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  • 1.
    Eriksson, Elisabeth
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Björklund Boistrup, Lisa
    Stockholm Univ, Sweden.
    Thornberg, Robert
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    A qualitative study of primary teachers classroom feedback rationales2018In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 60, no 2, p. 189-205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BackgroundAs part of teachers everyday classroom assessment practice, feedback can be seen as connected to the formative function of assessment, with the aim of helping students in their learning processes. Much research on teacher feedback focuses precisely on the feedbacks formative quality. However, in order to strengthen our understanding about the nature of teacher feedback, we also need to understand more about teachers rationales for giving feedback to their students, especially in primary school settings.PurposeThe present study aimed to explore and conceptualise primary school teachers rationales for giving students feedback.SampleThirteen Swedish primary school teachers ( 10 women and 3 men) with 4 to 40 years of teaching experience working with students aged 7-9years-old (grades 1-3), participated in the study. An open sampling procedure was adopted to recruit the teachers.Design and methodsData were collected using a semi-structured interview approach. We employed a constructivist grounded theory design for the coding and analysis of the transcribed data.ResultsAnalysis indicated that two main concerns emerged as regulating teachers assessment practices. These addressed what the teachers perceived as (1) students academic needs and (2) students behavioural and emotional needs. According to the findings, the teachers rationales for giving students feedback were based on those needs, and dependent on factors such as situation, relationships, time and effort. This resulted in a constant comparison and weighing of different needs by the teachers. Some needs were described as prioritised before others, which caused some rationales to be identified as taking precedence over others.Discussion and conclusionsBased on a systematic analysis of - and thus grounded in - interview data from primary teachers, the current qualitative study offers a framework for surveying, understanding and discussing teacher feedback. Overall, the study showed how everyday practices of classroom assessment and classroom management overlapped, thus underlining the importance in teacher education of understanding classroom assessment, classroom management and the relationships between the two.

  • 2.
    Forslund Frykedal, Karin
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Learning and Didactic Science in Education and School (PeDiUS). Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Hammar Chiriac, Eva
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Clinical and Social Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Assessment of students' learning when working in groups2011In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 53, no 3, p. 331-345Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The overarching interest in this project is to gain knowledge about what happens in the meeting between group work and assessment in pedagogical practice. Grounded theory methodology, was used as methodology and data have been gathered by focus group interviews with 11 teachers teaching students aged 11 to 16 years. The results show that teachers primarily used informal approaches, a general language and the descriptions about what they assessed and how assessment was carried out. This article elucidates some of the teachers’ problems concerning assessment in group work and some pedagogical implications based on empirical findings.

    Background: The overarching interest in this project is to gain knowledge about what happens in the meeting between group work and assessment in pedagogical practice. There seems to be a tension between the demand for individual assessment of students’ knowledge and abilities and the demand to teach students collaboration abilities through group work. A previous study concerning teachers’ management of group work as a classroom activity (Hammar Chiriac & Forslund Frykedal, 2011) reveals that assessment is a highly relevant factor. In addition, teachers seem to experience difficulties and acknowledge some challenges and problems as regards assessing students working in a group.

    Purpose: The main purpose of this study was to obtain not only increased knowledge of how teachers assess individual learning occurring in group work, but also explore how teachers manage the emerging challenges. An additional purpose was, with support from previous research within the area, to provide a means of handling these challenges.

    Sample: Data were gathered by means of three focus group interviews. The informants were 11 teachers. They taught students aged 11 to 16 years in compulsory education in Sweden during the spring of 2009.

    Design and method:  Grounded theory methodology, together with the theoretical perspective of symbolic interactionism, was used to increase comprehension of the teachers’ problems when assessing learning outcome in group work. The transcribed discussions in the focus groups were analysed by means of theoretical sampling, and a number of categories emerged.

    Results: The results show that teachers primarily used informal approaches when they assessed students’ knowledge and abilities in group work situations. The teachers used a general level when talking about assessment and the descriptions about what they assess were vague. In the teachers’ accounts of what is assessed it is possible to distinguish both the product and the process carried out at an individual as well as at a group level. Furthermore, the results reveal two different assessment strategies, that is how the assessment was carried out; by teachers (from outside the group) or by students (from inside the group). Additionally, the results disclosed that the teachers have difficulties in concretising and verbalising what and how they assess. The teachers also experienced uncertainty and contradictory demands concerning assessment of students in group work. They were concerned about this difficulty.

