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International Large-Scale Assessments in Education: Social and Intellectual Organization ofa Research Field
University of Gothenburg.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science, Education.
2018 (English)In: NERA 2018 - 46th Congress: Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges: Abstracts, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper is a result from a systematic research review on international comparisons in education by means of International Large-Scale Assessments (ILSA). We asked what research is carried out and which research results and conclusions are presented in this field of study? We started with an identification of a large set of research publications in the field – more than 11 000 texts were identified by means of search engines for the period 2004 –2017. Of these we choose the PISA-, TIMSS-and the CIVED/ICCS-research programs –in sum more than 8 000 publications. Given the task to assess research quality we included peer reviewed scientific articles and only including primary research doing international comparisons. Important in mapping and synthesizing research was to capture arguments and conclusions in a broad field that varied in terms of study objects as well as knowledge objects. A broad result concerns what to be explained. We noted in the reviewed articles a very large share ofidentifications of achievement gaps over population taxonomies. To a much lesser extent differences in efficiency were analyzed. We also found research analyzing how to redirect or govern students into certain careers –often in science –being highlighted in some studies. Looking into how these explanations are made the studies referred to student characteristics, different kinds of education measures, and variations in contextual circumstances as explanations. These analyzes presented what was regarded as significant results based on the strength in associations between categories and variables – e.g. how early differentiation in a school system is related to increased social inequity or how gender gaps differ between national contexts. To our understanding, ILSA research entails a particular kind of statistical analysis and construction of data for defining the world of education. One conclusion is that the ILSA research field is heterogeneous, when the subjects of its research are described. This point was supported by the rather fragmented research communication structure that we captured by means of analyses of journal publications citation of articles. However, considering the knowledge objects there is a homogeneous intellectual organization of ILSA in terms of what can be discussed in terms of style of reasoning. This refers to the ways research objects are formulated, how research inquiries are carried out, and what is considered as valid statements in this research process. There is an internal relation in the formulation of explanandum and explanans as knowledge object plus accepted procedures for accepting or rejecting statements concerning this relation –e.g. when comparing school performances among different parts of the population. This is to our understanding basic in the style of reason at work in international large-scale assessments. Such a style of reason sets limits as well as it opens for specific analyses and production of valid statements concerning the research problematic in focus.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27212OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-27212DiVA, id: diva2:1221567
Conference
NERA 2018 - 46th Congress 'Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges', 8-10 March 2018, Oslo, Norway
Available from: 2018-06-20 Created: 2018-06-20 Last updated: 2018-06-21Bibliographically approved

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