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People involved in assessment - France

Role of pupils

Those assessment practices that make the child the active agent of the process, that enhance the child’s commitment in his real practice of activities, that include a citizenship dimension can be called good assessment practices.

Let us take, for example, a practice  described by Thierry Bourgoin, a sports and physical education teacher and trainer at the National Center (CNEFEI).  His experiment, which took place in a specialised environment but which can certainly be transposed to an ordinary class, was with children suffering from mental problems.  T. Bourgoin sought to design an assessment that would be significant for his pupils in a physical education class. The assessment takes place in two stages - halfway through the class and at the end of the class. Physical activities are stopped for a few minutes so that each pupil can assign a color to each one of the members of the group.  The criteria matching each color are explained beforehand.  Then a time for interactive dialogue is proposed.  A tendency emerges during the discussion and is expressed by the color chosen collectively.  A written record is kept on paper in colored form.  The changes between the middle and the end of the class are expressed orally by the teacher and this makes it possible to initiate the next class.

This assessment practice in an ordinary class enables a pupil with mental problems to become aware of his behaviour through the eyes of others.  The regulation carried out by the teacher leads the other children of the class to qualify their judgments.  Lastly, this assessment includes a preventive aspect. 

Role of parents

In general when a personalised plan is prepared for a child either in connection with major scholastic difficulties or because of a deficiency that generates a situation of disability, the parents are requested to express their opinions at meetings organised with all the persons involved. We shall relate here an example of good practice that shows how you can enable parents to be truly active participants in the process of evaluating their child’s skills and needs. We shall refer to the article by Nicolas Favez and Eric Métral . The purpose is for specialised professionals to take, with parents, a decision concerning the scholastic orientation of four year old children who have been diagnosed as having neurological and sometimes psychiatric problems.  The practice described seeks to establish an egalitarian relationship between teachers and specialised professionals.  To this end an instrument of assessment is placed at their disposal. Afterwards the results obtained by the various participants are compared so that a joint decision may be taken.  This practice, explained to the participants, helps the parents bring their children closer to them psychically by strengthening their feeling of competence.

Team work

Here we shall comment on the work  accomplished between the psychologist, the doctor and specialist teachers to create a tool to evaluate learning difficulties.  The purpose was to make a concrete link between the data on the child’s neuropsychology related to learning difficulties and the pedagogical initiatives conducted in the classroom in order to improve the identification of these problems and the way of dealing with them in school. The objective of the grid of observation co-elaborated is twofold, to enable the teacher to identify the nature and degree of his pupil’s difficulties on the one hand and to serve as a basis for work between the teacher and the different specialists who work with the child (school doctor and psychologist, RASED, re-educators, specialised consultation).  The point is neither to lead the teacher to make a diagnosis nor to replace a specific assessment, but rather to update alarms signals, the first step toward a targeted multi-subject initiative.

Personalised integration plan: co-operation between the child psychiatrist, teacher, and educational auxiliary.

We shall take the example of a child attending an ordinary CE2 class, suffering from Asperger syndrome. During meetings held in the framework of the personalised plan the different participants, the child psychiatrist, the teacher and the parents provided a written guide to specify the role of the educational auxiliary with regard to the pupil.  This guide included the observations of the doctor, the teacher and the parents, and included a column reserved for descriptions of possible initiatives on the part of the educational auxiliary. It constituted moreover, an assessment tool which was to be used at future regulation meetings.

 

Sources:

  • Review EPS, July August 2004, n° 308.
  • « Le partenariat entre parents et professionnels dans l’évaluation du développement de l’enfant porteur de déficience»,. Review Pédagogie spécialisée 4/2002 November 2002 published by the Swiss Secretariat of curative and specialised pedagogy. 
  • « Pourquoi c’est pas juste ?Outil d’observation des aptitudes et difficultés scolaires de l’élève du cycle 2 » Bilan neurologique et démarche pédagogique, Lyon,2002.
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