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Assessment practice: introduction - France

Good practices for the assessment of pupils with special educational needs are practices that are not limited to placing a pupil in relation to a standard, but rather play a formative role for the pupil, make the pupil an active participant, and put the pupil in a situation of progress.  Good practices require raising the question of the appropriateness of the tools used, the methods of implementation, and the tasks proposed after a fine analysis of the pupil's procedures and mistakes.  Lastly, good practices integrate the contributions of other professionals and include the child’s parents.

In France laws are very motivated towards the field of assessment, to succeed in managing the heterogeneity inherent in every class and at the same time develop inclusive schools.  We welcome the development observed in the field of educating disabled pupils in an ordinary environment. We can even speak of a reversal in the trend as in 2001 a total of 96 000 disabled pupils attended classes in an ordinary environment, whereas in 2004 the total was 133 800.  In terms of assessment practices however, assessment is still marked by a normative approach even if we can find innovative practices here and there. It seems that if we want these practices to help develop inclusive schools, this problem would have to be approached in a much deeper way in the framework of initial teacher training.

Proposals and wishes: It would be interesting to define a “European” typology of innovative assessment practices, to identify certain ones that can be filmed, to produce a CD ROM which would be used as a training tool for teachers.

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