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Work Group Educational Research
Work Group Educational Research
b>Project Leader    
Prof. Dr. Isabell van Ackeren  
Prof. Dr. Hans E. Fischer  
Project Collaborateur    
Dr. Svenja Kühn  
Dominique Klein  



Project periode: 10.2009-9.2011  
Grant reference: AC 209/1-2
Background, Aims and Framework
Conditions and Tasks of State-Wide and School-Based Exit Examinations in  
Science Subjects

Assuming that highly standardized exit ex-aminations can cut the room for manoeuvre of school actors and thus better direct their work, the project takes a comparative look at the effects of the highly standardized state-wide exit examinations at the end of upper secondary schooling in Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands.  
The project aims to identify conditions on country, school and classroom level which facilitate or contradict the capability of the examinations to “steer” school actors in the sense of quality improvement. It is also supposed to produce practical knowledge to optimize the examination procedures in Germany.  
How do very standardized exit examinations affect work at school and classroom level?  
How are steering intentions and examination procedures, intended and un-intended effects and other factors on subject, school and system level, related?

Methods and Analysis

•   by 06/2010: Evaluation of examination procedures and steering intentions  
•   by 11/2010: Adaptation of the tools of the first project cycle  
•   by 11/2011: Analysis of steering effects on working processes at school and classroom level as well as on tasks used in the science classroom  
As the effects of differently structured exit examinations have only scarcely been investigated yet, an explorative, multimethod design was chosen:  
1st step: Steering intentions  
• Document analysis of official and legal texts guided by a set of categories  
• Expert interviews based on an interview manual with representatives of the relevant authorities  
2nd step: Steering effects and conditions  
• Structured questionnaires on how school heads, teachers and students of seven schools in each country estimate and perceive the impact of the examinations; multilevel analysis and estimation of variance components at subject, school and country level  
• Task analysis of examination tasks and tasks used in assessment during upper secondary schooling in science education guided by a set of categories  

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