College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Psychology
Program: Master of Art in ECCE
Course Title: Instructional Design and Pedagogy in Early Childhood Care and
Course Code: ECCE 605
Credit Hours: 4
Khor Lual Puk
Submitted to Dr. Abi
Jimma university, Ethiopia
Chapter Four: Assessment
and evaluation in early
childhood care and
4.1. The concepts of
assessment, evaluation and
other related terms in ECCE
4.2. The purposes of
assessment and evaluation in
4.3. Types of assessment and
evaluation applicable to ECCE
4.4. Challenges faced in
implementing continuous and
summative assessments and
evaluations in ECCE
4.5. Strategies to be considered
4.1. The concepts of assessment, evaluation and other related
terms in ECCE
Assessment is the process of gathering and interpreting
evidence to make judgments about student learning.
It is the crucial link between:
I. learning outcomes,
II. content and teaching and
III. learning activities.
Assessment is used by learners and their teachers to decide
where the learners are at in their learning, where they need to go,
and how best to get there.
The purpose of assessment is to improve learning, inform
teaching, help students achieve the highest standards they can
and provide meaningful reports on students’ achievement.
Assessment is a procedure used to determine the
degree to which an individual child possesses a
Another purpose for assessing an individual child is
to gain a better understanding of how the child is
progressing within the program.
In addition, the collective assessments of children’s
academic achievement can be used to measure
the effectiveness of programs and its interventions.
Evaluation is the process of making judgments about
the merit, value, or worth of educational programs,
projects, materials, or techniques.
Assessments may be used during the process of
educational evaluation in order to make these
judgments. Evaluation often includes research-like
techniques, for the judgments and conclusions derived
from evaluation are based upon evidence (Smith &
Evidence can include both systematic as well as
unsystematic observations of program outcomes.
Measurement: is the process of
quantifying students learning behaviors
(describing it in terms of quantity).
It’s means of determining the attributes
or dimensions of an object, skill or
Test: is one of the tools of assessment which could
be the collection of activities or questions.
It’s used to examine someone's knowledge of
something to determine what he or she knows or
Testing measures the level of skill or knowledge
that has been reached.
4.2. Purposes of assessment and evaluation in
4.2.1. Assessment to Support Learning
It help to promote children’s learning and development,
advocates that the process of teaching and the process
of assessment are inseparable.
It determine the starting point from which to begin the
curriculum process with children.
Typically, two aspects are considered within this framework
1. The first aspect determining the type of academic skills
and factual knowledge of the child.
2. The second aspect determine children’s current level of
4.4.2. Identification of Special Needs
Identification is used to identify children’s special
problems for the purpose of determining if there is a
further need for additional services beyond that which is
already provided in their environment.
Usually a two-step process is required to identify children
with special needs.
A. The first step is screening:
This is a very brief assessment to determine whether
further assessment need to be warranted.
Screening is only used during the initial stages of
special needs identification and referral.
B. Secondly, the child is referred to the appropriate
specialist or specialists who assess the child in depth
using diagnostic assessments.
The outcome of the diagnostic procedure is twofold
A. First, the assessment procedure should identify the
nature of the special need or needs.
B. Second, and just as important, the diagnostic
procedure should indicate the type of program that will
best serve the child’s needs.
3: Assessing a child’s progress and program evaluation
In the third purpose, “monitoring trends/changes and
evaluating programs and services” for individual child
assessments are combined across groups of children to
determine program effectiveness and examined
individually over time to examine children’s progress.
According to McAfee and Leong (2002), there are three
reasons for teachers to track children’s progress.
I. To know that what they are doing with children in the
classroom results in learning and development.
II. To show both families and children that progress is being
III. By providing evidence of progress to children and families,
an increase in motivation on the part of both parents and
children may be realized.
Teachers should also use ongoing assessment in order
“to understand specific children and to gain information
on which to base immediate decisions on how to direct,
guide, teach, or respond” to the children.
By combining assessment information from the children
in the class- room, teachers can also evaluate the
effectiveness of their program while it is in progress.
Evaluation with this purpose is often referred to as
Formative evaluation refers to assessments of quality
that are focused on curricular programs that may still be
Assessing academic achievement to hold individual
students, teachers, and schools accountable is the
fourth purpose for assessing children in early childhood
Individual assessments can also be combined in order
to determine whether or not these standards are being
met, thus holding schools to a measure of
Two types of standards are usual in this instance
A. Content standards: refer to what should be learned
within the various subject areas.
Content standards can also include critical thinking
ability, problem solving skills, reasoning, and strategies
that are used by children in gathering information
(McAfee & Leong, 2002).
