Issues in preschool assessment

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Issues in preschool assessment

  1. 1. Issues InPreschool AssessmentMarissa S. Reed, Ed.S.School PsychologistTroup County School SystemLaGrange, Georgia
  2. 2. Reed, 2005Purposes of PreschoolAssessment (Nagle, 2000; Appl, 2000) Screening Diagnosis Individual program planningand monitoring Program evaluation
  3. 3. Reed, 2005Importance of PreschoolAssessment Early detection=better outcomes (Feil &Severson, 1995) Child-find screenings National education goal (NCLB): startingschool ready to learn (USDOE, 1992) Early intervention required by IDEA(Bailey, 2000) Children who are at-risk included also
  4. 4. Reed, 2005Preschoolers=UniquePopulation (Nagle, 2000) Rapid developmental change Behavior during testing may affectaccuracy of test results Approach testing situation differentlythan school-age students Familiarity with strangers varies largely View scores as current level ofdevelopment which is constantlychanging Lack of prior school experience
  5. 5. Reed, 2005Issues to Consider(Bracken, 2000) Child’s temperament Examiner approachability, affect, andphysical presence Behavior management Environment– Furniture, decorations, distractions,climate, seating arrangement Test floors and ceilings
  6. 6. Reed, 2005Traditional vs. AlternativeMethods of Assessment(Nagle, 2000) Traditional: standardized, norm-referenced– Battelle Developmental Inventory– Stanford-Binet, 5th Edition– Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children– Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale ofIntelligence, 3rd Edition (WPPSI-III)– Bracken Basic Concept Scale, 2nd Edition– Differential Ability Scales (DAS)– Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development,3rd Edition– Preschool Language Scale, 4th Edition
  7. 7. Reed, 2005Traditional vs. AlternativeMethods of Assessment(Nagle, 2000) Alternative:– Play-based assessment (Ross, 2000 [BestPractices])– Direct observation– Parent interviews– Parent-child interactions– Clinical judgment rating scales– Curriculum-based assessment– Portfolio assessment (Mills, 1994)– Individual Growth and DevelopmentIndicators (IGDIs) (Best Practices)
  8. 8. Reed, 2005Traditional vs. AlternativeMethods of Assessment(Nagle, 2000) Bracken: problem is not the actualtests, but administration of test thatdoes not consider the nature of thechild or reason for referralUse complementary assessment: best ofboth worlds Sattler: behavioral state andtemperament play a large role Bag of tricks
  9. 9. Reed, 2005Assessment of Behavior Functional Behavior Assessment(Conroy & Davis, 2000) Parental input is crucial– Rating scales– Developmental history Observations Parental point of reference– First child; different children’s development
  10. 10. Reed, 2005Family Focus (Nagle, 2000) Individual Family Support Plans (IFSP)instead of IEP Parent participation– May be first contact with professionals– Parents as valuable source of informationregarding representativeness of child’sperformance (validity of results)– Observation of parent-child interaction– Initial notification of problems or diagnoses
  11. 11. Reed, 2005Importance of EcologicalPerspective (Paget & Nagle, 1986) Settings and significant individuals Social learning theory Each child and their ecology as unique
  12. 12. Reed, 2005Best Practices in EarlyIntervention (Barnett, 2000) Basics– Interesting and developmentallyappropriate environments– Scanning– Guides, rules and consequences– Functional analysis– Modeling and opportunities to practice
  13. 13. Reed, 2005Best Practices in EarlyIntervention (Barnett, 2000) Interventions for Language and Literacy– Milieu Language Interventions– Early Literacy Interventions for Challenging Behaviors– High probability sequences– Alternative responses and functionalcommunication training– Choices– Timed positives, fixed-time, ornoncontingent reinforcement– Correspondence training
  14. 14. Reed, 2005School Readiness Cognitive development Social-emotional development Communication and languagedevelopment Sensorimotor development
  15. 15. Reed, 2005Home Activities toPromote School Readiness(Resource Team, 1992) Healthy pregnancy and mother’s nutrition Regular health care after birth Verbal communication with child Reading to child Opportunities to write, draw, sing, dance, and tellstories Exposure to a variety of materials Value on education and learning Visits to libraries, museums, and cultural activities Asking children questions Opportunities to play and explore Social interaction with other children Build a sense of security and self-worth
  16. 16. Reed, 2005Important Skills forSchool Psychologists(Nagle, 2000) Training in traditional and nontraditionalassessments Evaluation of technical adequacy ofinstruments Knowledge of related issues Ability to establish collaborative relationshipsis imperative Field-based practicum and internshipexperiences Continuing professional development in earlyintervention and preschool issues
  17. 17. Reed, 2005References Appl, D.J. (2000). Clarifying the preschool assessment process:Traditional practices and alternative approaches. EarlyChildhood Education Journal, 27 (4), 219-225. Bailey, D. B. (2000). The federal role in early intervention:Prospects for the future. Topics in Early Childhood SpecialEducation, 20 (2), 71-78. Barnett, D.W. (2000). Best practices in early intervention. InA. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best Practices in SchoolPsychology IV. Bethesda, MD: NASP. Bracken, B.A. (2000). Maximizing construct relevantassessment: The optimal preschool testing situation. In B.A.Bracken (Ed.) The psychoeducational assessment of preschoolchildren (pp. 33-44). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Conroy, M.A., & Davis, C.A. (2000). Early elementary-agedchildren with challenging behaviors: Legal and educationalissues related to IDEA and assessment. Preventing SchoolFailure, 44 (4), 163-168.
  18. 18. Reed, 2005References Feil, E.G., & Severson, H.H. (1995). Identification of critical factors in theassessment of preschool behavior problems. Education & Treatment ofChildren, 18 (3), 261-272. Mills, L. (1994). Yes, it can work!: Portfolio assessment with preschoolers.Paper presented at the Association for Childhood Education InternationalStudy Conference, New Orleans, LA, March 30-April 2, 1994. Nagle, R.J. (2000). Issues in preschool assessment. In B. A. Bracken (Ed.),The psychoeducational assessment of preschool children (pp. 19-32).Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Paget, K.D., & Nagle, R.J. (1986). A conceptual model of preschoolassessment. School Psychology Review, 15 (2), 154-165. Resource Team on National Education Goal 1 (1992). Starting school readyto learn. Questions and answers on reading national education goal 1: ‘Bythe year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn.’United States Department of Education. Ross, R.P. (2000). Best practices in the use of play for assessment andintervention with young children. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.) BestPractices in School Psychology IV. Bethesda, MD: NASP.

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