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Features of best assessment practice - Finland

Inclusion is about the educational equity and equality. Every pupil in the country should be able to receive support with their studies equally, regardless of where she/he lives, the school she/he goes to etc. To guarantee equal opportunities for all pupils in education we need effective agents in the different levels of the educational system. The fundamental agents in the educational system are policy makers (legislative framework and steering), municipalities (local strategies and models) and teachers (attitude and competence to meet different kinds of learners). Inclusion is also a matter of life long learning. The appropriate individual support has to be achieved in all levels of education: from pre- primary school to adult education. It is crucial that evaluation and assessment functions effectively at all levels in order to achieve positive changes in educational practice. It is important that both external and internal evaluation function well and equally important, the tools of self-evaluation.

The development of inclusive practices has been going on for many years in Finnish schools. Positive results have been reached but there are still many steps to be taken in guaranteeing well functioning learning environments for all. Below is a list of some areas that need to be looked at in the future:

  • How we assess/evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of special educational intervention.
  • How we can produce precise national and regional information on the actual educational needs of the pupils. (to develop appropriate services for pupils with SEN)
  • How we can use the different kinds of assessment tools we already have more extensively especially in initial and on-going assessment.
  • How we can create new diagnostic tools to recognise the risk factors of learning difficulties and to prevent pupils dropping out of school.
  • How we can provide appropriate and immediate support on the basis of the assessment information we have produced.
  • How we can develop multi-professional team work in assessment
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