Exploring the assessment process in an inclusive classroom : a case study

Kuhnert, Annalise (2003-03)

Thesis (Med) -- Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A problem facing many educators in inclusive classrooms is the process of assessment. This study explores the assessment process in an inclusive classroom (that is, classroom-based assessment) and the learners' experience of it. A qualitative research study was done at a private (community) primary school, using a case study approach. A combination of data collection and analysis methods was used. The qualitative nature and context of the study prohibit generalisations and confine findings largely to this study. Assessment is a broad subject touching almost all aspects of education. There have been many influences on assessment practice and the background to assessment was examined to identify these influences and the debates around assessment practice. What emerged was that assessment has many purposes linked mainly to the motivation for doing assessment and assumptions about learning. Essentially the debate centres on the purpose of assessment in education and the need to change the way it is viewed and used. Traditional assessment practice was influenced enormously by intelligence testing and historically its main role has been evaluating learning outcomes for the purpose of certification and selection. This purpose has obscured the role of assessment in facilitating learning. Recent research has indicated its importance in this respect. As our views of learning change, so the need to change our approach to assessment arises. Inclusion also challenges our education practices and the assumptions we make about the learning process. Learning is a complex process that is influenced by many factors including context. Assessment should thus be used in support of learning, rather than just indicating current or past achievement. Many learners especially those experiencing barriers to learning are frustrated with the assessment process, which often discriminates against them. Research shows that assessment is not just about grading and evaluation but also about understanding the individual and the process. Planning an effective education programme should thus include planning effective assessment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Assessering in die inklusiewe klaskamer is 'n bron van bekommernis vir baie opvoeders. Die assesseringsproses in 'n inklusiewe klas en leerders se belewenis daarvan word in hierdie werkstuk ondersoek. 'n Kwalitatiewe navorsingstudie is in 'n privaat (gemeenskap) primêreskool deur middel van 'n gevallestudie gedoen om die assesseringsproses in 'n inklusiewe klas te verken. 'n Saamgestelde aantal dataversamelings- en ontledingsmetodes is gebruik. Die konteks en kwalitatiewe aard van die studie beperk die bevindinge en verhoed dus veralgemenings. Assessering dek 'n breë vakgebied wat heelwat aspekte van opvoeding aanraak. Daar was baie invloede op die assesseringspraktyk, en die agtergrond daarvan, asook die debatte hieromtrent is ondersoek. Wat voorgekom het, is dat daar heelwat redes aangevoer word om assessering te doen, wat meestal gekoppel is aan die motivering vir assessering, en/of vooropgestelde idees rondom die leerproses. Hoofsaaklik draai die debatte om die doel van assessering in opvoeding en die noodsaaklikheid daarvan om die sienswyse en gebruik daarvan te verander. Tradisionele assesseringspraktyke is heelwat deur intelligensietoetsing beïnvloed en was histories behep met evaluering van leeruitkomstes met die hoofdoelop sertifisering en keuring. Dié manier van assessering het die leerproses oorskadu en verduister. Onlangse navorsing dui op die belangrikheid hiervan. Soos ons sienswyse van leer verander, so ook moet ons benadering tot assessering verander. Insluiting bied 'n uitdaging aan ons onderwyspraktyk en ons voorveronderstellinge aangaande die leerproses. Leer is 'n ingewikkelde proses wat deur baie faktore, insluitend konteksverband, beïnvloed word. Assessering moet as ondersteuning vir die leerproses gebruik word en nie net om huidige en vorige prestasie aan te dui nie. Baie leerders, veral dié wat leerhindernisse ondervind, vind die assesseringsproses frustrerend en bevooroordeeld. Navorsing toon dat assessering nie net oor gradering en evaluering gaan nie, maar ook oor 'n begrip van die persoon en proses. Doeltreffende onderrigprogrambeplanning noodsaak dus ook effektiewe assesseringsbeplanning.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97584
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