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1. As you read in Chapter 1 of your course text, the assessment-learning process consists of a continuous cycle of assessment, planning, and teaching. It is important to consider that the cycle both begins and ends with assessment. “In between assessment there is continuous planning, teaching, and learning” (Howard, V. F., & Aiken, E., 2015, p. 16). In order to be effective caregivers and educators, we must first understand the purpose of assessment. Once we understand the “why,” we can then focus on the “how.” For this discussion you will reflect on the why, and begin to plan how to move forward in the assessment-learning process.

To prepare for your first discussion, view the Early Childhood Assessment Purposes video. For a transcript of the video, please click HERE. Include the following in your discussion post:

  • According to Pretti-Frontczak (2015), there are six main purposes of assessment: Developmental and Behavioral Screening, Eligibility under IDEA, Planning Instruction, Revising Instruction, Program Evaluation, and Accountability. For this discussion you will choose one of these six purposes of assessment and locate a scholarly resource that provides a rationale for this purpose of assessment.
  • Discuss why your chosen assessment purpose is important for young children and what some of the detriments or problems are, if any. Support this portion of your post with the scholarly resource you located in the step above.
  • Identify how you know where to begin when using assessments with children. Provide specific examples.
  • Analyze the importance of goal setting. What are the implications for improper goal-setting?
  • Explain what the next steps are if an assessment does  not yield comprehensive results.
  • Defend why using multiple measures of assessment is considered a best practice. Include at least two reasons and support your rationale with the text and at least one scholarly resource.

Guided Response: Review several of your peers’ responses. Respond to at least two of your peers who chose a different assessment purpose than you did for the first bullet point. Respectfully comment on their points regarding this purpose, stating what you agree with and why, or by adding further relevant information or examples to support their point.

 

2. 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:

  • 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?
  • Identify how play-based, project-based, and child-directed learning support the implementation of developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood.
  • 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 Chapter 2 of the course textbook to support your response.
  • 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.

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