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National mathematics tests – What does testing do to pupils?

Research project The research project ´What does testing do to pupils? Exploring the effects of National mathematics tests´ aims to develop profound knowledge about how traditional mathematics tests and national tests in mathematics influence pupils’ mathematical learning in compulsory education.

The project is particularly paying attention to pupils having problems reaching the education objectives in mathematics, and what their experiences of assessment and test-situations with regard to their mathematics knowledge are. Current research has indicated that this group of pupils in particular is being affected negatively by the test situation in mathematics. However, the general effect of high-stake tests in this group has seldom caught the attention of education research in Sweden. Further, this issue is urgent and demands more critical investigation as Swedish Government has decided to introduce national tests in school year 3 and in school year 5, as a compulsory test. This research project will be carried out partly, as a document study, and partly with a number of ethnographic inspired case studies in two Swedish cities. Data will also include class-room observations, questionnaires and interviews with pupils and teachers. The whole mathematical learning situation of the pupil will be considered in the study, with focus on the test situation and from the perspective of the pupils.

Head of project

Gunnar Sjöberg
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

2011-01-26 2013-06-30

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Science and Mathematics Education, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Mathematics Education Research Centre

Research area

Educational sciences, Mathematics