Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Examine a variety of sociopolitical influences on assessment practices in the early childhood setting.
2. Compare and analyze position statements of key groups including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE), Program for Infant and Toddler Care (PITC), the Child Development Division (CDD), as well as federal mandates regarding assessment and documentation.
3. Articulate how and why authentic observation-based assessment has emerged in recent educational research and practice.
4. Examine the influences of social context, primary language, development and environment on assessment processes.
5. Describe the essential characteristics of a variety of widely used assessment methods and tools.
6. Utilize observation tools and methods to identify and assess children's interests, behavior and development.
7. Utilize observation tools (Harms-Clifford Environmental Rating Scales, Desired Results Developmental Profile) to identify quality characteristics and principles in early childhood programs, including environment, curriculum and care routines.
8. Interpret and apply information from observations and assessments to recommend curricular and environmental changes to support group and individual needs.
9. Articulate the value of involving families and other professionals in the observation and assessment process.
10. Demonstrate knowledge of the legal and ethical responsibilities, including confidentiality related to assessment in early childhood settings.
A. Authentic, observation-based assessment
1. The research and rationale behind the use of authentic observation-based assessment
2. Basic assumptions about learning and teaching in the role of assessment
B. Geopolitical and social influences on assessment practices
1. National and state educational goals for early childhood education
2. School readiness perspective
3. Standards-based curricula and assessment
4. The family's role in the assessment process
5. Assessment to inform teaching practices and teacher accountability
C. Developmental considerations
1. Infants and toddlers
3. School age
D. Influences of relevant research in child development and learning
1. Early brain development
2. Learning styles and modalities
3. Dual language learners
4. Social development and attachment patterns
E. Guidelines for observing children
1. Legal and ethical responsibilities
2. Objectivity and personal bias
3. Appropriate procedures of child observation
4. Methods of recording and documenting
a. anecdotal notes
b. running records
c. specimen records
d. time sampling
e. event sampling
f. checklists and rating scales
g. audio tapes, video tapes, digital camera
F. Common assessment tools used in California for children and programs
1. Desired Results, Desired Results Developmental Profile Revised (DRDPr)
2. Creative Curriculum
3. Harms-Clifford Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scales
4. Standardized testing
G. Organization and setting up portfolios
1. Collecting and organizing anecdotals and work samples
2. Analyzing portfolio assessments
3. Strategies to report child progress
H. Interpreting observation data
1. Applying a developmental continuum for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children
2. Summarizing and documenting assessment findings for individual children and groups
3. Considerations for children with special needs; early intervention
I. Application of observation finding to support children and programs
1. Curriculum development and planning
2. Emergent curriculum based on observations
3. Behavioral considerations and adult responses
4. Environmental changes and enhancements
J. Communicating and collaborating with parents and other professionals
1. Obtaining initial information from families about their children
2. The collaborative conference
3. Communicating children's needs at staff meetings
Week By Week-Documenting The Development Of Young Children by Barbara Ann Nilsen, 3rd Edition. Thomson/Delmar Learning, Clifton Park, N.Y.,2004
Observing Development Of The Young Child by Janice Beaty, 6th Edition. Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall, Columbus Ohio. 2006
Authentic Assessment Of Young Children-Celebrating Development and Learning by Margaret Puckett and Janet Black. 2nd Edition. Merill/Prentice Hall, Columbus Ohio. 2000 (classic)