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On-going assessment of learning in inclusive settings - Norway

The challenges being faced in Norway are to ensure education for all pupils within the framework of adapted and inclusive education. The concepts of "adapted" and "inclusive" are keywords in understanding the principles behind the education offered. The education must be adapted to all pupils as individuals. In addition, the arrangement of this must occur within the community in common, i.e. at the mainstream schools, in the ordinary classes. This means both in theory as well as in practice that all pupils, also pupils with special educational needs, will be gathered together within the same classroom. The offering of adapted education for all pupils can be seen as one of the great challenges being faced. This challenge is highlighted in the present reform. A quote in this connection from Norwegian Parliamentary White Paper No. 30: 

Equally valuable, inclusive and adapted education are the top-level principles in the schools. ... An identical offer to everyone does not give an offer of equal value to all. In order to give an offer of equal value to all, the school must a varied and differentiated education. ... The right to adapted education can be looked after within the educational framework or in the form of special needs education. ... Special needs education is a right for pupils who neither have received nor are able to receive satisfactory benefits from the mainstream education. 

Furthermore, the White Paper asserts: 

It is however a clear goal for special needs education to be necessary for a lower percentage of pupils than is the case today.

The work with the Norwegian curriculum has three parts. The curriculum for primary and lower secondary schools and higher secondary schools, general part is a national, top-level governing document that contains the superstructure in terms of values, culture and knowledge for basic education. This was adopted by the Storting in 1993 and will continue with its present content. In addition, work is on-going preparing new curricula for all subjects. It is a requirement of the new plans that measurements for fundamental skills be incorporated into all subjects, on the terms of the subject. Fundamental skills are described as being able to express oneself verbally, being able to read, being able to express oneself in writing, being able to calculate and being able to use digital tools. In addition, the curricula must contain goals for competence in the subjects that should be able to be attained. The third part of the work on the curriculum is described as a framework developed in order to meet the challenges that the school are facing today. This framework has been named The School Poster and describes some fundamental principles and requirements that must characterise all schools and other educational locales. In the context of assessments in adapted and inclusive education, requirements can be emphasised that the school must give all pupils equal opportunities to develop their abilities and talents, stimulate the desire of the pupils to learn, stimulate the pupils to develop their own learning strategies and to promote differentiated learning and varied manners of working. The general part, The School Poster and the curricula for subjects are all grounded in regulations.

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