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Assessing Children with Specific Learning Difficulties

A teacher's practical guide

By Gad Elbeheri, Gavin Reid, John Everatt

Routledge – 2012 – 160 pages

Purchasing Options:

  • Paperback: $42.95
    978-0-415-59760-9
    October 31st 2011
    Not yet available
  • Hardback: $145.00
    978-0-415-59759-3
    July 30th 2015
    Not yet available

Description

This comprehensive book provides all the information that teachers need to know about assessment in relation to their pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties. The why, how and what of assessment will be addressed, whilst the link between assessment and intervention will also be a key focus.

Looking at the full range of Specific Learning Difficulties, this book provides practical help on implementing strategies that are tried and tested for use in any classroom. The authors address issues and topics common in inclusive classrooms around the world, including:

  • Literacy and numeracy teaching
  • Motor development and co-ordination
  • Attention factors in learning
  • The key issues on learning differences
  • Self esteem and emotional literacy
  • How to enhance skills and the self-sufficiency of teachers

This book also acknowledges that assessment is a process that involves other professionals and parents and shows how to understand and interpret the needs and work of other stakeholders.

Contents

Chapter 1

SpLD in Context – research and the implications for practice

This chapter will provide an overview of the field of SpLD and place it into the school context by looking at the implications and the issues stemming from the research, for classroom and school practice. This chapter will also identify the challenges faced by teachers and make reference to the UK ‘Common Assessment Framework’ (CAP) and the USA’s initiatives in Readiness to Intervention (RTI).

Chapter 2

Assessment – what, why and how?

This chapter will provide some basic information on assessment such as: the different types of assessment, the purpose of assessment, the differences between testing, assessment, evaluation and diagnosis, the components of assessment, who assesses and what is being assessed? The chapter will also address issues relating to the differences between full assessment and screening. The points made in this chapter will be developed in later chapters in the appropriate context, but it is important that this type of basic information is presented early in the book.

Chapter 3

The assessment process

This chapter will look at how assessment works in practice. We appreciate there are regional and national variations to this, but we will identify and describe the conventional assessment process which is essentially a stage process model. It will be important at this point to identify the role played by different professionals and how each can inform the teachers on students specific needs.

Comment will be made on some of the issues arising from this model and particularly the move towards teacher assisted assessment such as in ‘school action’ and ‘school action plus’ in the code of practice in England. This will link in with the comments made in chapter one on the common assessment framework which provides a greater role for the teacher in the assessment process.

Chapter 4

The Role of the Educational Psychologist: contextualising psychological reports.

This chapter will provide descriptive insights into interpreting psychological reports. This will include why and when psychologists should intervene, an explanation of the language and terminology used in reports and how to utilise the report in the development of IEP’s, meeting with parents and in classroom practice. The chapter will answer questions often posed by teachers such as how can I understand/interpret a psycho-educational report? How can I build the IEP from the psycho-educational report?

Chapter 5

Teacher Assessment: Literacy

This chapter will provide some examples of assessment procedures than can be used by teachers to identify difficulties in literacy and to inform practice. This will incorporate assessment strategies that can be used from the early years to upper secondary school. Although this chapter could be related to, for example, UK government policies in literacy assessment, effort will be made to make the chapter of general appeal to teachers in different countries. Examples of different policies on literacy assessment from different countries can however be used to develop the points made in the chapter. This chapter and the following three chapters will also address issues relating to the available resources for teachers’ evaluation/assessment. What teachers should look for when identifying an assessment tool and questions they may ask such as do I need to be trained to assess? How can this training be accessed? How can I link my assessment to my teaching?

Chapter 6

Teacher Assessment: Numeracy

This chapter will provide examples of assessment procedures using standardised and criteria referenced tests in the area of numeracy. There will be reference to the research in dyscalculia and how this can inform teacher assessment in this area.

Chapter 7

Teacher Assessment: Movement

This chapter will focus on dyspraxia and developmental coordination disorders and provide insights to assist the teacher in both identification and classroom accommodations. Reference can be made to the role of Occupational Therapists and how they may assist in the assessment and intervention. The main focus of this chapter however will be to provide teachers at all stages with information on dyspraxia and the implications for identification, assessment and intervention.