B. Performance standards: refer to the levels of
achievement that are thought to be appropriate for
individual grade levels.
They are a means of determining the degree to which
content standards have been achieved (Lewis, 1995;
4.3.Types of Assessments and Evaluations applicable in
In the first session, we will see the types of assessment
that are applicable in Early Childhood Education.
Is the type of assessment that is normally undertaken before
instruction in order to determine the students’ prior
knowledge of a particular topic or lesson.
Its purpose is to anticipate/predicts potential learning
problems and group/place students in the proper course or
unit of study.
NB: Diagnostic assessment diagnoses learning progress
Diagnostic assessment evaluates:
What level of skills and knowledge the student has
What skills and knowledge the students can bring
with them into the course;
It also evaluate the gaps or weaknesses that are
apparent in the student’s knowledge compared to
others of a similar age and ability.
Forms of diagnostic assessment:
It interviewing the student;
Make a discussion with parents/ caregivers/
other educational professionals who have
close links to the students;
It assess subject-specific skills test or
concept tests, and;
Close monitoring and tracking of pupil
It is usually administered during the instructional
process to provide feedback to students and teachers
on how well the former are learning the lesson being
It uses pre-tests, homework, seatwork, and classroom
Results of formative assessment are used for
modifying or adjusting instruction.
NB: Formative assessment monitors learning
progress during instruction.
Characteristics of formative assessment:
Happens continuously in a classroom environment.
Involves both teacher and learner in a process of
continuous review and consideration regarding levels
Provides constructive and encouraging feedback,
allowing individuals to take responsibility for their own
Allows lesson plans to be assessed and adjusted as
necessary, making teachers instantly aware of any
potential problems or areas of difficulty.
Allows a teacher to plan lessons in line with
their pupils’ abilities.
Is an exceptional asset to maintain effective and
high quality teaching standards.
Can be oral or written feedback.
May take the form of positive assessment.
This type of assessment is undertaken to determine
student achievement for grading purposes.
It is frequently based on cognitive knowledge, as
expressed through test scores and written outputs.
Results of summative assessment can be utilized not
only for judging student achievement but also the
effectiveness of the teacher and the curriculum.
NB: Summative assessment determines student
achievement at the end of instruction.
Characteristics of Summative Assessment
Summative assessment sums up the learning;
It’s carried out at the end of the unit, semester,
school year, or when the pupil is about to leave
Takes the form of a monitored test or exam and
is more commonly written than oral; and
It can be used to monitor the performance of a
whole school or group, not just an individual.
4.4. Challenges faced in implementing continuous and summative assessments
and evaluations in ECCE
The following are the drawbacks of continuous assessment:
Danger of being too impulsive or improvised, and
may not always provide an accurate degree of
Can be damaging to pupils’ self esteem if not used
appropriately or sensitively.
Can be difficult to set and maintain rigid
assessment standards if there is little or no ‘paper
work’ to back it up.
Can be imposing if the teacher guides the class too
much often, or if the class relies on the teacher too
much – ‘spoon feeding’.
It can sometimes appear as if the teacher is
favoring some students over others, especially if
they commend or reprimand particular students
more than others.
In contrary, the following are the drawbacks of summative assessment and evaluation:
Attainment levels are rigid and not usually open to
reviews; the grade achieved is irrefutable.
Exams can only assess the pupil’s performance on that
day, regardless of performance levels outside of the
School – based summative assessment is time – consuming
and means a lot of work for the teacher to ensure it is
completed to a high standard.
Ranking and scaling pupils can be damaging to their
4.5. Strategies to be considered in overcoming/minimizing
The followings are the most common skills educators and child care
professionals want to keep an eye on in order to overcome the challenges
throughout the year includes the following:
Checking to see if the whole class is sure about
what has been asked of them.
Engaging students through direct or ‘hands-up’
Walking around the classroom to monitor students’
Guiding a student or whole class through a task
Establishment of a classroom culture that
encourages interaction and the use of assessment
Establishment of learning goals, and tracking of
individual student progress toward those goals.
Use of varied instruction methods to meet diverse
Use of varied approaches to assessing student
Feedback on student performance and adaptation
of instruction to meet identified needs.
Active involvement of students in the learning
Finally, It’s crucial for educators to administer these
assessments and evaluations in the right
environment and communicate with parents about
what a preschool assessment is approachable.
You can reassure those family members that your
assessments won’t be a stressful experience for
Instead of giving the children grades or making an
assessment pass/fail, the assessments and
evaluation should simply observe a child’s skills.
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