Preparations for national tests in grade six – narratives from those that are assessed
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
The aim of this paper is to describe and discuss how students are prepared and prepare themselves before conducting national tests. Recently the routines of national testing were extended in Sweden by introducing national tests in Science and Social science in grade six. The intentions with the test is to contribute to that the assessment will be equal and fair, to concretize the curricula and to improve students’ results. The tests are conducted during the spring term and they are supposed to mirror the summative learning results of the students’ achievements for the passed school years. An implicit idea in this policy is that students and schools should not prepare for the tests. The policy of extended national testing is regarded as an expression of the state’s increased demands on accountability and of a need for unambiguous information on a national school market. The research builds on a vision of educational reform as something that both frames the terms of the school’s stakeholders and is shaped by the local translations and enactments of the reforms. Data consists of interviews with sixth-grade students from ten schools who are characterized by different background factors, such as socioeconomic conditions and geographic location. The students were interviewed groups of students (n. 2-5) a few days after the national test. All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. We have conducted an analysis of micro-narratives of students’ stories about their experiences of preparing for national tests. Preliminary results indicate that schools and students in varying degrees prepare for individual tests. Students variously spend a lot of energy to prepare, or just follow the preparations done in school, or do not prepare at all. Some schools prepare students a lot and others leave the task of preparation to the students to solve alone. A conclusion suggested in the paper is that the tests from a students’ perspective can be said to contribute to differences in students’ possibilities to prepare and perform good results in school.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
national test, policy enactment, student perspective
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115733OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-115733DiVA: diva2:796165
NERA 2015 the 43rd Annual Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association