New Zealand Research In Early Childhood Education Journal, 17, 19-32. What are early childhood teachers’ understandings of learning assessments? From my personal experience, there appears to be anecdotal evidence that suggests there are numerous factors influencing assessment practices. Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best practice resource that will support teachers to improve the quality of their assessment … If you continue browsing the site, you agree to the use of cookies on this website. Demands on teachers’ time. Formal centre evenings discussing assessment and children’s learning. This teacher provided parents with her scheduled noncontact times and the centre phone and email address to ensure that parents could contact her. Early childhood professionals use a range of assessment tools, processes and approaches to build on prior learning, avoid duplication and add value. Reisman, M. (2011). Adding details of conversations with children into learning stories. Facebook Teachers discussed the general practicalities of working with children in this way when you are still ‘in ratio;’ however, overall teachers felt there was merit in this idea. Teachers in this setting were working hard and actively looking for ways they could make assessment work on a daily basis. In J. Nuttall (Ed. Evidence suggests that it is common practice for teachers to complete one assessment (generally a learningstory) for each child per month (Blaiklock, 2008). The exemplars are a series of books that inform assessment practices in ECE. In her earlier work, Carr (2001) also recognises that “qualitative and interpretive methods using narrative methods – learning stories – are timeconsuming,” highlighting that teachers “have had to develop ways in which these more story-like methods can be manageable” (p. 18). Podmore and Carr (1999) argued that the sociocultural nature of Te Whāriki meant that these assessment practices needed to change to align with the principles and strands outlined in the credit based curriculum. curriculum Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996) requires early childhood teachers to ‘plan activities, resources, and events which build upon and extend children’s interests’ (p.83), and a play-based, child-initiated curriculum is a common choice in NZ ECE settings. However, the frequency and amount of time off the floor to complete assessments varies from setting to setting. Although many authors have praised the learning story framework (Dunn, 2004; Feltham, 2005; Hatherly & Sands, 2002; Mitchell & New Zealand Council for Educational, 2008; Nyland & Alfayez, 2012; Reisman, 2011), not all are convinced of the effectiveness of learning stories; Blaiklock (2008, 2010), for example, voices concerns about this assessment framework. People are therefore actively creating rather than producing knowledge, and there are many alternative constructions of knowledge. It is used for curriculum planning, and for informing children, parents and whānau, other kaiako, and external support agencies about learning and progress over time. ). Kei Tua o Te Pae discusses a process of noticing, recognising and responding, which is often used to assess children’s learning in ECE settings (Ministry of Education, 2004a). Initial research findings highlight that teachers in this setting were putting a lot of effort into assessment practices, with a particular focus on incorporating the voices of children, parents, families/whānau and other teachers within documented assessments. The context for te whāriki: Contemporary issues of influence. In a recent literature scan for the Ministry of Education (2015), the writers have called for “a reinstatement of professional development in assessment for all teachers and in all early childhood settings” (p. 54). The key theoretical framework that I have used within this study is social constructionism. Moss, P., Dillon, J., & Statham, J. This article draws on a qualitative ethnographic study of one early childhood setting. I had been introduced to the learning story, strength based framework as part of my studies and questioned why the centre was not using learning stories. In this way, the learning story framework is closely aligned to the founding aspiration of Te Whāriki “for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators” (Ministry of Education, 1996, p. 9). It also has famous thought leaders in ECE, including Margaret Carr,an early collaborator in Educa. In Ministry of Education (Ed.). Summary. } Knowledge is seen not as something people have or do not have, but rather as something people do together; knowledge exists between people (Burr, 1995; Lock & Strong, 2010; Moss, Dillon, & Statham, 2000). I feel my knowledge and understanding of assessment is consistently on the move, as I explore assessment more and read about others’ perspectives. Linda Mitchell . Teachers were assigned a group of children based on the days children attended the setting and the teachers’ scheduled work days. Nonetheless, when it came to the next steps for learning, I seemed to fall back into a deficit view, focusing on what children could not yet do. [CDATA[ Currently, formative, narrative, sociocultural assessments are promoted and endorsed as being integral to quality provision in licensed The Education Review Office (2007, 2013) has supported the widespread use of learning stories, and substantial government funding went into providing resources and professional development to support the implementation of learning stories (Blaiklock, 2010). This resulted in the publication of Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars (Ministry of Education, 2004a) and professional development to support the implementation of the exemplars that followed. They also show how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning. Generally, teachers had between 12-15 children’s profile books for which they were responsible. ... to bring together New Zealand and international commentary on the history, implementation, and influence of Aotearoa New Zealand’s groundbreaking early childhood curriculum framework. Within this deficit discourse, the focus was on identifying what children could not yet do and supporting them to be able to achieve in these areas (Carr, 2001). In 2006, Congress requested that the National Research Council conduct a study of developmental outcomes and appropriate assessment of young children. A high proportion of teachers of Year 7-10 students in New Zealand often have students use ICT for projects and class work. DOPs 3 and 4 set out requirements for planning programmes, assessing children’s learning and development, evaluating programmes, and improving the quality of curriculum. An analysis of New Zealand's changing history, policies and approaches to