miun.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Re-assessing the current assessment practice of children with special education needs in Europe
Univ Antwerp, Fac Med, Daffodil Project, Dept Primary & Interdisciplinary Care, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium .
Univ Babes Bolyai, Dept Psychol, R-3400 Cluj Napoca, Romania .
Univ Babes Bolyai, Dept Appl Psychol, Cluj Napoca 400084, Romania .
Univ Szeged, Ctr Mediated Learning, Budapest, Hungary .
Show others and affiliations
2012 (English)In: School Psychology International, ISSN 0143-0343, E-ISSN 1461-7374, Vol. 33, no 1, 69-92 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reports the results of the European "DAFFODIL" (Dynamic Assessment of Functioning and Oriented at Development and Inclusive Learning) Project on the question of how functional and learning assessment systems facilitate or inhibit participation of children with developmental difficulties in inclusive education. Questionnaires were sent to medical, psychological, educational professionals, and parents in Sweden, Portugal, Hungary, Belgium, Romania, Norway, and the Virgin Islands. Interviews and focus groups were organized. Results (95%) showed that static standardized psychometric tests of intellectual, behavioural, and language functioning were mainly used, with the WISC-III being the most frequent test applied. Less than 5% of the 166 professionals in our sample used formative assessment and contextual observation to reveal learning or developmental potential in a process-oriented way. Experts were generally not satisfied with current assessment practices. Reported weaknesses included lack of time, human resources, materials, cooperation, and follow-up. Assessment practice was mainly used to determine whether a child should be placed in a special needs programme, a special school, or an institutional setting, depending on whether a country has inclusive education practice or not. Parents were satisfied with static functional assessment when its purpose was to obtain disability benefits (financial, special education resources, recognition), but were unhappy with the negative outlook of reports. The main complaint of teachers and parents was about the poverty of recommendations on how to work with the child. Our conclusion is that the current practice of standardized psychometric testing seems to contribute to barriers to learning if it is used in a deterministic or predictive way. In this regard, dynamic and functional assessment methods that are qualitatively oriented seem promising in addressing the issues of learning and development in a different way. The methods also contribute to an understanding of the child's needs in learning and development. However, interpretation and communication of assessment results in a way that emphasizes a more adequate and challenging educational intervention for the child seems to be central.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 33, no 1, 69-92 p.
Keyword [en]
assessment needs, assessment practices, dynamic assessment, functional assessment, inclusive education, special education needs
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-16202DOI: 10.1177/0143034311409975ISI: 000299057400005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84855674070OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-16202DiVA: diva2:526413
Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2016-02-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Assessment and Remediation for Children with Special Educational Needs: The role of Working Memory, Complex Executive Function and Metacognitive Strategy Training
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment and Remediation for Children with Special Educational Needs: The role of Working Memory, Complex Executive Function and Metacognitive Strategy Training
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the role of different assessment tools and training regimens in assessment and remediation for children with special educational needs in school. A central purpose of assessment explored was that it should inform remediation, teaching and instruction. The concepts of working memory, complex executive function and metacognitive strategy training for children with special educational needs were specifically explored in relation to this purpose of assessment. Complex executive function refers to planning and metacognitive ability, that many children with special educational needs struggle with, and which they are expected to handle in learning during school day. Of particular interest in the thesis was the contrast between working memory and complex executive function and how these concepts inform assessment and remediation practices. In this context, special attention was given to mathematical learning difficulties.

The thesis was based on four studies (I‑IV). Study I explored the prevalence of different assessment tools, and dilemmas and challenges as perceived by assessment professionals, teachers and parents, in the work with children with special educational needs in Europe. In Study II, a metacognitive strategy training framework was developed as a training regimen, guided by research on complex executive function, and applied on working memory training. Effects of working memory training were compared between the two training regimens, with and without metacognitive strategy training, and also the overall effect of working memory training on cognitive functioning and the school related skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. In Study III, different types of measures of working memory and their predictive capacities in relation to mathematics achievement in national curriculum assessments were explored, as well as the effects of working memory training on mathematics achievement. In Study IV the role of working memory and complex executive function in identifying risk for mathematical learning difficulties in children with special educational needs was explored.

The results from Study I suggested that assessment and remediation practices can contribute to a deficiency‑oriented outlook on children with special educational needs. In contrast parents and teachers in Sweden also reported that assessment could help them to better understand the needs of the child. Results from studies II-IV showed that only the use of a metacognitive strategy training regimen targeting complex executive function resulted in improvements following working memory training. The results also indicated that working memory training strongly predicted mathematical performance in national curriculum assessments of mathematics in school, and that a more complex change measure of working memory was a better predictor than simple working memory measures in this regard. Finally, the results also showed that complex executive function, defined as planning ability, was a better predictor than simple working memory in the assessment of risk for mathematical learning difficulties.

