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When assessment is a constant companion: students’ experiences of instruction in an era of intensified assessment focus

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Åsa Hirsh
Publicerad i Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy
Publiceringsår 2020
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik och specialpedagogik
Språk en
Länkar https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/ful...
Ämnesord Educational reform, summative and formative assessment, students’ experiences, dilemmas, complementary attitudes
Ämneskategorier Didaktik, Pedagogik

Sammanfattning

The current study aims to deepen the knowledge of students’ experiences of teachers’ assessment related instructional actions, with particular focus on problematic consequences of an intensified assessment paradigm. Its empirical material consists of 20 focus-group interviews with a total of 102 sixteen- to eighteen-year-old students in ten Swedish municipalities. Through inductive qualitative content analysis on manifest data level, six categories of aspects emerge that together describe students’ experiences of assessment related instructional actions. Clearly, assessment, learning goals, knowledge requirements, tests, and grades are dominant elements in Swedish students’ classroom life. Consequently, they often feel strong pressure and great insecurity. For the students, it seems to make no difference whether assessment purposes are summative or formative. Rather, it appears to be the total amount of assessment related instructional actions that causes stress, and decreased desire to participate and learn in school. The results are problematized and discussed through the lens of the concepts of dilemmas and complementary attitudes. It is argued that the last decade’s intensified assessment paradigm, with its numerous macro-level reforms and decisions with bearing on summative as well as formative assessment, has led to teachers adjusting pedagogical and ethical positions in the classroom. Consequently, counterproductive practices seem to have evolved.

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