Viljan att veta vad andra vet : Kunskapsbedömning i tidigmodern, modern och senmodern skola

Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with knowledge assessment in education from a historical point of view. It considers both “internal” assessment, i.e. assessments occurring in everyday life in school, and “external” assessment, i.e. assessments from outside schooling, as well as policies of assessment. Special attention is given to dilemmas and conflicts between these perspectives. The aim of this thesis is to understand 1) historical and social conditions that form the knowledge of what others know, 2) how selective kinds of knowledge or ways to produce knowledge are spread and 3) how they might be challenged and reshaped.Part 1 argues, from a curriculum theory perspective, that assessments should be seen as part of the curriculum.Part 2 deals with assessment during pre-modernity, roughly between the 16th century and mid 18th century. Two traditions are explored: the tradition of early differential psychology, i.e. temperament theory, and the tradition of the grammar school (Läroverket).Part 3 deals with a period that was particularly important in terms of assessment in education in Sweden and the construction of the Swedish comprehensive school, i.e. the 1940s.Part 4 investigates a progressive and critical movement during the 1970s and 1980s and its relation to assessment matters. A final chapter in part 4 deals with recent changes in assessment policies in Sweden, the construction of an educational system that tried to establish a curriculum valid assessment culture in the early 1990s.The concluding argument is that if assessment is viewed in a historical perspective as re/production of knowledge and as part of the curriculum, it is possible to gain new kinds of knowledge that makes it easier to handle some “eternal” dilemmas in assessing student performances. Thereby we might strengthen teacher autonomy and skills in these matters.

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