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  • Dragemark Oscarson, Anne, 1953- (författare)
  • Self-Assessment of Writing in Learning English as a Foreign Language. A Study at the Upper Secondary School Level
  • 2009
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The main aim of this study is to explore the role of self-assessment in EFL learning in developing lifelong language learning skills and in furthering the development of more comprehensive and thereby fairer assessment practices. The study explores how upper secondary school students perceived their own general and specific writing abilities in relation to syllabus goals and whether these perceptions are affected by self-assessment practices. It also explores students’ and teachers’ experiences of integrating self-assessment into everyday classroom practice. The study is based on the theory that metacognitive skills such as self-regulation and self-monitoring are important for the development of autonomous learning skills. Two teachers and four groups of Swedish upper secondary students participated in the study during one school year. Using grades, students self-assessed the results of two written assignments, namely a classroom writing assignment and a written test task. The classroom writing assignment was also analyzed linguistically by the researcher. The two teachers and eight student focus groups were interviewed about their experiences at the end of the study. The results of the study showed that at the group level students were well able to assess their general writing results in relation to the criterion (the teachers’ grades). At the individual level the results were more variable, partly depending on the type of writing activity assessed and on the amount of practice students had had of self-assessment. Students’ assessments of their writing ability in general showed a stronger relationship with teachers’ grades than did students’ assessments of their results in a particular classroom writing assignment. Students’ assessments tended to become more realistic with practice. The results also showed that the specific writing skills that students at upper secondary school focused on in their writing are spelling and grammar, rather than other skills such as sentence structure, vocabulary, paragraphing and punctuation skills. Students were self-critical with regard to these skills and tended to underestimate their performance in relation to the researchers’ assessment of the same. Students and teachers were positive to the incorporation of self-assessment activities in the EFL writing classroom and saw it as a transferable skill that underpins lifelong learning in other subject areas. The method used in a classroom assignment, where the writing process approach was coupled to self-assessment questions and non-corrective feedback from the teacher, was found to be a practical way of helping students become more aware of their language skills and language levels. Both teachers and students considered student self-assessments as contributing valuable additional information to ordinary tutoring and testing. The implications for EFL writing are that syllabus goals that encourage student responsibility and autonomy are viable and realistic, but students need to practice self-assessment, preferably from an early age, to become adept at employing the approach effectively on a regular basis.
  • Ekborg, Margareta (författare)
  • Naturvetenskaplig utbildning för hållbar utveckling? : : en longitudinell studie av hur studenter på grundskollärarprogrammet utvecklar för miljöundervisning relevanta kunskaper i naturkunskap
  • 2002
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • In this study the concept of sustainable development is discussed and what contribution a science teacher can make. Some scientific concepts relevant for environmental education are defined. To understand the concepts mean to be able to explain phenomena and to be able to use the conceptions as tools when discussing complex environmental issues. The ability to discuss complex issues is discussed. The aims of study were to study how student teachers in a programme oriented towards science for the first seven years in school develop scientific understanding and ability to discuss complex issues. Another aim was to relate the students’ experience of their own learning and the teaching to what they learn. Data were collected mainly by questionnaires and interviews. The whole student group answered questionnaires three times and about 15 students were interviewed three times. In the questionnaires the students answered questions about some ecological concepts. Their knowledge about causes and consequences of two global environmental issues were tested. They drew concept maps illustrating how complex they look upon an issue. In the interviews the students were asked about the teaching and their learning. They discussed a complex issue dealing with weather or not it is ethical to use surplus heat from a crematorium in the far heating system. The teachers were asked about the courses and about the students’ learning. Several learning projects could be identified. All the students had the intention to become teachers for young pupils. Parallel to this they wanted to pass the exams and to understand. Depending on the learning projects the students interpreted both the questions they were asked and the relevance of the contents in the science courses. This could explain why a majority of the students did not develop understanding of the investigated concepts. Most students did not use much science as a tool for decision-making when discussing the complex issue. There was a discrepancy between the students' learning projects and the teachers' learning projects for the students. When the students experienced this gap they went into rote learning to pass the exams. Those students whose learning project was to understand developed a better scientific understanding.
  • Emanuelsson, Jonas, 1962- (författare)
  • En fråga om frågor : hur lärares frågor i klassrummet gör det möjligt att få reda på elevernas sätt att förstå det som undervisningen behandlar i matematik och naturvetenskap
  • 2001
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis reports results from a study that focuses on how teachers can learn about their students? learning in mathematics and science. Current perspectives on learning are positioned in terms of the acquisition and participation metaphor. A third metaphor, the constitutive metaphor, is proposed and elaborated as an alternative for the current study. The theoretical framework draws upon and tries to further inform phenomenography and the ?theory of variation?. The empirical material was generated from audio-taped classroom interactions and follow-up interviews. With the aid of concrete examples, teachers were probed on their understandings of selected parts of the interaction observed. The results are described in terms of variant and invariant aspects of possible learning objects for the teacher. I pay particular attention to what the students possibly focus upon, and how they deal with the focused content in three different zones ? the topical, the conceptual and the procedural zone. The outcome of the study is discussed in relation to teachers? knowledge. Pedagogical content knowing is scrutinised and a complementary perspective where teachers? knowledge is viewed as constituted by different contextualisations of the subject matter is used to illustrate the interdependency of content as a discipline, content as taught in school and content as understood by students. The result shows that teachers have, relatively speaking, small possibilities of making distinctions within the conceptual zone. In mathematics the topical zone dominates the interaction, in science the procedural. In other words, in mathematics the teachers mainly open for possibilities to learn, if their students remember facts and procedures; in science how they perform presentations and experiments. In both areas possibilities to make distinctions on qualities in how the students understand the content handled are rather small. The most important finding of the study is: In order to make distinctions in relations to other persons? ways of understanding something, this something must be kept invariant and acts of knowing must be allowed to vary in relation to the invariant object of knowing.
