Education governance and standardised tests in Denmark and England

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  • Peter Kelly, Plymouth University
  • ,
  • Karen Andreasen, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
  • Kristine Kousholt
  • Elizabeth McNess, University of Bristol, UK, Storbritannien
  • Christian Ydesen, Aalborg Universitet, Danmark
In this study we identify and compare the impact of standardised
student assessment in England, an established neoliberal context,
and in Denmark where a neoliberal education reform agenda is
emerging in response to both national concerns and international
governance. National reading tests for students aged 11–12 years,
long established in England, were introduced in Denmark in 2010.
The form they take differs considerably, being primarily formative
in Denmark and largely summative in England. Culturally sensitive
extended semi-structured interviews are conducted with both
teachers and students and analysed to identify the extent to which
neoliberal reform is mobilised through testing in each context and
how testing shapes curriculum and pedagogy. Significantly, we find
that in Denmark, where professional judgement still dominates,
teachers often deploy pedagogical approaches to service what they
believe to be their students’ best interests. In England, however,
teachers try to accommodate a concern for both their students’
and their own interests, and the pedagogy they enact is more often
controlling, instrumental and reductionist; their wish to be proactive
is compromised by their need to be responsive. Hence we show
how policy technologies shape practice to undermine a deliberate
pedagogy rooted in ideas legitimated though scholarship and
1. Neoliberal education
TidsskriftJournal of Education Policy
Sider (fra-til)739-758
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 2018


  • Internationale komparative undersøgelser, Grundskole, Uddannelsespolitik, Test og karakter

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