Assessment is a key component of learning because it helps students to know about their learning levels. But, how do assessments help young learners in their holistic development, explores Elets News Network (ENN).
Early childhood education, which emerged only in the last few decades, comes with a horde of benefits ranging from better socialising skills, exposure to diversity, greater coordination skills, and increased level of confidence and creativity.
However, we must never underestimate the power of early learning systems and programmes and we also need to understand how critical assessments are when it comes to evaluating and improving these very programmes so as to suit the different developmental needs of children. This is where the concept of regular assessments comes into picture. Why are assessments important when it comes to early childhood education? Can these assessments be used to ensure that a child gains the most when it comes to their journey of learning?
Unlike standardised tests, that all our little ones may be exposed to as they grow older, preschool assessments do not come with right or wrong answers. They are in fact means of evaluating a child’s social, emotional and cognitive skills so that the programmes can be fine-tuned to meet their development needs. Regular assessments, therefore, help an educator plan individualised instructions for a child as well as for a group of children who are in the same developmental stage.
Methods of assessments are widespread from observing a child interacting in their different learning zones to the maintenance of regular records for every child and to assessment tools that are useful in evaluating a child’s social, emotional and cognitive abilities. The assessment methods range from formal methods to those that guide decisions around a child’s performance in a particular programme.
According to Priya Krishnan, CEO and Founder, KLAY Prep Schools and Daycare, “It is important for us to understand that no child learns at the same pace and what may work for one child may not for another. However, it is only through observing and documenting a child’s performance over the course of a year or over a few months, that an educator can gather details on a child’s development. Incorporating changes post-these assessments can go a long way when it comes to making programmes richer and more beneficial for our little ones.”
It is important to stress on early learning systems and educational assessments but at the same time it is equally important to keep in mind that a programme can have maximum impact on a child’s life only when parents and teachers will be in coordination with each other for kids’ education. They have to work together towards supporting a child intellectually and socially in their crucial formative years.
Assessments, if correctly and carefully conducted, are a valuable aid when it comes to discovering and nurturing children to reach their maximum potential. However, in the process, we as parents and educators must not forget that at the end of the day, learning is also about having lots of fun. The moment we eliminate fun from a child’s life, an entire educational programme will be meaningless.
Let us, as educators and parents, make learning a joyful experience and proudly watch our children turning into confident and sensitive human beings ready to take on the world!