Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Assessment: An Essential Component Of Effective Early Childhood Programming

Chapter 11 / Planning and Administering Early Childhood Program

Aloha Everyone!

Before a student is accepted in our school they need to go through a screening assessments this determine an in-depth assessment of that student. They also need to go through a diagnostic assessment this identify a special plans (interventions) for that student.

I do believe that assessment does benefit both the teacher and the student. Performance assessment and documentation are method we use in school. These process helps a teacher understand his/or her student’s growth and learning development.

“Assessment is an essential component of the evaluation process through which professionals collect and analyze data to help gain an understanding of children’s development and program effectiveness.”

We also use naturalistic observation in our school and this method is awesome in my opinion. We let our students engaged in regular day to day activities this allows us to see our students individuality.

The Quality of Assessment in Early Childhood Education

The four principles of Te Whariki was interesting to me. First Kei Tua o te Pae helps teachers improve their teaching with a series of books to show how children and parents can contribute to their child’s assessment and learning goals. As teachers we have parents meeting were we discuss their Childs learning goals, we have teachers training program to learn about new up-dated learning skills, and books to keep us informed with new ideas and theory.
Second Te Whatu Pōkeka “provide a resource based on a kaupapa Māori perspective and context.” My fellow classmate, I don’t understand what this is saying “The focus of the resource is the assessment in early childhood setting?” Third Assessment for Learning this involves noticing, recognising and responding to a student’s learning skills. As a teacher this helps me understand my student learning skills. I learn something new about my students when I use this method. And last, Learning outcomes this includes quality teaching with learning practice in early childhood care, this improves learning outcomes for my students. The quality of assessment is so important in early childhood education. Like I said in some of my earlier blogs, early childhood care is a student’s learning foundation.


  1. Hi Gary, Wow, you guys use a lot of assessment tools that my program doesn't use. I would be interested to learn more about your screening assessments. Is your school a private program? I think we use something similar to naturalistic observation, is it kind of like anecdotal records?
    I think what I got from the Te Whariki program's assessment philosophies were that assessment is needed for the growth and development of children and the program. Without it, the program would not be of benefit to young children. I forgot about what I thought when reading that statement that you mentioned. I would think that it would mean that the exemplars or the focus of the handbook is assessment of young children at their program. I also felt that they were saying the most valuable resource that we can use in an early childhood program is the children, what they are learning, and going to learn. I feel that the essence of this (the child) is captured in quality assessment. With assessment we can begin to develop our program and pedagogy so that we help support and nurture each child. I agree with you about the importance of quality assessment.

  2. Hi Gary,
    In response to -- Second Te Whatu Pōkeka “provide a resource based on a kaupapa Māori perspective and context.” My fellow classmate, I don’t understand what this is saying -- part of your blog. This is sharing how it is used to give the teacher the viewpoint of assessment from the indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maori.

    Assessment is often written with a normalizing gaze framed by white, middle class people. How can the inclusion of other perspectives, presented as a primary resource (rather than the add on to the middle class, white perspective) change how children are assessed and discussed? How might the implementation of these ideas influence our practices in Hawaii?


  3. I think that it is a good idea to assess the children when they first come into preschool. I would be more interested in how you do this and what the assessments looks like. I work at a college lab school and I assess the children at the end of each semester. I would rather assess the children at the very beginning - like you do and at the end of the year to see the growth over a period of time. Plus during the breaks I could work on the portfolios. As of right now time is a big problem for me because there isn't enough of it. Anyway, I'm really interested in the type of assessment that you do - is there a way that you could e-mail me your in-depth assessment on the children that you do before the children enter your program? Thanks either way! By the way where to you work?

  4. Aloha,
    We too here at our school do a lot of assessments of our children. It is one of the primary focuses of our school. I believe in order to get a better understanding and a factual perspective of where the children are in their development assessments needs to be done for us throughout the semester. Sometimes though I as well as my assistant teacher and our lab students sometimes feel overwhelmed by the assessments ( we use Creative Curriculum, Brigance, lesson plan, evaluations and naturalistic observations. We do observations daily, it is an ongoing process for us, but sometimes I feel so overwhelmed. Anecdotals, observation, assessments, evaluations, pictures, work samples. Sometimes myself as well as my staff and our lab students feel so stressed out and that it is such a demanding process becasue we do so much each day. I have tons of observations and last year I alone had about 5,000 pictures. We then have to input all of the information into the creative curriculum website. After all of this we then create our portfolios. I know that the assessment and portfolios are necessary and the best thing for the children and families and the teachers too, but is there an easier way of doing it? Do you have any suggestions?

  5. I think that it is great to assess a child to see what level he/she is on so the teachers know exactly how they can help that child and watch to see how they progress. If there was a problem and it was not getting needed attention then the problem would only worsen.
    I think it is very enjoyable to observe young children playing. They play without a care and can have so much fun even with very little. It is very interesting to see how they play and what kind of things they say. You can get a good idea of this child’s personality by observing carefully.

  6. Hi Gary,

    Your school uses a lot of asssessments, but what kind of information does the assessment provide you... Assessments in my understanding are usually geared to understand where the child is cognitively but I do like that your school does natural observation. Placing the child in the classroom and observing their interaction with the toys/materials provided and with the other children is the best way to assess a child. By their performance in the classroom, a teacher can pretty much tell where the child is developmentally.


  7. hey gary,
    I remember at a preschool that I was at before we did assessment in the beginning of school. I know that there is one teacher working with the child, while another teacher is working with the parent and asking them question...I think it does give both positive to both the child and teacher. Teacher can find and work with what the children can do and can not do.

  8. I see how assessment is beneficial for the teacher to understand where the child is at. I like the idea of having a child assessed before entrance. I wonder what kinds of assessment you use. You use the word "intervention" for one reason you assess. Does your school have special needs teachers or do you folks find the necessary help once you have assessed the child's needs?