8083 MD4 Dis 1 Info

 

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Assessment is key to learning where a child is in his or her development, learning what the child knows, and learning where you need to go next with your lessons. It does not serve students well to have a lesson without assessment and not using assessment to guide your next steps. Based on your previous research on intervention assessments and strategies, you will now create an assessment scenario for your peers to attempt to answer.

Base this on your research, your knowledge of the assessment, and condition, as well as the age of the child and learning environment. Challenge your peers, but also provide enough information to guide the choice. Choose a scenario to respond to what challenges you as well. Your score comes from your posts, rationales, and feedback, not whether you select the right assessment in your response!

To prepare:

  • Review and reflect on the four listed articles for this module and the recommended Learning Resources.
  • Create a brief scenario/case study based on your research and readings from the previous weeks’ assignments that will require your peers to choose an assessment that is appropriate for the situation. Give enough information on the child and the situation, but not so much as to provide an answer quickly. Make sure you indicate the age of the child.

8083 Module 4:

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Assessments to Foster Development and Guide Teaching and Learning

During this module, you will create scenarios to challenge your colleagues on the selection of appropriate assessments, as well as take part in evaluating the assessments for a given scenario. You will develop a presentation on the importance of systematic assessment and setting instructional goals. Part of this module will include posts to your online blogs and looking deeper into purposeful assessment and its usefulness to the early childhood educator.

Note: This module is 2 weeks long with two Discussions.

Discussion 1: Choosing the Proper Assessment

Assessment is key to learning where a child is in his or her development, learning what the child knows, and learning where you need to go next with your lessons. It does not serve students well to have a lesson without assessment and not using assessment to guide your next steps. Based on your previous research on intervention assessments and strategies, you will now create an assessment scenario for your peers to attempt to answer.

Base this on your research, your knowledge of the assessment, and condition, as well as the age of the child and learning environment. Challenge your peers, but also provide enough information to guide the choice. Choose a scenario to respond to what challenges you as well. Your score comes from your posts, rationales, and feedback, not whether you select the right assessment in your response!

To prepare:

· Review and reflect on the four listed articles for this module and the recommended Learning Resources.

· Create a brief scenario/case study based on your research and readings from the previous weeks’ assignments that will require your peers to choose an assessment that is appropriate for the situation. Give enough information on the child and the situation, but not so much as to provide an answer quickly. Make sure you indicate the age of the child.

Assignment Task Part 1

Select a posted scenario and indicate the assessment you would choose for this child at this point in time.

Explain the following in 2 pages:

· Why this is the best assessment for this child

· What information this assessment will provide

Support your rationale with research.

Try to choose a scenario that has not already been addressed by another peer. Indicate how you would determine if these assessments are culturally responsive?

Note: Cite your research and provide appropriate references in APA format to substantiate your thinking.

Assignment Task Part 2

Return to your original scenario and do the following:

· Examine the answers posted by your colleagues. Indicate correct answers and address incorrect ones. Reveal the assessment you had selected, and explain why this is the best one for this scenario.

· Be a critical friend and provide feedback to two of your colleagues on their scenarios. Was there any confusing language? What could have made the scenario clearer and provide needed information? Are there any errors that need to be addressed?

4 Listed Scenario Articles

Banerjee, R., & Luckner, J.L. (2013). Assessment practices and training needs of early childhood professionals. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education 34(3), 231-248.

Ebbeck, M., Teo, G., Tan, C., & Goh, M. (2014).  Relooking assessment: A study on assessing developmental learning outcomes in toddlers. Early Childhood Education Journal 42(2), 115-123

Howlin, P. (2013). Authentic assessment for early childhood intervention: Best practices. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities 26(2), 181

O’Grady, M. G., & Dushing, S.C. (2015). Reliability and validity of play-based assessments of motor and cognitive skills for infants and young children: A systematic review.  Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association 95(1), 25-38

BOOK REVIEW

Authentic Assessment for Early Childhood
Intervention: Best Practices

By Stephen J. Bagnato

Paperback: 315 pages. Guilford Press, New York, NY. Cost: not known.

Most researchers and clinicians working with individu-

als with intellectual disability face a common challenge

with regard to measurement of cognitive and behaviour-

al difficulties. Identifying appropriate assessments and

measures that have been designed for the intellectual

disability population can be difficult. In this book,

Stephen Bagnato provides a very detailed description

of the rationale, structure and methods for what he

terms ‘authentic’ assessment of young children with

disabilities.

Bagnato covers a wide range of assessments from

assessing early developmental milestones and curricu-

lum-based assessment to functional analysis of challeng-

ing behaviours in this population. There is a strong

emphasis on moving away from using standard-

ized assessment tools within the intellectual disability

population towards more individualized assessments

that require detailed and careful observation in natural

and analogue situations alongside extensive consultation

and observation with parents and carers and other

professionals.

