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International conference on assessment of school quality

News: Oct 12, 2016

Demands and expectations are increasing the opportunities to monitor the quality and effectiveness at different levels of the school systems. This applies both nationally and internationally. On 12–13 October, an international conference at the University of Gothenburg gathered prominent researchers for example to create an international forum with an aim to promote the research field and establish additional networks.

‘In order to identify causal relationships between different school-related factors and student performance, you need robust statistical models. We’re talking complex and technically complicated measurements,’ says Professor Ulrika Wolff, who together with Monica Rosén was in charge of the conference Challenges in Educational Measurement - Content, Methods and Consequences.

The consequences of assessment methods

The international and large-scale studies of the quality of education are attracting increasing interest. The most well-known are the PISA assessments, where OECD measures skills in mathematics, science and reading comprehension, and two assessments by IEA: PIRLS, which compares schoolchildren’s reading literacy, and TIMSS, which measures knowledge in math and science. The theme of the conference was not limited to measurement issues related to the mentioned international assessments. There was also a focus on measurement problems and consequences of the methods used when assessing education. The aim of the conference included to create an international forum with a view to promote the research field and share and disseminate new knowledge and technology, and to encourage international cooperation and establish networks.

School systems of good quality

‘It was primarily an opportunity to discuss methods and challenges. The research field is developing rapidly and the importance of having successful assessment methods is increasing. The questions regarding how high-quality school systems can be developed will hardly become less important any time soon,’ says Wolff.

The conference also gave the Department of Education and Special Education an opportunity to recognise Professor Jan-Eric Gustafsson (see photo) for his long and important service as a researcher. Because of his retirement, he will from now on conduct research as a senior professor. In autumn 2016, he was appointed chair of the Swedish School Commission. He succeeded Anna Ekström, who had been appointed Swedish Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education.

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Originally published on: uf.gu.se

Page Manager: Lisbeth Dahlén|Last update: 8/29/2014
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