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  • 1.
    Svennberg, Lena
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. Gymnastik och Idrottshögskolan, Stockholm.
    Exploring four teachers’ gut feeling of what to grade in physical education and health2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Svennberg, Lena
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Swedish PE teachers' understandings of legitimate movement in a criterion-referenced grading system2017In: Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, ISSN 1740-8989, E-ISSN 1742-5786, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 257-269Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Physical Education (PE) has been associated with a multi-activity model in which movement is related to sport discourses and sport techniques. However, as in many international contexts, the Swedish national PE syllabus calls for a wider and more inclusive concept of movement. Complex movement adapted to different settings is valued, and in the national grading criteria qualitative measures of movement are used. This research seeks to examine how the wider concept of movement is interpreted and graded. Drawing on Bernstein’s concept of the pedagogic device, the paper explores teachers'€™ roles as active mediators in the transformation of national grading criteria for movement and the kinds of movement that are valued in teachers’ grading practices. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate what PE teachers consider legitimate movement in a criterion-referenced grading system and the factors that influence their grading practice. The Repertory Grid (RG) technique was employed in order to access their tacit knowledge.

    Methodology: Seven Swedish PE teachers were interviewed, all of whom teach and grade years seven to nine in different compulsory schools. Using the RG technique, the teachers were asked to reflect on the aspects they considered important for achieving a high grade. The national grading criteria for years seven to nine were then presented one at a time and the teachers were asked to describe how they assessed and graded each requirement. The teachers were also asked whether any specific factors had influenced their grading. In the content analysis, the second part of the interview was attended to first and the results were interpreted in light of Bernsteins'€™ concept of the pedagogic device.

    Findings: Sport techniques and competitive sports influenced the teachers'€™ interpretations of what constitutes complex movement. The aspect of fitness also appeared to be valued by the teachers in that it facilitates the valued movement. In some cases the difficulty of describing movement qualities in words could reduce the concept of movement to something measurable and quantifiable. The teachers' concerns about students'€™ unequal opportunities to develop and demonstrate their skills also influenced the teachers’ interpretation of complex movement.

    Conclusions: In the transformation of national grading criteria to grading practice, the pedagogic actions taken inform and limit the way in which legitimate movement in PE is conceptualised. Adopting a concept of movement that is wider than competitive sports allows the structures of inequality to be addressed and enables the movements performed by students with other moving experiences than competitive sports to be valued. The tension between the demands of transparency in a high stakes grading system and the inability to articulate the quality of complex movements is problematic. There is a need to verbalise teachers’ conceptions about physical education knowledge to be able to discuss and develop the concept of movement. In this process, the RG technique is a potentially useful tool. Having the language to discuss movement qualities also enables us to strengthen the interrelation between curriculum, pedagogy and assessment.

  • 3.
    Svennberg, Lena
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports and health.
    Vad har lärare i idrott och hälsa för underlag när de sätter betyg?: Kan Repertory Grid synliggör den tysta kunskapen?2010Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Svennberg, Lena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Högberg, Hans
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Caring science.
    Who gains?: Sociological parameters for obtaining high grades in physical education2018In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 48-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to investigate factors contributing to higher grades in Swedish physical education (PE) by analysing register data from the Swedish National Agency for Education for all students graduating from compulsory school in 2014 (n = 95,317). The results show that the chances of gaining a high grade in PE are affected by (in decreasing order) migration background, parents? education, attending an independent or a municipally operated school and gender, and that this also holds true after controlling for the other background factors. The results also show that PE grade differences between boys and girls are bigger in the group that moved to Sweden after school start than in the group that had lived in Sweden since school start. In addition, the results point to substantial inequalities between students with a combination of the highest odds and those with a combination of the lowest odds. Bernstein?s concept of the pedagogic device is used to discuss ways of understanding what knowledge becomes valued in PE and which groups have better possibilities to assimilate this valued knowledge.

