”But with the girls, I have to do test or else I don’t know”

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”But with the girls, I have to do test or else I don’t know”

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Publication Other
Title ”But with the girls, I have to do test or else I don’t know”
Author(s) Jobér, Anna
Date 2012
English abstract
This presentation takes it starting point in larger study (Jobér, 2012) with the aim to contribute to a more complex and multi-faceted description and analysis of inequalities in education, focusing on social class in the science classroom. Inspired by an ethnographic approach, the data was produced through observations, interviews, and a questionnaire in a Swedish compulsory school. The students aged fourteen and fifteen, were followed during a five week unit on physics. Building upon sociological frameworks, provided by foremost Bourdieu (e.g. 1990, 2010) and Bernstein (e.g. 1975, 2000), the descriptions and analyses of the school, the teacher, the student and the science classroom revealed a number of things. For example, when analysing the communication in the classroom it was showed that a number of students never were heard. This happened for example due to the fact that many activities in this science classroom relied on group activities (e.g. laboratory work), stipulated by both sociohistorical legacies (Carlone 2003, 2004) and national curricula (SNAE 2011). This implied that the teacher lacked sufficient information regarding the individual students’ knowledge. The teacher felt she had to use tests to figure out what the students (in this case a number of girls) knew and stated “but the girls, I need to give them tests or else I don’t know”. Due to the activities in the classroom the teacher hesitated, the pedagogy was changed and the teacher chose another form of assessment. What also was shown was that what happened in the classroom were effects of complex collective interplays often with hidden negotiations (Jobér, 2012). This implied that the way the teacher used test influenced all the students in the classroom, not only the particular girls. Stating this, this presentation aims to focus on the issues that “classroom learning is social, classroom testing is individual” (Lemke, 1990 p. 80). There is therefore a contradiction in the science classroom in learning as social collective process, and assessment and outcomes as individual processes. In addition this presentation aims to address the same issue however on a national level. If the curricula stipulate group activities and communication, (reasoning, argumentation, etc.), how can the national tests in the science subjects be understood and used (c.f. Lundahl, 2009)? Recalling that assessment often provides the admission ticket to their future: How can we relate the individual student and his or her options and room to manoeuvre to national criteria and desirable knowledge?
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) assessment
science education
social class and gender
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note FND’s National conference on assessment, Uppsala, Sweden, 13-14 November, 2012
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/16272 (link to this page)
Link http://www-conference.slu.se/fnd2012/ (external link to related web page)

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