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National external assessment in slovene at the end of the 6th grade of primary school

Maja Salamon (2017) National external assessment in slovene at the end of the 6th grade of primary school. MSc thesis.

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    The Slovene language represents one of the fundamental school subjects at primary school level. Alongside standard internal evaluations students undergo a national examination which takes place at the end of the 6th and 9th grade. This examination serves as a tool that provides teachers and parents with information on the level of knowledge their pupils / children possess. The difference between the two types of tests is that when speaking of internal evaluations all decisions are made solely by the teacher while the tests at the national level are standardised and assembled by field specialists. The tests are also the same for all students which enables a nationwide comparison of the results. These national examinations are mandatory. Throughout the years the purpose of the examination has differed, today the main goal is to receive information on the level of knowledge and general competencies of the students so that the teacher may improve his/her teaching abilities. This type of examination is under some scrutiny, e.g. that it has too much of an affect on teachers and their teaching techniques and that certain topics are being omitted from class as a direct consequence of the examination results. It supposedly influences students’ stress levels disabling them to properly display their knowledge on the subject. Some caution is advised when interpreting the results of these examinations. Due to different dilemmas surrounding national examinations we have applied a quantitative research method to determine where 6th grade teachers stand on the subject of national Slovene language examination – the study included first cycle primary school teachers and teachers who teach solely the Slovene language. A comparison of opinions between those of the teachers and of the students was also of some interest to us. There was almost no difference in opinions between the students themselves, regardless of sex or the level of success of their last graded assignment in Slovene language. There were however notable differences between the opinions of teachers and those of students. For instance teachers were pushing for a mandatory status of national examinations and that the achievement of students on these evaluation should be included in the final grading at the end of the school year giving the examinations a greater purpose as well as giving students extra motivation for learning. Students on the other hand are more inclined towards a voluntary status of the national examinations. Most of the teachers believe that the Slovene language national examinations are too difficult for sixth graders, mostly due to long and difficult texts and vague instruction for solving the test. Here students feel that the test is not too easy nor too difficult. More teachers than not feel that the syntax and literary section of the examination are equally difficult. When instructed to decide on the more difficult one more chose the literary section mostly due too students’ poor reading abilities. Teachers feel that the preparations for the examination are of great importance that is why they try to prepare their students well. They themselves do not have special preparations for the examination but it does bring along a certain level of stress. Most teachers believe that the national examination does not affect their teaching technique of the Slovene language in the 6th grade. They do feel however that students do not put enough effort into the national examination. Students claim they do try their best. Most of the teachers grade the primary non-literary text as being too long while most students feel is adequately long as well as adequately difficult. Teachers who teach solely the Slovene language consider preparations for the examination one of greater importance compared to the sentiments of teachers who teach in the first cycle of primary school. Also teachers with more than 10 years of service see the literary section as being more difficult while those with less than 10 years of service feel that both sections of the national examination are equally difficult.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: grading, Slovene language national examination, syntax and literary section, opinions of teachers and students
    Number of Pages: 125
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Marja Bešter TurkMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11758153)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4817
    Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2017 15:35
    Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 15:35
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4817

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