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Ferm Almqvist, C., Vinge, J., Väkevä, L. & Zandén, O. (2017). Assessment as learning in music education: The risk of "criteria compliance" replacing "learning" in the Scandinavian countries. Research Studies in Music Education, 39(1), 3-18
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment as learning in music education: The risk of "criteria compliance" replacing "learning" in the Scandinavian countries
2017 (English)In: Research Studies in Music Education, ISSN 1321-103X, E-ISSN 1834-5530, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 3-18Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent reforms in England and the USA give evidence that teaching methods and content can change rapidly, given a strong external pressure, for example through economic incentives, inspections, school choice, and public display of schools' and pupils' performances. Educational activities in the Scandinavian countries have increasingly become dominated by obligations regarding assessment and grading. A common thread is the demand for equal and just assessment and grading through clear criteria and transparent processes. Torrance states that clarity in assessment procedures, processes, and criteria has underpinned widespread use of coaching, practice, and provision of formative feedback to boost achievement, but that such transparency encourages instrumentalism. He concludes that the practice of assessment has moved from assessment of learning, through assessment for learning, to assessment as learning, with "assessment procedures and practices coming completely to dominate the learning experience" and "criteria compliance" replacing "learning". Thus, formative assessment, in spite of its proven educational potential, threatens to be deformative. In this article we will explore to what extent and how this development is visible in two cases, presenting music education in one Norwegian and one Swedish compulsory school setting. Three thematic threads run through this exploration: quality, power, and instrumentalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017
Keywords
assessment, criteria compliance, music education, power, quality
National Category
Musicology Educational Sciences
Research subject
Humanities, Music Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-64639 (URN)10.1177/1321103X16676649 (DOI)000406006000001 ()2-s2.0-85019253378 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-06-02 Created: 2017-06-02 Last updated: 2019-09-09Bibliographically approved
Zandén, O. (2016). The Birth of a Denkstil: Transformations of music teachers' conceptions of quality in the face of new grading criteria. Nordisk musikkpedagogisk forskning: Årbok, 17, 197-225
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Birth of a Denkstil: Transformations of music teachers' conceptions of quality in the face of new grading criteria
2016 (English)In: Nordisk musikkpedagogisk forskning: Årbok, ISSN 1504-5021, Vol. 17, p. 197-225Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate and describe how a new music curriculum with defined content and assessment criteria can influence music specialist teachers’ style of thinking and conceptions of musical quality regarding lower secondary students’ creative music making.

The research questions are:

  • How is composition defined in the teachers’ dialogues?
  • What conceptions of quality are expressed in the teachers’ evaluations of the compositions?
  • To what extent do the teachers’ knowledge requirement-based assessments differ from their first, spontaneous appreciation of the pupils’ creative music making?

The findings indicate that creative music making is a poorly delimited concept that can be used both for a musical idea and for a whole performance. In the teachers’ initial assessments of the students’ compositions, they revealed a common style of thinking based on an artistic insider-understanding of musical qualities. However, when they started discussing the compositions from the standpoint of the new curriculum and its knowledge requirements, this style of thinking was largely abolished. It was replaced by a new style of thinking in which evaluative judgments were carefully avoided in favour of factual descriptions. These findings suggest that explicit criteria can have a strong impact on the conceptions of quality that are developed within a school culture. In the case of music education, this could result in a style of thinking and a teaching that differs dramatically from both lay and professional conceptions of musical quality

