ERIC Number: ED407172
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
A Developmental Approach to Assessment of Young Children. ERIC Digest.
Katz, Lilian G.
The concept of developmental appropriateness can be applied to the assessment of young children. Clarifying the main purpose for which children are assessed can help determine what kinds of assessments would be most appropriate. Assessment of individual children might serve one of the following purposes: (1) to determine progress on significant developmental achievements; (2) to make placement or promotion decisions; (3) to diagnose learning and teaching problems; (4) to help in instruction and curriculum decisions; (5) to serve as a basis for reporting to parents; and (6) to assist a child with assessing his or her own progress. One should keep in mind that (1) plans, strategies, and assessment instruments are differentially suited for each of the potential purposes of assessment; (2) an overall assessment should include the four categories of educational goals: knowledge, skills, dispositions, and feelings; and (3) assessments made during children's informal work and play are most likely to minimize the potential errors of various assessment strategies. All methods of assessment make errors, and awareness of the potential errors of each method can help minimize errors in interpretation. As they plan assessments of young children's learning, parents and educators may want to: (1) recognize the limitations of report cards and grades; (2) assess aspects of children's functioning that have real meaning; (3) encourage children to assess their own work; (4) encourage children to assess their own progress; and (5) involve children in evaluating the class community. While educators cannot be accountable for all children being above average or for all children being first, they are accountable for applying all teaching strategies and efforts known to be effective and appropriate for the learning situation at hand. Assessment procedures should therefore indicate which of the strategies and resources available and judged appropriate have been employed to help each individual child. (LPP)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Champaign, IL.