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Learning and teaching - Switzerland

The goal of assessment in inclusive classrooms is to achieve effective adaptive instruction. Diagnostic information based on assessment processes is used to adapt instructional strategies and methods to the requirements of a pupil with special educational needs.

Several individuals work together in an inclusive classroom to create a professional educational environment. Inclusive teaching calls for difficult and complex teamwork.

Two problems often create barriers to this enterprise:

  • The challenge of co-operation and co-ordinations.
  • The lack of professionalism.

The problem of cooperation and coordination

To begin with, the assessment results of school psychologists or former teachers are not always handed over to the responsible teacher. Often, remedial or class teachers have little or no knowledge of their pupils assessment results. 

The lack of professionalism

Furthermore, regular classroom teachers and remedial teachers as well as school psychologists have little expertise in applying assessment strategies for adaptive instruction.

In addition, not all persons involved in inclusive teaching share a common apprecia¬tion of the diagnostic value of assessment in education. Some regular class teachers and even some SEN-teachers prefer not to use diagnostic information in order to avoid bias in their work, with pupils. However, most specialists consider a professional assessment informative and helpful.

In addition, the selection function of assessment is carried out at different levels. Although the official policy is to assign grades in relation to achieved learning targets, many teachers use ratings based on the average attainment of their class. 

As a reaction to this situation, most teacher training institutions (in Switzerland: Universities of Applied Sciences of Education) have included elements of special needs education in the regular teacher training curricula.

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