The collection in 9th grade
The original number of students in the sample was 9727 and the number of students who participated in the data collection in 9th grade amounted to 9464. The response rate was 71 percent and the internal dropout rate was generally low. Distortions in data caused by the sample design and omissions are handled using weighting variables.
The scale constructions that refer to self-assessments of general and specific school performance as well as the general interest in learning more in school largely correspond to the scales reported in the previous collection for 9th grade regarding cohort 6 born in 1982.
Conduct of the survey
The selection is based on entire principal areas in compulsory 3rd grade. Due to classes being divided and students changing classes since the selection was made, the students were so scattered that the only reasonable way to distribute the questionnaire was to send it to each student's home address. This raised the question of whether the questionnaire should be addressed directly to the student or to the student's guardian. After the issue was discussed with lawyers at Statistics Sweden, it was clear that it was in accordance with current rules that the questionnaire be addressed directly to the student.
This entailed some difficulties as it was assumed that not all or even the majority of the students were aware that they were included in the survey and that permission for the student's participation was obtained from the parents when the sample was drawn when the student was in 3rd grade. For that reason, the wording of the introductory text informing about the survey is particularly important (see first page of the questionnaire, appendix).
The final version of the student survey and cover letter was sent to Statistics Sweden (in mid-January), which printed and distributed the survey as a postal survey. The student questionnaire was sent out in week 7 in 2003. A thank you and reminder card was sent in week 9. A reminder with a new questionnaire was sent partly in week 10 and partly in week 12. The collection ended in week 18 in 2003, after which the bound questionnaire responses were scanned by Statistics Sweden and sent to the University of Gothenburg in unidentifiable condition.
More about the implementation can be read in the Technical Report Statistics Sweden compiled in connection with the submission of data.
Questionnaire for students
The final questionnaire included 30 questions of which 19 questions concern primary school, 2 questions concern computer use, 5 questions concern the pupil's continued schooling after compulsory school, 2 questions concern the pupil's leisure activities and work, 1 question concerns where the pupil lives and 1 question about the number siblings. Several of the questions are formulated as main questions with a number of sub-questions followed by four or five answer alternatives. The questions concern the following areas.
- Six questions (1, 2, 22, 23, 24 and 25) concern the choice of primary and secondary school, i.e., active choice of municipal or independent school and the main grounds for these choices.
- Six questions (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) are about the students' general perception of their ability or competence to acquire the subject matter that the school teaches in nine different areas of knowledge, interest in acquiring the subject matter in these areas, self-perceived degree of difficulty in studying during the last three school years in compulsory school, and perception of their ability or competence to cope with certain specific tasks in Swedish, English and mathematics.
- Five questions (9, 16, 17, 18 and 19) are about working methods in the classroom and students' attitudes towards grades.
- Six questions (10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15) concern parents' involvement in students' schoolwork, homework and access to and use of computers.
- Two questions (20 and 21) concern students' experiences in certain specific school situations and general school well-being.
- Two questions (27 and 28) concern leisure activities and work.
- Two questions (29 and 30) are about the student's family relationship and number of siblings.
The exact wording of the questions can be found in the questionnaire for the students (pdf 2,5 MB in Swedish).