Mod6 8083 Dis
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
Respond to two of your colleagues in the following ways of 100 words each
Provide feedback on their points about assessment and data-driven decisions.
Suggest a strategy to help them achieve their goals regarding assessment.
Suggest a resource that might be beneficial for attaining their goals
RE: Discussion – Module 6
Top of Form
Based on the educator’s review and reflection of all the learning materials for the course, there are seven important points of assessment and data-driven learning that can be explained in greater detail. The seven important points of assessment and data-driven learning consist of (1) the value of maintaining authenticity in assessment, (2) the use of multiple methods of assessment to achieve a fuller, comprehensive development profile, (3) the coverage of multiple domains of learning in the assessment process, (4) the need for assessments to be aligned with the curriculum and instruction of the educational program, (5) the end goal for assessments to employ evidence-based interventions, (6) assessments optimizing childhood learning, and (7) assessments being more beneficial and purpose-driven when involving family participation.
One of the most important points concerning assessments as an aspiring program leader of an early childhood learning facility is acknowledging the value of maintaining authenticity in the assessments. For example, Bagnato and colleagues (2014) conducted a research study to validate that authentic assessment is the “best practice” for early childhood intervention. It is important to recognize for program directors and teachers in an early childhood learning facility that “authentic observations” of young learners must be conducted especially when they are at play or engaged in self-directed learning activities. Anderson (2016) asserts that authentic assessment can be a powerful tool for early childhood educators because it provides insights into each child’s unique developmental path and progress. For the teacher, an authentic assessment process involves a consistent, comprehensive reflection on observational notes, artistic creations, emergent writing samples, and other learning outcomes to assess the individual child’s growth and progress as an individual and within the class group (Anderson, 2016). The singular advantage of using authentic assessment is reducing unintended or implicit biases by teachers and program leaders. The implicit biases are automatic, subconscious biases that teachers may have without conscious awareness about expectations and interactions with children in the learning environment (Anderson, 2016). The authentic assessments can greatly reduce the biases for teachers because they are depending on a comprehensive array of materials and observations deliberately done as accurately, factually, and realistically as possible through a conscious effort to exercise authenticity. In addition, authentic assessments guide teachers to perceive children in their learning environments in a strength-based manner rather than considering potential deficits and challenging behaviors (Anderson, 2016). It is more culturally appropriate and responsive because children can demonstrate they can apply specific learning concepts and learning skills within their own cultural schemas.
Another important point acquired from the course material is the use of multiple methods of assessment to achieve a comprehensive profile of a young learner. A program leader and the teachers of an early childhood education facility must understand how to use these various methods of assessment including tests, observation, portfolios, and educator and parental ratings. These different methods of assessment were rigorously overviewed and discussed in the course material. The key advantage of using all the methods of assessment is different data being derived in the process to assess the child’s learning progress and future learning needs. This is the data that can permit program leaders and teachers to decide what kind of interventions are beneficial for each child learner in the program. For instance, Bierman and colleagues (2017) conducted a study on low-income preschool children who benefited from having home visits and evidence-based interventions. The researchers found that multiple methods of assessment were useful in collecting vital data on student-teacher relationships, classroom participation, and social competence of the young learners (Bierman et al, 2017). The clearest benefit is that multiple methods of assessment provide data sets that help construct comprehensive students’ profiles for teachers, parents, and program leaders to decide what evidence-based interventions are appropriate for each unique child learner.
The domains of learning for young children are relevant and important for the assessment process. The domains include gross and fine motor skills, language, cognitive, social/emotional, adaptive, and morals/values. Program leaders, teachers, and parents must be cognizant and conscious of the domains of early childhood development to enable them to effectively apply the assessment methods and derive the accurate, valued data from them in the context of the domains. When undertaking observation logs or constructing portfolios for young learners, the different domains become critical to recording the appropriate, useful data that marks developmental progress in the different domains. However, there is room for improvement among educators to make the domains of learning more conducive for children to learn more effectively. For example, Piasta and colleagues (2015) conducted a research to improve learning opportunities for early childhood educators in science and math, so they could improve their own understanding of these subject matters to improve the curriculum and approaches to teaching science and math in early childhood classrooms with the goal of heightening the interest levels for the child learners in the subjects.
