Assessment information is vital to guide teachers’ planning. The excellent teacher uses her observations and other information gathered to inform her planning and teaching, giving careful consideration to the learning experiences needed by the group as a whole and by each individual child.
—Carol Copple and Sue Brede
Discussion 1: What Are Responsible Assessment Practices? And How Do They Support Healthy Development and Positive Learning Outcomes for Young Children and Their Families?
Early childhood educators, as well as all other educators, are asked every day to make decisions that come, in one way or another, from assessment. All of these decisions will affect a child’s learning outcomes. In a world where abuse of assessment and charges of misuse run rampant, what exactly are responsible assessment practices, and what do they mean to an early childhood educator?
This Discussion examines responsible assessment and the NAEYC’s position on what constitutes good practice. You will examine your own practice and select assessments that are appropriate for use in the learning environment. You will determine the best uses for these assessments and explain how they should be used and what data they will provide. Selecting the proper assessment instrument is crucial to supporting healthy development and positive learning outcomes in young children.
· Review this module’s Learning Resources and reflect on the material. Pay particular attention to NBPTS Early Childhood Generalist, NAEYC Position Statement, the video How to Observe Children, along with the Jiban (2015), Sparks (2015), and Dennis, Rueter, and Simpson (2013) articles and recommended readings.
· Then, considering the definition of assessment, carefully note the various ways to assess young children while considering your own practice.
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post the following:
· In your own words, define “responsible assessment” and provide a rationale for your definition. Support your statements from the assigned readings.
· Identify two elements from the NAEYC position statement that best reflect your personal philosophy regarding assessment and that you believe are of the greatest importance to the field. Explain your selection and support your statements from the assigned readings.
Copple, C. & Bredekamp, S. (Eds). (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs: Serving children from birth through age 8 (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
· “NAEYC Position Statement” (pp. 1–16)
· “NAEYC Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Practice” (pp. 16–24)
· “To Be an Excellent Teacher” (pp. 33–50)
Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2015a). How to observe children [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 5 minutes.
Janet Gonzales-Mena provides observation information key to professionals in the early childhood field.