Constructivist Evaluation: Assessment and Documentation
Assessment and documentation are processes used to gather data necessary to evaluate how children have grown and what they have learned. They can also be used to gather data to evaluate how your teaching practice and the curriculum content contributed to that development and learning. In Chapter 1 you learned about the aims of a constructivist curriculum, and in Chapters 4 through 6 you learned about the major components essential to a good constructivist curriculum, such as play, authentic tasks, and problem solving. This chapter extends your learning by providing a rationale for the use of assessments and documentation consistent with those goals and methods to evaluate your curriculum components. This chapter also provides information about assessment and evaluation methods that are consistent with a constructivist perspective. Through an understanding of the role of evaluation, you can become an advocate against the inappropriate use of assessment and evaluation. After reading this chapter, you will have a better understanding of
• the differences among assessment, documentation, and evaluation; • the purposes of evaluation and assessment in early childhood education; • the different kinds of assessment used in early childhood education; • the meaning of authentic assessment; • the use of documentation as a form of authentic assessment of student
learning; and • the use of documentation as a means to inform practice, provide evidence
of the quality of a constructivist program, and communicate to parents and the larger community.