ERG SES E 01, Inclusive Education
Effective inclusion is an approach that promotes that all students should have opportunities to achieve high academic outcomes. While international agencies and authors agree on the purpose of inclusive education as giving all learners the opportunity to participate and learn in education, little attention has been paid to how the assessment system can help to enable achievement. Hence, inclusive education as enabling opportunities for all children to be challenged and to achieve, understood as making academic progress, could be neglected in policies and practices.
Models for approaching inclusion in educational assessment do not agree with what inclusive assessment is and how to conduct it. Moreover, when the assessment is rooted in a continuous cycle of teaching, learning and assessment that takes place several times during the academic year, it also needs to account for coherence with the pedagogy and manage quality on assessment outcomes for all students. Therefore, this literature review inquired what are the different approaches to inclusive assessment, and how they could inform the summative classroom assessment practice.
Based on the affirmative model of disability, this review is grounded that differences between learners are natural and welcome. Thus, the nature of this research is that inclusion means to enable best practices for all students in the range of ability and disability, without labeling categories of Special Educational Needs or Disability. In this sense, this study addresses classroom assessment as a systematically overlooked aspect at a secondary school level, that needs to be transformed to account for students differences and also ensure quality of the outcomes. Thus, I will inquire a fundamental structural problem of equal opportunity for all students. The lack of research on the summative classroom assessment practice could have led to perpetuating that those considered capable of high achievements can benefit from education and go beyond into higher education, while those who struggle due to the endless circumstances that affect how students engage with learning and assessment, may systematically suffer from exclusion. In this respect, inclusive education involves a process of reform and restructuring the school system as a whole to prevent and act against all forms of exclusion, as the basis for equalising opportunities for all learners to participate and make academic progress.
This research contributes to enriching current approaches to inclusive assessment as a matter of social justice, understood as the movement towards a just education for everyone, for which equity and human rights should be the focus for culture, policy and practice. Thus, inclusion is a collective challenge in which all children have equal rights to be valued as skillful learners. Understanding different approaches to challenges to naturally teach and assess different learners provides an ideology on the classroom that overcomes discrimination and exclusion related to the students’ deficits from normality and its corresponding pathology labeling. In this way, discourses on social model of disability focused on how to manage social arrangements to welcome diversity can lead to developing current transformative model of social justice provides a lens to critically analyse how the ideologies of the difference and otherness based on students’ ability are co-constructed, can provide meaningful information on possibilities to transform the practice for equal educational rights and opportunities for all children.
This study emerges from the absence of an agreed model of classroom assessment and grading system, able to account for its current uses and purposes for all learners in the range of ability and disability. To develop horizontal coherence between inclusive curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, inclusive classroom assessments ought to agree on the levels of support provided during classroom teaching. For this purpose, I conducted a literature review, looking for theoretical and empirical research literature that could enlight how to deliver the inclusive assessment practice. I used the following strategy to find, interpret and organise the literature: a) a keyword search b) review of abstract against relevance for this study c) full read of the selected literature d) a snowball search using the references from qualified studies. The search was restricted to articles published from 2006 onwards, full-text available in English. The databases were: ERIC (EBSCO) and Web of Science. The search protocols were the following: Inclusi* AND classroom assess* SEN AND classroom assess* Evidence-based research papers and theoretical works that do not have direct applicability to classroom assessment at secondary school level were disregarded.
I evaluated current approaches to inclusive assessment as providing all students with the opportunity to achieve. I found few approaches on how to develop summative classroom assessment that could enable achievement for all, but still needs to be inquired from the quality of the outcomes as educational assessment relevant for the pedagogy. The methods presented as hierarchical approaches to inclusivity in assessment lack empirical research that can account for making assessment accessible, appropriate and accurately reporting relevant learning outcomes of all children. The findings are the following: 1. Universally designed systems are assessments designed to be accessible to the full range of diverse learners, reducing the need for differentiation. This is the most inclusive approach to assessment, as it does not target certain students, but rather offers equitable use for all. Universally Design Assessment (UDA) can enable achievement for all by designing assessment tasks that reduce construct-irrelevant information, bias, time constraints and any misleading elements that could hinder accessibility. 2. Access arrangements or assessment accommodations are the most common approach to increasing accessibility for designated examinees. In this sense, minor modifications to the time, scheduling, format or response methods can be made for students with SEN, but they still work to the same learning standards as their peers. Eligibility and procedures are specified in each country policy for the large-scale test, which means that approaches to classroom assessment lie at a school level. 3. Alternative forms of assessment like dynamic assessment and use of portfolios can also broaden participation for students designated as having high and very high needs, as substantial changes to the assessment task or the learning outcomes. In the first case, the assessment process radically changes, meanwhile in the second, even the learning outcomes are different.
Allan, J., 2010. The sociology of disability and the struggle for inclusive education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 31(5), pp.603–619. Armstrong, F. & Barton, L., 2007. Policy, Experience and Change and the Challenge of Inclusive Education: The Case of England. In Policy, Experience and Change: Cross-Cultural Reflections on Inclusive Education. Springes Netherlands. Artiles, A.J., Harris-Murri, N. & Rostenberg, D., 2006. Inclusion as Social Justice: Critical Notes on Discourses, Assumptions, and the Road Ahead. Theory Into Practice, 45(3), pp.260–268. Ballard, K., 2012. Inclusion and social justice: teachers as agents of change. In S. Carrington & J. Macarthur, eds. Teaching in inclusive school communities. Queensland: John Wiley & Sons Australia. Bauman, Z., 1997. Postmodernity and its Discontents., Wiley. Florian, L., 2017. Achievement and inclusion in schools 2nd ed., Routledge. Kefallinou, A. & Donnelly, V., 2016. Inclusive Assessment: Issues and Challenges for Policy and Practice. In Implementing Inclusive Education: Issues in Bridging the Policy-Practice Gap. Manchester: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 209–227. Kelly, D.M. & Brandes, G.M., 2008. Equitable Classroom Assessment: Promoting Self-Development and Self-Determination. Interchange, 39(1), pp.49–76. McLeskey, J. et al., 2014. What are effective inclusive schools and why are they important. In Handbook of effective inclusive schools. Routledge, pp. 3–16. O’hanlon, C., 2003. Policy, social justice and inclusion. In Educational Inclusion as Action Research. Open University Press. Shepard, L.A., Penuel, W.R. & Pellegrino, J.W., 2017. Using Learning and Motivation Theories to Coherently Link Formative Assessment, Grading Practices, and Large-Scale Assessment. In NCME Special Conference on Classroom Assessment and Large-Scale Psychometrics: The Twain Shall Meet. Lawrence: The Achievement & Assessment Institute. Slee, R., 2001. Social justice and the changing directions in educational research: the case of inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 5(2–3), pp.167–177. Terzi, L., 2008. Justice and equality in education: a capability perspective on disability and special educational needs, Continuum. Thomas, G., 2012. A review of thinking and research about inclusive education policy, with suggestions for a new kind of inclusive thinking. British Educational Research Journal, 39(3), pp.1–18. Wedell, K., 2008. INCLUSION: Confusion about inclusion: patching up or system change? British Journal of Special Education, 35(3), pp.127–135.
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