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ERIC Number: EJ875133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0164-8527
Making Long-Lasting Changes with the Environment Rating Scales
Harms, Thelma
Exchange: The Early Childhood Leaders' Magazine Since 1978, n191 p12-15 Jan-Feb 2010
An assessment with the Environment Rating Scales (ERS) is designed to give early childhood administrators and teaching staff much more than a set of quality scores. Appropriately used, an ERS assessment can provide a blueprint for planning and carrying out both immediate and long-range program improvements. Unfortunately, programs often complete assessments on their classrooms, but do not use them to inform their program improvement efforts in a systematic way. Whether the assessment is a self-assessment or was done by an outside observer, such as the official assessor of a state-run Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) or a technical assistance specialist, it is essential for the teaching staff to understand the specific requirements for each item in the scale in order to make meaningful changes. The classroom quality score is an average score, and by itself, is not helpful to guide program improvement. Giving the staff a copy of the score sheet completed by the assessor is not sufficient feedback either, because it is hard to figure out. In order to use an ERS assessment as a basis for planning and implementing program improvement, frontline staff must be given specific information in an easy-to-read format that points out program strengths, and gives specific information about what needs to be done to improve the low-scoring items. The ultimate value of an assessment with the ERS is to improve the daily experiences that children and their teachers share in an early childhood setting. The process of creating lasting change requires using the scales accurately, becoming a sensitive and reliable observer, learning how to set and achieve short-term goals that give staff a sense of accomplishment and improve the quality of children's lives, and documenting long-range goals that require advocacy, teamwork, and patience to accomplish. In this article, the author discusses how to make long-lasting changes with the ERS. (Contains 1 online resource.)
Exchange Press, Inc. P.O. Box 3249, Redmond, WA 98073-3249. Tel: 800-221-2864; Fax: 425-867-5217; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A