Subject Construction, Assessment, and Alignment in History Education

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Subject Construction, Assessment, and Alignment in History Education

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Publication Conference Paper, other
Title Subject Construction, Assessment, and Alignment in History Education
Author(s) Rosenlund, David
Date 2011
English abstract
The topic of my research is the degree of alignment between standards and assessment in the history A-level course in the Swedish upper secondary school. The aim is to measure the alignment and find explanations for the degree in general and for differences, if any, among the teachers. The theoretical backdrop for my research is (a) assessment theories about curriculum validity and the validity of assessment and (b) theories of history education. These two theoretical frameworks are chosen for their ability to clarify the relationship between the standards and the teacher made assessment material. My research relies on both quantitative and qualitative methods. The teachers in the study are chosen by single random sampling, using cluster sampling in two stages. First 35 schools were selected and then one history teacher at each school was selected. 23 teachers have contributed with all the written assessment material used in one course. The material comprises of tests and instructions for various assignments. The standards and the items in the assessment material are categorised, by qualitative text analyses, using Blooms revised taxonomy. A comparison between standards and assessment has been made with regard to two perspectives, balance and share. Five teachers in the sample have been interviewed in order to find out about their assessment strategies. They have been chosen on the basis of their assessment materials alignment with the standards. The strategies found have been used, together with the theoretical framework, to explain the degree of alignment of all teachers in average as well as the differences in alignment between teachers. The results indicate weak alignment between standards and assessment in average. There also seem to be differences between teachers. The interviews indicate that both (a) factors specific to the subject of history and (b) factors external to the subject can help explaining the alignment results. Subject specific factors, among others, are views on subject construction and definition of standards cognitive complexity. External factors are the absence of both assessment education and professional discussions about assessment at work. A tentative conclusion is that assessment can be regarded as both a subject specific and a general competence.
Pages 12
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) History
History education
Subject construction
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Note NERA's 39th Congress - Rights and Education, Finland, 10-12 mars 2011.
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