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 editorsVirinkoski, Riitta


Journal or seriesJYU Dissertations


Publication year2022

Number in series495

Number of pages in the book1 verkkoaineisto (81 sivua, 37 sivua useina numerointijaksoina, 4 numeroimatonta sivua)

PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä

Place of PublicationJyväskylä

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageEnglish

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

Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Additional informationOsatutkimusten 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.

Keywordsclass teachersspecial needs teacherseducational evaluationevaluation methodsprecisionlearning difficultiesreading disorderslower comprehensive school pupilsspecial education (teaching)doctoral dissertations

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

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 18:27