  • 5.
    Svennberg, Lena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.
    Meckbach, Jane
    Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.
    Redelius, Karin
    Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, Forskningsgruppen för pedagogik, idrott och fritidskultur.
    Exploring PE teachers' 'gut feelings': An attempt to verbalise and discuss teachers' internalised grading criteria2014In: European Physical Education Review, ISSN 1356-336X, E-ISSN 1741-2749, Vol. 20, no 2, p. 199-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research shows that teachers’ grading is influenced by non-achievement factors in addition to official criteria, such as knowledge and skills. Some grading criteria are internalised by the teacher, who is sometimes unable to verbalise the criteria used and refers to what is called a ‘gut feeling’. Therefore, transparency, validity and reliability are problematic. The aim of this study was to explore which criteria physical education teachers consider important when grading. Such an exploration makes it possible to discuss how the verbalised criteria and the value they are given by the teachers can be understood. Four Year 9 teachers at different Swedish compulsory schools were interviewed using Kelly’s Repertory Grid technique. Among the verbalised criteria, four themes were identified: motivation, knowledge and skills, self-confidence and interaction with others. The teachers sometimes had difficulties predicting which criteria had relevance to the grades given, and the criteria considered important by the teachers were not always reflected in the grade. The verbalised criteria revealed teachers using grades to encourage such student behaviours that helped them to handle the classroom situation and to facilitate students learning. To become cognisant of and develop their grading, methods to verbalise their individual grading criteria were needed, and Kelly’s Repertory Grid technique is one possible option. The results provide discussion points about reasons for the way teachers are grading.

  • 6.
    Svennberg, Lena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. Department of Sport and Health Sciences, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Meckbach, Jane
    Department of Sport and Health Sciences, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Redelius, Karin
    Department of Sport and Health Sciences, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Swedish PE teachers struggle with assessment in a criterion-referenced grading system2018In: Sport, Education and Society, ISSN 1357-3322, E-ISSN 1470-1243, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 381-393Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the field of education, the international trend is to turn to criterion-referenced grading in the hope of achieving accountable and consistent grades. Despite a national criterion-referenced grading system emphasising knowledge as the only base for grading, Swedish physical education (PE) grades have been shown to value non-knowledge factors, such as students’ characteristics and behaviour. In 2011, a new national curriculum was implemented which attempts to deal with the problem by prescribing specific knowledge requirements with a clear progression as the only basis for different grades. The aim of the present study is to explore the impact of the new knowledge requirements on what teachers consider important when assigning grades. It is also to discuss what non-knowledge-related aspects (if any) teachers continue to look for and why these seem to remain resilient to the reform. The Repertory Grid technique was employed to interview the teachers before (2009) and after the implementation (2013). During the interviews, the grading of 45 students was discussed, which generated 125 constructs. After the implementation, there was a near doubling of knowledge constructs, half as many motivation constructs and an almost total elimination of constructs based on confidence and social skills. While motivational factors were still considered valuable for the award of a higher grade, clear criteria seemed to be important, but too limited for the teachers’ needs. In order to understand the persistence of motivational factors, we discuss the results in relation to Bernstein’s interrelated message systems of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. We emphasise the need to discuss how valid grades can be achieved and, at the same time, give value to the regulative discourse in order to realise the overarching national goals of values and norms in education and PE. 

