Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teachers' assessments not always conducive to fair education, researcher says

Date:
April 15, 2013
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Teachers’ assessments of pupils’ literacy can vary significantly, even for pupils with similar test scores. This may interfere with children’s right to fair and gender-equal education, according to new research.

Teachers' assessments of pupils' literacy can vary significantly, even for pupils with similar test scores. This may interfere with children's right to fair and gender-equal education, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Related Articles


Assessment of students' knowledge and skills is one of the most important tasks of the school system. However, some factors may affect the validity of the teachers' assessments.

Stefan Johansson based his doctoral thesis on data from the large-scale literacy study PIRLS 2001, involving more than 11 000 pupils and some 700 teachers from grades 3 and 4 in Sweden. The studied material consisted of teachers' assessments and pupils' test results and self-assessed literacy. The teachers responded to 12 different statements about their pupils' reading and writing skills and assessed their skill levels on a 1-10 scale.

Teachers who had had the same pupils for more than one year showed a higher correspondence between their assessments and the pupils' test results. The same was true for teachers with higher levels of formal competence, meaning more education and experience.

Moreover, Johansson found large differences in how teachers assessed classes with similar test results. 'The teachers had different frames of reference. They seem to interpret aims and assessment criteria in many different ways,' says Johansson.

In addition, girls and students with higher socioeconomic status received somewhat higher scores from the teachers than reflected in the PIRLS test results, which confirms previous research in the area.

'One way to explain this is that a test doesn't cover everything in the applicable curricula. So maybe girls are better at demonstrating skills that are not reflected in their test results, such as verbal ability, and then their teachers include these skills in their assessments. Another possibility is that girls show more effort and are given credit for it,' says Johansson.

The results indicate that fair and gender-equal education in the lower grades requires an external instrument that can be used to calibrate assessments between different classes and schools. It may also be important to enable teachers to meet across class and school boundaries to discuss their views of assessments.

'The ability of teachers to identify pupils' strength and weaknesses and provide responses that support their learning is one of the most important parts of their job. If teachers don't do this well, their pupils may not get the help and support they need, which in the end will limit their opportunities for learning,' says Johansson.

'Even if the methods may differ between schools, the Swedish Education Act provides that children must be given equal opportunities to education and that teachers must consider children's different conditions and needs. Differences in assessments may lead to some schools providing feedback and support to pupils who need it while others don't.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Teachers' assessments not always conducive to fair education, researcher says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415095927.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2013, April 15). Teachers' assessments not always conducive to fair education, researcher says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415095927.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Teachers' assessments not always conducive to fair education, researcher says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415095927.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins