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Features of best assessment practice - Iceland

Features of best practise in assessment in inclusive primary classroom as we see it in Iceland are when:

  • The assess policy is written and has a connection to all pupils learning and teaching of all pupils
  • Practises where social skills are of importance and therefore also included in the curriculum and the assessment processes.
  • The school has the attitude, realises that collaboration with pupils and parents yields benefits and can have a very good effect upon the child’s schooling.
  • Pupils and parents are formally involved in the reflection and assessment process.
  • Teacher and other professionals working in the classroom, like classroom assistant, developmental therapist or speech therapist work jointly and have joint responsibility for the assessment where appropriate.
  • Peers take part in the assessment also.
  • Objectives in the pupil’s studies are set collaboratively by the teacher, parents and child.
  • The pupil learns through the assessment, sees where he/she is doing well and where he/she must improve, and the way to go about it.
  • Assessment helps the pupil to take responsibility for his/her studies, and motivates him/her.
  • Bonds with the parents are established, so that they can monitor, and promote the child’s better performance and well-being, by creating the right conditions for study at home.
  • The assessment is constant, analytical, multidimensional and is connected to the teaching.
  • Assessment is formative with participation by the pupils themselves in assessment, using portfolio assessment and various kinds of pupil led conferences.
  • Various ways are in assessment and inquiry, such as video recording, diary writing, verbal reflection, interviews, questionnaires, study of documents.
  • Teachers, pupils and parents have access to some kind of rubrics and attainment marks where goals or objectives of pupil’s work in school are clear to all participants. 

Other aspects we find useful are on location and methods. In inclusive settings there are often two teachers in the classroom. There is often a small room connected to the classroom, to which pupils and teachers or therapists have access for group work or individual work.  Methods of assessment found useful in inclusive settings are various types of portfolio assessment and pupil, teacher and parent conferences.

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