Konkrete kundskaber eller komplekse videnskompetencer? en kritisk diskussion af test-orienteringens mulige konstitutive virkninger på lærings- og faglighedsforståelsen i folkeskolen.

Dina Dot Dalsgaard Andersen

    Publikation: Ph.d. afhandling/ kandidat/ diplomKandidatspecialeForskning

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    This thesis presents: 1) a study of the new, evolving assessment paradigm that is a result of new subject matter, objectives, and assessment requirements based on the latest law concerning the municipal primary and lower secondary school system in Denmark (folkeskolen), 2) an analysis and a critical discussion of the possible constitutive effects of this paradigm on the basic understanding of learning and student competency, and 3) an introduction of an alternative understanding of learning and student competency, based on a broadly recognized sociocultural learning theoretical comprehension, and a complexity frame of reference, according to which present learning and working contexts are characterized by complexity and coincidence.
    Chapter 1 is a study of the new assessment paradigm, in the light of an analysis of four assessment paradigms, which can be identified in the modern Danish school history, i.e. from the 1960’s up until today. This historical analysis gives an insight into the possible influence of an assessment paradigm on the way teaching and learning are understood and described, and it suggests the new assessment paradigm is an old paradigm in new clothing.
    The new assessment paradigm is, among other things, a result of PISA’s increasing influence on Danish school politics. An influence that can be observed in the paragraph of objectives of the Danish school law of 2006, in which the definition of student competency is in line with PISA’s narrow concept of literacy, and in which the curriculum and test philosophy (in the form of Common Objectives (Fælles Mål) and obligatory national IT-based testing), is based on a causal logical, criterion and objectives related understanding of learning, which promotes a narrow subject and knowledge-oriented understanding of student competency.
    The empirical analyses in chapter 2 suggest that folkeskolen has not yet adopted the understanding of learning and student competency promoted by the present school law. It still bases the pedagogical practice on a constructivist understanding of learning, which builds on learning theoretical principles of student activity, exploration and dialog as a prerequisite for the acquisition and production of knowledge. Along with this understanding of learning comes a broad competency and Bildung oriented notion of student competency (inspired by the formulations of the Danish school law of 1993), which gives priority to the development of the complex knowledge competencies (e.g. creative and innovative thinking) of the students.
    At the same time, the analyses in chapter 3 point to the fact that folkeskolen is not unaffected by the constitutive effects of the new assessment paradigm on its teaching and learning processes. This is due to the evolving curriculum and test philosophy, which contributes to an instrumentalization of the teaching process and a narrowing of the learning objectives and the student’s learning strategies. This means that the historically conditioned constructivist understanding of learning and didactics of folkeskolen potentially bows to the pressure of the narrow understanding of the new assessment paradigm of student competency, and the monological, cramming based teaching and studying methods that this thinking promotes.
    In my opinion, the actual development in folkeskolen can have negative implications for the educational profits of the students, since these profits, according to the frame of reference of this thesis, to a large degree, depend on the following two factors: formative student assessment and dialogical learning processes.
    The formative student assessment consists in a continual dialog about teaching intentions, assessment criteria, and the individual student’s learning goals and strategies, in order to help the student: 1) develop a broad repertoire of learning strategies, 2) become aware of lack of progress, and 3) take responsibility for individual and common learning results.
    It is my view that the formative assessment strategies have come under pressure due to the intent of the school law to hook up the formative assessment strategies to the national testing system and the obligatory Student Plan (elevplan), which, in my opinion, is an inadequate platform for the formative assessment, since its principal function is to provide a continuous feedback and “feedforward” for the students in the actual teaching situation. Consequently, the present school policy initiatives can weaken the position, function and effect of the formative assessment in folkeskolen.
    In my opinion, the narrow subject and knowledge-oriented understanding of student competency, and the instrumentalistic understanding of teaching and learning, that characterize the present school law, falls short in a learning context characterized by complexity and coincidence, which places demands on the students capacity to handle knowledge, to relearn and to learn continuously. Also, this understanding provides no answers to the demands of working contexts for complex knowledge competencies and interpersonal skills, not to speak of the ability to engage in collaborative acquisition and production of knowledge.
    Dialogical learning processes are, according to the sociocultural learning theoretical perspectives presented in this thesis, a prerequisite for the acquisition of knowledge in a complex and plural learning context, because the processes that facilitate negotiations and the creation of meaning, counteract the effects of coincidence and make possible the establishment of a mutual frame of understanding (a temporary objectivity) and the student’s discriminating acquisition of this. In addition to this, dialogical learning processes create a setting, in which the student’s complex knowledge competencies, interpersonal skills and personal standpoints in terms of moral and values are developed and sharpened.
    The demand for these competencies and skills in a complex learning and working context, has led me to present an alternative understanding of student competency in the form of a rephrasing of the paragraph of objectives of the school law of 2006 (in chapter 4). This understanding is in keeping with modern learning and working contexts, because it takes seriously the problems of complexity and coincidence, and is in line with broadly accepted learning theoretical insights. It is both subject knowledge and Bildung oriented - and thus includes the student’s acquisition of subject knowledge and skills, basic and complex knowledge competencies, studying methods and forms of expression and, at the same time, has visions for the social, emotional and moral Bildung of the student. This Bildung takes place as a result of dialogical learning processes, which encourages social and emotional involvement and character formation, hence creating the preconditions for the continuation of a healthy society characterized by social justice, sense of community and democracy.
    Finally, I briefly introduce the notion of specific “Danish competencies”, that make role models of Danish employees on the global job market, and I point to the fact that the development of these competencies depends on an ongoing integration of the constructivist understanding of learning and the broad understanding of student competency presented in this thesis.

    StatusUdgivet - 2011


    • Bakhtin
    • Dewey
    • læringsparadigme
    • videnskompetencer
    • vurderingsparadigme