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Coming dissertations at Uppsala university

  • Validität und schriftliche Sprachkompetenz : Eine Studie zur Bewertung schriftlicher Leistungen im Fach Deutsch an schwedischen Schulen Author: Maria Håkansson Ramberg Link: Publication date: 2021-11-26 13:14

    Validity is a fundamental aspect of quality within the field of testing and assessment. Despite this fact, little research has been conducted on the validity of written assessment in a Swedish educational context and even less regarding assessment in an additional foreign language. In particular, there is little work on teachers’ scoring and the relation between ratings of students’ performances in upper secondary education and the external reference levels of the CEFR, the widely used framework from Council of Europe. 

    Against this background, the present study was designed with the aim of examining the validity of the assessment of students’ written language proficiency in German at different steps according to the Swedish school system. The focus is on (1) raters’ construct conceptualisation, (2) inter-rater consistency of the Swedish raters, and (3) the relationship between Swedish ratings and ratings at a B1 level of the CEFR. The student data comprise 60 texts written in L2 German by Swedish upper secondary school students in courses aiming for three different steps of the national curriculum. The essays were scored by (a) students’ own teachers, b) external Swedish raters using Swedish national performance standards and (c) external CEFR raters in terms of the B1 level of the CEFR. Analysis of scores and rater comments were based on qualitative and quantitative methods, for example qualitative data analysis (QDA) and descriptive, correlational and reliability statistics. 

    The results were analysed in relation to theoretical concepts of validity and central validation frameworks. The findings show that raters pay attention to a wide range of aspects in students’ written proficiency, although, to some extent, different interpretations of how student texts should be evaluated in relation to the national performance standards and a tendency to comment more on certain aspects could be observed. Analyses of inter-rater consistency indicate that the ablitity of Swedish raters to rank students’ performances is satisfactory, but that there are challenges in reaching general agreement, especially for intermediate and higher scores. Additionally, the results suggest that a pass level of Tyska 5 at upper secondary school is roughly equivalent to a B1-level of the CEFR. Finally, the thesis highlights the importance of rater training and discussions about assessment as part of strengthening teachers’ professional assessment competence. By exploring validity from different perspectives, the study provides a more complete picture of learner written assessment in an additional foreign language in Sweden and contributes to a deepened conceptual understanding of validity aspects within a Swedish educational context.

  • Transforming Kiruna : Producing Space, Society, and Legacies of Inequality in the Swedish Ore Fields Author: Elisa Maria López Link: Publication date: 2021-11-26 12:36

    Extractive resources industries are irreversibly transforming land, air, water, life and society around the world at an unprecedented rate, and Sweden is no exception. This anthropological study analyzes acute issues related to this transformation:  the resettlement of six thousand residents of the city of Kiruna due to ground deformations caused by large-scale iron mining by the Swedish state-owned company LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB). The thesis explains how mining, the dominant mode of production in the Ore Fields (Malmfälten) region, establishes particular social relations, structures of power, and conceptual models of space, nature, and society. I approach these relations and ideas through the perspective of space, and show how space in Kiruna is produced through social processes, material infrastructures, symbols and meaning-making in support of extractivism, the political and economic prioritization of resource extraction. The empirical basis of the work is fifteen months of ethnographic field research in Kiruna between 2012 and 2015. The analysis relies on theories of space in Anthropology and Geography, as well as ideas from settler colonial studies. A central argument in the study is that despite official representations of the city move as a “social transformation”, the physical, conceptual, and social production of space extends material and social inequalities integral to extractivism. While all city residents are affected by the insecurity and risks of extractivism, which the city move revealed, the Indigenous Sámi community is uniquely affected. Sámi from the Kiruna area have historically been subjected to colonial policy, limits on their subsistence economy, displacement from land, and harmful stereotypes. However, Sámi have also continually resisted such limitations and stereotypes, adopting diverse forms of work to support reindeer herding (including mine work), establishing urban community spaces, and documenting and preserving local cultural landscapes. The move of the city reveals that such legacies of social inequality, which have been a part of the establishment of mining, persevere in social relations, ideas, and material architectures that form space in and around Kiruna. Providing ethnographic detail and analysis of the reproduction of extractivism and its inherent inequalities in spatial practices, this study contributes to the anthropological literature on space, resource extraction, and social inequality.

  • Diet and common neurological disorders: cohort studies on dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke Author: Erika Olsson Link: Publication date: 2021-11-26 08:35

    Risk factors for dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke have been widely studied but there are still research gaps concerning the role of diet for the development of these diseases. The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate whether various aspects of diet are associated with common disorders and diseases in the brain. 

    Paper I and II are based on the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM). Paper III and IV are based on the Swedish Mammography Cohort (SMC) and the Cohort of Swedish Men (COSM). 

    In paper I, we investigated the associations between three different dietary patterns and incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), dementia, and cognitive impairment. We observed no associations between adherence to the Healthy Diet Indicator and any of the outcomes studied, or between adherence to a Mediterranean-like diet (mMDS) and AD or dementia. There was a tendency towards a lower risk of cognitive impairment with higher adherence to the mMDS, and a weak association between adherence to a Low Carbohydrate High Protein score and higher risk of all-type dementia. Overall, there were no strong associations with the studied dietary patterns and development of dementia or cognitive impairment. 

    In paper II, we found no associations of vitamin D measured as vitamin D intake, plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, or a vitamin D synthesis genetic risk score with incident AD, vascular dementia, dementia, or performance in the Mini-Mental State Examination.

    In paper III, we observed a weak higher risk of PD associated with milk consumption but there was no dose-response relationship. Thus, this association needs to be interpreted with caution. Fermented milk intake was not associated with PD.

    In paper IV, we found that a higher long-term milk consumption based on repeated measures of intake was not associated with total stroke, weakly and non-linearly associated with lower risk of cerebral infarction and higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Fermented milk consumption was not associated with any stroke type. Our results highlight the importance of repeated measurements of food intake, separate analyses of milk and fermented milk consumption, and to study stroke types separately.

    Despite the lack of strong associations, the findings of this thesis have increased our knowledge about the potential role of overall diet, vitamin D, and milk and fermented consumption in the prevention or development of common neurodegenerative diseases and stroke.