In the journal article written by Stephen & Bagnato (2011), young children assessment has constantly been undergoing changes to better the quality of education provided. The article begins with a history in some of the amendments drawn towards promotion of early childhood intervention. It provides a brief overview about the Education of the Handicapped Act of 1975 that allowed disabled children to learn freely in public schools without victimization. In 1986, with the introduction of Individualized Development Plans and Individualized Family Service Plans, quite a lot was introduced towards childhood assessment as it entailed both the responsibility of the teacher and the family of the child (Stephen & Bagnato). In accordance to Stephen & Bagnato, current issues exist in assessment of young children entail introduction and use of computers in classroom settings, having professionally qualified teachers, and having unified early learning outcomes (Stephen & Bagnato, 2011).
In the journal article by Paki (2011), it is clear that education in early childhood is essential for the development of the given child. As past systems were put in place to better early childhood education and interventions, excellence in that field emanated. In pursuit of excellence, the need for assessment of the child, service provided, educational delivery, and teacher’s assessment started to gain more recognition (Paki, 2011). In this article that looks at early childhood in New Zealand, and reports that traditional early childhood education became significantly influenced by through developmentally appropriate practices that are an organised system which was used to measure children’s development since birth. In this article, Paki (2011) introduces the readers to current issues in regard to early childhood. Current assessment methods more so in this article emphasized on the need to gather more information so as to learn more regarding a given child, acknowledging the importance of appreciating or noticing as learning occurs, plus recognizing its significance (Paki, 2011). Newer approaches like the standardized criterion-based assessment and the use of learning stories have been identified as newer means of assessing young children (Paki 2011).
According to a journal article written by Casbergue (2011), the author acknowledges a change in assessment modalities in regard to early childhood education. He acknowledges that in the past, assessment through standardized tests that evaluated what a given student had learned through a period of time and what had been taught (Casbergue, 2011). The traditional system of assessment in accordance to Casbergue did not fully provide a proper way of assessment of young children. Hence, he advocated for a newer system of assessing young children; this entailed the use of authentic learning assessments (Casbergue, 2011). Authentic learning assessments proved to be more reliable when compared to the older system than utilized standardized tests since it entailed the use of teacher’s observation of a given child in various actions as observed in and out of class (Casbergue, 2011). It is evident that the authentic assessment method is more accurate in assessment as compared to the old one as there is minimal means to cheat (Casbergue, 2011). The older system of assessment provided gaps in getting the true picture of how learning faired on in early childhood. In the article, the author tries to uncover the faults made in the past in terms of emphasizing on language development and literacy in terms of reading and writing in early childhood (Casbergue, 2011). In the articles, she provides negatives in regard to standardized testing and emphasizes more on the need for having development assessment instead for early childhood (Casbergue, 2011).
In an article by Michael (2010), the article proposes the adoption of performance-based assessments as the new assessment tool so as to advance the evaluation and learning of teacher candidates. The article emphasizes on the need of producing professionally trained special education teachers right from the institutions of merit (Michael, 2010). Performance based assessment would require teacher candidates to constantly demonstrate proficiency in applying their knowledge in a more authentic setting plus even proficiency in certain specific teaching tasks (Michael, 2010). This would go hand in hand in ensuring that the quality of education provided at the early childhood level is appropriate and suitable for the learners in order to prepare them to become responsible children (Michael, 2010).
In conclusion, it is clear that from the four articles, the main themes regarding current issues involving assessment in early childhood entail; introducing of performance based assessment for teacher candidates, coming up with an Authentic Assessment, introduction of computers in the learning setting to help in assessment, and the use of learning stories (Michael, 2010). Through research on the above, these assessment modalities for young children are becoming more acceptable in schools as they have shown to have a better outcome than the traditional system of assessment (Michael, 2010).
Casbergue, R. M. (2011). Assessment and Instruction in Early Childhood Education: Early Literacy as a Microcosm of Shifting Perspectives . Journal of Education, 190(2), 13-20.
Michael Ledoux, N. Y. (2010). The Use of Personal Data Assistants in Early Childhood Assessment. Computers in the School, 27 (2), 132-144.
Paki, T. C. (2011). How Alligned Are We? Assessment Procedures and Practices Between Early Childhood and Early Intervention. Kairaranga, 12(2), 1-6.
Stephen J. Bagnato, M. M. (December 1, 2011). Identifying Professional Targets for Early Childhood via Authentic Assessment. Journal of Early Intervention, 12 (3)243-252.