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Observations And Evaluations

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  • 1. The Why Of Early Childhood Education Goals, Objectives, and Evaluations
  • 2. Goals & Objectives
    • Goals provide an overall, general overview of what you expect the chidren to gain from the program. Broad and general covering large areas of curriculum:
      • “ Children will increase their fine motor skills, gaining better control in tasks requiring use of the hands”
    • Objectives are much more specific, often related to a single activity or a select few activities
      • “ Children will thread one-inch beads on shoelaces”
  • 3. Types of Objectives
    • Developmental Objectives
      • Activities that promote specific aspects of physical, social, emotional, or cognitive development
    • Content Objectives
      • Subject matter of the curriculum. Activities that promote specific content, usually tied to a unit’s topic or theme
    • Behavioral Objectives
      • Generally used for individual children. Specifies exactly what the child is expected to master.
  • 4. What is Observation?
    • Children are observed for developmental progress through observations. Observations take place primarily through children’s normal daily activities, their use of language, social interactions with others and work samples that demonstrate learning
  • 5. Four Key Ideas
    • Observation involves regular intentional watching of children in a wide variety of circumstances that are representative of the child’s behaviors and skills demonstrated over time
    • Observation of daily, ongoing classroom/home performances and typical activities of the child lead to wealth of reliable information. Valid observations do not place chidlren in artificial situations, interfere or distract children from their natural learning experiences
  • 6.
    • Observation relies on demonstrated performance during real activities, not actions that are contrived or unnatural
    • Practitioners need a solid understanding of the meaning and purpose for observation and practice recording children’s behaviors and skills every day
  • 7. Check Your Lenses!
    • Practice “Intensive waiting”
    • Become a scientist-separating what you “think” from what you “see”
    • Observations can never be completely objective or independent of the observer
  • 8. Why do we observe?
    • To improve our teaching
      • understanding our biases and improving our objectivity
    • To construct theory
    • To help parents
    • To use as an assessment tool
    • To wonder why and solve a problem
    • To communicate with children
  • 9. Understanding What We Observe
    • The goal of observation is understanding-we can use the information in many different ways to help us in many different areas
      • Children as individuals-individualized curriculum
      • Children in general-developmental norms
      • Developmental relationships-how the “whole child” is developing
      • Influences on behavior-environment, adult behavior, children’s behaviors
      • Understanding of self-observe yourself
  • 10. Common Elements of Observations
      • Focus
        • What do you want to know?
        • Whom/what do you want to observe?
        • What aspects of behavior do you want to know about?
        • What is your purpose?
  • 11. Common Elements
    • Systems
      • What will you do?
      • How will you record information?
      • How detailed will you be?
      • How long will you record?
  • 12. Common Elements
    • Tools
      • What will you need for your observation?
      • How will you record what you want to know?
  • 13. Common Elements
    • Environment
      • Where will you watch?
      • What restraints are inherent in the setting
  • 14. Types of Observations
    • Narratives-The most valuable, but also the most difficult.
      • Running records: keeping track of everything that happens in a specified time period
      • Anecdotal records: a brief description or “word picture”
    • Time Sampling-The measuring of a behavior over time. A quantitative method where you count the number of times a behavior occurs at uniform time intervals
    • Event Sampling-where the observer records a specific behavior only when it occurs. Often used for recording less frequent behavior
  • 15. Types of Observations
    • Teacher-Designed Instruments
      • Checklists
      • Rating Scales
      • Shadow studies
    • Standardized tests
      • Screening tests
      • Developmental tests Intelligence tests
      • Readiness tests
  • 16. Evaluating For Effectiveness
    • An evaluation is at once a definition, an assessment, a plan.
    • In education we evaluate:
      • curriculum
      • materials & equipment
      • the environment
      • children’s behavior
      • teacher effectiveness
  • 17. Why do we evaluate?
    • Evaluations monitor growth, progress, and planning
    • Evaluations provide information by which to rate performance, define areas of difficulty, and look for possible solutions
    • It helps in goal setting
  • 18. Components of a Good Evaluation
    • Select who or what will be evaluated
    • Have a clear purpose or motive
    • Decide how data will be collected
    • Know what you will use the information for
    • State goals clearly
  • 19. Concerns of Evaluations
    • Unfair comparisons
    • Bias
    • Overemphasis on norms
    • Interpretation
    • Too narrow a perspective
    • Too wide of a range of information
    • Too little or too much time
  • 20. The Early Childhood Setting
    • Evaluation is a broad concept often times confused with testing and measurement.
    • Through evaluation, teachers link specific goals to larger, more encompassing objectives that focus on the relationship between teaching in the classroom and the overriding educational objectives
    • The teacher sees the “big picture” and keeps perspective on education that includes the children, the program and the teaching staff
  • 21. Assessment Systems
    • Authentic assessments
    • Work-sampling
    • Portfolios
      • work Sample, anecdotal, notes, photos, videos, frequency counts, class logs, time samples
  • 22. Desired Results
  • 23. The Children-WHY?
    • To establish a baseline and monitor children’s progress
    • To plan for guidance, interventions, curriculum
    • To communicate with parents
    • To make administrative decisions
  • 24. The Teachers-WHY?
    • To describe job responsibilities
    • To monitor job effectiveness
    • To clarify strengths and weaknesses
    • To set professional growth goals
    • To determine employment
  • 25. The Program-WHY?
    • To gain an overview-Is this a good place for children? Would you want your child there?
    • To establish accountability
    • To make improvements
    • To acquire accreditation
  • 26. Summary
    • Curriculum goals are realistic and attainable for most chidlren in the designated age range for which they are designed. Assessment of individual children's development and learning is essential for planning and implementing appropriate curriculum. Assessment and curriculum should be integrated, with teachers continually engaging in observation for the purpose of improving teaching and learning.