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Issues In Preschool Assessment. Marissa S. Reed, Ed.S. School Psychologist Troup County School System LaGrange, Georgia. Purposes of Preschool Assessment (Nagle, 2000; Appl, 2000). Screening Diagnosis Individual program planning and monitoring Program evaluation.

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Issues in preschool assessment l.jpg

Issues In Preschool Assessment

Marissa S. Reed, Ed.S.

School Psychologist

Troup County School System

LaGrange, Georgia


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Purposes of Preschool Assessment (Nagle, 2000; Appl, 2000)

  • Screening

  • Diagnosis

  • Individual program planning and monitoring

  • Program evaluation

Reed, 2005


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Importance of Preschool Assessment

  • Early detection=better outcomes (Feil & Severson, 1995)

  • Child-find screenings

  • National education goal (NCLB): starting school ready to learn (USDOE, 1992)

  • Early intervention required by IDEA (Bailey, 2000)

  • Children who are at-risk included also

Reed, 2005


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Preschoolers=Unique Population (Nagle, 2000)

  • Rapid developmental change

  • Behavior during testing may affect accuracy of test results

  • Approach testing situation differently than school-age students

  • Familiarity with strangers varies largely

  • View scores as current level of development which is constantly changing

  • Lack of prior school experience

Reed, 2005


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Issues to Consider (Bracken, 2000)

  • Child’s temperament

  • Examiner approachability, affect, and physical presence

  • Behavior management

  • Environment

    • Furniture, decorations, distractions, climate, seating arrangement

  • Test floors and ceilings

Reed, 2005


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Traditional vs. Alternative Methods of Assessment(Nagle, 2000)

  • Traditional: standardized, norm-referenced

    • Battelle Developmental Inventory

    • Stanford-Binet, 5th Edition

    • Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children

    • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, 3rd Edition (WPPSI-III)

    • Bracken Basic Concept Scale, 2nd Edition

    • Differential Ability Scales (DAS)

    • Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, 3rd Edition

    • Preschool Language Scale, 4th Edition

Reed, 2005


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Traditional vs. Alternative Methods of Assessment(Nagle, 2000)

  • Alternative:

    • Play-based assessment (Ross, 2000 [Best Practices])

    • Direct observation

    • Parent interviews

    • Parent-child interactions

    • Clinical judgment rating scales

    • Curriculum-based assessment

    • Portfolio assessment (Mills, 1994)

    • Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs) (Best Practices)

Reed, 2005


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Traditional vs. Alternative Methods of Assessment(Nagle, 2000)

  • Bracken: problem is not the actual tests, but administration of test that does not consider the nature of the child or reason for referral

    • Use complementary assessment: best of both worlds

  • Sattler: behavioral state and temperament play a large role

  • Bag of tricks

Reed, 2005


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Assessment of Behavior

  • Functional Behavior Assessment (Conroy & Davis, 2000)

  • Parental input is crucial

    • Rating scales

    • Developmental history

  • Observations

  • Parental point of reference

    • First child; different children’s development

Reed, 2005


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Family Focus (Nagle, 2000)

  • Individual Family Support Plans (IFSP) instead of IEP

  • Parent participation

    • May be first contact with professionals

    • Parents as valuable source of information regarding representativeness of child’s performance (validity of results)

    • Observation of parent-child interaction

    • Initial notification of problems or diagnoses

Reed, 2005


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Importance of Ecological Perspective (Paget & Nagle, 1986)

  • Settings and significant individuals

  • Social learning theory

  • Each child and their ecology as unique

Reed, 2005


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Best Practices in Early Intervention (Barnett, 2000)

  • Basics

    • Interesting and developmentally appropriate environments

    • Scanning

    • Guides, rules and consequences

    • Functional analysis

    • Modeling and opportunities to practice

Reed, 2005


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Best Practices in Early Intervention (Barnett, 2000)

  • Interventions for Language and Literacy

    • Milieu Language Interventions

    • Early Literacy

  • Interventions for Challenging Behaviors

    • High probability sequences

    • Alternative responses and functional communication training

    • Choices

    • Timed positives, fixed-time, or noncontingent reinforcement

    • Correspondence training

Reed, 2005


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School Readiness

  • Cognitive development

  • Social-emotional development

  • Communication and language development

  • Sensorimotor development

Reed, 2005


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Home Activities to Promote School Readiness (Resource Team, 1992)

  • Healthy pregnancy and mother’s nutrition

  • Regular health care after birth

  • Verbal communication with child

  • Reading to child

  • Opportunities to write, draw, sing, dance, and tell stories

  • Exposure to a variety of materials

  • Value on education and learning

  • Visits to libraries, museums, and cultural activities

  • