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Browsing by Author "Routavaara, Kari"

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  • Routavaara, Kari (2022)
    Objective of the study Finnish elementary school student assessment is a multidimensional phenomenon that is possible to examine from the point of view of different actors and structures of the school. The basis and peripheral conditions of the assessment are presented in the curriculum thus linking itself to the broader educational policy context. From the perspective of the teacher and pupil, the assessment is often structured by three mutually supportive tasks - on the direction of diagnostic, formative and summative evaluation. Diagnostic evaluation means determining the pupil's baseline level of competence in the beginning of a learning period. Formative evaluation means feedback and guidance during the learning process. Summative evaluation, on the other hand, means evaluation at the end of the course that measures things learned. Pupil assessment is a very complex thing influenced by many different factors and operators. The purpose of this study is to understand the various dimensions of primary school pupil assessment especially from the teacher's perspective. Specifically, the objective of the thesis is to structure pupil evaluation from the perspective of pupils learning, teaching and social function. Methods Qualitative data from the study consisted of five themed interviews, involving five teachers at different career stages from different schools and municipalities. The thematic interview’s frames were based on to an earlier evaluation studies in the direction of research objectives. In the interviews, teachers were asked about experiences of evaluation, evaluation from the perspective of students’ learning and what social objectives are included in the evaluation. Interviews were held remotely due to the pandemic situation and they were about an hour long in duration. The data was analyzed using theory-guiding content analysis. Results and conclusions The study found that evaluation has quite a multidimensional function in the school system. Evaluation serves as a tool constructing the student's identity which also structures all teaching work and planning. On the other hand, assessment can also be seen to classify pupils due to the admissions system of upper secondary schools. This can have a contradictory effect when it comes to elementary schools learning goals. Evaluation is also an ongoing big equality challenge because it reflects differences between pupils, schools and municipalities. Assessment is part of the curriculum, that is a document which regulates and controls all schooling. Curricula are drawn up in collaboration with different actors and organizations about every ten years. Consequently, changes in pupil assessment needs a lot of political support and activity.