Some may find the suggestion to ‘abandon standard-

ized testing’ a somewhat extreme perspective. However,

the principles for ensuring careful and detailed assess-

ment of complex difficulties that are highlighted

throughout the book are clearly very important in this

population. The suggestion for careful consideration

with regard to where DSM classifications and criteria

may, or may not, be appropriate or helpful in ensuring

suitable intervention programmes for individuals with

intellectual disability is particularly helpful.

Another problem raised is the reliance on Piagetian

theory to underpin the selection of assessment tools

and suitable measures and the expectation of an indi-

vidual’s developmental pathway. Bagnato suggests that

a ‘Piagetian framework to observe and understand

developmental stages and progressions for all children’

is somewhat limited and does not fully take into

consideration the concept of atypical trajectories of

development that have been observed in a wide

range of genetic syndromes associated with intellectual

disability. A focus on Piagetian developmental sequen-

ces may result in failure to consider and identify

uneven profiles of development that are typical of this

population.

Overall, the approach to assessment and intervention

in individuals with intellectual disability that Bagnato

highlights in this book is important and helpful. The

‘Best Practice Guide Points’ that appear throughout the

book and at the end of each chapter provide a very use-

ful summary of the key points for consideration and

help to guide the reader through an appropriate assess-

ment and intervention process. This book will be a very

useful resource for a wide range of clinicians and

researchers and a good addition to the literature regard-

ing assessment in intellectual disability.

Patricia Howlin

Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry,

King’s College London, London, UK

(e-mail: patricia.howlin@kcl.ac.uk)

Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities 2013, 26, 181

� 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2009.00537.x

Published for the British Institute of Learning Disabilities

Copyright of Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its

content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s

express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

Relooking Assessment: A Study on Assessing Developmental
Learning Outcomes in Toddlers

Marjory Ebbeck • Geraldine Lian Choo Teo •

Cynthia Tan • Mandy Goh

Published online: 30 July 2013

� Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Abstract In most countries the funding for early child-

hood education has increased and governments in some

countries have taken serious steps to bring about positive

change in the profession. However, the increase in funding

by governments and other funding organisations around the

world has, understandably, attracted increased account-

ability as these organisations need to know that their

financial investments are achieving desired outcomes. To

seek evidence that positive learning outcomes have indeed

been achieved through these investments is a reasonable

request, and there is a shared responsibility and account-

ability for professionals to provide appropriate evidence.

The downside, however, can be the request for standardised

test information, as if performance on such tests provides

proof of all desired outcomes. More than ever before, it is

important for early childhood educators to be able to pro-

vide accurate, objective information about children’s

assessment in ways other than by standardised testing,

which may not reflect the complex reality of children’s

lives. This paper reports on a research study in Singapore

that investigated curriculum effectiveness using develop-

mental learning outcomes as a means of assessing children.

The research was devised to examine if eight specified

broad developmental learning outcomes could measure the

effectiveness of the curriculum by assessing children’s

learning as shown in qualitative data. Practical examples

showed evidence of children’s learning and the role of the

educator in facilitating and documenting developmental

learning outcomes.

Keywords Assessment � Developmental learning
outcomes � Singapore research � 18 months–3 years
age range

Introduction

Findings from neuroscience have provided evidence that

the early years are critical for promoting optimal devel-

opment in children (Shonkoff and Phillips 2000; Oberk-

laid 2007; Berk 2012; Papalia et al. 2009). Economists

have argued convincingly that financial investments in the

early years will bring about positive outcomes which, in

turn, will reduce later costs to society (Mustard 2008;

Heckman 2000). Funding for early childhood education

has increased and governments in some countries instituted

policies to bring about change in early childhood educa-

tion, and have increased the allocation of resources. This

has been a very positive move, supported in the reports and

position statements of the National Association for the

Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National

Association of Early Childhood Specialist in State

Departments of Education (NAECS/SDE) (NAEYC and

NAECS/SDE 2003).

M. Ebbeck (&)
School of Education, University of South Australia, Magill

Campus, St Bernards Road, Magill, SA 5072, Australia

e-mail: marjory.ebbeck@unisa.edu.au

G. L. C. Teo �

M. Goh

SEED Institute, 73 Bras Basah Road, NTUC Trade Union House

#07-01, Singapore 189556, Singapore

e-mail: geraldinez@seedinstitute.edu.sg

M. Goh

e-mail: gohlm@seedinstitute.edu.sg

G. L. C. Teo � C. Tan
The Caterpillar’s Cove Child Development and Study Centre,

535 Clementi Road, Block 53, Level 3 Ngee Ann Polytechnic,

Singapore 599489, Singapore

e-mail: tanxy@thecaterpillarscove.com.sg

123

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123

DOI 10.1007/s10643-013-0602-9

The increase in funding by governments and other

funding organisations around the world has understandably

attracted increased accountability as these organisations

need to know that their financial investments are achieving

desired outcomes (Dodge et al. 2004). To seek evidence

that positive learning outcomes have indeed been achieved

through these investments is a reasonable request and there

is a shared responsibility and accountability for profes-

sionals to provide appropriate evidence (NAEYC and

NAECS/SDE 2003).
The downside, however, can be the request for standardised

test information. More than ever before, it is important for

early childhood educators to be able to provide accurate,

objective information about children’s assessment in ways

other than by standardised testing. Dalberg et al. (1999)

proposed that the assessment of children’s learning and

thinking through standardised testing does not reflect the

complex reality of children’s lives. According to its posi-

tion statement (NAEYC and NAECS/SDE 2003), the

National Association for the Education of Young Children

(NAEYC 1988) has confirmed their opposition to the use of

standardised testing for all early childhood contexts. They

assert that assessment is a systematic procedure for

obtaining information from observation, interviews, port-

folio collections, projects, tests and other sources that can

be used to make judgments about children’s characteristics

(NAEYC and NAECS/SDE 2003). Jones (2004) stated

that:

As the accountability/testing debate continues young

children need assessment-literate advocates who are

equipped not only with powers of observation and

documentation but also with the knowledge and skills

to participate in an assessment-related discourse that

is rounded in the basic principles of sound assessment

practice (pp. 14–15).

The debate about assessment has continued now for

many decades and it is interesting to contrast current per-

spectives against what Kelly wrote in 1986:

If evaluation, appraisal and accountability procedures

are imposed on teachers from outside, if they are

created and operated by others, the teachers must be

strongly tempted to be constantly looking over their

shoulders to the criteria of evaluation being used, so

that these will quickly become their criteria for

planning and thus the evaluation tail will wag the

curriculum dog (p. 229).

Kelly (1986) further stated that if the curriculum pro-

cedures were concerned with describing, illuminating, and

portraying what is going on in order to promote its

continuing development, then teachers would be able to

exercise professional judgment. The intent of Kelly’s

message still resonates today even after 27 years.

A Closer Look at the Purpose of Assessment

It is important to be clear about why assessment is

important beyond the accountability issues mentioned

previously. One of the primary purposes of assessment is to

gather information about children’s development and use it

as a basis for curriculum decision making. When seen in

this light, it will allow children to make further progress in

their learning. It also enables this information to be shared

with all those who have a stake in the children’s future,

including parents, teachers and caregivers, centre admin-

istrators and referral agencies for children who have

additional needs. Furthermore, this kind of developmental

assessment also enables teachers to evaluate how well the

programme is meeting its goals.

In Australia, the Victorian Department of Education and

Early Child Development has developed a comprehensive

statement for early childhood professionals about assess-

ment and reporting (http://www.education.vic.gov.au/

school/teachers/support/Pages/advice.aspx). This statement

proposes that there are three interconnected learning pro-

cesses in relation to assessment, namely, planning, facili-

tating and assessing learning. In summary:

• Assessment for learning extends children’s learning by
enhancing teaching. It is formative and occurs contin-

uously. It is enriched when children, families, and all

educators are actively involved in the process.

• Assessment as learning occurs when educators recognise
the process of assessment as a powerful tool for learning.

This involves discussions with children, documenting

learning together, enabling children to recognise that

they themselves are learners, and developing the under-

standing of how they learn.

• Assessment of learning emphasises the summative
aspects of assessment and confirms what children know

and understand what they can do.

Assessing Children Through Their Engagement

in the Curriculum

Assessment is, therefore, an integral part of early childhood

curriculum, and educators need to be clear about their

understanding of curriculum. The focus of curriculum

needs to reflect identified learning goals for children, and

appropriate assessment can be used to make informed

decisions about curriculum objectives and their outcomes

116 Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123

123

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/support/Pages/advice.aspx

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/support/Pages/advice.aspx

(Pyle and DeLuca 2013). A teacher can plan for, and

implement, curriculum decisions that facilitate a child’s

learning engagement as an individual and as part of a

group. Once the curriculum road map had been developed,

one way of doing this assessment is to focus on develop-

mental learning outcomes (Department of Education,

Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) 2009;

Goodfellow 2009).

Assessing Developmental Learning Outcomes

There is a range of available literature proposing that

assessment should be developmentally appropriate (Copple

and Bredekamp 2009; Gestwicki 2011; Kostelnik et al.

2011; Saracho and Spodek 2013). Developmental learning

outcomes link specified elements of children’s learning

achievements to domains of development. For example,

there is rapid change in the physical development of chil-

dren in the age range of birth to 3 years. Assessing out-

comes of gross motor skills can inform a caregiver of the

ongoing development of an individual child. A caregiver

makes judgments about such outcomes through focused

and ongoing observation, watching how a child uses some

materials or equipment and how skills and understanding

are interrelated.

A number of recent curriculum frameworks and/or

guidelines have identified learning outcomes in their

assessment procedures (DEEWR 2009; Ministry of Social

and Family Development, Singapore 2011; NTUC First

Campus (NFC) Singapore 2011). There has been a con-

tinued thrust to use a naturalistic and authentic curriculum

that assesses what children know and can do, as well as

identifying growth areas for further development.

This growing trend to assess learning through develop-

mental learning outcomes (Laevers 2005) demonstrates a

universality of learning outcomes. Assessment of content

knowledge is still necessary but needs to be viewed in the

totality of the child’s overall development.

In Singapore, a research study was designed to ascertain

if children’s assessment using developmental learning

outcomes over a 6 month period could indicate curriculum

effectiveness. Using a qualitative approach as espoused by

Denzin and Lincoln (2005, p. 3) that incorporated an

interpretive, naturalistic approach, researchers studied

children aged 18 months–3 years old. This approach also

took account of Eisner’s (1991) view that not everything

can be said in a test form, for some things we need literary

forms (p. 23).

A research question was agreed upon to ascertain In

what ways do the eight broad developmental learning

outcomes (Department of Education and Children’s

Services (DECS) 2001) measure the effectiveness or non-

effectiveness of the curriculum in developing children’s

learning as shown in qualitative data?

The eight developmental learning outcomes used in the

study were:

1. Trust and confidence

2. Positive sense of self and a confident personal and

group identity

3. Sense of being connected with others and their worlds

4. Intellectual inquisitiveness

5. Range of thinking skills

6. Effective communication

7. Sense of physical well-being

8. Range of physical competencies.

The sample of children reported in this paper was in the

age range of 18 months–3 years and were grouped as

shown in Table 1.

Educators in the study

There were two educators assigned to each group of chil-

dren. Their teaching experience ranged from 2 to 17 years.

Parent Involvement

Parental consent was gained before the study began, and

parents were kept informed by individual conferences in

relation to each child and newsletters about the progress of

the study. Parents also spent time in the classrooms

with

their children.

Methodology

The study adopted a multi-method approach collecting

both qualitative and quantitative data. This paper deals

only with the qualitative aspects of the study (Bell 2010;

Creswell 1994, 2009; McMurray et al. 2007). An

Table 1 Demographics of child-participants in each

group

Class No. of participants Mean age

(years)

Junior toddlers

(18 months–2 years)

9

M = 7, 8.6 %,

F = 2, 2.5 %

1.9

Senior toddlers

(2–3 years)

18

M = 10,12.3 %,

F = 8, 9.9 %

2.8

M = Male, F = Female

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123 117

123

interesting perspective on the study design related to seeing

the ‘‘researcher as a bricoleur’’ where the analogy is of the

bricoleur as a quilt maker (Denzin and Lincoln 2005, p. 4).

In relation to the research design a bricoleur is like that of a

quilt with overlapping perspectives.

The data gathered over a 6 months period for the

qualitative aspect of the study were diverse, like a quilt

giving a rich overview of the child’s total development. It

also comprised evidence from the educator’s planning

cycle as documented in work programmes, observations of

children, work samples, records of dialogues, and educa-

tor–child and child–child interactions, which were also part

of the data. The data when analysed, showed that it was

possible to measure children’s growth through develop-

mental learning outcomes over time and also to assess the

curriculum effectiveness. In addition, it gave teachers the

opportunity to assess the well-being of the children

(DEEWR 2009; Gonzalez-Mena 2005; Laevers 1994,

1997; Pascal and Bertram 1999).

Results of the Study

The overall research question—In what ways do the eight

broad developmental learning outcomes (DECS 2001)

measure the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of the cur-

riculum in developing children’s learning as shown in

qualitative data? was fully answered, and showed that this

approach to assessment did provide evidence of the

effectiveness of the curriculum within the research study.

Educators in the study stated that using the develop-

mental learning outcomes had required them to plan for,

and assess, individual children in a focused way differently

from what they had done previously. They developed an in-

depth profile of each child, recording the domains of

development, and the curriculum content in all areas.

Previously, their assessments had focused largely on the

curriculum content—literacy, mathematics, science, arts,

social and environmental awareness, health and physical

well-being (Klein and Knitzer 2006; Oberklaid 2007).

Specifically, identifying exemplars of best practice was

also a new dimension to the educator’s role in that they

became more self-reflective as they identified what had

worked well and what needed further analysis or action

(Roberts-Holmes 2010). They reflected on the individuality

of children in the teaching and caring situations and then

discussed this individuality in teams, bringing an objective

view of each individual child and her/his progress. Edu-

cators also reported that using developmental learning

outcomes made their decision-making for curriculum much

more focused and effective. Group activities were still part

of the planning, but they were underpinned by the detailed

individual planning (Essa 2011; DEEWR 2009).

The following two examples taken from the detailed

eight developmental learning outcomes used in the study

demonstrate how teachers planned and recorded. Using

developmental learning outcomes was a means of gather-

ing data in an authentic, naturalistic way. The domains that

learning areas were linked to were psycho-social, physical,

and thinking and communicating self. Curriculum content

was recorded under key learning areas, and the exemplars

of best practices of teaching were also identified.

Educators’ Planning in the Research Study

Educators for each of the groups of children planned in

advance for each week (see Table 2). They used a planning

framework, which was a cycle of Plan, Implement, and

Review. This framework facilitated an analysis of exactly

what plan, implement and review meant in practice. It was

shown to be an effective way of documenting and gather-

ing evidence.

The following tables show how teachers documented the

learning outcomes of the children. This was done for each

of the 27 children and reflected the work achieved in the

plan, implement, and review cycle. Very detailed pro-

gramme records were kept for each group of children.

Planning occurred and the event was implemented and

reviewed. Each week a small number of focus children

were observed.

Developmental Learning Outcome: ‘Children are

confident and involved learners’ (Example 1)

For assessment (see Table 3), educators, planned, observed

and recorded.

Observations about Zachary (3.0 years old) were based

on three domains of development.

Psycho-Social Self

Zachary had a very pro-social disposition; he made friends

easily and interacted well with other children. He was seen

as the initiator of many conversations and tended to take

lead roles in play. However, in his attempts to be helpful,

he had been perceived by the other children to be aggres-

sive and self-absorbed in his play on several occasions.

Physical Self

Zachary’s fine and gross motor skills were well developed

at entry to child care. He was well coordinated and dem-

onstrated good agility in the outdoor playground. He was at

ease with self-help skills like dressing, feeding and clearing

118 Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123

123

up after himself after the normally occurring activities at

the centre. He demonstrated a preference for physical play

and caused some challenges with appropriate indoor

classroom behaviour prescribed by the educator.

Thinking and Communicating Self

At the beginning of the observation period, it was noted

that Zachary lacked the ability to focus on directed tasks

Table 2 Review of curriculum planning for one sample week (children aged 18 months–3 years)

Junior toddlers (18 months–2 years)

Gross motor skills

Controls body movements and

demonstrates coordination and

balance

Through movement—plays on

large equipment

Fine motor skills

Controls fingers and hands, and

shows eye-hand coordination—

painting, drawing, finger painting,

dough modelling, basic collage

introduced

Self-help skills

Attempts to feed self and helps with

dressing/undressing

Aware of health routines, washes

hands independently under

supervision

Personal relationships with

peers

Demonstrates beginning social

skills with other children—

knows the names of all

children in the group. Enjoys

being with others

Shows sensitivity to others’

feelings—the beginnings of

empathy noted in some of the

2 year olds

Self-awareness

Demonstrates confidence in own

abilities—display of photos,

identifies self

Self-control

Begins to regulate own emotions

and behaviours

independently

and/or with the help of teachers

and peers

Self-expression

Expresses creativity through art

and music

Shows appreciation of favourite

songs and rhymes

Scientific inquiry

Actively explores

the environment

with his/her

senses—

introduced a touch

table

Uses tools to

experiment

Uses language to

describe things in

the environment

Mathematical

reasoning and

logical thinking

Builds beginning

number concepts

Begins to match and

sort objects

Enjoys block play,

tower

constructions

emerging

Receptive

language

Responds to

spoken words

Follows directions

and requests

Enjoys direction

games in small

group

Expressive

language

Communicates

non-verbally

using gestures

and motions

Demonstrates oral

language skills,

using words

Foundations for

reading

Shows beginning

book awareness

Becomes aware of

pictures and

symbols in print

Enjoys favourite

stories and

brings book to

educarers to

share

Seeks out

favourite dolls or

items in the

home corner and

‘‘talks’’ to these

3 focus children observed

during small group

activity—exploring

blue paint and

responding verbally

Detailed anecdotes

recorded

Table 3 Assessing the developmental learning outcome ‘Confident and involved learners’

The child as a confident and involved

learner is

evidenced by:

Asking questions and using senses

to explore the environment

Using tools to investigate

Using vocabulary to describe

observations

Identifying and solving problems

Using hands and body to touch,

take apart, assemble and construct items

Educators show evidence of facilitating children as

confident and involved learners in best practice

when they:

Encourage children to investigate using a range

of thinking styles

Facilitate children in asking questions

Engage children in the process of plan-do-

review to promote deeper thinking

and meta-cognition

Key learning content area:

Early science learning

Inquiry, investigation

Language learning and communication

Speaking, describing, explaining,

questioning

Social and personal learning

Persistence, self-direction, curiosity

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123 119

123

and was easily distracted. He had difficulty following

instructions by the educator and other adults, especially if

there were more than four sequential steps. He was extre-

mely curious and frequently asked questions about what

was happening around him and asked about anything that

was new or novel in the environment.

Zachary’s Involvement in the Curriculum

Educators noted that Zachary found it difficult to stay on

task for an extended period of time. He became easily

distracted, but had a good imagination. He actively par-

ticipated in group activities and was able to communicate

well with others.

The following example shows how the educator facili-

tated two opportunities that encouraged Zachary to use his

natural curiosity and become engaged in learning activities

for longer periods. With appropriate facilitation, Zachary

began to improve in his ability to focus, and was able to

explore in greater depth, hypothesize/predict, and use

problem-solving strategies and choices in his activities.

Allowing for non-interrupted time was critical in helping

Zachary further develop his natural inquisitiveness.

Example 1 provided clear evidence of the educator’s

strategy to scaffold Zachary’s natural curiosity and used it

as a tool for strengthening his learning disposition which

was his persistence in completing a task.

Assessing the Developmental Learning Outcome: ‘A

sense of well-being’

Observations about Soniyha (3.1 years old) based on

developing a sense of well-being (Table 4) and the fol-

lowing three domains of development.

Psycho-Social Self

On entry to the child study centre, Soniyha lacked the

independence to join in with new activities and needed the

facilitation of an adult. However, once settled in the

activity, Soniyha played with the other children with ease.

Soniyha had a positive response to her routine and inter-

acted well when there was a clear schedule to her day.

Physical Self

Soniyha had fine and gross motor skills that were well

developed. She could undress herself with confidence, and

was developing the skill to dress herself independently. She

was able to self-feed, but was still developing the skill of

coordinating the scooping of food into her spoon without

spilling. She was well-coordinated and enjoyed outdoor

play, especially sand play at the sand pit.

Thinking and Communicating Self

Soniyha had a good command of language and was able to

articulate her needs and wants with ease. Although seen as

a quiet child, she was curious and often asked questions of

the staff during activities and would verbalise her obser-

vations to the educator.

Soniyha’s Involvement in the Curriculum

Initially, educators noted that Soniyha lacked the confi-

dence to initiate interactions with other children in her

class. She would react by crying, especially if other chil-

dren made negative comments about what she was wearing

or doing. This sometimes resulted in her refusal to partic-

ipate even in routine activities such as lunch or showering.

Example 2 shows how the educator facilitated an

activity at lunch time. With appropriate support, Soniyha

was able to feed herself with confidence as well as interact

with others at the lunch table, which was something she

was not able to do before. She was able to articulate when

she had enough food and demonstrated the routine steps

required at mealtimes, as well as telling other children what

they had to do after they had finished. This example shows

evidence of Soniyha’s growing sense of well-being to

predict and manage her routines, and the developing

By providing uninterrupted time and a
quiet space, Zachary was able to
investigate his ideas and interests in
diggers by using his body. He liked to
hold a basket with both hands; arms
stretched out and, in a coordinated
movement, used the basket to dig out
Lego pieces. He relied on his prior
experience and observations of
diggers as he explored with his senses
and movement.

In a project where children were
exploring with newspapers, Zachary
engaged in problem solving as the
group of children wondered how they
could get newspapers wrapped around
a pole. He suggested that “we can
twist it” and demonstrated by twisting
the ends of a strip of newspaper
together.

120 Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123

123

acceptance of new discoveries and challenges that she had

gained through the educator’s guidance and the environ-

ment in general.

Example 2 demonstrates the educator’s sensitivity to

Soniyha’s lack of confidence with others. Through the

modeling of ‘helping behaviours’ and the scaffolding of

appropriate language among the children during the

mealtime experience, it is evident from this example that

Soniyha was building a more positive sense of self.

These two examples demonstrate that educators were

able to assess children by identifying developmental out-

comes that link learning to domains of development. At the

same time, the links could be drawn to the learning areas as

shown in the examples. It is proposed that this type of

assessment was meaningful and allowed educators to

record the children’s learning through narratives. It also

allows educators to assess whether or not the curriculum

was effective.

In using developmental learning outcomes to assess

children and plan for their engagement in the curriculum,

educators draw on their knowledge of ways to observe

children. They continue to use a range of teaching strate-

gies including:

1. Direct, focused observation and recording to find out

about children’s naturally occurring behaviour during

their routines, play, curriculum activities, and in their

interactions with their teachers and peers.

• Identify their overall developmental profile—
their strengths and growth areas in all areas of

development—physical, psycho-social, thinking and

communicating, as well as their well-being, health

and daily rhythm in

the centre.

• Identify children’s interests and enjoyment of
curriculum activities, including those that they

avoid and seem to dislike.

• Identify their temperament and disposition includ-
ing information about their well-being, their resil-

ience and persistence at learning tasks.

• Understand how they respond in group and indi-
vidual learning contexts, including records of

verbal and non-verbal interactions with teachers,

caregivers, peers, and any other staff who work in

the centre.

• Find out how they grow and change over time in all
developmental domains.

• Gather information through use of appropriate,
validated assessment tools that measure variables

such as children’s well-being, resilience, active

involvement in the curriculum, and social interac-

tions with staff and peers (Beaty 2009).

2. Through analysis of anecdotal records taken over time

including analysis of children’s play episodes, and how

their friendships develop and change. Such anecdotes

allow teachers to reflect and discuss with parents how

children are growing and developing (Ebbeck and

Waniganayake 2010).

3. Through documenting the episodes of learning using a

variety of visible ways such as by including drawings,

paintings, collage and print work, web work, or any

other pictorial work done by the children. These

should be shared with children, parents and other

teachers (Hutchin 2010).

4. Involve children in evaluation as this can be an aspect

overlooked by educators (Arthur et al. 2012).

5. Documentation of stories and narratives about the

children’s learning process including social interac-

tions, how children approach challenging tasks, dem-

onstrate persistence and resolving situations of conflict

(Carr 2001).

6. Photographs taken by teachers and also by children

enable the recording of many aspects of children’s

engagement in the curriculum. Photographs can also

be used to illustrate how development has changed

over time.

7. Video recordings record children’s engagement in the

curriculum and of their life in the early childhood

centre including their participation in special events

and excursions.

8. Email communications with parents allow the chil-

dren’s achievements and challenges to be readily

shared.

Soniyha feeds herself with scooping
actions with the spoon, while
simultaneously holding the plate in place
to prevent it from moving.

Being independent and confident of the
routine, Soniyha puts away her plate into
the basin after she had finished with her
food.
During mealtime, she understood when
she had had enough to eat.

Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123 121

123

Outcomes of Purposeful Assessment

Early childhood professionals need to be able to share with

parents and colleagues how their assessment is useful in

helping children to learn (Arthur et al. 2012). In addition, it

is important for professionals to be able to articulate to the

broader community, including politicians, administrators,

ministries and funding agencies, what the assessment pro-

cess in early childhood is and why it is an important part in

the formulation of appropriate developmental outcomes for

every child.

Purposeful assessment provides the early childhood

educator with:

• Objective information from the everyday activities
occurring in a centre and from multiple sources that

allow a representative view of children’s developmen-

tal profiles and progress in learning outcomes. This

information allows for professional discussions and the

valid interpretation of information that can present a

holistic view of each child’s development.

• Information about the overall learning effectiveness of
the curriculum which allow gaps in the curriculum

content to be identified.

• Information about the extent to which planned devel-
opmental learning outcomes are being achieved by

children and the flagging of any needed re-direction.

• Information to vary children’s developmental profile if
needed.

• Identification of children who are at risk and who need
to be referred for specialist assistance.

• Shared perspectives from teaching staff and parents of
children’s current and future development.

Conclusion

The research report presented in this paper has shown that

it is possible to bring together multiple sources of assess-

ment data about children to enable the primary purpose of

assessment to be realised, namely, to facilitate children’s

overall development including learning (Winter 2003).

Educators need to work with teaching colleagues and

parents in order to interpret all the data they have gathered

about the children’s engagement in the curriculum,

including their developmental learning outcomes. All of

this information helps teachers to continually plan and

evaluate the curriculum, and facilitate children’s develop-

ment and ongoing learning. Assessment has to be seen as

an integral part of the curriculum, not as an additive but as

a purposeful, ongoing, shared communication about chil-

dren’s learning. As highlighted by the NAEYC and

NAECS/SDE (2003), ‘‘many challenges face efforts to

provide all young children with high quality curriculum,

assessment and evaluation of their programs’’. Adherence

to developmentally appropriate assessment will greatly

facilitate efforts by educational professionals to respond to

these challenges with clearer accountability.

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Table 4 Assessing the Developmental Learning Outcome: A strong sense of well-being

A strong sense of well-being is

evidenced by:

The child feeding self with a spoon,

with

attempts to finish meal

independently

Understanding routine and hygiene

practices

by putting away the utensils after the

meal is finished

Educators show evidence of facilitating children’s sense

of well-being in best practice when they:

Encourage and allow time for the children to

independently adapt to routine and hygiene practices

Recognise, understand and be sensitive to children’s cues during

routine time

Model healthy eating patterns during lunch time

Model ways to handle utensils efficiently

Key learning content area:

Health and physical learning:

Attempts to feed self with spoon

Math:

Categorisation of where utensils

belong

Language:

Sharing naming of foods

Socialisation:

Meal time discussions

122 Early Childhood Educ J (2014) 42:115–123

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  • Relooking Assessment: A Study on Assessing Developmental Learning Outcomes in Toddlers
  • Abstract
    Introduction
    A Closer Look at the Purpose of Assessment
    Assessing Children Through Their Engagement in the Curriculum
    Assessing Developmental Learning Outcomes
    Educators in the study
    Parent Involvement
    Methodology
    Results of the Study
    Educators’ Planning in the Research Study
    Developmental Learning Outcome: ‘Children are confident and involved learners’ (Example 1)
    Psycho-Social Self
    Physical Self
    Thinking and Communicating Self
    Zachary’s Involvement in the Curriculum
    Assessing the Developmental Learning Outcome: ‘A sense of well-being’
    Psycho-Social Self
    Physical Self
    Thinking and Communicating Self
    Soniyha’s Involvement in the Curriculum
    Outcomes of Purposeful Assessment
    Conclusion
    References

5

Assignment Task Part 2

In 125 word response to each colleague do the following

1. Examine

 

the answers posted by your colleagues. Indicate correct answers and address incorrect ones. Reveal the assessment you had selected, and explain why this is the best one for this scenario.

2. Be a critical friend and provide feedback to two of your colleagues on their scenarios. Was there any confusing language? What could have made the scenario clearer and provide needed information? Are there any errors that need to be addressed?

Colleague Responses

Katheryn Gonzales 

Top of Form

Assessment data is used for many different reasons in education to plan instruction and identify students who may have special needs or need particular interventions. Assessment data can be used to monitor progress and document Response to Intervention progress (Banergee & Luckner, 2013). Assessments can offer teachers, speech therapists, special educators, physical therapists, and parents valuable information as they plan ways to assist students in achieving academic goals.

Scenario

:

Khalil is a five-year-old boy who attends a Title 1 school. He came to kindergarten with no prior preschool or pre-kindergarten experience. Khalil is a charming and sensitive boy. He loves music, and he is always smiling. Khalil’s teacher noticed that when asked to sit for circle time, Khalil could not sit with his legs crisscrossed. He would try to sit as the other students, but he struggled to figure out how to crisscross his legs. Khalil’s teacher would have to move his legs to show him how they should look. During circle time, Khalil is very interested in storytime. However, he cannot keep his body still even though he appears engaged in the story. During handwriting practice, Khalil struggles to hold a pencil and is not writing on the lines, and is unable to form letters correctly but can describe precisely how the letter should be written. For example, when writing the lowercase a, he might say, “circle back around, push up, pull down.” Khalil is also remarkably absent-minded at times. Khalil’s teacher is concerned with his ability to follow one or two-step directions. What assessment can the teacher perform to decide what interventions Khalil will need to support him in the classroom?

 

Reference

Banerjee, R., & Luckner, J. (2013). Assessment Practices and Training Needs of Early

Childhood Professionals. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 34(3), 231–248.

https://doi.org/10.1080/10901027.2013.816808

Bottom of Form

Kelli Barnes 

Top of Form

While assessments have and will always be a prominent component of the eucation system , assessments are not always a one-size-fits all.   However, teachers do get caught in redundant trap of conforming to state mandates and overlooking what is best for each indidivual learner.  For this week’s discussion, I enjoyed reading an article that coinsided with my scenario perfectly.  Unfortunately, we have students across the large learning spectrum and every assessment does not accomodate each child.  Thus assessments such as stadardized state tests within the intellectually disabled community do not report reliable and responsible data anmore institutions are implementing individualized assessments. 

Scenario

Anthony, 6 years old, is a male student at a non-Title 1 elementary school.  He is curerntly in Kindergarten for the second time, as he was retained last year. He is caring and loves to ask questions.   He is engaged during story time and loves math!  Math is most certainly his stronger area.   Anthony continues to struggle with recognizing basic sight words and making words withs letters.  Although his previous teacher and the teacher he has this year have implemented several interventions for Anthony to learn letters, their sounds, and begin recognition of some sight words, he does not seem to retain this information.  Anthony is basent a lot which also creates a challenge with his retition of words.  He is currently reading on a level B (Grade level expectations are level D by May).  He knows all letters and most sounds, and 36 sight words.  Other than a running record ( what  has been used), what assessment could Anthony’s teachers use that would provide additional data that would support his learning disability?

Reference

Howlin, P.(2013). Authentic assessment for early childhood intervention. Best practices.

https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=85431231&site=ehost-live&scope=site&authty

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