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How to express knowledge: Knowledge concepts for measurement in Swedish curriculum
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice. (Studies in Curriculum;Teaching and Evaluation (SITE))ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5554-6041
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice. (Studies in Curriculum, Teaching and Evaluation (SITE))
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education and Teacher's Practice. (Studies in Curriculum, Teaching and Evaluation (SITE))
2019 (English)In: NERA 2019 Education in a Globalized World, 6-8 March 2019, Uppsala, Sweden: Abstract Book 2019-03-06, 2019Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, a knowledge debate was initiated in the early 1990s through the official report School for Bildung (SOU 1992:94). The purpose of the report was two-fold: to widen the concept of knowledge from a one-sided cognitive meaning and to offer ‘new’ concepts of knowledge adapted to a performance model (Bernstein 2000) of school curriculum. Since this debate, school reforms, including new grading systems, have been continuous but the knowledge base in curriculum has remained the same. In Sweden, there is currently a major debate on the status of "facts" in the school's knowledge concept. One line of argument claims that the students do not get the opportunity to learn enough factual knowledge. Instead, the abilities have been dominating. However, factual knowledge is embedded in the abilities, because without factual knowledge the abilities become empty, the other argument goes. This debate, as well as a debate of the failure of the current “knowledge requirements” in curriculum to provide tools for equivalent grading, has led to an initiative from the Swedish National Agency for Education (NAE). The NAE has initiated a curriculum reform aiming at strengthen the clarity and equivalence in the content as well as in the knowledge requirements in the syllabi.

Aim

The purpose of this paper is to reintroduce a theoretically based dialogue on the relevance of current knowledge concepts in curricula in general, and the expressions of knowledge progression in particular. In this explorative study, we investigate the following research questions: How can factual knowledge be emphasized without being instrumental? How can the school's overarching goals and values be reflected in the syllabi? With what knowledge expressions can an equivalent assessment be promoted?

Theoretical framework and method

In the theoretical framework, we draw on Bernstein’s (2000) two pedagogical models, as well as his understanding of horizontal and vertical to place the Swedish curricula Lgr 11 and Lgy 11 in a broader typology. Following Deng & Luke (2008), we specifically discuss the knowledge concepts in the syllabi of civics for compulsory school and upper secondary school. To discuss the knowledge expressions in the knowledge requirements in terms of increased clarity and equivalence, we distinguish between knowledge in relation to content and achieved competences in relation to different levels of grading (Carlgren et al. 2009). In the result section, we present a revised version of syllabi in civics for Year 6 and 9 in compulsory school and Year 1 in upper secondary school.

Expected conclusions

We suggest that achieved competences need to be related to content in the knowledge requirements for increased clarity of what different forms of knowing that should be achieved.  Moreover, we introduce alternative terms for how different levels of competences could be expressed in the grading system to increase equivalence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
curriculum making, social studies, typology, competences
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Pedagogics and Educational Sciences, Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-87037OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-87037DiVA, id: diva2:1339700
Conference
Nordic Education Research Conference, Uppsala, March 6-8.
Available from: 2019-07-30 Created: 2019-07-30 Last updated: 2019-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Wahlström, NinniVogt, BettinaAdolfsson, Carl-Henrik

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf