Unit 7: Performance-based Assessment – Discussion
Please view the video, “ Building with Blocks.http://media.pearsoncmg.com/pcp/pls_0558982484/index.html?wf=1&item=5with four-year-old children.
Identify what form of authentic assessment would be appropriate for these children. Why? How is the natural learning environment an appropriate setting for authentic assessment?
Be sure to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the method you chose.
How would you record data? Is there another method you would also like to use, and why?
After reviewing the assignment video, “Building with Blocks” that had two four-year-old children who t were building together by using blocks. I feel that it is vitally important to use a variety of forms of assessments when it comes to young children. The form of authentic assessment that I think would be appropriate for the children in the video is using performance-based or authentic assessment. According to Wortham (2012), “Performance-based assessment is considered particularly useful with young children because it measures progress as well as achievement. Children in the early childhood years are proceeding through rapid changes in development that are described as complex because of the interaction between maturation, experience, and learning (Hills, 1993). Performance assessments provide a vehicle for measuring developmental progress in addition to progress in learning new concepts. Performance assessments permit teachers to understand the processes children use to learn and how they actively construct meaning through analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (Brown, 1989; Harrington, Meisels, McMahon, Dichtelmiller, & Jablon, 1997; Meisels, 1993)” (Wortham, 2012, p.236). The advantages of performance-based or authentic assessments are I feel it is most sensible, useful and credible for assessments for younger children or early childhood intervention. However, the disadvantages of performance- based or authentic assessment is that Wortham (2012) stated “like all other informal assessments, they are subjective; teacher bias and interpretation are part of the process. Teachers must be constantly alert to the need for objectivity when evaluating young children” (Wortham, 2012, p 236). I can record data by using sticky notes, a note pad or videotape the child or children. However, there is another method I would also like to use, is Portfolio Assessments and Extended Tasks. According to Sweet (1989) “Extended tasks are assignments that require sustained attention in a single work area and are carried out over several hours or longer. Portfolios are selected collections of a variety of performance-based work. A portfolio might include a student’s “best pieces” and the student’s evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of several pieces” ( Sweet, 1989, p.1.).
Sweet, D. (1989). Performance Assessment. Retrieved on July 19, 2013 from http://www2.ed.gov/pubs/OR/ConsumerGuides/perfasse.html
Wortham, S. (2012). Assessment in Early Childhood Education, Vitalsource for Kaplan University. Retrieved on July 19, 2013 from Kaplan/Digital Book
I believe the form of authentic assessment that would be appropriate with this group of four year old children is unstructured, structured, and diagnostic interviews. This is appropriate because this group of children is just beginning to develop literacy skills (Wortham, 2012). The natural learning environment is appropriate for authentic learning and assessment because children are taught and assessed on a task in a realistic context (Wortham, 2012). By operating in a natural environment we can understand how children can apply what they have learned (Wortham, 2012). The most significant advantage of using unstructured interviews is that they take place when the children are engaged in an activity or task (Wortham, 2012). The advantage of using diagnostic interviews is that its sole purpose is to determine what specific concept the child is having difficulty with, saving the teacher time, rather than teaching the whole subject over (Wortham, 2012). An advantage of using structured interviews is that they are planned (Wortham, 2012). In order to move on to the next lesson you need to determine if the child understands what the climax of the story is, by planning a specific story to read or have the child read, you can conduct the interview and acquire the specific understanding (Wortham, 2012). A disadvantage of interviews is that they can be time-consuming on the teacher’s part. Another disadvantage is that they can be biased. You could record data from these interviews by taking notes, or using a recorder (Wortham, 2012). Another method I could use is to teach the children about reporters, and journalists. Then have each child take turns being a reporter and interview each other using a recorder.
Wortham, S. (2012). Assessment in Early Childhood Education, Vitalsource for Kaplan University. Retrieved on July 8, 2013 from Kaplan/Digital Book