, the study found that the participating teachers show both significant gaps as well as strengths in their work with formative assessment. However, the small sample size of the study in combination with the study being restricted to a single type of empirical data entails difficulties in generalising the results of the study. Therefore, the main conclusion drawn from the study is that the model constructed for and employed in the study successfully enabled evaluation of teachers’ reasoning behind formative assessment. Thus, it might be employed in continued research on the subject matter. Furthermore, the conclusions drawn from the study indicate that further research about formative assessment in Sweden would benefit from added perspectives such as professional learning and teacher eduacation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier, 2015vt01538
Keyword [en]
formative assessment, EFL, Sweden, Upper secondary school, qualitative interview
Keyword [sv]
formativ bedömning, EFL, Sverige, gymnasiet, kvalitativ intervju
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-259432OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-259432DiVA: diva2:844112
Subject / course
Educational Sciences
Educational program
Teacher Education Programme
Available from: 2015-08-04 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2015-08-04Bibliographically approved

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