    Conclusion: The teachers were of the opinion that group work is used foremost to develop group work abilities and not as a means of acquiring academic knowledge. This influenced the teachers’ mode of using assessment, that is, they focussed on assessing the collaborative abilities. This article elucidates some of the teachers’ problems concerning assessment in group work and some pedagogical implications based on empirical findings. Research-based theories and models within these areas could increase teachers’ confidence, which, in turn, could increase good practice, their ability to use group work as a mode and also their competence in assessment.

  • 3.
    Gyberg, Per
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Tema Environmental Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research.
    Löfgren, Håkan
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Knowledge outside the box: Sustainable development education in Swedish schools2016In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 58, no 3, p. 283-299Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Sustainable development, as an area of knowledge, appears in several different places in the curriculum and does not fit neatly within the scope of traditional subject areas. In many countries, including Sweden, it has long been upheld as an important tool for increasing understanding of, and dealing with, environmental problems. It is not clear, however, what role education can actually have in the making of a more sustainable future. Even though there are several potential ways for sustainable development to be involved in education, the concept raises many questions when transferred to the school context.

    Purpose: This paper investigates how teachers deal with the difficulty of defining and approaching sustainable development as an area of knowledge in Swedish schools.

    Sample: This article is based on semi-structured interviews with 40 teachers, 13 of whom were lower secondary school teachers (pupil age 12–15) and 27 were upper secondary school teachers (pupil age 15–18). The study involves teachers in all subjects where sustainable development is a goal in the syllabus. The study is also based on participant observation in one upper secondary class. A total of 17 different schools were involved, from a wide range of locations in Sweden.

    Design and methods: The paper builds on qualitative data and the analysis of transcribed interviews and group interviews with teachers in Swedish lower and upper secondary schools. Group interviews, involving three or more people, were conducted on eight occasions. The pupils at an upper secondary school were also observed while they were working on a course called ‘policy and sustainable development’. Data were transcribed and analysed thematically.

    Findings: The analysis suggests that, according to the teachers’ experiences, the demands of equivalence and measurability in school have increased and that this affects how sustainable development is approached in teaching and learning. Three main categories of knowledge were identified. The study also presents two representations that model how teachers may approach knowledge about sustainable development – metaphorically termed ‘the Accountant’ and ‘the Adventurer’ – and their different effects on knowledge.

    Conclusions: There is a tendency for complex knowledge areas such as sustainable development, which do not fit seamlessly into traditional curriculum subjects, to become oversimplified when translated into teaching situations. According to the representations that we described metaphorically, the teacher, as an accountant, is characterised by ‘knowledge instrumentalism’, which means that teachers administer knowledge and the pupils consume it. In this transactional model, the accountant is also very dependent on external governance and control. Alternatively, the teacher, as an adventurer, is characterised by authority, knowledge and self-control. In this model, knowledge sometimes grows in an unpredictable way in the meeting between people who share common experiences. For adventurers, sustainable development is a matter of commitment and awareness, and it involves an explicit stance. The metaphors can be placed on a continuum which describes how teachers manage the demands of the school system in relation to the knowledge area of sustainable development.

  • 4.
    Pontoppidan, Maiken
    et al.
    VIVE Danish Ctr Social Sci Res, Denmark.
    Keilow, Maria
    VIVE Danish Ctr Social Sci Res, Denmark; VIVE Danish Ctr Social Sci Res, Denmark.
    Dietrichson, Jens
    VIVE Danish Ctr Social Sci Res, Denmark; VIVE Danish Ctr Social Sci Res, Denmark.
    Solheim, Oddny Judith
    Univ Stavanger, Norway.
    Opheim, Vibeke
    NIFU Nord Inst Studies Innovat Res and Educ, Norway.
    Gustafson, Stefan
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Andersen, Simon Calmar
    VIVE Danish Ctr Social Sci Res, Denmark.
    Randomised controlled trials in Scandinavian educational research2018In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 60, no 3, p. 311-335Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The Scandinavian countries have a long history of implementing social interventions, but the interventions have not been examined using randomised controlled trials until relatively recently compared with countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the history of randomised controlled trials in Scandinavian compulsory schools (grades 0-10; pupil ages 6-15). Specifically, we investigate drivers and barriers for randomised controlled trials in educational research and the differences between the three Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Methods: To locate relevant trials, we performed a systematic search of four bibliographic databases and a search for grey literature. Results were combined with trials located through direct contact with researchers and government officials. A trial was included if one or more interventions were randomly assigned to groups of students and carried out in a school setting with the primary aim of improving the academic performance of children aged 6-15 in grades 0-10 in Denmark, Norway, or Sweden. We included both conducted and ongoing trials. Publications that seemed relevant were screened based on full-text versions. Data extraction included information from the included studies on grade level, study period, sample size (N), project owner, funding source, and theme. In addition, we conducted two semi-structured interviews by phone or in person with central employees in funding agencies and ministries and 25 correspondences with researchers and policymakers. Findings and conclusion: RCTs in grades 0-10 were few in all of Scandinavia until about 2011, after which there was an increase in all three countries, although at different rates. The largest number of trials has been conducted in Denmark, and the increase is more marked in Denmark and Norway compared with Sweden. International trends towards more impact evaluations and results from international comparisons such as PISA have likely affected the development in all countries, but while many trials in Denmark and Norway are the result of policy initiatives, only one such example in Sweden was identified. We believe the lack of government initiatives to promote RCTs in Sweden is the most likely explanation for the differences across the Scandinavian countries. Funding and coordination from the government are often crucial for the implementation of RCTs and are likely more important in smaller countries such as the Scandinavian ones. Supporting institutions have now been established in all three countries, and we believe that the use of RCTs in Scandinavian educational research is likely to continue.

