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On-going assessment of learning in inclusive settings - Denmark

As mentioned above - apart from the grading system and the final exams, we have not until 2006, where laws about national testing are expected to be passed, yet any common national assessment policies in Denmark. The disappointing results from PISA have spurred the debate, and it was strengthened by a review (OECD, 2004b) promoting better assessment strategies and earlier intervention for pupils with special educational needs.

In 2004, The Danish Evaluation Institute published a report about on-going (or formative) assessment, available from www.eva.dk, in Danish only, but the Evaluation Institute web site is also available in English. This report concludes, amongst others, that the on-going/formative assessment method is little known in Danish schools, and that the role of the class teacher is a focal point of criticism to be dealt with. This means that it is mainly the class teacher who decides whether or not on-going assessments are performed. The same conclusion is found in the “Good examples” report, which is described later on. 

The debate is widespread and prevails in a lot of different media and on different levels. For example, we have debate programmes on radio and television about the inclusive school. Assessment is subject for political discussions and amongst school professionals in particular, where the development of an “assessment culture” is lively discussed. But there are no discussions about the possible correlation between inclusion and different assessment methods.

One of the main questions has been to find out whether we need a “test culture” or an “assessment culture”. Some perceive these cultures as two of the same kind; others prefer to distinguish between them.

 

Sources:

  • OECD (2004b): Policies and outcomes. Paris, EDU. EC.
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