Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education - CHSE

Document Type



This research aims at deconstructing and questioning certainties about assessment as an educational institution on its most fundamental levels. To achieve that, I am utilizing theoretical frameworks inspired by concepts on the existence of cultural and social capital, by artifact mediated cognition, and by a recently proposed discipline on pedagogy of assessment. The research operates with the application of narrative synthesis and network text analysis of material, on which they have not previously been used. As such, I aim to contribute to a methodological application of both methods on exam data, understood as the totality of curricular documents which govern exams, of question sheets which make up the visible part of exams, and of endorsed exam responses which make up the concealed part of assessment. To accomplish the latter, I alternate between structural and post-structural paradigms, aiming for an integrality of both. In this work, I further provide a comparative analysis, comparing and synthesizing results from analyses on the French Baccalauréat, the German Abitur, and the US American SAT, using sources in French, German, and English. Neither the methodological mix, nor that specific comparison has been done before and I solve several issues, which arise through translation for example, through new applications of existing approaches of meta-description and categorization of textual content. The inclusion of three large scale exams from three different linguistic and cultural contexts allowed me to reflect on similarities and differences, which exist in the German, French and US-American societies, in terms of cultural or social competences students are expected to display when aiming for higher education. It also allowed me to reflect on issues arising through access, transparency and a lack thereof, which I discuss on the basis of sampling and procuring necessary texts and documents.



Committee Chair

Skinner, Kim