ERIC Number: EJ899323
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Benchmarks Curricular Planning and Assessment Framework: Utilizing Standards without Introducing Standardization
Feldman, Erika N.
Early Childhood Education Journal, v38 n3 p233-242 Oct 2010
The national early learning community faces the challenge of using early learning standards and assessments to improve learning environments while preserving educators' freedom to plan early childhood curriculum that accord with a child-centered focus and developmentally appropriate practices. Drawing on recent developments in approaches to undergraduate assessment, this article introduces an approach to curricular planning and assessment that uses state benchmarks as an umbrella structure to support curricular planning, assessment, and feedback among them. The benchmarks have a hierarchical structure that allows educators to think about benchmarks as embedded within educational goals, spanning different age-ranges, and involving activity across multiple domains of child development. The framework prompts educators to identify benchmarks for particular activities and to assess the age-appropriateness of activities and the degree to which they incorporate multiple domains of development. There are two primary curricular measures: (1) the "match measure" between educator predictions and observed activity, which provides timely feedback about the accuracy of educator predictions for different age-groups and across developmental domains, and (2) an "open-ended measure", which provides information about the ways the children surprised educators by using the activity in an unpredicted manner. Both of these measures inform the development of classroom activities and curriculum. This article reports on the pilot implementation of this approach within an early learning program.
Descriptors: Feedback (Response), Class Activities, Learning Activities, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, Child Development, Evaluation, Benchmarking, Models, Educational Environment, Prediction, Educational Objectives, Age Groups, Teachers, Higher Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A