Early childhood education is a rather complicated process, and the teachers need to know various techniques and methods and be able to use them when required. Evaluation is one of the most necessary tools in early childhood teaching, and the child assessment cycle was created in order to achieve gathering and use information about a child’s progress. The purpose of this paper is to describe the child assessment cycle and related teacher responsibilities and explain how the child assessment cycle benefits students, teachers, parents, and the entire school system. Also, the ways of teachers’ contribution to the knowledge and skill of others, collaborative work, advanced professional practice, and improving student outcomes will be described. Finally, the way of making sure that the assessment matches the student’s culture will be provided.
The child assessment cycle is a complicated and rather important tool that is connected to the responsibilities of teachers. According to researchers, it is “a process of gathering information about a child, reviewing it, and then using it to plan educational activities that are at a level the child can understand and is able to learn from” (“Early childhood assessment,” 2014, para. 2). According to Knestrick (2013), assessment has to be beneficial to students, aligned to instruction and curriculum, and “multiple methods should be used to create a comprehensive picture of strengths and needs” (para. 6). It includes studying and assessing children’s learning and development, observing children at play and work, and recording information about the things and processes they observe. The child assessment cycle requires teachers to collect and analyze children’s work samples and create portfolios that display the competence, experience, and knowledge of children (Bowers, n.d.). They need to involve pupils in the studying process by asking them to describe and explain their thinking processes and document their learning through recordings, photographs, narratives, and checklists.
The child assessment cycle is not just evaluating a child and giving him or her marks for a test or homework. It is a more complicated process that has many benefits for students, teachers, and parents (Bell, 2017). The main advantage is that the assessment provides families and educators with vital information about the growth and development of a child. The entire school system becomes better and more oriented on the needs of children. According to Caspe, Seltzer, Kennedy, Cappio, and DeLorenzo (2013), students and parents get aware of the progress and blank spaces in the knowledge that needs to be addressed. As for teachers and educators, they become able to see the picture of children’s performance and may understand how to plan further educational activities.
Teachers have to use tools that may contribute to the knowledge and skill of others, collaborative work, advanced professional practice, and student outcomes. In order to enhance student well-being and learning, the teacher has to build ongoing connections with community resources by working with other educators and school colleagues (Lerner, 2014). To contribute to the skills and knowledge of other professionals, teachers have to engage in professional learning and work collaboratively to develop professional practice. According to McAfee, Leong, and Bodrova (2016), a significant number of communication strategies and technological tools may be used to build global and local learning communities that engage colleagues, families, and learners. Finally, teachers have to know the ways of working and communicating with children and adults and develop necessary collaborative interaction skills that are appropriate for both virtual and face-to-face contexts.
While using assessment approaches and practices, it is essential to make sure that they are adequate and correct. According to Bell (2017), it may be considered developmentally appropriate if they match the child’s language and age. Also, the assessment should match the student’s culture, and it may be achieved if the teacher keeps in mind that it affects a student’s knowledge, behavior, and attitude. If the culture of a child does not provide specific individual skills, the teacher needs to know that this is the reason for this student’s failure.
Bell, D. D. (2017). Watching the babies: The why, what, and how of observation as assessment in infant and toddler care. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 45(1), 4-10.
Bowers, S. (n.d.). Assessing young children: What’s old, what’s new, and where are we headed? Web.
Caspe, M., Seltzer, A., Kennedy, J. L., Cappio, M., & DeLorenzo, C. (2013). Engaging families in the child assessment process. Young Children, 68(3), 8-15.
Early childhood assessment. (2014). Web.
Knestrick, J. (2013). Early childhood assessment: 9 keys to effective practice. Web.
Lerner, J. W. (2014). Stages of the assessment process. Web.
McAfee, O., Leong, D. J., & Bodrova, E. (2016). Assessing and guiding young children’s development and learning. J. Peters (ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.