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Science teachers’ mission impossible? – A Qualitative Study of Obstacles in Assessing Students’ Practical Abilities
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3386-3411
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 38, no 14, 2220-2238 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Science teachers regard practical work as important and many claim that it helps students to learn science. Besides theoretical knowledge, such as concepts and formulas, practical work is considered to be an integral and basic part of science education. This implies that in addition to theoretical science tests, there is a need to find new ways of assessing students’ practical performances. As practical work is perceived and understood in different ways, comparing the results between classes and schools is difficult. One way of making the results comparable is to develop systematic inquiries to be assessed in national large scale tests. However, introducing similar testing conditions in a laboratory environment is not always possible. Although the instructions and assessments guides for such tests are detailed, many obstacles need to be overcome if equality in the overall test situation is to be achieved and an equivalent assessment of students’ practical abilities guaranteed. For example, in a test situation in the laboratory it is almost impossible for students not to communicate with each other. This empirical case study investigates two secondary school science teachers’ assessments of 15-16 years old students in three separate groups in the practical part of a Swedish national test in chemistry. Data is gathered using two video cameras and three pairs of spy camera glasses. The results show that individual and independent assessments are difficult due to the social interactions that take place and the physical sources of errors that occur in this type of setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2016. Vol. 38, no 14, 2220-2238 p.
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33036DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2016.1232500ISI: 000387060000002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84987638439OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-33036DiVA: diva2:957110
Available from: 2016-09-01 Created: 2016-09-01 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textScopushttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09500693.2016.1232500

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Sund, Per

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf