Diversity of assessment discourses in Swedish and Norwegian early mathematics education

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Early childhood education, Early mathematics, Assessment, Discourse analysis


In many countries, including those in the Nordic region, there has been a growing trend towards measuring students’ knowledge and understanding, a trend that is evident even in early education. This article presents a discourse analysis of mathematics assessment materials intended for six-year-olds in two neighbouring countries, Sweden and Norway. Thus, the article presents an example of early assessment in two neighboring countries with similar culture and education system. The aim is to investigate the similarities and differences between the various meanings ascribed to their assessment materials, and to discuss how these assessment materials may both influence and be influenced by early mathematics education in these two countries. The results show a diversity of discourses – both between and within the assessment materials – indicating different views on students’ learning of mathematics, on when to assess, on what knowledge to assess, and on how and why to assess. Thus, even though Sweden and Norway have similar cultures and education systems, there is no consensus when it comes to when, what and how to assess the mathematical knowledge of six-year-olds.


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How to Cite

Walla, M. (2022). Diversity of assessment discourses in Swedish and Norwegian early mathematics education. Journal of Childhood, Education & Society, 3(2), 98–111. https://doi.org/10.37291/2717638X.202232178