OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education

ISSN :
2223-0955 (en ligne)
ISSN :
2223-0947 (imprimé)
DOI :
10.1787/22230955
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How can student assessment, teacher appraisal, school evaluation and system evaluation bring about real gains in performance across a country’s school system? The country reports in this series provide, from an international perspective, an independent analysis of major issues facing the evaluation and assessment framework, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches. This series forms part of the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes.

 
OECD Reviews of Evaluation and Assessment in Education: Sweden 2011

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Anglais
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Auteur(s):
Deborah Nusche, Gábor Halász, Janet Looney, Paulo Santiago, Claire Shewbridge
Date de publication :
27 oct 2011
Pages :
140
ISBN :
9789264116610 (PDF) ; 9789264116603 (imprimé)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264116610-en

Cacher / Voir l'abstract

How can student assessment, teacher appraisal, school evaluation and system evaluation bring about real gains in performance across a country’s school system? This book provides, for Sweden,  an independent analysis from an international perspective of major issues facing the evaluation and assessment framework in education along with current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches. This series forms part of the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes.

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  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Executive Summary
    In Sweden’s highly decentralised education system, evaluation and assessment are crucial to ensure that professionals get the information and feedback they need to improve the quality of their work. Evaluation and assessment are also key tools for the central Government to monitor whether national goals for quality and equity in education are being achieved. The Swedish approach combines national standard-setting and central test development with a high degree of trust in school professionals to carry out evaluation and assessment. While key elements of evaluation and assessment are well established at student, teacher, school and system levels, challenges remain in aligning the different elements to ensure consistency and complementarity.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Assessment and Conclusions
    Since a major administrative reform in the early 1990s, Sweden has one of the most decentralised education systems in the world, with its 290 municipalities in charge of organising and operating school services. School leaders and teachers also have wide-reaching autonomy in deciding on study options, teaching materials and methods. The role of the national Government and agencies is to set curriculum goals and monitor outcomes rather than to focus on inputs and processes. In this highly decentralised context, evaluation and assessment are crucial to ensure that professionals get the information and feedback that they need to improve the quality of their work. Evaluation and assessment are also key tools for the central Government to monitor whether national goals for quality and equity in education are being achieved.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  List of Acronyms
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Introduction
    This Country Note for Sweden forms part of the OECD Review on Evaluation and Assessment Frameworks for Improving School Outcomes. The purpose of the Review is to explore how systems of evaluation and assessment can be used to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education. Sweden was one of the countries which opted to participate in the country review strand and host a visit by an external review team. This Country Note is the report from the review team. It provides, from an international perspective, an independent analysis of major issues facing the evaluation and assessment framework in Sweden, current policy initiatives, and possible future approaches. The Country Note serves three purposes: (1) provide insights and advice to the Swedish education authorities; (2) help other OECD countries understand the Swedish approach; and (3) provide input for the final comparative report of the project.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  The Context of Evaluation and Assessment in Sweden
    Since a major administrative reform in the early 1990s, Sweden has one of the most decentralised education systems in the world, with its 290 municipalities in charge of organising and operating school services. School leaders and teachers also have wide-reaching autonomy in deciding on study options, teaching materials and methods. The role of the national Government and agencies is to set curriculum goals and monitor outcomes rather than to focus on inputs and processes. In this highly decentralised context, evaluation and assessment are crucial to ensure that professionals get the information and feedback that they need to improve the quality of their work. Evaluation and assessment are also key tools for the central Government to monitor whether national goals for quality and equity in education are being achieved.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  The Evaluation and Assessment Framework
    The Swedish approach combines national standard-setting and central test development with a high degree of trust in school professionals to carry out evaluation and assessment. All educational activities are organised around a system of management by objectives, where each level of the education system – national agencies, municipalities and schools – engage in evaluation activities. At the central level, there is a high degree of transparency in measuring and publishing results on goal achievement. However, while key elements of evaluation and assessment are well established, they currently do not link into a coherent framework. Challenges remain in aligning the different elements of evaluation and assessment and ensuring that the data collected at different levels are appropriately integrated and used for improvement.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Student Assessment
    Sweden has a balanced approach to student assessment that captures a wide range of learning dimensions. There is a strong focus on classroom-based assessments through which teachers collect a wide range of evidence on student progress and provide regular feedback to students. National tests at key stages of education are intended to capture a variety of curriculum goals through performance-based tasks including oral assessment and team projects. However, as all other types of assessment in Sweden, the national tests are corrected and graded by the students’ own teachers, and the weight of test results in students’ grades is determined locally. This raises concerns about inequities in grading. Given the key role that national assessments play in the Swedish evaluation and assessment system, it is vital to increase the reliability of these tests. External moderation could help ensure consistency, comparability and equity of the national assessments. Capacity building for effective summative and formative assessment is also key to strengthening teacher and school leader practices.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Teacher Appraisal
    Teachers are generally perceived as trusted professionals, which is reflected in the extensive autonomy that they have in the exercise of their duties. Teacher appraisal in Sweden is not regulated by law and no formal procedures exist to evaluate the performance of permanent teachers. The main form of appraisal is a regular individual development dialogue held between the school leader and individual teachers, but there is little guidance provided on how to appraise teacher performance. Overall, teachers have few opportunities for professional feedback. The teaching profession would benefit from a system of teacher appraisal for registration at key stages in the teaching career to formalise the principle of advancement on merit, associated with career opportunities for effective teachers. The appraisal system should be based on professional standards for teachers that provide a clear and concise statement or profile of what teachers are expected to know and be able to do. There also should be a stronger emphasis on teacher appraisal for improvement purposes that is fully internal to the school. In this context, teacher appraisal should be closely connected to school self-evaluation, which should focus on monitoring the quality of teaching and learning.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  School Evaluation
    School evaluation in Sweden is based on national inspections, municipal school evaluation and school self-evaluation. The feedback that schools receive on their performance is of high quality and the recently created Schools Inspectorate provides incentives for schools to remediate identified shortcomings. The evaluation capacities of school staff seem well developed thanks to an emphasis on school self-evaluation activities and a range of tools to support it. However, while inspections consider the internal quality work of schools, the integration of internal and external school evaluation could be further strengthened. The recent abolition of compulsory quality reporting holds a risk of being understood by schools as a devaluation of internal quality work. Some municipalities contribute remarkably to the quality of school evaluation but the large variability in the quality of municipal school evaluations is a major concern. There is room for further investment in strengthening school leadership and developing capacity for school evaluation at both the school and municipal level. If school self-evaluation is well developed, then the external evaluation can move to focus more on risk-analysis, proportional inspection and stronger follow-up of problematic cases.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  System Evaluation
    The performance of the Swedish education system is monitored via a range of tools including participation in international assessments, aggregation of data from national assessments, thematic quality evaluations by the Inspectorate and evaluation reports by the National Agency for Education. Results of system-level evaluation are taken seriously and feed into policy development for school improvement. It can be questioned, however, whether much of the data collected on student outcomes are appropriate for the purpose of system monitoring. The current reporting of outcomes relies heavily on grades awarded by teachers, but recent studies show that teachers’ grading is uneven. This implies that aggregating test results and student grades as measures of school, municipality and system performance is not appropriate. Options to provide a more reliable system monitoring tool could include setting up external moderation of national tests or introducing a sample monitoring survey. Also, there is room to encourage greater mobilisation of existing data and information in order to optimise the usability of this information by local policy makers and stakeholders.
  • Cliquez pour accéder:  Annexes
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