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  • 1.
    Lundahl, Christian
    et al.
    Örebro University, Sweden.
    Hultén, Magnus
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Tveit, Sverre
    Agder University, Kristiansant, Norway.
    The power of teacher-assigned grades in outcome-based educationIn: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In arguing for alternatives to test-based accountability, researchers have suggested that teacher-assigned student grades could be used for high-stakes purposes. In this study, Sweden serves as an example of a school system in which teacher-assigned grades have a major role in performance management and accountability. We study how politicians view and legitimise the strengths of grading in an outcome-based accountability system. Based on two-part analysis, we show how grades, through complex processes of legitimation, have acquired and retained a central position in governing the overall quality of the educational system in Sweden. We argue that in the Swedish system, grades used in an administrative rather than a pedagogical way function as a quick language that effectively reduces the complexity of communication between various actors with regard to what students learn and accomplish in education. As such, grades are legitimate in terms of their communicative rationality. However, their use in communicating student learning has not been sufficient to meet the needs of government. We conclude that in order to turn grading into an instrument that can moderate some of the downsides of testing regimes, a broader view of what constitute outcomes in education needs to follow.

  • 2.
    Löfgren, Håkan
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Löfgren, Ragnhild
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Grades in the eyes of our parents: A narrative approach to educational resilience in pupils’ stories of getting their first grades2017In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, ISSN ISSN 2002-0317, p. 1-13Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates educational resilience from the pupil’s perspective through an analysis of how Swedish pupils in grade six position themselves in relation to their parents’ expecta- tions and the school’s grading practice. The term ‘resilience’ refers to pupils’ own views of their potential to learn and succeed in school in a social context, where parents are important as normative actors. Data consists of group interviews with pupils at three schools. By using a narrative analysis, a perspective is adopted that considers the multiple meanings involved when pupils position themselves in their stories about grades and parents. The analysis illustrates how a situated understanding of pupils’ senses of resilience makes family expecta- tions, and the importance of pleasing yourself and others and of adapting to grading systems, important aspects to pupils’ own views of their potential to learn and succeed at school. Home and school stand out as different arenas based on the norm of success, but with different ideas about how to deal with schoolwork and grades. A conclusion is that changes in the Swedish grading system might result in a gap regarding knowledge about grades at home and school and double pressure on pupils to achieve good grades.

  • 3.
    Markström, Ann-Marie
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Simonsson, Maria
    Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Introduction to preschool: strategies for managing the gap between home and preschool2017In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this article is to investigate Swedish preschool teachers’ perceptions of the interaction between home and institution in relation to children’s introduction to preschool. The focus of this article is on their talk about how they manage the gap between home and preschool in the introduction process. A discourse analysis is carried out, based on focus group interviews with seven preschool teacher teams that have started to use a more parent-active approach during the introduction of children to preschool. The results show that a parent-active introduction positions and governs parents to take a more self-regulative role in preschool from the beginning. The construction of the parent-active introduction discourse/practice produces new subject positions for the parents (and teachers) and creates expectations of intensified parental involvement in this institutional practice. Furthermore, the results indicate that the parents’ active introduction also changes the teachers’ own role and their attitudes toward the parents. The boundary work between the home and preschool seems to consist of negotiations and of the construction of an intermediate domain between home and preschool that draws on discourses of responsibility, performativity and efficiency.

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