Chapter 10 highlighted the developments in recent years in provision for students with special educational and other needs. Policy reforms mean that in many education systems, teachers are increasingly required to address the needs of diverse learners within regular classroom environments. Knowledge and skills in relation to the nature of special needs, appropriate approaches to differentiation and assessment are essential parts of teachers’ professional repertoire.

The animated video, Special education revisited, produced in 2013 by the Centre for Studies in Inclusive Education (CSIE) in the UK, offers a brief history of special education policy in the UK. The video is available at:

Review this video and reflect on the questions in the downloadable document below. If possible, talk with a colleague who has significant experience in special needs provision (perhaps a special educational needs coordinator, somebody working in a special unit within a mainstream school or someone in a special education school) to discuss your responses and find out more.

The additional readings below provide further specialist sources that may be of interest.

Additional Readings

Many of the following publications present detailed descriptions of special educational needs, with associated assessment approaches.

Bakken, J. P., Obiakor, F.E., & Rotatori, A.F. (eds.). Current issues and trends in special education: Identification, assessment and instruction. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.

Department of Education and Skills. (2007). Inclusion of children with special education needs. Post-primary guidelines. Dublin: DES. Available at:

Griffin, S., & Shevlin, M. (2011). Responding to special educational needs: An Irish perspective (2nd ed). Dublin: Gill & MacMillan.

Groth-Marnat, G. (2009). Handbook of psychological assessment (5th ed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

Florian, L. (ed.). The Sage handbook of special education (2nd ed, Vol 1 & 2). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Hunt, N., & Marshall, K. (2012). Exceptional children and youth. (5th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Meyen, E.L., & Skrtic, T.M. (eds.).(1995). Special education and student disability: An introduction (4th ed). Denver, CO: Love Publishing Co.

Pierangelo, R., & Giuliani, G. A. (2012). Assessment in special education. A practical approach (4th ed). Boston: Pearson.

Shelton, C.F., & Pollingue, A.B. (2000). The exceptional teacher’s handbook. The first year special education teacher’s guide for success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Taylor, R.L. (2008). Assessment of exceptional students: Educational and psychological procedures (8th ed). Boston: Pearson.

Activity 10.1– Download