The collection in 6th grade
The purpose of the report below is to report on the collection of data from the fifth sample in the spring of 1990, when the majority of the students reached 6th grade. In total, there are 4370 students.
Implementation and results from the data collection are described in the report Collection of student data in 6th grade spring 1990 (pdf).
Conduct of the survey
The implementation of a survey of this type presupposes both appropriate permits and the active participation of many people and organizations. Before the follow-up survey started in the spring of 1987, the teachers' trade unions, the Swedish Home and School Association, the Student Organization in Sweden and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities, all of which gave their support to the survey, were therefore informed. Furthermore, an application was sent to the school boards in the municipalities concerned for permission to carry out the student examinations during lesson time. All 29 municipalities surveyed were positive about the survey and in connection with the permits being granted, a contact person was also appointed at each school board. Before the new data collection was started, a letter was sent in January 1990 to all contact persons, in which the forthcoming survey was described. Attached to the letter was a copy of the information letter sent out when the follow-up survey began, which provides a general description of the survey's purpose and structure. Furthermore, a list was attached of the classes within the municipality that would be included in the spring of 1990 and how many students were affected in each class.
Due to the fact that many classes were divided and that individual students changed class or moved since 3rd grade, the students were spread over significantly more classes in 1990 than in 1987. At that time, the number of classes was almost 300. In the spring of 1990, the number had more than doubled. Some students had also moved to somewhere other than the original 29 municipalities. Another problem was that the most recently available information about the students' class affiliation - which was obtained from Statistics Sweden's register - was from the end of the academic year 1988/89, when they were mostly in 5th grade. It was the then current class designation that was stated for the contact person and which later formed the basis for the distribution of the student forms. However, we expected that with the help of class affiliation in 5th grade, it would be relatively easy to identify the correct class in 6th grade, which also turned out to be the case.
The survey material was sent out at the beginning of March. At the turn of the month, April-May, most of the forms had been returned to the department. The schools that did not submit any material at that time were contacted by telephone during the first week of May. At the end of this month, some schools from which forms were still missing received another telephone reminder.
At the end of February, the forms were sent to the guardians. They were sent directly to the residential addresses, which we received from Statistics Sweden. Each form was accompanied by a stamped reply envelope and a cover letter. By mid-April, just over half of the guardian surveys had been returned. A reminder letter was sent to the guardians who had not responded at the time, as well as a new copy of the questionnaire and an answer envelope. At the end of May, the response rate was around 70 percent. At the end of May, an additional reminder letter (Appendix 14) was sent to the remaining 30 percent with the attached form and reply envelope. This reminder also seems to have had an effect, because by the end of June, the response rate had increased by a further 7 percentage points.
The Cognitive tests are intelligence tests containing tasks of a verbal, inductive and spatial nature. These have been given at each collection in 6th grade and began with the evaluation in 1961. The three subtests and how they were developed are described in Svensson, A. (1964) (pdf downloadable from GUPEA, in Swedish).
- Antonyms: To choose the opposite of a particular keyword among four options
- Sheet metal folding: To work out which of the four figures you get, if you fold a pictured “sheet metal piece”
- Number series: To continue a number series, where six numbers are given, with two more numbers
More about the cognitive tests can be read in:
Relative achievement: school performance in relation to intelligence, sex and home environment (pdf downloadable from GUPEA).
Results on a math test. The test is identical to that given in 6th grade in the spring of 1985, cohort 1972.
Questionnaire for students
The form for students contains 44 questions.
- Twenty-one questions (1–21) on self-perception
- Seven questions (1–7 second part) concerning studies and career plans
- Ten questions (1–10 third part) concerning hobbies
- Four questions (11–14 third part) that deal with attitudes to homework, tests and other school work
- Two open-ended questions (15 and 16) give students the opportunity to describe what is most positive and negative about the school
The exact wording of the questions can be found in the questionnaire for the students (pdf).
Questionnaire to the guardians
The form sent to the parents contains 21 questions divided into the following areas:
- The child's upbringing conditions.
- Ambitions and wishes regarding the child's education.
- The parents' own educational and professional situation.
- Views on the school's objectives.
The exact wording of the questions can be found in the questionnaire for the parents (pdf in Swedish).
Under the heading reports, there is detailed information about the collections.