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ERIC Number: EJ824360
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0256-2928
Learning the Class Test
Kasanen, Kati; Raty, Hannu; Snellman, Leila
European Journal of Psychology of Education, v18 n1 p43-58 Mar 2003
The class test is one of the important school practices which construct and convey to the pupils the predominant conception of ability and the related psychometric notion of individuality represented by the school. The aim of this study was to examine how the class test is actually "taught" to children--what sorts of elements the teacher uses to construct it, how the children interpret those elements, and how they act in the test situations--and how the class teacher tries to find a balance in her work between the dilemmas of pupil assessment. The research was focused on the classroom situations of one first-grade class during one autumn term. The ethnographic findings indicated that the frequency of test-like situations was high and that they started as early as the first few days of school. The instructions which regulated the tests were quite similar in all test situations, and their number and preciseness increased in the course of the school term. The dilemmatic nature of the class test surfaced as the teacher used the techniques of "silencing" and "counterbalancing" to avoid presenting the tests explicitly as tests proper. To the children, the test situations manifest themselves as learning situations. They participate actively, and apparently they do not yet see the differential and evaluative import of the situations. Practicing the class test can then be viewed as an important priming event in the formation of pupils' social representations of academic ability. (Contains 1 note.)
Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada. Rua Jardim do Tabaco, 34, Lisboa 1149-041, Portugal. Tel: +351-21-881-1700; Fax: +351-21-886-0954; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland