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Early Childhood Education

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  1. 1. Principles of Assessment EDUU325 Wortham S.C. (2008) Assessment in Early Childhood Education
  2. 2. Appropriate Uses of Assessment <ul><li>Assess to promote children’s learning and development </li></ul><ul><li>Identify children for health and social services </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor trends and evaluate programs and services </li></ul><ul><li>Assess academic achievement to hold students, teachers, and schools accountable. </li></ul>(p. 3)
  3. 3. (p. 3) Assessments Use Multiple Sources of Information <ul><li>A single assessment application is insufficient </li></ul><ul><li>Need comprehensive and complete picture of child’s development and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Need different perspectives - including those of parents and caregivers </li></ul>
  4. 4. (p. 3) Assessments Should Benefit the Child and Improve Learning <ul><li>Purpose of assessment is to determine whether child is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing normally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exhibiting delays </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs assistance or intervention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessments should determine child’s progress and inform your instructional planning </li></ul><ul><li>Tests should NOT be used if they do not enhance learning </li></ul>
  5. 5. (p. 3) Assessment Should Involve the Child and Family <ul><li>Parents are primary sources of information </li></ul><ul><li>Parents’ knowledge about their child is essential for a true understanding of the child’s development </li></ul><ul><li>Self-assessment ability improves as children get older </li></ul><ul><li>Older children can understand what they know and what they are able to do </li></ul>
  6. 6. (p. 3) Assessments Should be Fair for All Children <ul><li>Many tests are inappropriate for culturally and linguistically diverse children </li></ul><ul><li>Need other strategies for assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be alert to limitations of specific tests </li></ul><ul><li>Particularly important when working with children who are outside normal developmental ranges. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Principles for Early Childhood Assessment Early Childhood Assessment Consortium
  8. 8. Assessments Should Bring About Benefits for Children <ul><li>Gathering accurate information about young children can be difficult and stressful. </li></ul><ul><li>Formal assessments may be costly and take resources away from other programs and services. </li></ul><ul><li>Must be a clear benefit in: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct services to the child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improved quality of educational programs </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Assessment Should be Tailored for Specific Purpose <ul><li>To be reliable, valid, and fair, must be used only for the test’s designed purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessarily valid if designed for a different purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>Misuse of testing can result in abuses with young children </li></ul>
  10. 10. Recognize that Reliability and Validity Increases with Child’s Age <ul><li>The younger the child, the more difficult it is to obtain reliable and valid assessment data. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to assess children’s cognitive abilities accurately before age 6. </li></ul><ul><li>Some types of assessment should be postponed until children are older because the are not reliable or valid. </li></ul><ul><li>Some types of assessment can be used, but only with necessary safeguards. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Assessments Should be Age-Appropriate <ul><li>Both content and the method of data collection should be age-appropriate. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessments of young children should address the full range of early learning and development </li></ul><ul><ul><li>physical well-being and motor development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social and emotional development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>approaches toward learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>language development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cognition and general knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Children need familiar contexts in order to be able to demonstrate their abilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract paper-and-pencil tasks may make it especially difficult for young children to show what they know. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Assessments Should be Linguistically-Appropriate <ul><li>To some extent all assessments are measures of language. </li></ul><ul><li>Language proficiency affects performance even if the assessment is intended to measure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>early reading skills, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>knowledge of color names, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learning potential, </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment of children with limited exposure to English in the home is necessarily a measure of their English proficiency. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Child’s First and Second Language Development <ul><li>Each child’s first- and second-language development should be taken into account </li></ul><ul><li>Must determine appropriate assessment methods in terms of language development. </li></ul><ul><li>Must interpret the meaning of assessment results with first and second language in mind. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Parents are Valued Source of Assessment Information <ul><li>Source as well as an audience for assessment results. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessments should include multiple sources of evidence, especially reports from parents and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Direct measures of young children are fallible </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment results should be shared with parents as part of an ongoing process </li></ul><ul><li>Parents need to be informed and involved in their child’s education. </li></ul>
  15. 15. NAEYC Indicators of Effectiveness in Assessment Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation Building an Effective, Accountable System in Programs for Children Birth through Age 8 Online Position Statement with Expanded Resources
  16. 16. Ethical principles guide assessment practices. <ul><li>Ethical principles underlie all assessment practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Young children are not denied opportunities or services </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions are not made about children on the basis of a single assessment. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Assessment instruments are used for their intended purposes. <ul><li>Assessments are used in ways consistent with the purposes for which they were designed. </li></ul><ul><li>If the assessments will be used for additional purposes, they are validated for those purposes. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Assessments are appropriate for ages and other characteristics of children being assessed. <ul><li>Assessments are designed for and validated for use with children who are similar to those children with whom the assessments will be used. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cultures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>home languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>socioeconomic status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>abilities and disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>other characteristics </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Assessment instruments are in compliance with professional criteria for quality. <ul><li>Assessments are valid and reliable. </li></ul><ul><li>Accepted professional standards of quality are the basis for selection, use, and interpretation of assessment instruments, including screening tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Measurement standards are those set forth by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>American Educational Research Association (AERA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>American Psychological Association (APA) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Center for Measurement in Education (NCME) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. What is assessed is developmentally and educationally significant. <ul><li>The objects of assessment include a comprehensive, developmentally, and educationally important set of goals, rather than a narrow set of skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessments are aligned with early learning standards, with program goals, and with specific emphases in the curriculum. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Assessment evidence is used to understand and improve learning. <ul><li>A ss essments lead to improved knowledge about children. </li></ul><ul><li>This knowledge is translated into improved curriculum implementation and teaching practices. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Assessment helps early childhood professionals <ul><li>Understand the learning of a specific child or group of children </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance overall knowledge of child development </li></ul><ul><li>Improve educational programs for young children while supporting continuity across grades and settings </li></ul><ul><li>Access resources and supports for children with specific needs. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Assessment evidence is gathered from realistic settings and situations that reflect children’s actual performance. <ul><li>Evidence used to assess young children’s characteristics and progress: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>derived from real-world classroom or family contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consistent with children’s culture, language, and experiences. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Assessments use multiple sources of evidence gathered over time. <ul><li>The assessment system: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>emphasizes repeated, systematic observation, documentation, and other forms of criterion- or performance-oriented assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uses broad, varied, and complementary methods with accommodations for children with disabilities. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Screening is always linked to follow-up. <ul><li>When a screening or other assessment identifies concerns, appropriate follow-up, referral, or other intervention is used. </li></ul><ul><li>Diagnosis or labeling is never the result of a brief screening or one-time assessment. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Use of individually administered, norm-referenced tests is limited. <ul><li>The use of formal standardized testing and norm-referenced assessments of young children is limited to situations in which such measures are appropriate and potentially beneficial, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>identifying potential disabilities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>using individual norm-referenced tests as part of program evaluation and accountability </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Staff and families are knowledgeable about assessment. <ul><li>Given resources that support staff knowledge and skills about early childhood assessment and their ability to assess children in culturally and linguistically appropriate ways. </li></ul><ul><li>Preservice and inservice training builds teachers’ and administrators’ “assessment literacy,” creating a community that sees assessment as a tool to improve outcomes for children. </li></ul><ul><li>Families are part of this community, with regular communication, partnership, and involvement. </li></ul>