Chapter 8

Attention Factors

This chapter will provide insights into the implications of the literature on ADHD for the classroom teacher. There will be an emphasis on the identification of attention factors and hyperactivity from cognitive and behavioural perspectives. There will be reference to a range of assessment procedures and how these can inform practice.

Chapter 9

Self-esteem and emotional literacy

It is important that in a guide such as this emotional factors and self esteem are considered. This emphasises a holistic view of assessment incorporating the needs of the whole child. A range of procedures for self-esteem will be provided and an explanation of the importance of self-esteem in successful learning. Some link will also be made to whole school processes involving emotional literacy and the role of the school management in supporting and developing this aspect.

Chapter 10

The learning process and learning style

It is important that teachers are aware of key aspects on learning and how to make learning successful for students particularly those with SpLD. There will therefore be a focus in this chapter on how to identify student needs at the input, cognition and output stages of learning. There will also be some reference to potential impact of learning styles in both assessment and intervention.

Chapter 11

Critical appreciation of the use of sources and resources – some guidance

It is appreciated that there is an abundant of resources that can be used in assessment by teachers. Often however teachers are at a loss on what to buy and why and may in fact unwittingly seek advice from ‘far from impartial sources’. It is important that this chapter explains what to look for in a test or other assessment resource. Importantly teachers should be able to identify how they might use the resource and why it will be important to practice. This chapter will therefore link with the following chapter on developing an assessment framework as the teacher can then justify how the resource can fit into the anticipated framework for assessment.

Chapter 12

Developing an Assessment Framework

This chapter will focus on aspects of inclusion and the need to provide for all in assessment. It will assist teachers to develop a contextualised assessment procedure that can be used in their school. Examples of different frameworks will be shown and the resources that can be used thought the framework. There will also be an emphasis on developing curriculum based assessment, metacognitive assessment and observational assessment to help supplement other aspects of the assessment process. These terms will be explained and a rationale for assessment provided.

Chapter 13

Some concluding points

This chapter sum up the key points in the book and provide some guidance on how the teacher can use the book and take the ideas forward to inform their own practice. Some of the issues mentioned throughout the book will also be addressed in this chapter.

Chapter 1

SpLD in Context – research and the implications for practice

This chapter will provide an overview of the field of SpLD and place it into the school context by looking at the implications and the issues stemming from the research, for classroom and school practice. This chapter will also identify the challenges faced by teachers and make reference to the UK ‘Common Assessment Framework’ (CAP) and the USA’s initiatives in Readiness to Intervention (RTI).

Chapter 2

Assessment – what, why and how?

This chapter will provide some basic information on assessment such as: the different types of assessment, the purpose of assessment, the differences between testing, assessment, evaluation and diagnosis, the components of assessment, who assesses and what is being assessed? The chapter will also address issues relating to the differences between full assessment and screening. The points made in this chapter will be developed in later chapters in the appropriate context, but it is important that this type of basic information is presented early in the book.

Chapter 3

The assessment process

This chapter will look at how assessment works in practice. We appreciate there are regional and national variations to this, but we will identify and describe the conventional assessment process which is essentially a stage process model. It will be important at this point to identify the role played by different professionals and how each can inform the teachers on students specific needs.

Comment will be made on some of the issues arising from this model and particularly the move towards teacher assisted assessment such as in ‘school action’ and ‘school action plus’ in the code of practice in England. This will link in with the comments made in chapter one on the common assessment framework which provides a greater role for the teacher in the assessment process.

Chapter 4

The Role of the Educational Psychologist: contextualising psychological reports.

This chapter will provide descriptive insights into interpreting psychological reports. This will include why and when psychologists should intervene, an explanation of the language and terminology used in reports and how to utilise the report in the development of IEP’s, meeting with parents and in classroom practice. The chapter will answer questions often posed by teachers such as how can I understand/interpret a psycho-educational report? How can I build the IEP from the psycho-educational report?