  • Eskilsson, Olle (författare)
  • En longitudinell studie av 10-12-åringars förståelse av materiens förändringar
  • 2001
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The main aim of this study was to study young people’s ability to use science knowledge when talking about and explaining everyday phenomena involving transformations of matter. Pupils’ individual knowledge was studied both through their spontaneous explanations and through their explanations with appropriate help in discussions with me or with other pupils. The framework for learning in this study involved both pupils’ individual learning and their learning in a social context. In the project, pupils discussed everyday phenomena with peers and with me. The role of the discourse was stressed in the interviews as well as pupils’ use of parallel models of explanations. Data were gathered through four interviews with each one of 40 pupils from five classes during a longitudinal study over two years. The pupils were about 10 years old at the first interview. During the study three instructional units were carried out in the five classes. In the first instructional unit a basic particle model was introduced, to be used when discussing experimental situations during the instructional units. The development of the basic particle model was one of the themes during the instructional units. Other recurrent themes were states of matter, gases and chemical reactions. I decided not to introduce the concept of chemical reaction until the last instructional unit. Pupils’ statements in the interviews were categorised from these themes. The categorizations emanated from presented research on pupils’ conceptions of science but also from the statements of the actual group of pupils. The correctness of the science concepts used was also taken into account in the categorizations. Sometimes I altered a method used before and sometimes I developed a categorization for a special purpose in my study. An example of the category systems is the combined classification of pupils’ conceptions of the particle nature of matter that contains three perspectives: A/ the quality of pupils’ particle model as revealed during the interview B/ the nature of pupils’ use of the concept of molecule during the interview C/ the number of situations in the interview where pupils use the concept of molecule. The pupils did not replace their old models; they put for example a new particle model beside their old everyday model. Then they chose which model to use when they met new situations. Most of the pupils were able to use knowledge of science when talking about known everyday phenomena involving transformations of matter. Almost all of the pupils in the group developed their own thinking models during the project. Pupils’ growing ability to describe features of chemical reactions and the development of their own particle model could help them to understand for example the nature of chemical reactions.
  • Frank, Elisabeth (författare)
  • Läsförmågan bland 9-10-åringar. Betydelsen av skolklimat, hem- och skolsamverkan, lärarkompetens och elevers hembakgrund
  • 2009
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Title: Reading skills among 9-10 year olds. The importance of school climate, collaboration between school and home, teacher competence and pupils’ home background Language: Swedish, with summary in English Keywords: PIRLS; reading achievement; school climate; safety; parental participation; collaboration; home and school partnership; teacher competence; two-level structural equation modeling ISBN: 978-91-7346-655-4 The main aim of the thesis is to acquire knowledge about conditions in the school and classroom context that are relevant to students’ reading skills. In focus are school and classroom climate and the collaboration between home and school. Also taken into account are the effects of students' home background and teacher competence. The data consists of the grade 3 sample from the Swedish participation in the PIRLS (Progress in Reading Literacy Study) study in 2001 conducted by IEA. The statistical method principally used was structural equation modeling (SEM) where theoretically grounded latent variable models were fitted to the data. The manifest variables used as indicators were selected from the teachers’, the schools’, students’ and the parents’ questionnaires. A standardized reading achievement score was used as an outcome variable. The study includes three broad steps. Based on a comparison of low and high performing classes, it identifies in the first step areas that seems to be important for achievement. In this step, a number of survey questions are also identified, which serve as indicators of the concepts identified in the next step. The second step consists of a literature review in which previous research and theory in selected problem areas are studied. Through theories and/or previous research, a number of concepts are identified whose relationship to reading achievement is examined in the next step. In the third and final step, a series of theoretically based structural equation models are fitted to the data. In the first stage, measurement models of broad constructs such as “parental participation” and ”safe climate” are identified and later included in a two-level structural model. These latent variables are related to achievement both at the individual and at the class level. The results indicate that safety as well as the collaboration between school and home play an important role in explaining differences in reading achievement between classes. Between students in classes safety also seems to be important for explaining reading skills, whilst the effect of parental participation at the individual level seems to be almost negligible. In the final analysis, the relationships between each construct and reading achievement were investigated in separate models where both teacher competence and student home background was included. It is shown that the positive effect that safety as well as parental participation had on achievement was dependent on student home background and teacher competence at the class level, but also to some extent at the individual level. The results also showed that teacher competence and student home background do not seem to be systematically related to each other. To summarise, it can be noted that there are differences between classes not only with respect to pupils’ home background and reading achievement. There are also differences in the form of climates that vary in safety but also in the extent to which the parents participate in schoolwork. It was clear that there were also differences as regards the teaching teacher’s competence. There are many indications that this competence includes not only promoting good reading skills but also creating a safe climate and positive collaboration between school and home.
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