ERIC Number: EJ1205785
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Abstractor: As Provided
Assessing Ethics Education through National Tests--An Advantage or Not?
Journal of Curriculum Studies, v51 n2 p262-278 2019
The purpose of this study is to describe, critically analyse and discuss the Swedish system of assessing ethics education in compulsory school through national tests. The publicly available tests from 2013 for grades six and nine have been studied as have the assessment instructions for teachers. Staff responsible for the test construction have been interviewed. The aims, core content and knowledge requirements of the curriculum were also studied. The concept 'ethical competence' was used as an analytical tool in the qualitative content analyses. Through the design of this study, the actual test, its process of construction and the curriculum were examined. The results suggest that ethics education, given (a) the curricular construction of what ability to assess, (b) complexities of test construction in ethics and (c) possible teach-to-the-test effects, runs the risk of being limited to an argumentative, conceptual competence, with ethics education being emptied of crucial content. However, being included in national testing can strengthen the position of a school subject. Is it then an advantage for ethics education to be tested in this way? The critical problems the study raises make the author conclude it to be a disadvantage for ethics education to be tested through national tests.
Descriptors: Ethical Instruction, Compulsory Education, Foreign Countries, National Competency Tests, Values Education, Test Construction, Testing Problems, Competence, National Curriculum, Curriculum Evaluation, Grade 6, Grade 9, Test Items, Moral Development, Abstract Reasoning
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Sweden