Science teachers’ experiences of educational reform in Sweden: Enacting national tests and grading at Y6

The middle years of compulsory schooling in Sweden face a number of major changes. New, more detailed, science curriculum content has been introduced from the academic year 2011/2012. The Swedish parliament has also decided that local grades should be assigned by teachers to all Y6 pupils in science. To support teachers in this local grading, national tests in science were introduced in Y6 from spring 2013.

In this project we investigate whether, and if so in what way, the introduction of grading and national tests in science at Y6 impacts on teachers´ working practices, perceptions of what constitutes ‘good’ science teaching, and their sense of ‘being a professional’. The project is a five year longitudinal study. Data collection activities include written questionnaires, interviews with teachers and classroom observations.

The project will use an international comparative approach in order to put the Swedish developments in perspective. This will involve some data collection activities in both Swedish and English school contexts.

Project Publications

  • Ryder J, Lidar M, Lundqvist E, Ostman L, ‘Expressions of agency within complex policy structures: Science teachers' experiences of education policy reforms in Sweden’, International Journal of Science Education 2018
    DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2018.14359211, Repository URL:
  • Lidar M, Lundqvist E, Ryder J, Ostman L, ‘The Transformation of Teaching Habits in Relation to the Introduction of Grading and National Testing in Science Education in Sweden’, Research in Science Education 2017
    Repository URL: