Topics in Early Childhood Education

Friday, August 19, 2005

Assessment will continue

Whether early childhood experts like it or not, we will be forced to continue to assess preschool children. As I mentioned in the last entry, I think it is appropriate that we are accountable for helping children with school readiness skills prior to entering kindergarten. One of the hindrances in assessing preschool children has always been the fact that many early childhood educators are poorly paid and poorly prepared educationally to create effective and authentic assessment tools. As long as early childhood programs continue to have low wages, teachers without educational degrees will be filling the positions. This leads to a lack of expertise when it comes to evaluating the progress of individual children. When this happens, assessments that are not developmentally appropriately administered creep into the system. In this day of fairly homogeneous early childhood performance standards, the appropriateness of an evaluation is not in what is evaluated, but how the evaluation occurs within the early childhood setting.
I believe that the beginning of a good preschool assessment system begins with good assessment tools. Using these tools in a developmentally appropriate way is what makes the assessment authentic and accurate.

3 Comments:

At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi John

This is my first response and I would enjoy your response.

I enjoyed reading your comments today regarding assessment. I agree that there needs to be some kind of accountability measurement to assess 4 year olds before entering kindergarten. My concern is, I teach for Head Start, eight years, and I disagree with the fact that the current legislation is using a standardized assessment as a measuring tool to continue funding a National Program that has been in existence for over forty years and had numerous researches to support its success. The use of portfolios is an unobtrusive, ongoing assessment to use as a measuring tool. Inconspicuously I continuously collect writing samples, photos, anecdotal observations, and art samples. I am very interested in knowing how you assess your Pre-K students??
June

 
At 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi John.

I have never been on a blog site before.

I found alot of valuable information on your site. I work for Head Start and enjoy assessing children. I like to see the A-HA moment on their face. I use journals, portfolios, and art work to assess the children. I also use other informal assessments during their work and outside time.

 
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