Assessment in Early Childhood Education

Assessment in Early Childhood Education
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  • ISBN-13: 9780131401945
  • ISBN: 0131401947
  • Edition: 4
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall


Wortham, Sue C.


Students preparing to become elementary school teachers take a course in tests and measurement as part of their undergraduate curriculum. Many textbooks for such courses describe both standardized and teacher-designed tests and how they are used to assess and evaluate students. Students preparing to become teachers of young children--those from infancy through the primary grades--must be prepared to measure or evaluate children who are in the period of development calledearly childhood.Tests and other types of assessments designed for young children are different from those intended for children in later grades in elementary school. Because infants and children under age 8 have developmental limitations different from those of older children, a textbook that includes discussion of assessment in the early childhood years must be written from a developmental perspective. TRADITIONAL AND AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES This book is written especially for teachers and future teachers of young children. It includes information about standardized tests and, more important, other types of assessments that are appropriate for young children, such as observation, checklists, and rating scales. Assessments designed by teachers are explained both for preschool children and for kindergarten and primary grade children who are transitioning into literacy. With the ever-growing trend toward performance assessment, portfolios, and other methods of reporting a child's performance, chapters describing these strategies have been expanded and enhanced. The approach of this edition is the development of an assessment system that includes both traditional and authentic assessment strategies in a comprehensive plan. Thus, in this edition of the text, I seek to inform the reader about all types of assessments and their appropriate use. HOW TO ASSESS YOUNG CHILDREN Earlier editions of this book were developed in response to the expressed needs of teachers and graduate students who must understand and use current trends in assessment and put them into perspective within the reality of public schools that are required to focus intensively on standardized tests. Fortunately, commercial publishers of curriculum kits and textbooks for public schools are increasingly including performance as well as traditional assessments in their guides for teachers. Portfolios are becoming common as well. Nevertheless, teachers still need help on how to maintain a balance between these new strategies and standardized testing. An important factor in the assessment of young children is when and how they should be measured. This is a controversial issue. The strengths and weaknesses of each type of assessment presented are discussed, as is research on the problems surrounding testing and evaluation in early childhood. Because many sources in the literature and other textbooks do not include the limitations as well as the merits of assessment techniques, this 4 text provides an objective perspective on issues surrounding the efficacy and effectiveness of assessment strategies. ORGANIZATION The book is divided into four parts. Part I provides an introduction to assessment in early childhood in chapters 1 and 2. Part II is devoted to standardized tests and how they are designed, used, and reported in chapters 3 and 4. Informal assessments are discussed in part III. Observation, checklists, rating scales, and rubrics are covered in chapters 5 and 6, while teacher-designed strategies and performance-based strategies are described in chapters 7 and 8. Finally, part IV is devoted to the use of assessment systems and how all the strategies discussed in the chapters leading to part IV can be incorporated into an assessment system or comprehensive assessment plan.Wortham, Sue C. is the author of 'Assessment in Early Childhood Education', published 2004 under ISBN 9780131401945 and ISBN 0131401947.

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