Assessment in Early Childhood
When using assessments with young children, it is important to make sure that they are being used appropriately and with a specific purpose in mind. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is an important resource to use as you are making decisions about assessment in early childhood. According to Howard, V. F., & Aiken, E. ( 2015), "NAEYC takes the position that assessment in ECE is not only unique and valuable but also vital to implementing developmentally appropriate practices and the success of individual children, their families, ECE professionals, and ECE programs" (p. 60). Developmentally, young children have distinct needs when it comes to assessment, as the traditional paper/pencil assessment is not appropriate.
Therefore, it is important that assessment in early childhood is approached in a developmentally responsive manner, always considering the individual needs of this age group. For this discussion you will reflect on the similarities and differences between assessment with older children and assessment in early childhood, and explore the unique ways in which assessment in early childhood is conducted.
Include the following in your discussion post:
1. Explain why it is necessary to approach assessment in early childhood differently than assessment with older children.
- In what ways are assessments similar, regardless of the age of the children?
- In what ways are assessments in early childhood different?
2. Identify how play-based, project-based, and child-directed learning support the implementation of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood.
3. Compare and contrast your personal stance on assessment with that of either NAEYCor the Division for Early Childhood (DEC). In what ways do they align? In what ways do they differ? Use the course textbook to support your response.
4. Determine what, in your opinion, the role of families is in the assessment-learning process. Thinking about the age of children you desire to work with and the unique needs of that age group, how do you envision working with families during the assessment process? Provide specific examples.
Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. Remember, continuing to engage with peers and the instructor will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic.
Guess the Meaning
As you have discovered throughout this first week, "assessment is an essential educational tool that complements curriculum and instruction" (Howard, V. F., & Aiken, E., 2015, p. 11). In order to effectively utilize this essential tool, it is helpful to have an understanding of the language most commonly used in assessment. To begin this journal you will need to complete "The Language of Assessment" interaction that is located within the Summary and Resources of "Assessing learning and development in young children." After completing the activity, reflect on the following questions:
- How did the activity help to increase your knowledge of vocabulary related to assessment?
- What assessment terms are you still confused about?
- How did completing this activity help you to feel more confident about the content you will be learning in this course?
Suggested Assignment Length:One to two double-spaced pages (not including title and reference pages).