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On-going assessment of learning in inclusive settings - France

Common procedures for every pupil with special educational needs.

The analysis of good assessment practices enables us to highlight three main points such as:

The importance of the choice of assessment tools

In a communication  about the UDN II test  Françoise Duquesne, mathematics teacher and trainer at the National Center (CNEFEI), draws our attention to the importance to be given to the choice of assessment tools used.  She takes as an example a pupil with specific problems with mathematics, more particularly problems inherent in a neurological pathology, and gives us the characteristics of good practice in this field. “Although it is important”, she says, “during an initial stage to give traditional tests without changing them and in accordance with the usual conditions of passing from one school year to the next in order to be able to compare the child’s successes and failures to a standard, it is fundamental at the second stage, if we want to act effectively, to seek to understand what the various performances observed reveal”. More than trying to place a pupil with  respect to a standard, she stresses the utility of identifying in a failure what results from difficulties due to the child’s pathology  and likely to interfere in the completion of the task.  Moreover, once the diagnosis has been made concerning instrumental difficulties, she believes that it is indispensable to examine the content of mathematical knowledge by varying the complexity of the problems. A diagnosis is thus established on the basis of the comparison of all the performances in different contexts which will make it possible to better adapt pedagogical and re-educational programs. 

Validity of assessments

We shall refer to the works of M. Fayol  on the questions of the validity of assessments.  A good practice requires raising questions about what one is evaluating.  Indeed, it happens that the tasks proposed are not what we believe them to be. M. Fayol takes the example of children with an instrumental or language disability.  These children, who from the very start run up against problems of acquiring information, cannot therefore carry out the required conceptual activity in the type of exercise chosen. 

The role of the teacher with respect to different specialised professionals

Good assessment practices of the skills and needs of a pupil with special educational needs are those which reveal the specific character of the teacher’s function. Providing education to a disabled pupil requires teamwork between teachers and specialists. So one might be tempted to believe that on one side there are practitioners and on the other side specialists.  In fact, we see that when a fruitful dialogue is created it is because the teachers (class teachers or specialist teachers) were able to use their didactic and pedagogical skills when confronted with medical, psychological, or neuropsychological approaches.



  • Françoise Duquesne, UDN II test, Sixth European Congress of Psychology, 1999, Rome, Italy. UDN II test:  Use of the number.
  • Fayol.M. L’enfant et le nombre Delachaux and Niestlé, 1990.
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