How much is “most of”? A qualitative study investigating how teachers in Physical Education and Health cope with and interpret borderline cases in assessment and grading

In Swedish

Ellen Elvung & Matilda Petersson
Linnaeus University, Kalmar

The purpose of this study is to investigate how teachers relate to borderline cases in assessment and grading situations in Swedish Physical Education and Health. The study focuses on the teacher’s interpretation of borderline cases in assessment situations in relation to the qualitative words in the curriculum that explains a learning progression, and the interpretation of what the term “most of” (in Swedish “till övervägande del”) means in the rating of the grades B and D. Seven physical education teachers at secondary school participated in the study and the interviews were semi-structured. The result has been interpreted by using Linde (2012) and the curriculum theory. The result shows that teachers use different methods to deal with borderline cases in assessment situations. They work preventively by participating in “subject groups”, filming the students, and using assessment guidelines. When a borderline case occurs, the student usually gets more opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge or abilities. Other methods when the teacher is uncertain is to discuss with colleagues, weigh abilities against each other and to use their gut feeling based on experience and profession. When teachers decide which grade a student gets in relation to a borderline case, the teacher look at the parts of the subject’s content that has received the most attention during the education. Movement is often the part of the knowledge requirements that receives most attention in teachers grading process.

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ELLEN ELVUNG and MATILDA PETERSSON are studying to become teachers in Physical Education and Health and in Mathematics at Linnaeus University in Kalmar. The article is a modified version of their bachelor thesis concerning borderline cases when it comes to assessment and grading in Physical Education and Health. During practical experience different ways of assessment and grading were observed and that was when they found interest in the subject. In their spare time, Matilda plays golf and Ellen does endurance riding.

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