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This chapter examines implementation of Assessment for Learning (AfL) for diverse students, including students from diverse language and cultural backgrounds, and, in particular, for students with disabilities that affect their learning. Australian national education policy endorses AfL as effective teacher assessment practice. Australian education policy also promotes educational equity for all students, regardless of linguistic or cultural background, or disability, not only in terms of access to schooling but also in terms of access to a high quality and challenging education. This chapter provides an overview of Australian equity policy, the Australian federated system of education policy development and responsibilities, and the recent policy initiative of a national curriculum as context for AfL practice. We identify core principles of AfL with respect to teacher–student interactions for consideration of issues for curriculum and AfL implementation for diverse students. We then provide an overview of international research on AfL for these students. Four Australian examples of pedagogical interactions between teachers and students with disabilities are examined in terms of equity, curriculum, and AfL policy expectations. We conclude that to enact effective AfL for these students, while policy can and should provide an enabling framework, much at present depends on the individual teacher’s in-depth knowledge of students. To achieve effective and equitable implementation of AfL, further resources and professional development support are needed. Suggested guidelines are provided to enhance policy, practice, and research in AfL for diverse students.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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