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Norwegian Academy of Music, 2016
Keywords
assessment criteria, composing, upper secondary school, music education, Denkstil
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Humanities, Music Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-60435 (URN)
Available from: 2017-02-01 Created: 2017-02-01 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Zandén, O. & Ferm Thorgersen, C. (2015). Teaching for learning or teaching for documentation?: Music teachers' perspectives on a Swedish curriculum reform. British Journal of Music Education, 32(1), 37-50
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching for learning or teaching for documentation?: Music teachers' perspectives on a Swedish curriculum reform
2015 (English)In: British Journal of Music Education, ISSN 0265-0517, E-ISSN 1469-2104, Vol. 32, no 1, p. 37-50Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analyses ten Swedish music teachers’ descriptions of how a new music syllabus and a new credit scale have influenced their practice. In the new curriculum, grading is introduced in year six and not, as previously, in year eight. We have therefore focused on the effects of this change on school years five to seven. The new syllabus is much more precise and explicit than the earlier one, and it is reported to have strongly affected both teachers’ and pupils’ work in the classroom. Teachers are facing a number of dilemmas when trying to combine the demands of the syllabus with their conceptions of quality in music education. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015
Keywords
music education, assessment, grading, documentation curriculum reform
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37143 (URN)10.1017/S0265051714000266 (DOI)000352198700004 ()2-s2.0-84937859361 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-09-21 Created: 2014-09-21 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Zandén, O. (2014). Grundfragen der musikdidaktik: internationale bilder von musikunterricht: beispiel Schweden. In: : . Paper presented at Bundeskongress Musikunterricht, Leipzig, September 17-21, 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Grundfragen der musikdidaktik: internationale bilder von musikunterricht: beispiel Schweden
2014 (German)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Keywords
Musikpädagogik, MPS, Klassenmusik, Didaktische ideale, Erziehungskulture, Undervisningskulturer, Musikpedagogik
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences; Humanities, Music science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37145 (URN)
Conference
Bundeskongress Musikunterricht, Leipzig, September 17-21, 2014
Projects
ICMLV - komparativ studie av videoinspelade musiklektioner från olika delar av världen
Available from: 2014-09-21 Created: 2014-09-21 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved
Thorgersen, K. & Zandén, O. (2014). The Internet as teacher. Journal of Music, Technology and Education, 7(2), 233-244
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Internet as teacher
2014 (English)In: Journal of Music, Technology and Education, ISSN 1752-7066, E-ISSN 1752-7074, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 233-244Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social media has led to new opportunities for learning music. In less formalized settings, a whole new arena for learning music has developed. The aim of this article is to investigate student teachers’ experiences of learning to play an instrument with the Internet as a teacher. The investigation was done as an action research study where twelve beginning teacher-training students were given the task to use the Internet to learn how to play an instrument. The students were organized in peer groups to help each other. Documentation of the progress happened through logbooks. The project lasted for half a year in 2011 and had a triple intention: to provide the students with experience about learning how to play by help of the Internet, for the students to learn to play a second instrument, and to investigate if and how learning practices for learning an instrument aided by the Internet could be useful in music teacher training.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Intellect Ltd., 2014
Keywords
Teacher education, Music technology, Instrument tuition, Informal learning, Peer learning, Action research
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-38657 (URN)10.1386/jmte.7.2.233_1 (DOI)2-s2.0-84924807498 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-12-17 Created: 2014-12-17 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
Zandén, O. (2014). Tydlighetsdoktrinen: en kritisk betraktelse (1ed.). In: Niklas Ammert, Ulla Rosén & Jonas Svensson (Ed.), Blickar: kulturvetenskapliga perspektiv på utbildning (pp. 221-244). Växjö: Linnaeus University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tydlighetsdoktrinen: en kritisk betraktelse
2014 (Swedish)In: Blickar: kulturvetenskapliga perspektiv på utbildning / [ed] Niklas Ammert, Ulla Rosén & Jonas Svensson, Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2014, 1, p. 221-244Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2014 Edition: 1
Keywords
Dialogism, Fleck, Kommunikation, New public management
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-38655 (URN)978-91-87925-34-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2014-12-17 Created: 2014-12-17 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved
Zandén, O. (2014). Videobasierte Unterstützungssysteme zur Bewertung musikpraktischer Leistungen - Anregungen aus Schweden: Unterstützungssysteme für 9e Klasse.. In: : . Paper presented at Bundeskongress Musikunterricht, Leipzig 17-21 sept 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Videobasierte Unterstützungssysteme zur Bewertung musikpraktischer Leistungen - Anregungen aus Schweden: Unterstützungssysteme für 9e Klasse.
2014 (German)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Keywords
Beurteilung Musik Professionalisierung Qualitätsauffassungen
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-37144 (URN)
Conference
Bundeskongress Musikunterricht, Leipzig 17-21 sept 2014
Note

Ej belagd, 20141202

Available from: 2014-09-21 Created: 2014-09-21 Last updated: 2015-05-26Bibliographically approved
Zandén, O. (2013). Music teachers' constructions of teachers' and pupils' roles and identities. In: : . Paper presented at The 8th International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter, April 9-13, 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Music teachers' constructions of teachers' and pupils' roles and identities
2013 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In an analysis of music teachers’ collegiate discourses on upper secondary students’ ensemble playing (Zandén 2010) the teachers’ discourses were of a surprisingly lay character; the discourses seemed to a large extent to draw on everyday conceptions of quality. In a subsequent study of how the Swedish words musikalisk (musical), talang (talent) and begåvad (gifted) are used on the internet (Zandén 2011) I concluded that these concepts were seldom used in ways that hinted at the possibility that they denote developable capacities. If music teachers subscribe to this commonsensical idea of musicality as a stable, innate gift and assign pupils roles and identities accordingly, it might well influence their teaching and their expectations of progress among their pupils.

This presentation focuses on how the role of the teacher and the roles of the pupils are constituted in music teachers’ dialogues with their colleagues. The data consists of ten hours of recorded music teachers’ group-discussions on pupils’ musical performances.  Half of these discussions was recorded in 2007 and focused on 17-18-year old pupils’ ensemble playing while the other half was recorded in 2011 and focused on 15-16-year old pupils’ ensemble playing and musical compositions. Both sets of data were originally used for analysing music teachers’ assessments and conceptions of quality. Thus, the ways in which the teachers expressed themselves about teachers and pupils as such were not the focus of discursive attention, neither in the discussions nor in the ensuing analysis. In this study, the data are reanalysed in order to elicit the music teachers’ construction of pupils’ and teachers’ roles and identities as expressed in the dialogues. 