Another important point is the need for assessments to be aligned with the curriculum and instruction of the educational program in the early childhood education facility. In the course material, an in-depth analysis was undertaken to ensure aspiring early childhood educators understand how important this becomes for successful educational programs. In other words, the assessment methods and data have to provide insights into what evidence-based interventions are appropriate for individual child learners in the context of the program’s curriculum and instruction. The assessments must represent the valued outcomes on which the curriculum and instruction is focused (McLachlan et al, 2018). For example, teachers making observation logs and constructing portfolios for their young learners must be doing this in the context of the program’s curriculum and instructional content which entails that a program leader and teachers must engage in an honest, open dialogue about the assessment methods being aligned with the educational program’s curriculum and instructional content. In addition, this also entails parents being made aware of the importance of how data from their observations and data collected from home environments must be aligned with the program’s curriculum and instructional content.
The next two important points can be discussed together since the end goal for assessments is to employ evidence-based interventions because assessments must always optimize children’s learning. Based on the course material, assessments in early childhood education are done to optimize the learning environment and experiences for the young children. In addition, these assessments are undertaken to decide which evidence-based interventions should be selected to help the young learners progress in their development in the various domains. For example, Terrell and Watson (2018) conducted an extensive review of relevant literature to find a variety of direct and indirect intervention practices for young children in the home, childcare facilities, and preschools that support and enhance all aspects of oral and written literacy. By reviewing a number of these intervention practices, the researchers concluded that parents and teachers need to comprehend which practices are age appropriate and when children are ready for such practices to continue to develop their literary skill sets (Terrell and Watson, 2018). The evidence-based interventions become effective when parents and teachers are aware of when and how to employ them at the right time and situation. In turn, evidence-based interventions would optimize learning for the young children.
The final important point acquired from the course material is that assessments are more beneficial and purpose-driven when involving family participation. It is obvious that most parents do not know how to use assessments which means that parents need to be with teachers and program leaders in early childhood educational facilities to learn about assessment methods, how to use them in the home environment, and the value of accurate data collection in the home environment. For example, parents can be instructed on how to use observational data logs and know how important this data becomes in the comprehensive profile building of their child’s learning progress and needs. For example, Kiracioglu and colleagues (2019) in their study conducted on families’ involvement in their children’s preschool education including the assessment process, concluded there was a positive impact on the children’s learning progress compared to those in a control group whose parents and families did not become involved. The researchers found that families’ participation in the assessment process of their children in the home environment when they were doing their routines or at play, was critically important for building data on their children’s learning needs and progress (Kiracioglu et al, 2019). Despite the time and effort that needs to be invested in involving parents in the assessment process, the positive impact can bring further benefits to the young learners’ progress.
Involving families in the assessment process becomes even more challenging when dealing with parents who speak another language as the primary language in their home environments. However, this is critical to motivate the parents to become involved in their children’s assessment process in their own language and providing them observation log forms in their native language as well. A program leader must be ready to challenge and take the task to include toward the parents and families who use different languages. It also may require the hiring of interpreters to inform parents about how to use the assessment process, make observation logs, and comprehend its importance in their child’s learning progress. It is culturally appropriate and much more accurate to allow parents to use their own language and feel more at ease in taking observation logs in their own language. It is the program’s leader’s responsibility to ensure the parents are included in the assessment process and that being fluent in a different language is not an obstacle. As research validates, families’ participation in the assessment process of young children’s learning is important in helping to accurately assess learning needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
Anderson, D. (2016). Authentic assessment: A critical tool for early childhood educators. New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.