early childhood education. Learning and teaching stories: New approaches to assessment and evaluation. Florian, L., & Black-Hawkins, K. (2010). Teachers who are not qualified and potentially have little knowledge about curriculum, assessment and planning may be asked to write learning stories. Speaking with colleagues about this, I discovered that I was not alone, and other teachers were struggling to make the shift in thinking and practice. Blaiklock (2008; 2010), in particular, believes that the amount of time it takes for teachers to write a learning story is not manageable for teachers on a daily basis. Some teachers follow a format that may have been passed down from management, and have quite clear parameters around what should be included in the story. It was noted that children’s interest sheets were generally pasted into the front of children’s profile books; however, sending these to parents on a more regular basis may help teachers gain a greater depth of knowledge about children’s changing interests. Teachers develop ways to assess children’s learning based on what works for them and their setting. The learning story framework purposefully avoided providing a road map for how to write a learning story, so that each early childhood setting and teacher could find their own meaningful ways of assessing children’s learning. Teachers questioned whether adding formal parent evenings to the more common practice of informal conservations with parents at drop off and pick up times may help ensure parents feel informed about their child’s learning within the setting. } There was a sense that reducing the amount of time between writing a story and children, parents and other teachers reading a story would help to improve communication surrounding children’s learning. Assessment can be defined as the gathering of information in order to make informed instructional decisions (Snow and van Hemel 2008), and this is its key purpose in early childhood education. Leaving space at the end of a learning story for parent comment was discussed, and teachers again felt they had mixed results with this strategy. Similar to my experiences, Turnock (2009) found that teachers in their study were noticing and recognising children’s strengths, interests and abilities, but when it came to planning future learning pathways, teachers often focused on the deficit. Variable knowledge and guidance. Best Practice Guide [BPG 6/11] When an emergency such as an earthquake occurs, the safety of … All programs in early childhood education are not equally effective in promoting the learning and development of young children. They are ideal for planning your ECE - Early Childhood Education programmes in New Zealand. Teachers in this setting recognised the importance of including the contributions of children, parents, families/whānau and other teachers. Collaborating with the learning community (children, parents, families/whānau, and other teachers) is valued, and learning stories aim to include multiple perspectives (Feltham, 2005). Providing space in learning stories for parents to contribute. In. Some key factors that influence the implementation of assessment practices within an ECE context are: Whilst my interest in assessment for learning has grown and developed over the years, it continues to feel partial and ever changing. A critique of the use of learning stories to assess the learning dispositions of young children. Research report - 2018. Hill, D. (2011). In early childhood education (ECE) in Aotearoa/New Zealand, meaningful assessment may be happening when teachers assess children’s significant learning experiences and develop possible future learning experiences with children, parents, families/whānau and other teachers. Policymakers and those who influence education policy have several issues to consider regarding early childhood assessment. New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) Laying a strong foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of early childhood education, this program equips students to become resourceful and reflective professionals, competent in the key areas of learning. environment: "live", There are even ECE templates in Māori. Qualitative and interpretive methods that focus on showing the learner and their achievements in the contexts of … London: Paul Chapman Publishing. How do teachers make sense of learning assessments? Qualified teachers may be asked to write more stories, putting more pressure on these teachers. Preliminary findings from this research project also suggest that more time to engage in professional discussions with other teachers can only enhance teachers’ understandings and use of formative assessment practices. Nyland, B., & Alfayez, S. (2012). When the professional development courses began in 2005 to support the implementation of Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood exemplars (Ministry of Education, 2004b), along with my centre manager, I jumped at the chance to take part. This article will outline the preliminary findings of a research project investigating teachers’ understandings and enactment of assessment. Assessment practices within New Zealand early childhood settings, Assessment-practices-within-New-Zealand-early-childhood-settings.pdf, https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications. The regulations for early childhood services (Ministry of Education, 2009) state that services should be ‘informed by assessment, planning, and evaluation (documented and undocumented) that demonstrates an understanding of children’s learning, their interests, whanau [family] and life contexts’ (p. 8). Learning stories are structured written narratives of significant learning moments, highlighting children’s strengths, interests, abilities and dispositions (Cowie & Carr, 2004; Dunn, 2004). indexName: "prod_education", New Zealand Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care (Level 5) This program lays a strong foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of early childhood education, and equips students to become resourceful and reflective professionals, competent in the key areas of learning: professional studies, development and learning, and early years pedagogy. Rather than the one-way relations in which teachers report progress and learning to families and children, this involves the sharing of power to make assessment and planning … Setting a positive example. According to McLachlan (2011), changes to funding rates also mean that there may be a lack of qualified teachers in some settings. Assessment within ECE is complex. Although there are a number of resources available to support teachers’ assessment practices, such as. Although there is no prescribed form of assessment within ECE settings, the sector