How do Swedish technology teachers assess programming education in grade 4-6?



Computer programming, PCK, assessment, professional development, teacher education


This study examines Swedish teachers' teaching and assessment practices in programming education for students in grades 4-6, with a focus on the technology subject. It investigates whether existing governing documents provide sufficient guidance for effective teaching and assessment in programming, particularly regarding Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). The study addresses challenges faced by teachers, including limited training and a lack of instructional guidelines, stressing the importance of bridging this gap to support effective programming instruction and assessment. It explores assessment practices in programming within the technology subject, referring to previous studies that identify various approaches. The discussion includes product and process criteria for assessing programming tasks and emphasizes the need for clearer links between programming assessment and core technology content. The methodology involves semi-structured interviews with experienced teachers who taught programming prior to its inclusion in the curriculum. Analyzing the interview data helps examine alignment between teachers' assessment practices and governing documents. Results and discussion focus on one teacher, Camilla, with six years of programming teaching experience. It describes how Camilla facilitates curriculum goals and aligns assessments with grading criteria. The article also summarizes specific areas assessed in programming education and compares Camilla's criteria with essential content knowledge from previous studies. Based on the findings, the study concludes that while Camilla demonstrates comprehensive understanding of assessing programming knowledge, improvements are necessary in primary school programming education in Sweden. The existing governing documents inadequately support effective programming instruction, particularly in terms of content knowledge. It suggests identifying key characteristics of quality programming education at each stage of compulsory schooling and engaging in discussions to establish a strong educational foundation.

Key Words: Computer programming, PCK, assessment, teacher education, professional development

Author Biography

Lena Gumaelius, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

University lecturer


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How to Cite

Bjursten, E.-L., & Gumaelius, L. (2023). How do Swedish technology teachers assess programming education in grade 4-6?. The 40th International Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology Conference Proceedings 2023, 1(October). Retrieved from