Chapter 5

Teacher Assessment: Literacy

This chapter will provide some examples of assessment procedures than can be used by teachers to identify difficulties in literacy and to inform practice. This will incorporate assessment strategies that can be used from the early years to upper secondary school. Although this chapter could be related to, for example, UK government policies in literacy assessment, effort will be made to make the chapter of general appeal to teachers in different countries. Examples of different policies on literacy assessment from different countries can however be used to develop the points made in the chapter. This chapter and the following three chapters will also address issues relating to the available resources for teachers’ evaluation/assessment. What teachers should look for when identifying an assessment tool and questions they may ask such as do I need to be trained to assess? How can this training be accessed? How can I link my assessment to my teaching?

Chapter 6

Teacher Assessment: Numeracy

This chapter will provide examples of assessment procedures using standardised and criteria referenced tests in the area of numeracy. There will be reference to the research in dyscalculia and how this can inform teacher assessment in this area.

Chapter 7

Teacher Assessment: Movement

This chapter will focus on dyspraxia and developmental coordination disorders and provide insights to assist the teacher in both identification and classroom accommodations. Reference can be made to the role of Occupational Therapists and how they may assist in the assessment and intervention. The main focus of this chapter however will be to provide teachers at all stages with information on dyspraxia and the implications for identification, assessment and intervention.

Chapter 8

Attention Factors

This chapter will provide insights into the implications of the literature on ADHD for the classroom teacher. There will be an emphasis on the identification of attention factors and hyperactivity from cognitive and behavioural perspectives. There will be reference to a range of assessment procedures and how these can inform practice.

Chapter 9

Self-esteem and emotional literacy

It is important that in a guide such as this emotional factors and self esteem are considered. This emphasises a holistic view of assessment incorporating the needs of the whole child. A range of procedures for self-esteem will be provided and an explanation of the importance of self-esteem in successful learning. Some link will also be made to whole school processes involving emotional literacy and the role of the school management in supporting and developing this aspect.

Chapter 10

The learning process and learning style

It is important that teachers are aware of key aspects on learning and how to make learning successful for students particularly those with SpLD. There will therefore be a focus in this chapter on how to identify student needs at the input, cognition and output stages of learning. There will also be some reference to potential impact of learning styles in both assessment and intervention.

Chapter 11

Critical appreciation of the use of sources and resources – some guidance

It is appreciated that there is an abundant of resources that can be used in assessment by teachers. Often however teachers are at a loss on what to buy and why and may in fact unwittingly seek advice from ‘far from impartial sources’. It is important that this chapter explains what to look for in a test or other assessment resource. Importantly teachers should be able to identify how they might use the resource and why it will be important to practice. This chapter will therefore link with the following chapter on developing an assessment framework as the teacher can then justify how the resource can fit into the anticipated framework for assessment.

Chapter 12

Developing an Assessment Framework

This chapter will focus on aspects of inclusion and the need to provide for all in assessment. It will assist teachers to develop a contextualised assessment procedure that can be used in their school. Examples of different frameworks will be shown and the resources that can be used thought the framework. There will also be an emphasis on developing curriculum based assessment, metacognitive assessment and observational assessment to help supplement other aspects of the assessment process. These terms will be explained and a rationale for assessment provided.

Chapter 13

Some concluding points

This chapter sum up the key points in the book and provide some guidance on how the teacher can use the book and take the ideas forward to inform their own practice. Some of the issues mentioned throughout the book will also be addressed in this chapter.

Author Bio

Gavin Reid has published 24 books so far, with David Fulton, Routledge, Continuum, Wiley and Sage, and these include:

Dyslexia: A Practitioners Handbook, 4th edition (Wiley)

Dyslexia: A Complete Guide for Parents (Wiley, 2004)

Dyslexia and Inclusion (Routledge/David Fulton, 2005)

Motivating Learners in the Classroom: Ideas and Strategies (Sage, 2007)

Learning Styles and Inclusion (Sage, 2005)

100 Ideas for supporting pupils with Dyslexia (Continuum)

Dyslexia: A Teaching Assistants Handbook (Continuum)

Effective Learning: Ideas into Action (Continuum, 2009)

Name: Assessing Children with Specific Learning Difficulties: A teacher's practical guide (Paperback)Routledge 
Description: By Gad Elbeheri, Gavin Reid, John Everatt. This comprehensive book provides all the information that teachers need to know about assessment in relation to their pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties. The why, how and what of assessment will be addressed, whilst the link between assessment...
Categories: Inclusion and Special Educational Needs, Assessment & Testing, Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia