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Leveraging large-scale assessments for effective and equitable school practices: The case of the Nordic countries

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Special issue editors:

Nani Teig, Univeristy of Olso - Lead Guest Editor
Isa Steinmann, University of Olso - Lead Guest Editor

What makes a school practice effective and equitable for all students? The answer to this question is the Holy Grail of educational research. Researchers seek  to find out how different aspects of school systems—including teacher competence, school characteristics, and educational policies—can be optimized to provide excellent learning opportunities across different groups of students. New knowledge about effective and equitable school practices is essential for evidence-based policymaking that focuses on improving student outcomes and closing the gap in educational inequality. The implementation of national and international large-scale assessments has opened manifold unique research opportunities that contribute to answering this question. Many of these research endeavors require large datasets that encompass numerous schools and allow comparisons across countries or developments over time. Large-scale assessments collect valuable repeated-measurement data using representative samples, which offers the potential to inform educational policy and practice based on generalizable findings.

This special issue aims at utilizing both national and international large-scale assessments to gain a better understanding of what makes school practices effective and equitable. The use of Nordic countries as a showcase is crucial, since these countries have very similar historical, cultural, and economic characteristics, which implies that schools and teachers work under somewhat comparable conditions. Nevertheless, the Nordic countries show very different results in the large-scale assessments across subject areas and trends over time. These results indicate that the Nordic education systems are not as similar as one might expect. The special issue will therefore offer valuable knowledge about effective and equitable school practices from this showcase of the Nordic countries. The knowledge drawn from the Nordic showcase will also be relevant for international education systems. Given the recent sharp increase in educational inequalities due to the pandemic, such knowledge takes an even greater urgency than ever before.

Submission instructions

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for Large-scale Assessments in Education. The complete manuscript should be submitted through the journal submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct thematic series please select “Leveraging large-scale assessments for effective and equitable school practices” in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the thematic series on series title. All submissions will be subject to a double-blind peer review, and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection of papers.

Submissions will also benefit from the usual advantages of open access publication:

Rapid publication: Online submission, electronic peer review and production make the process of publishing your article simple and efficient

High visibility and international readership in your field: Open access publication ensures high visibility and maximum exposure for your work - anyone with online access can read your article

No space constraints: Publishing online means unlimited space for figures, extensive data and video footage, licensing the article under a Creative Commons license: articles can be freely redistributed and reused as long as the article is correctly attributed.

Submission deadline: 31 December 2021.


  1. Teacher-student interactions are crucial in understanding the role of a supportive climate in instructional practices. The present study investigates the perceptions of 15-year-old Nordic students regarding fo...

    Authors: Anubha Rohatgi, Ove E. Hatlevik and Julius K. Björnsson
    Citation: Large-scale Assessments in Education 2022 10:12
  2. A variety of studies point to a deterioration of educational equity in Sweden and increasing school segregation with respect to achievement and socioeconomic composition. Some schools are resilient to socioeco...

    Authors: Deborah Elin Siebecke and Maria Jarl
    Citation: Large-scale Assessments in Education 2022 10:11

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Society affiliation

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Large-scale Assessments in Education is fully sponsored by IERI, the IEA-ETS Research Institute, a collaborative effort between the Research & Development Division at ETS and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) that focuses on improving the science of large-scale assessments. Authors do not need to pay an article-processing charge.