Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Education


School of Education


Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Supervisor

Associate Professor Chris Forlin


The number of children who are performing poorly in school-wide tests seems to be increasing in an independent religious school in the metropolitan area. Several children have been identified "at risk" or having special needs but they seem to show little if any improvement as they get promoted to higher grades. The study investigated the instructional and assessment strategies that upper primary school teachers were using in their classrooms to improve the academic and social skills of children defined as having special needs. Teachers' perceptions were examined to determine whether there had been any observable increases in the academic performance of students from years five to seven. Attitudes that teachers displayed towards the school were also studied in relation to the effect that they had on children with special needs. Teachers' reported that the design and implementation of both instruction and tests were found to inhibit full inclusion of children with special needs. Religious and structural restrictions placed on children with special needs were also found to impede their academic success. The discussion focused on the instructional and assessment strategies that teachers perceived would benefit the academic achievement of children with special needs. Ways of overcoming the restrictions placed on teachers' use of instruction and assessment strategies were also examined.

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