The results from the studies were discussed in relation to the purpose of assessment to inform remediation, teaching and instruction for children with special educational needs. It was concluded that, in addition to working memory, as complex executive function – planning and metacognitive ability - seems to be an important cognitive function related to learning, this should be addressed both in the assessment of children with special educational needs as well as in the remediation when designing training regimens and interventions for children with special educational needs in general, and children at risk for mathematic learning difficulties in particular. It was also highlighted that in remediation, the role of the teacher as a mediator of metacognition and complex executive function seems vital.

Abstract [sv]

Det övergripande syftet med avhandlingen var att undersöka den roll som olika utredningsverktyg och begrepp spelar i utformandet av utrednings‑ och stödinsatser för barn i behov av stöd i skolan. Ett centralt syfte med utredningar som utforskades är att de ska bidra med kunskaper vid utformande av stödinsatser och undervisning. I relation till detta syfte utforskades specifikt begreppen arbetsminne, komplex exekutiv funktion och metakognitiv strategiträning för barn i behov av stöd. Komplex exekutiv funktion syftar till planerings- och metakognitiv förmåga, något som många barn i behov av stöd upplevs ha svårigheter med, och som de förväntas kunna hantera i lärandet i skolans vardag. Av särskilt intresse i avhandlingen var kontrasten mellan arbetsminne och komplex exekutiv funktion och hur dessa begrepp bidrar till en förståelse i utformandet av utrednings- och stödinsatser. I detta sammanhang uppmärksammades särskilt matematiksvårigheter hos barn i behov av stöd.

Avhandlingen bygger på fyra studier (I-IV). I Studie I undersöktes förekomsten av olika utredningsverktyg, samt utredares, lärares och föräldrars uppfattningar av dilemman och utmaningar i arbetet kring barn i behov av stöd, i Europa. I Studie II utformades ett koncept för metakognitiv strategiträning med utgångspunkt från forskning kring komplex exekutiv funktion och tillämpades i arbetsminnesträning. Effekten av arbetsminnesträning med och utan metakognitiv strategiträning jämfördes, liksom effekten av arbetsminnesträning på kognitiva funktioner och skolrelaterade färdigheter inom läsning, skrivning och aritmetik. I Studie III undersöktes olika mått på arbetsminne, och deras prediktiva kapacitet i relation till matematisk förmåga mätt genom nationella prov i matematik, samt effekten av arbetsminnesträning på matematisk förmåga. I Studie IV undersöktes vilken roll arbetsminne och komplex exekutiv funktion har i identifiering av barn i behov av stöd i riskzon för matematiksvårigheter.

Resultaten från Studie I visade att utrednings- och stödinsatser kunde bidra till att förstärka ett brist-orienterat synsätt på barn i behov av stöd. I kontrast till detta, delgav lärare och föräldrar i Sverige att utredningar kunde hjälpa dem att förstå barnets behov på ett bättre sätt. Resultaten från studie II-IV visade att enbart den metakognitiva träningen, fokuserad på komplex exekutiv funktion, bidrog till förbättringar efter arbetsminnesträning. Resultatet indikerade också att arbetsminnesträning predicerar matematisk prestation i nationella prov i matematik, och att ett mer komplext arbetsminnesmått var en bättre prediktor än enklare arbetsminnesmått. Slutligen visade resultaten också att komplex exekutiv funktion i form av planeringsförmåga var en bättre prediktor än enkelt arbetsminnesmått vid utredning av risk för matematiksvårigheter.

Resultaten från studierna diskuterades i relation till syftet med utredning: att bidra med kunskaper vid utformande av extra anpassningar, särskilt stöd och undervisning för barn i behov av stöd. Eftersom komplex exekutiv funktion –planerings- och metakognitiv förmåga - verkar vara en viktig kognitiv funktion i lärandet, bör man ta hänsyn till detta både i utrednings- och stödinsatser kring barn i behov av stöd generellt, och särskilt kring barn i riskzon för matematiksvårigheter. Det belystes också att i stödinsatser är lärarens roll som mediator av metakognition och komplex exekutiv funktion viktig.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Östersund: MIttuniversitetet, 2016. 61 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 240
Keyword
Children with special educational needs, Assessment, Working memory, Working memory training, Complex executive function, Planning, Metacognition, Mathematical learning difficulties, Barn i behov av stöd, Utredning, Arbetsminne, Arbetsminnesträning, Komplex exekutiv funktion, Planering, Metakognition, Matematiksvårigheter
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27099 (URN)978-91-88025-55-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-03-18, F234, Östersund, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Vid tidpunkten för disputationen var följande delarbeten opublicerade: delarbete 3 (inskickat), delarbete 4 (inskickat)

At the time of the doctoral defence the following papers were unpublished: paper 3 (submitted), paper 4 (submitted)

Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-23 Last updated: 2016-02-24Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Partanen, Petri
By organisation
Department of Social Sciences
In the same journal
School Psychology International
Psychology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 521 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf