G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
Teachers’ practices and competence to assess students’ academic skills in primary school (2022)
Opettajien arviointimenetelmät ja arviointiosaaminen oppilaiden akateemisten taitojen arvioinnissa alakoulussa

Virinkoski, R. (2022). Teachers’ practices and competence to assess students’ academic skills in primary school [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Jyväskylä. JYU Dissertations, 495. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-9032-9

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Virinkoski, Riitta

eISBN: 978-951-39-9032-9

Journal or series: JYU Dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2022

Number in series: 495

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (81 sivua, 37 sivua useina numerointijaksoina, 4 numeroimatonta sivua)

Publisher: University of Jyväskylä

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: English

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-9032-9

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Additional information: Osatutkimusten aineistot olivat peräisin kahdesta suomalaisesta pitkittäistutkimuksesta: Lapsen Kielen Kehitys (LKK) ja Alkuportaat.


The aim of the present thesis was to introduce the findings concerning primary school teachers’ assessment practices of students’ academic skills, the accuracy of the assessments, and the connection between the length of part-time special education and the development of students’ academic skills. First, it examined class teachers and special education needs (SEN) teachers’ assessment practices (tests, qualitative assessments, and curriculum-based measures), and their ability to assess reading in Grades 1 and 6 (SEN teachers only), and second, it explored the relation between the development of students’ academic skills across Grades 1 to 4 and the reasons for and the length of part-time special education. The data for the sub-studies were drawn from two Finnish longitudinal studies: Jyväskylä Longitudinal Study of Dyslexia (JLD) and the First Steps study. The samples in the sub-studies were: 103 teachers and 113 students in Grade 1 (study I), 29 teachers and 55 students in Grade 6 (study II), and 35 teachers and 130 students in Grades 1 to 4 (study III). The data comprised teacher questionnaires, student ratings, and students’ test scores of literacy and math skills. The data were analyzed using statistical methods. The results showed that in Grade 1, most class teachers used one assessment practice, while SEN teachers usually combined two practices. In Grade 6, SEN teachers preferred multiple practices, but qualitative practices were considered the most important. Associations between the teacher ratings and test scores were mostly moderate, and typically performing students were identified better than struggling students, except in study I where SEN teachers identified all at-risk students in Grade 1. The identification of typically performing students in reading comprehension was the most challenging for the SEN teachers in Grade 6. Finally, the development of literacy and math skills among the students in the long-lasting part-time special education support group across Grades 1 to 4 lagged behind the other two groups of students (Study III). The findings indicate that to gain a comprehensive view of the students’ skills, using various assessment practices is recommended. And after identifying the risk or learning difficulty, more attention should be paid to monitoring skill development.

Keywords: class teachers; special needs teachers; educational evaluation; evaluation methods; precision; learning difficulties; reading disorders; lower comprehensive school pupils; special education (teaching); doctoral dissertations

Free keywords: teacher assessment; accuracy; part-time special education; learning difficulties; academic skill development; primary school students

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Last updated on 2023-21-08 at 13:41