Department, Institutional Affiliation
There are various strengths and weaknesses that I found about the instruments that are utilized to observe children play in early childhood education and assessment settings. The instruments, for instance, offer comprehensive data about the children’s details and demographic characteristics. They also facilitate the process of easy documentation of evidence in a sequential and organized fashion. Moreover, the tools provide objective, subjective, and descriptive evidences that can be used to inform the process of developing the appropriate interventions for improving the learning, growth, and development process. More specifically, the tools are appropriate for gathering baseline data regarding the children’s interests, capabilities, and skill levels. This is especially important when it comes to designing structured, free flowing instructions for improving both their cognitive and intellectual capabilities.
While these instruments provide efficacious strategies for observing and assessing children playing, they have many shortcomings. The tools are, for instance, time-consuming. This is especially the case since it is difficult to keep up and follow along as children move speedily form one activity to another. Moreover, they may not easily offer practical techniques for educators to be keen to understand the concepts behind the observed phenomena. More importantly, the behaviors that are observed may not necessarily typical for that observation day as compared to other days. This problem can potentially affect the validity and reliability of the observed findings.
I believe that the instruments should be modified to take into consideration factors such as time, date, and settings of the observed behaviors. This should include the details of the children being incorporated into the observation process. The instruments should also be adjusted to incorporate different observation methods in order to gather reliable and accurate data. Further, the modification should take into consideration the cultural factors that may pose obstruction to the gathering of accurate information about the observed behavior of each student group. Finally, the observation instruments need to accommodate environmental rating scales into the evaluation process. These scales may be based on state standards, and utilize evidence-based guidelines, procedures, and actins for evaluation and recommendations.
To promote fair assessment, the proposed instruments will have clearly stated learning outcomes, which are shared to all learners. This will enable them understand the most important goals that are to be take into consideration in the overall evaluation process. The assessment exercise is also going to be matched with what is being taught and vice versa (Scott et al., 2014). If, for instance, the students are expected to demonstrate effective reading skills, then the evaluation will not prematurely assume that they have all undergone the entire learning process or program to train those skills that have already been developed. Fairness and equity will also be promoted by utilizing different measures and outcomes. This strategy will be accompanied by the incorporation of appropriate measures for engaging all the student groups. To that end, the performance of field-dependent students, and those who tend to think more broadly than analytically, may be impacted by the entire classroom’s expressions of confidence in their capacity. Therefore, positive contact with the students from non-western cultures will be helpful in optimizing their levels of engagement, and overall performance and productivity.
The instruments will also promote developmentally-appropriate (DAP) assessment and learning in various ways. To that end, they will include both formal and informal tools for monitoring their progress, especially when they know where each child is with regard to learning goals. This will be done by utilizing developmentally, culturally, and linguistically responsive ways that authentically evaluate their learning outcomes (Goldstein, 2015). This can be done by analyzing all aspects of development, including cognitive, emotional, and intellectual skills. Additionally, both formative and summative evaluation techniques should embraced to attain DAP standards.
Goldstein, L. S. (2015). Using Developmentally Appropriate Practices to Teach the Common
Core: Grades PreK–3. Routledge.
Scott, S., Webber, C. F., Lupart, J. L., Aitken, N., & Scott, D. E. (2014). Fair and equitable
assessment practices for all students. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy &
Practice, 21(1), 52-70.