  • 7.
    Svennberg, Lena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. Swedish School for Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Redelius, Karin
    Swedish School for Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.
    PE Assessment Policy and Enactment in Sweden2018Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Svennberg, Lena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Sports science. GIH, Stockholm.
    Redelius, Karin
    GIH, Stockholm.
    Meckbach, Jane
    GIH, Stockholm.
    Repertory Grid: makes people talk2014In: ECER 2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teachers sometimes have difficulties expressing what they value when grading students in Physical Education and refer to a “gut-feeling” or internalised criteria (Annerstedt and Larsson, 2010; Hay and MacDonald, 2008). The internalised criteria consists of the teacher’s own values that have an impact on the grades regardless if they are consistent with the official grading criteria or not (cp. Penney et al., 2009). In this line research also suggests that teachers use a “hodge-podge grade of attitude, effort and achievement” (Brookhart, 1991: 36). Assessment and grading in Physical Education (PE) are no exceptions (Chan, Hay and Tinning, 2011; Redelius, Fagrell and Larsson, 2009; Svennberg, Meckbach and Redelius; 2014). In a criterion-referenced grading system the criteria need to be transparent to ensure validity and fairness. Otherwise the students do not know the reason for their grades and the grades are not possible to be discussed and evaluated. When the stated criteria are inconsistent with how the grading is done, it affects the learning-teaching process since the assessment is sending out a different message regarding what is important to learn (Chan, Hay and Tinning, 2011; Hay and Penney, 2012; James, Griffin and France, 2005; Redelius and Hay, 2009). In Sweden a criterion-referenced grading system was introduced in 1994, and grades are supposed to be awarded on the basis of how well the student meets the knowledge criteria or learning outcomes stated in the national curriculum. Conversely several studies carried out on Swedish PE indicate that how the student behaves is just as important as knowledge and skills (Annerstedt and Larsson, 2010; Redelius, Fagrell and Larsson, 2009).

    The aim of this study is to explore what four Swedish PE teachers consider important when talking about grading and to analyse the relevance the expressed criteria have to the grades they have given their students. Such an exploration makes it possible to discuss how the verbalised criteria and the value they are given by the teacher can be understood in relation to the official grading criteria

    Bernstein (2003: 85) points out the importance of the curriculum: ‘Curriculum defines what counts as valid knowledge, pedagogy defines what counts as valid transmission of knowledge, and evaluation defines what counts as a valid realisation of the knowledge on the part of the taught’. Linde (2012) discusses Bernstein’s thesis that curriculum defines what counts as valid knowledge and raises the question as to whether it is the written official curriculum that counts, or the mediated curriculum that results from the teachers’ transformations. He then points to the fact that the content and subject matters taught by teachers or learnt by students are not always the content expressed in the written official curriculum. The impact of the teachers’ transformation of the curriculum can also be applied on grading. How is it possible to understand the teachers’ transformation of the official grading criteria?

    According to the Personal Construct Theory (PCT) by George Kelly (1955) our behaviour can be understood in the light of personally constructed patterns. These patterns of constructs help us to explain our experiences, to predict our surroundings and to choose a direction of our behaviour. The constructs are sometimes articulated, but they can also be unarticulated and experienced as a vague feeling. Constructs are sometimes described as the intuition, gut feeling or perception that guides our actions without necessarily being verbalised (Björklund, 2008).

    Method

    For this study we used the Repertory Grid (RG) technique, which is based on PCT. It can enable people to verbalise what they intuitively feel (Björklund, 2008). The technique used in interviews is employed to map and find patterns in the individual constructs, the ones a person is both aware and unaware of, in a given area (Fransella, Bell and Bannister D, 2004). Four Swedish PE teachers who were about to grade a group of 15 year old students were interviewed using the RG technique. The interview with each teacher was performed in different steps (Fransella, Bell and Bannister D, 2004). In the first step the teachers were asked to select eight of their own students that represented the different grades (step one: generating elements). Thereafter they were asked to compare three students at the time and describe in what way two of them were similar and how they differed from the third concerning things that mattered for the grades. The similarities and differences made up the two poles of the constructs, for instance doesn’t care - takes responsibility (step two: generating constructs). To understand the meaning of the first pole, it is important to know the opposite pole (Fransella, Bell and Bannister, 2004). In the third step, the teachers were asked to rate the eight students on a five-point scale for every construct they had generated in the grid. On the scale, one represents the first pole in the construct, for instance doesn’t care, and five the opposite pole, takes responsibility. When all eight of the students were rated between one and five on every construct, the results composed a grid (step three: rating elements). In addition to the Repertory Grid interviews the teachers were asked to rate how important they considered their constructs to be on a five-grade scale, with five being the most important.  To explore what the teachers valued in their grading, their constructs were summarised and categorised. Thereafter the data in the four grids were analysed with the software WEBGRID5. The resulting PrinGrid maps were analysed to investigate how well the constructs matched the grades given. 

