Communication and Shared Understanding of Assessment A phenomenological study of assessment in Swedish upper secondary dance education

Detta är en avhandling från Luleå tekniska universitet

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to describe and explore the phenomenon of assessment in dance education within Swedish upper secondary schools’ dance orientation. The phenomenon was researched based on teachers’ experiences of assessment in dance education and formulations in the syllabi for upper secondary school. Life-world phenomenology constituted a base for the study, which implied material to be produced through several methods. The methods used in the investigation were document analysis, observations, teachers’ written and verbal reflections and interviews. Documentation of observed experiences were performed through field notes and video recordings. The generated material was analysed based on Spiegelberg’s seven stages of phenomenological analysis. Syllabi from Lpf94 and Gy11 was analysed to describe and analyse what dance knowledge become visible. In total five teachers and three schools were involved in the study. Within the framework of the course Dance technique 1, observations of dance education in ballet, contemporary- and jazz dance were made as well as of ten grading conversations. The teachers read the field notes and were able to change formulations in case something was misunderstood or needed to be commented upon in form of teachers’ written or verbal reflections. Interviews with four of the observed teachers were made and the conversations related to what appeared in the observations. Comprehension of teachers’ experiences resulted in a description of the phenomenon and answers to the research questions. The study is communicated through four intertwined. The result reveals various conditions for assessment in dance education, including views of dance knowledge that appeared through analysis of the syllabi. The syllabi appeared as one condition among others for dance education in upper secondary school. In the assessment practice was seen that teachers’ performance of assessment involved conditions for formative assessment to emerge. Conditions in order for communicated assessment to become meaningful for the students did also emerge. Through teachers’ reflections various conditions for the assessment practice became visible, namely the students’ participation, their own actions, as well as the overall school context. The study contributes to the dance educational research field through making teachers’ experiences of assessment in Swedish dance education visible. The thesis discusses dance teachers’ various approach to syllabi, how the teachers’ conceptions of quality influence the assessment practice, and finally the importance of understanding of given feedback is emphasised. Furthermore, collegial conversation is brought to attention as a way to improve and reflect upon assessment.

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