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The power of teacher-assigned grades in outcome-based education
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8173-7474
Department of Social and Welfare Studies (ISV), Linköping, Sweden.
Department of Education, Agder University, Kristiansand, Norway.
2017 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 3, no 1, 56-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2017. Vol. 3, no 1, 56-66 p.
Keyword [en]
Grading; learning outcome; accountability; quick languages; educational reform history
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-62683DOI: 10.1080/20020317.2017.1317229OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-62683DiVA: diva2:1158272
Projects
Elever på gränsen
Available from: 2017-11-19 Created: 2017-11-19 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Lundahl, Christian

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