    Expected Outcomes

    Data from the four teachers, concerning together 32 students, resulted in 86 constructs. The constructs were categorised in four themes: Motivation, Knowledge and skills, Confidence and Interaction with others. Only Knowledge and skills is acknowledged to have influence on the grades in the official grading criteria.  The need to pay attention to the teachers’ beliefs and values and their influence on professional practice has been stressed by Penney et al. (2009). The teachers’ beliefs and values are also reflected in what criteria that are relevant for the grades given. Some common patterns can be detected in the official criteria that have low relevance or are missing in the constructs. The teachers sometimes had difficulties predicting which criteria had relevance to the grades given, and the criteria considered important by the teachers were not always reflected in the grades. Repertory Grid can be one conceivable option to make teachers’ grading visible and possible to understand. Drawing on the results of the study we want to discuss how to understand the inconsistency between teachers’ constructs and the official grading criteria. In particular we are interested in why the teachers tend to use internalised criteria and to discuss why they use curriculum-irrelevant criteria, why official criteria are missing and how to understand teachers’ inability to predict some constructs’ relevance to the grades. 

    References

    Annerstedt C and Larsson S (2010) ‘I have my own picture of what the demands are ... ’: Grading in Swedish PEH - problems of validity, comparability and fairness. European Physical Education Review 16(2): 97-115. Bernstein B (2003) Class, codes and control. Vol. 3, Towards a theory of educational transmission. London: Routledge. Björklund L-E (2008) The repertory grid technique, Making Tacit Knowledge Explicit: Assessing Creative work and Problem solving skills. In: Middleton H (ed) Researching Technology Education: Methods and techniques. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp. 46-69. Brookhart SM (1991) Grading practices and validity. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 10(1): 35-36.  Chan K, Hay P and Tinning R (2011) Understanding the pedagogic discourse of assessment in Physical Education. Asia-Pacific Journal Of Health, Sport & Physical Education 2(1): 3-18.  Fransella F, Bell R and Bannister D (2004) A manual for repertory grid technique. 2. ed. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley. Hay P and MacDonald D (2008) (Mis)appropriations of criteria and standards-referenced assessment in a performance-based subject. Assessment In Education: Principles, Policy & Practice 15(2): 153-168. Hay P and Penney D (2012) Assessment in Physical Education: a sociocultural perspective,, London: Routledge James A, Griffin L and France T (2005) Perceptions of Assessment in Elementary Physical Education: A Case Study. Physical Educator 62(2): 85-95. Kelly GA (1955) The psychology of personal constructs vol. 1. A theory of personality. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc. Linde G (2012) Det ska ni veta!: En introduktion till läroplans teori (This you should know!:An introduction to the theory of curriculum). 3rd ed. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Penney D, Brooker R, Hay P and Gillespie L (2009) Curriculum, pedagogy and assessment: three message systems of schooling and dimensions of quality physical education, Sport, Education and Society, 14(4): 421-442. Redelius K and Hay P (2009) Defining, acquiring and transacting cultural capital through assessment in physical education. European Physical Education Review 15(3 ): 275-294. Redelius K, Fagrell B and Larsson H (2009) Symbolic capital in physical education and health: to be, to do or to know? That is the gendered question. Sport, Education & Society 14(2): 245-260.  Svennberg L, Meckbach J, and Redelius K (2014) Exploring PE teachers’ ‘gut feelings’: An attempt to verbalise and discuss teachers’ internalised grading criteria European Physical Education Review, first published on January 20, 2014 as doi:10.1177/1356336X13517437 

    This proposal is part of a master or doctoral thesis.

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