chapter  6
28 Pages

The assessment of pupils with special educational needs: giving effect to the principles of inclusivity in practice

ByAlicia Curtin, Kevin Cahill, Kathy Hall, Dan O’Sullivan, Kamil Özerk

This chapter discusses the influence of particular conceptualisations of learning and attainment on the assessment of special educational needs with specific reference to the assessment of special educational needs amongst pupils. It also discusses the shifts in perspective necessary to develop inclusive assessment practices predicated on inclusive principles. Straddling social, cultural and linguistic boundaries, various causes give rise to special educational needs among pupils: physical, emotional, behavioural and cognitive. The psycho-medical and biopsychosocial conceptualisations of assessment adopt different approaches toward determinations of special educational needs. For pupils with special educational needs, who may have had a history of failure in the past, opportunities to ignite curiosity and enhance their levels of independence, engagement and self-actualisation, represent central educational goals. Accessibility refers to the degree to which pupils are given the opportunity to participate in and engage the curriculum, acquire requisite skills and learn the necessary content, and demonstrate their learning through facilitated access to assessment processes.