Basics of Assessment

Course Description

Focus on appropriate use of observation and assessment instruments to document development and learning in all domains in order to plan appropriate child-centered curriculum and effective instructional strategies for typical and atypical children.

Learning Outcomes

  • Summarize the essential reasons for observation and assessment
  • Explain the basic components in the process of assessment as a cycle
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the legal and ethical responsibilities related to the assessment and observation process including confidentiality.
  • Articulate the value of involving families and other professionals in the observation and assessment process.
  • Identify developmentally, linguistically and culturally appropriate assessment instruments including recording of observations, rating systems and interpretation of data.
  • Design child-centered developmentally appropriate lessons to plan instructional strategies using observation and assessment information for typical and atypical children.
  • Apply an interweaving of observation and assessment into a child-centered curriculum which shows competence in selection of instructional strategies designed to create a developmentally appropriate learning environment, under supervision, within a preschool setting.


Review two (2) recent articles on a topic related to current issues in the testing and assessment of young children. The article should have been published within the last two years. Describe the major points in the article and your response. Be prepared to share in small groups. Interview a preschool teacher who has a child with special needs how standardized tests are used to identify such children and how individual action plans are designed for them. Conduct three (3) observations of development. Use a different type of observation for each, selected from anecdotal records, running records, time sampling, and event sampling. Use an adaptation of the sample observation from in Figure 5-6, pg. 127, Chapter 5, for each of the three observations. Design a portfolio to be used with preschool children. Include (1) sections of the portfolio, (2) the types of teacher assessments you would use, and (3) how you would you report the child to parent(s). Answer selected questions at the end of each assigned chapter. Final examination.

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