Authentic Assessment: A Critical Tool for Early Childhood Educators – The Institute Blog (earlychildhood ny.org)
Bagnato, S. J., Goins, D. D., Pretti-Frontczak, K., & Neisworth, J. T. (2014). Authentic assessment as “best practice” for early childhood intervention: National consumer social validity research. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 34(2), 116-127.
Bierman, K. L., Heinrichs, B. S., Welsh, J. A., Nix, R. L., & Gest, S. D. (2017). Enriching preschool classrooms and home visits with evidence‐based programming: sustained benefits for low‐income children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 58(2), 129-137.
Kiracioglu, D., Demirbas-Celik, N., & Aytaç, P. (2019). Effectiveness of family involvement activities in pre-school education. Global Journal of Guidance and Counseling in Schools: Current Perspectives, 9(3), 131-137.
McLachlan, C., Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2018). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment and implementation. Cambridge University Press.
Piasta, S. B., Logan, J. A., Pelatti, C. Y., Capps, J. L., & Petrill, S. A. (2015). Professional development for early childhood educators: Efforts to improve math and science learning opportunities in early childhood classrooms. Journal of educational psychology, 107(2), 407.
Terrell, P., & Watson, M. (2018). Laying a firm foundation: Embedding evidence-based emergent literacy practices into early intervention and preschool environments. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49(2), 148-164.
2 days ago
RE: Discussion – Module 6
Top of Form
Assessments are a critical part of every early childhood program. Without assessments, educators have little information on how to guide learning. Seven important things that I have learned during this class are:
When assessing children, think of the purpose of the assessment. This is important because there are many different assessments and types of assessments. Educators should think of the information they are needing to collect. For example, if the purpose is to assess a child’s current understanding of a lesson taught, then formative assessment might be more appropriate than summative. Summative, formative, formal, and informal data should be collected.
It is critical to use the data to make educational decisions and decide next steps such as acceleration, remediation, or interventions. Educators must use data to determine the support students may need.
A variety of assessments should be used to get the full picture. There is no one assessment that can give a full picture of a child’s ability or skill, but by using multiple ongoing assessments educators can get a better idea of how a child is developing.
Assessments should be valid, reliable, and developmentally appropriate. When collecting data educators should ensure that the data collected is valid and reliable. Children should be assessed using developmentally appropriate practices in order to receive valid data.
Data should be ongoing and meaningful. Children should be assessed in multiple ways often. Teachers can use quick checks, observations, group work, projects, tickets out the door, and many other assessments to check for understanding.
Assessments should be aligned with the curriculum. The purpose of assessment should be to ensure healthy development and understanding of instructional content. The curriculum and assessment should work together.
Families should be part of the assessment process. Families are vital members of the assessment team. They see their children in a different setting. The information they can provide is important to the assessment process, especially for children with developmental delays. Any significant concerns may be impacting multiple areas.
Educators should make every effort to communicate with parents. Educators should create a welcoming environment with various opportunities for teachers and parents to communicate, ensure the assessments include multiple settings, use assessments to connect home and school practices, and help families make connections between the curriculum and the educational standards, (Caspe, M., et. al., 2013). Information should be presented in a culturally responsive way. Teachers should create a partnership with families by collaborating with parents about observations and assessments, (Elicker, J., McMullen, B., 2013). Creating partnerships with families and getting to know them will help to promote healthy development for the child. Teachers can give parents resources and support. A personal goal that I have is to use more formative data to drive instructional decisions. Formative data should be used to determine small group lessons and make other instructional decisions.
Caspe, M., Seltzer, A., Kennedy, J. L., Cappio, M., & DeLorenzo, C. (2013). Engaging Families in the Child Assessment Process. YC: Young Children, 68(3), 8–14.
Elicker, J., & McMullen, M. B. (2013). Appropriate and Meaningful Assessment in Family-Centered Programs. YC: Young Children, 68(3), 22–27
Bottom of Form