According to the Worthman text, assessment is the study of individuals for measurement purposes
To promote children’s learning and development
To identify children for health and social services
To monitor trends and evaluate programs and services
To assess academic achievement to hold individual students, teachers and schools accountable
Standardized tests can be used for developmental screening, diagnostic evaluation and instructional planning.
Standardized tests can be used to evaluate achievement by comparing groups of children
Standardized tests can be used to measure a child’s achievement on specific test objectives
Classroom assessments combine elements of informal teachers assessment strategies like observation to study behavior and other areas of development that cannot be measured using a standardized test.
Many different professionals use assessments in early childhood education
Speech and language pathologists assess a child’s speech and language development. There are often speech therapists who work specifically with young children, evaluating, diagnosing and treating communication delays and disorders.
M is a speech therapist at Warren Elementary School. She works with preschoolers and also works with infants and toddlers through First Steps of Kentucky.
M has a Master of Science in Communication Disorders from Western Kentucky University.
M works with both English speaking and ESL students. There are currently fourteen languages spoken among the student body at Warren Elementary.
The DIAL 3 assessment tool is administered to every child that enters preschool.
Once the possibility for a delay is recognized, the child undergoes further evaluation.
One tool that is used to assess a child’s language development is the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation
Parents are involved in M’s assessment of a child’s speech and language development.
Parents are notified once the initial marker for delay is found in the DIAL 3 or upon referral from a teacher
Parents are notified of the results of the initial screening and the more formal assessment
Parents are active partners with the SLP, teacher and other professionals involved in the treatment process.
M discussed some of the ways that ESL and ELL students are assessed.
Often, assessments are adapted in order for ESL and ELL students to have a better understanding of the questions. This helps ensure the most accurate results and the best possible planning for ESL students.
In order for an ESL student to qualify for speech, they must have a speech problem in their own language, and not just a dialect problem. This is often the most difficult part of assessing an ESL student.
A number of others use assessments in the field of Early Childhood Education.
Teachers use assessment in the classroom.
H. holds an elementary education degree from Western Kentucky University. She has worked in kindergarten-aged classrooms in both the US and Honduras and has worked with Hispanic students in Arlington, TX.
She has worked at North Warren Elementary as a kindergarten teacher and now is a substitute for the Warren County Schools.
Assessments are done in a kindergarten classroom to evaluate a child’s background knowledge
Assessments are done in a kindergarten classroom to monitor a child’s progress
Assessments are done let the teacher know whether to move on or go back over a concept
Assessments are done to note developmental issues or problems that a child may have
Most assessments that H has conducted have been fairly informal classroom assessments.
Some examples of informal assessments include having the child give a thumbs up or thumbs down and having the child draw a picture to illustrate a certain concept.
Assessments are usually given on a one on one basis, but are sometimes administered to a group of children.
Parents are vital to the assessment process
Parents have the right and responsibility to be involved in the assessment process of their child.
Usually, some type of assessment checklist is sent home at the end of every week or so in order to show parents classroom progress
Students of this age need to be constantly monitored and assessed in order to develop the skills they need to reach their full potential. This means some type of informal parental assessment should be going on at home.
H has worked with ESL and ELL students in classrooms in both the US and Honduras. She has also spent a semester working the kindergarten aged Hispanic children in Arlington, TX.
When assessing ESL and ELL students, assessments are adapted to meet the needs of the student. For example, an assessment for and ESL student might be adapted to use more pictures.
Classroom teachers collaborate with ESL teachers to get the most accurate assessment results for ESL and ELL students.
Early childhood professionals can agree that parents have a very important role in the assessment process.
M, the SLP, stated that parents are active partners in the assessment process.
H. stated that parents are vital to the assessment process.
B. is a father of a 20 month old child who currently receives services for speech therapy from First Steps of Kentucky.
B., along with his wife, K, both had an active role in the assessment process of their son, A.
B felt that some parents, especially fathers, don’t realize how important it is to be involved in this process along with the professionals who administer the assessments and actually do the treatment.
B believes that he and his wife are an important part of the whole assessment process. In the interview, B said, ”No one knows our child like we do. Who could give more accurate information about his personality, behavior and routines?”
According to the Worthman text, the parental role in the assessment process is vital. Much of a child’s success in school is dependent upon parents.
Assessment is a vital part of a child’s early learning and development
Assessment is conducted in many ways by many different professionals
Assessment can be very formal and standardized or very informal.
Parental involvement is essential to a successful assessment process.
All images and music are copyright free
Worthman,Sue. Assessment in Early Childhood Education. Fifth Edition. 2008.