Observe and Collect Data


Data Collection through Observation

Observing children, assessing them and teaching are inseparable processes. When children are assessed as part of the teaching-learning process, then observation and assessment information tells caregivers and teachers what each child can do and what he or she is ready to learn next. For example, parents watch an infant grow stronger and more confident in walking while holding on to furniture or adults. They "assess" their child's readiness to walk and begin to encourage independent walking by offering outstretched hands across small spaces. In the same vein, preschool teachers and primary-grade teachers use formal and informal observations and assessments to gauge what things children already know and understand, what things could be understood with more practice and experience, and what things are too difficult without further groundwork. This may include appropriate use of early learning readiness measures to be used in planning next steps in instruction. Teachers also use their observations and assessments of children's learning to reflect on their own teaching practices, so that they can adjust and modify curricula, instructional activities, and classroom routines that are ineffective. (Schepard, Kagan & Wurtz, 1998)(7)

Assessing to promote children's learning and development

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Questions to reflect on:

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Observe and Collect Data
Analyze the Collected Information
Reflect on the Data
Communicate with Others
Take Action

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