National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Humanities, Music science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26094 (URN)
Conference
The 8th International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter, April 9-13, 2013
Available from: 2013-06-05 Created: 2013-06-05 Last updated: 2014-05-13Bibliographically approved
Leijonhufvud, S. & Zandén, O. (2013). On the developing of a Swedish national assessment support in music: context, commission, design, and possible outcome. In: : . Paper presented at The Eighth International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter, United Kingdom, April 9-13, 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the developing of a Swedish national assessment support in music: context, commission, design, and possible outcome
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sweden has adopted the principles of New Public Management by creating an educational market where private and public providers compete to attract school children and where the government is increasing its efforts to measure output and audit the providers. However, Sweden goes against the flow by emphasizing subject specific knowledge and skills instead of key competences. In an attempt to further natonal equivalence when it comes to education, assessment and marking, the Swedish National Agency for Education is issuing supporting kits in different subjects. We have been responsible for the design and production of the supporting kit in music for primary and lower secondary education. In this presentation, we will place this didactical material in a historical context, describe the process from commission to publication and discuss some of the considerations that have guided our work.

Keywords
Assessment, Music, Curriculum
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26099 (URN)
Conference
The Eighth International Research in Music Education Conference, Exeter, United Kingdom, April 9-13, 2013
Available from: 2013-06-05 Created: 2013-06-05 Last updated: 2014-11-13Bibliographically approved
Ferm Thorgersen, C. & Zandén, O. (2013). Teaching for learning or teaching for documentation?: about music teachers' relations to syllabuses in Swedish compulsory schools year 5 to 7. In: : . Paper presented at Nordisk Nettverk for Musikkpedagogisk Forskning (NNMPF) 2013, Bergen, February 27-March 1, 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching for learning or teaching for documentation?: about music teachers' relations to syllabuses in Swedish compulsory schools year 5 to 7
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the last years several reforms have influenced the educational system in Sweden. A new curriculum for the compulsory school has offered teachers and pupils a totally new system for assessment. A new credit scale is constructed and all pupils will be graded already in the 6th grade, which means that new teacher groups will have to grade their pupils’ performances. The curriculum describes criteria in three qualitative levels for each subject by defining aspects of a holistic knowing and describing three levels of competence within each of these aspects. Clarity and transparency have been steering concepts in the formulation process in order to offer parents and pupils a better possibility to understand and influence education and assessment in schools. At the same time teachers are expected to make holistic assessments of the pupils’ acquired knowledge. In a subject as music, teachers’ subject knowledge and conceptions of quality can transcend what is currently possible for them to verbalize. In several other subjects written and spoken language constitute the primary media of communication. Musical knowledge though, can be expressed and experienced in sounding forms, a mode of expression which is not easily transduced into writing or speaking. Hence, high demands for verbal clarity in aims and assessment may result in essential parts of music being excluded from teaching and learning, based on a view that these aspects are too complicated to assess equally, or impossible to communicate verbally in a clear way. There is a risk that the new demands on clarity and transparency may reduce the subject to comprise only those aspects that can be easily measured and talked about.

The current study aims to systematically and critically investigate in which ways the Swedish curriculum with its new assessment- and grading regime influences music teachers’ practice and their students’ musical learning in grade 5 to 7. Earlier research has generally stated that educational reforms take time to implement, but recent reforms in England and USA give evidence that teaching methods and content can change rapidly, given a strong external pressure, for example through economic incentives, inspections, school choice and public display of schools’ and pupils’ performances. Music education could become an easy prey for such pressures, given that music teachers lack a tradition to accompany music with words and that musical assessment criteria often are perceived as subjective, as compared to objective measurables. The demand for clear and explicit criteria offers challenges, since differences between credit levels are expressed as assessable qualities and not measurable quantities. A forced verbalisation of these quality aspects may get consequences for music teachers’ evolving understanding of knowledge aspects, as well as for their experience of and qualitative evaluation of students’ musical achievements and expressions. The first phase of the study includes interviews with music teachers teaching in year 5-7 about changes in their teaching practices as well as their perceptions of the new demands in Lgr11. The second phase will be a survey, aiming to map the implementation scenario among Swedish music teach in the same years. The third and final part gets its inspiration from Engeström’s activity theory where structural and intentional contradictions are expected to have a key function for learning and development. In this phase the teachers’ as well as the students’ perspectives are focused through participant observation, interviews, and collegial conversations. The teachers define the problems found in practice, which are discussed among colleagues who together create strategies for further development. A model for general development work will be constructed through the project. By limiting the investigation to teachers who teach music in year 5-7 the study can claim to generate new knowledge concerning a group of teachers that have been neglected earlier. In the presentation at the conference we will present the study as a whole and also communicate some preliminary results from the first phase interview study.

 

Keywords
Curriculum reform, Sweden
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Humanities, Music science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-26101 (URN)
Conference
Nordisk Nettverk for Musikkpedagogisk Forskning (NNMPF) 2013, Bergen, February 27-March 1, 2013
Available from: 2013-06-05 Created: 2013-06-05 Last updated: 2014-11-13Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5545-3045

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