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Assessment in early childhood education – children follow-up

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					   Assessment in early childhood education
       – children follow-up instrument
                         an action research-project
                          October 2007- October 2010


                                   Gabriela Portugal
                         Departamento de Ciências da Educação
                              Universidade de Aveiro (UA)
                                       Portugal

                                gabriela.portugal@ua.pt

                                        Co-authors:
              Ofélia Libório, Paula Santos, Aida Figueiredo, Natália Abrantes




Prague, Czech Republic       17th EECERA Annual Conference                      1
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)

• In Portugal, the Curricular Orientations (CO) for
  pre-school education are defined as a reference
  framework that is common to every early
  childhood teacher (ECT) allowing for different
  curricula and options.

• CO is a very open document that gives the ECT
  some guidelines in what concerns the framing
  areas of knowledge and of development of
  children, making possible the conception and
  development of different curricula and evaluation
  practices

Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference   2
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)
To work in a qualitative superior way in ECE
  presupposes that the ECT:

• Is able to respond to the diversity of childhood
  experiences, which is patent in the different
  educational contexts;
• Has a deep knowledge of the content areas
  he/she approaches;
• Uses documentation and evaluation strategies
  that can fundament the curriculum development
  and the teaching learning processes.

Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference   3
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
         Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
              – children follow-up instrument (CFI)
In Portugal, in the context of a national debate about Education (how to improve
    education for the future generations?), a specific debate concerning
    knowledge and new competences for ECE took place (November, 2006).

Some key issues arise:
• The low educational intentionality is the major limitation concerning content
  areas…
• ECT need ECE competences better clarified…
• Teaching and evaluating by competences presupposes knowledge and
  professional competences that many ECT do not have …
• ECT need guiding in what concerns evaluation practices that allow them to
  answer the demands of the next teaching level and organizational needs of the
  school…

Some strategies pointed out:
• It’s important to develop action-research contextualized projects…
• It’s important to develop good practices of evaluation and planning…
• It’s important to value ECE acquisitions and to visualize the educational
  continuity to primary school.
Prague, Czech Republic    17th EECERA Annual Conference                       4
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)

This project consists on a research on the
 evaluation and curriculum development in
 pre-school education,

• focusing on the construction of instruments to
  aid the pedagogical practice, facilitating the
  relation between the practices of documentation,
  evaluation and curricular edification.

Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference   5
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)
In what concerns the way children develop and learn, the CFI intends
   to promote practices that are guided by humanist and social-
   constructivist principles, emphasising developmentally appropriate
   practices.

• Education occurs in interaction and is a dialogue between people
  (children and adults) marked by the respect and “listening” of the
  other, stimulating and giving autonomy to the learner (permitting the
  acting at the zone of proximal development…)
• Children are competent and full citizens but need the support of
  adults.

The construction of this instrument is structured around the principle
  that evaluation should be process based and should make possible
  the development of practices that are oriented not only by the future
  benefits and effects, but also by the actual participation of children
  and current quality of their life.
Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference                     6
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)

  Source of inspiration:                   Children follow-up instrument
• POMS - Laevers, F. et al.                (CFI), taking into account:
  (1997) “A process-oriented             • The reality and the official
  child monitoring system for              Portuguese Curricular
  young children”, Centre for              Orientations;
  Experiential Education, KU             • Contextual (means), process
  Leuven                                   (involvement and emotional
                                           well-being) and developmental
                                           (competence development)
                                           quality indicators;
                                         • Effective participation of the
                                           child in the evaluation and
                                           curriculum development.

Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference                  7
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
    Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
         – children follow-up instrument (CFI)

The correct use of CFI will allow ECT having a clear view of:

-   The functioning of the group in general, considering levels of
    involvement and well-being;
-   The aspects which require specific interventions, considering the
    educational offer, the group climate, room for initiative, school
    organisation and adult style;
-   The identification of children who need differentiated attention;
-   The drawing of a trajectory of initiatives that can lead to the solving
    of problems and to the maximization of the educational quality, both
    towards the group and the individual child;
-   The evaluation of results (competence development);
-   The operationalisation of the pre-school curriculum.


Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference                        8
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)
The development of the project will help to understand the
  ECE practices in kindergartens located at Aveiro district
  (in the centre of Portugal) and to collect data that can
  allow the identification of:

• Hindrances to innovation in ECE that can act as
  orientation for the training of early childhood teachers in
  our training school (UA);
• Common problems that can orient the description of
  possibilities to solve them and that can be part of a
  practical guide for schools, institutions and ECT.


Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference          9
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)

The context of initial training of early childhood teachers at
  the UA has characteristics that we see as facilitators of
  the development of a research project capable of
  generating knowledge on the documentation and
  evaluation in ECE, namely:

• Research is a fundamental axis of the professional
  profile of the ECT we train…
• We have a set of ECT who cooperate with us and who
  are open to and interested in participating in research
  projects on evaluation and curriculum development.


Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference       10
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
   Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
        – children follow-up instrument (CFI)
The concretization of the project demands:

• a work of the research team in the development
  and adjustment of the CFI (having POMS as
  basis).
• training moments with our students and the ECT
  who cooperate with us;
• the application of the CFI in preschools settings,
  and consequent adjustment;
• the preparation of a ultimate version of the
  instrument and, in the future, its divulgation.

Prague, Czech Republic   17th EECERA Annual Conference   11
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
    Assessment in early childhood education (ECE)
         – children follow-up instrument (CFI)
Repercussions
• We hope to contribute to the understanding of ECT on what concerns
  competence development in ECE, acting contrary to the tendency to
  “import” the evaluation culture of other teaching levels, in order to clarify the
  specificity of ECE in what regards evaluation practices;

•   We wish to contribute to the dissemination of educational practices which
    contribute to the promotion of equal opportunities, defend “what ‘s best for
    the child” considering scientific research and the democratic and humanist
    principles, bearing in mind that quality in ECE has to do with the meaning
    that children give to their experiences;

•   We want to understand what to do in order to contribute through training for
    change and innovation in ECE;

•   We expect to build contextualised knowledge on themes we’ve been
    working, such as: educational quality in ECE, inclusive practices, evaluation
    and curriculum in ECE, research with children or children as participants,
    training of reflexive ECT.

Prague, Czech Republic     17th EECERA Annual Conference                           12
29th Aug-1st Sept 07
  Thank you for your attention.
                                   Gabriela Portugal
                         Departamento de Ciências da Educação
                              Universidade de Aveiro (UA)
                                       Portugal

                                 gabriela.portugal@ua.pt

                                         Co-authors:
               Ofélia Libório, Paula Santos, Aida Figueiredo, Natália Abrantes




Prague, Czech Republic       17th EECERA Annual Conference                       13
29th Aug-1st Sept 07

				
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