Inclusive assessment
Te kāhui aromatawai

Introduction - He kupu whakataki

Te Whāriki is designed to be inclusive and appropriate for all children and anticipates that special needs will be met as children learn together in all kinds of early childhood settings. The programmes of each centre will incorporate strategies to fully include children with special needs.

Te Whāriki, page 11

This book represents national work-in-progress, as teachers, whānau, and early intervention specialists explore inclusive assessment practices for children with special learning needs within the context of Te Whāriki. The exemplars highlight some of the assessment issues that are specific to children who require the extra resource of an early intervention team to support their learning. The challenges these children face may arise from a physical disability, a sensory impairment, a learning or communication delay, a social, emotional, or behavioural difficulty, or a combination of these.

In New Zealand, there is debate about how we can include children with special learning needs within the same curriculum and the same assessment practices as other children while at the same time responding to their individual ways of learning (for example, Carr and Dowson, 1995; Dunn, 2000; Purdue, Ballard, and MacArthur, 2001). Many of the exemplars in this book come from a project that explored ways of integrating the four principles of Te Whāriki with more traditional methods of early intervention assessment (Dunn and Barry, 2004). The book also draws on Chris Lepper, Denise Williamson, and Joy Cullen’s research (2003) into ways in which learning stories can help all participants in the early intervention process to have a say and to contribute their expertise. Like all the books in this series, its purpose is to promote discussion and encourage participants to reflect on and develop their practice.

Learning stories in PDF format

Unfortunately, because of publishing constraints, we are only able to provide the learning stories to you in PDF format.

You should be able to read PDF documents in your web browser. If you have any problems opening a PDF, a number of downloadable PDF readers are listed on Wikipedia or you can email web services for help.

A summary of the exemplars for Inclusive Assessment follows:

  • Elaine's stories
  • James and the puppets
  • John's connecting stories
  • A father's story
  • Eating at kindergarten
  • Sherina sings hello
  • Reading the portfolio
  • "I can't tell you how amazing it is!"
  • Fred's stories

For more information, or to request a hard copy of this exemplar book, please email the ministry.


Last updated: 8 April 2010