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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2320/1730

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Title: En roliger dans? : Svenska skolors första tolkning av innebörden i lokala betygskriterier i tre ämnen för skolår åtta
Other Titles: A Merry Dance : Swedish schools’ first interpretations of the significance of the local criteria for grading in three subjects in class eight
Authors: Tholin, Jörgen
Department: University College of Borås. School of Education and Behavioural Sciences
Issue Date: 2003
Series/Report no.: Licentiatavhandling Borås
Publisher: Högskolan i Borås
Media type: Text
Publication type: licentiate thesis
Keywords: betygssättning
Subject Category: Subject categories::Social Sciences::Social Sciences
Abstract: When the new curriculum for Swedish compulsory school (Lpo 94) and a new grading system were introduced, criteria for assessment were given only for the final marks. For the term marks schools were supposed to set up their own criteria. Originally the school authorities gave no reasons why teachers should do this, but gradually some reasons appeared in various school documents. One reason was that if the criteria were created locally it would give opportunities for teachers and learners to discuss the learning goals in the classroom, and there would also be discussions between colleagues about teaching, learning and assessment. Another reason was that this way the system would be clear to the learners so they would know what was required of them. In my research I study how teachers from 93 different schools interpreted the new ideas in the curriculum in their local plans and criteria for assessment for three different subjects: English, Chemistry and Physical Education. The first part of the study shows that when local criteria were first set up, the learners had not been involved, and the system was not presented clear enough for them to understand the contents. Neither had there been any in-depth discussions in the staff rooms about assessment. In many cases the language of the documents is such that both pupils and parents must find it very difficult to understand what is required in order to achieve a certain mark. One reason for this is, in my opinion, that teachers never quite understood why they should draw up local school plans and criteria, nor did they realize the difference between national and local criteria. In part two of the study the focus is on one subject, English. What research and what new ideas had made their way into the English syllabus and how were they interpreted in the local documents? It turns out, however, that only few schools had integrated the most significant new ideas, like learner influence and intercultural competence in their goals and criteria. The most characteristic feature was rather that many schools created new goals for English. Most frequent were criteria that had to do with grammar. More than half of the schools presented a number of criteria for grammar skills, while in the syllabus grammar is only mentioned once. The reason why grammar is so heavily emphasised is probably not that most English teachers in Sweden find grammar the most important aspect of English teaching. I would rather suspect that quite a few teachers did not have any strategies when they were given the task to formulate criteria, something they had never done before. Instead of starting by asking the obvious question “What are the most important aspects of my subject?” it seems likely that many teachers started out with the question “What can easily be tested in my subject?” The answer as regards English is of course “grammar”, and so the criteria are full of grammar objectives. Obviously the teachers were not properly informed about why they should formulate assessment criteria. They had had very little in-service training about the new syllabus and no training at all to make them better prepared for this task. Consequently they were not prepared to interpret the new ideas that were presented in Lpo 94.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2320/1730
ISBN: 91-631-3974-1
Appears in Collections:Licentiatavhandlingar / Licentiate theses (PED)

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