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Assessment and Pedagogical Documentation

Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 24)

Abstract

The purpose of assessment, what should be assessed and how it should be assessed in ECEC settings are hotly contested by academics, policy analysts and practitioners, with oppositional views about whether the predominant focus for assessment should be on measureable and standardised learning outcomes in a narrow range of domains or on formative assessment for learning that is socioculturally situated. Debate and contestation in ECEC (early childhood education and care) arenas internationally intensified when in 2016 the OECD announced its intention to pilot an International Early Learning Study (OECD, 2016), a cross-national assessment of early learning outcomes involving the testing of 5-year-old children in four domains. The study was rigorously criticised in academic journals (Moss et al. 2016; Carr, Mitchell & Rameka, 2016; Mackey, Hill, & De Vocht, 2016) and in statements issued by the Reconceptualising ECE group (Urban & Swadener, 2016) and by the New Zealand Association for Research in Education at its 2016 conference. Publications in national newspapers in Germany, Belgium, Canada, France and the UK have raised concerns (Moss & Urban, 2016). These concerns have sat alongside a fear of “schoolification” of ECEC and push down of standards applying to the schools sector to ECEC globally, including in Aotearoa New Zealand. However, a turning point in Aotearoa New Zealand has been the election of the 2017 Labour-led government, which is now overturning standards in the schools sector and whose policies hold out promise for the ECEC curriculum to influence schooling. A main argument in this chapter is that ideas about outcomes and how these should be assessed reflect ideas about what learning is valued and the nature of knowledge. Examples from Aotearoa New Zealand pedagogy and assessment are used to demonstrate an approach designed to emphasise and construct a democratic educational culture. Assessment practices that have democracy in mind will include the views of those being assessed, build a culture of success and be open to contribution from children, families and community. Valued outcomes will include learning dispositions and working theories to support democratic citizenship and lifelong learning.

Keywords

Pedagogical Documentation Early Childhood Education And Care (ECEC) ECEC Settings Aotearoa ECEC Curriculum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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