  • 5.
    Thornberg, Robert
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Delby, Hanna
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    How do secondary school students explain bullying?2019In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 61, no 2, p. 142-160Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: In order to support efforts to prevent bullying, more needs to be understood about students own explanations of bullying in their everyday school lives. In-depth qualitative analysis can contribute important insights regarding insider perspectives in terms of how students understand and explain the social interaction patterns of bullying.Purpose: The aim of the study was to examine, in detail, how a small sample of lower secondary school students explain why bullying happens and to develop a grounded theory analysis based on the students perspectives.Method: The participants in the study were 17 Swedish lower secondary school students aged between 13 and 15years. A total of 17 qualitative interviews and 3 follow-up interviews were conducted. Grounded theory methods based on a constructivist position were used to explore and analyse the data.Findings: The findings are based on data collected from young people who had witnessed bullying. The analysis of their explanations of why bullying happens resulted in six categories: social positioning, victim constructing, bullying normalising, rule diffusion, rule resistance and cultural ideals. These categories are interrelated, and the core process of bullying was identified as social positioning. The analysis suggested that the main concern of those who engage in bullying is to gain and maintain a high social status. Victims, in turn, were socially constructed as different and wrong, and were connected with a low-status position.Conclusions: The study draws attention to the need for students understandings of bullying to be considered - for example, through student consultations. It is hoped that the current findings could be helpful as a starting point when investigating students perspectives and giving students a voice in bullying prevention approaches at school.

  • 6.
    van der Ploeg, Rozemarijn
    et al.
    University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
    Steglich, Christian
    University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
    Veenstra, René
    University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.
    The Support Group Approach in the Dutch KiVa Anti-Bullying Programme: Effects on Victimisation, Defending and Well-Being at School2016In: Educational research (Windsor. Print), ISSN 0013-1881, E-ISSN 1469-5847, Vol. 58, no 3, p. 221-236Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: School bullying is a wide-spread problem with severe consequences for victims, bullies and bystanders. Schools are strongly encouraged to implement both schoolwide, preventive interventions and reactive measures to handle existing bullying situations. In the Dutch implementation of the KiVa anti-bullying programme, pervasive-bullying situations are addressed according to the support group approach. The support group approach is widely used for addressing bullying situations, but little is known about its effectiveness.

    Purpose: We investigated the effectiveness of the support group approach in reducing victimisation, increasing defending and improving the victim’s well-being over the course of a school year, over and beyond of the effects of the universal KiVa intervention.

    Programme description: The support group approach is a non-punitive, problem-solving strategy to address pervasive-bullying situations. In this intervention, trained teachers form a support group that consists of 6–8 children, including the bullies and their assistants, defenders or friends of the victim and prosocial classmates. The purpose of the support group isto create mutual concern for the well-being of the victim and to trigger the bullies’ willingness to alter their behaviour.

    Sample: We used data from 66 Dutch elementary schools that participated in the KiVa intervention study. Data were collected inOctober 2012 and 2013, and May 2013 and 2014. The sample usedin the analyses consisted of 38 victims for whom a support group intervention was organised (44.7% boy, Mage = 9.24; SDage = 1.20).

    Design and method: To get insight into the effects above and beyond those of the KiVa programme itself, victims with a support group (N=38) were matched to similar victims without a support group (N=571). Statistical analyses were undertaken to examine whether the changes in victimisation, defending and well-being at school differed between the two groups.

    Result: Victims reported positive effects of the support group approach in reducing victimisation in the short term, but this decrease in victimisation was not lasting over the course of a school year. The intervention also did not improve the victims’ well-being at school inthe longer term. Victims with a support group, however, were found to have more defenders at the end of the school year than victims without a support group.

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