generally now employs narrative forms of assessment, often in the form of learning stories (Education Review Office, 2013). This was the case when I was teaching, and I remember getting near the end of the month and writing a learning story for a child because I had to; often what I had written may not have been particularly significant for the child. (Ministry of Education, 2008, p. 8). Responses from the parent questionnaire completed as part of the setting selfreview process, in addition to teacher reflection, revealed that there was often a lengthy period of time between the teachers writing a learning story and parents reading the learning story. Emphasis will be placed on the practical ways teachers are supporting and encouraging all members of the learning community (children, parents, families/whānau) to be involved in assessment for learning. Assessments within this setting were documented in hard copies within individual children’s profile books, and a number of teachers articulated that they felt shifting to some form of online format (such as e-portfolios) would potentially strengthen multiple perspectives in relation to parents and wider family members. During one staff meeting, teachers explicitly discussed these tensions and proposed the possibility of getting rid of the lists and focusing on writing stories about anything they noticed as significant learning. Time and the ability to write learning stories within the allocated timeframe was the major factor here. Nonetheless, due to time - 13 - constraints, teachers often felt pressure to produce learning stories. Assessment in Early Childhood Settings-Learning Stories. At the core of social constructionism is the belief that knowledge is constructed through interaction and social processes (Burr, 1995; Lock & Strong, 2010). The consequences of socio cultural assessment. Prior to the widespread use of formative assessment in ECE, the sector had often used summative forms of assessment in the form of checklists, which focused on identifying gaps in children’s learning and development. I often found myself writing positive stories about children’s learning experiences and identifying key learning. Teachers within ECE usually have some form of scheduled non-contact time. Assessment has several important purposes, including informing how teachers plan learning experiences, identifying areas of learning and development where children may need support or … However, teachers in this setting felt that, due to a feeling that parents were not responding, teachers had become inconsistent in providing space within the story for parental contribution. Assessment should be a social practice where teachers, children, parents and whānau engage together in assessment and the planning based on it. After completing a checklist, we would develop learning objectives based on Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa (Ministry of Education, 1996) to support children’s achievement within areas they needed further support in. Relationships with children and families/whānau are an important aspect of ECE environments and a founding principle of Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education, 1996). One teacher noted that this was stressful, “due to time constraints and a sense of pressure, a sense that my books are, it just feels like a stress.”. The overall effectiveness of an early childhood program is dependent upon several factors: quality staff, suitable The resource is used for the assessment of Māori children in Māori early childhood settings. The New Zealand early education curriculum, Te Whariki is a bi-culturaldocument with the following aspirations for children: There are five ‘strands’ in the curriculum that apply to infants and young children: 1. well-being 2. belonging 3. contribution 4. commu… Early learning services can use these resources to assess their children's learning. Effective assessment of children in ECE involves noticing, recognising and responding to their learning. What follows is a discussion of some of the strategies identified by the teachers. Sending or handing stories to parents as soon as they are completed. Including the perspectives of other teachers was important to teachers, and they valued time talking with other teachers. Assessment is a critical part of a high-quality, early childhood program. What are children learning in early childhood education in New Zealand?. Childhood assessment is a process of gathering information about a child, reviewing the information, and then using the information to plan educational activities that are at a level the child can understand and is able to learn from. Nearly all New Zealand children attend early learning services before starting school. Has this been useful? In this context, Regulation 43 Curriculum standard states that every licensed service provider must, (b) make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the service provider collaborates with the parents and, where appropriate, the family or whānau of the enrolled children in relation to the learning and development of, and decision making about, those children. To stick to the list or not to had implications for teachers’ practice. Book 3. Within the next staff meeting, a teacher questioned how multiple perspectives were working, and, in response, one teacher articulated: “this is my biggest frustration, how, when and how to make it manageable with all the children.” As part of teachers’ attempts to manage multiple perspectives and get it right, each teacher discussed a range of ways how they currently access multiple perspectives, as well as some strategies they would like to try. window.onload = function () { Te Whāriki suggests that assessment takes place within a learning community that co-analyses children’s activity and co-constructs goals. Drawing on social constructionist perspectives to guide this study within an early childhood setting was therefore a good fit. TE RÜNANGA O AOTEAROA MÖ TE RANGAHAU I TE MÄTAURANGA . Exchange, (198), 90-93. Needs Assessment Chart ; The Application Guide (listed on the landing page) includes an appendix with Needs Assessment Questions.This document is a fillable version of that list. The research was conducted in one early childhood setting, with teachers in the over two year old room, over a period of seven months, and using multiple methods of data collection to help develop an in-depth understanding of assessment within the setting. The validity of collaborative assessment for learning. Although there are basic guidelines set out within the regulatory framework (Ministry of Education, 2008; New Zealand Government, 2008) each teacher and setting assesses and documents children’s learning differently.
2020 planning and assessment in early childhood education nz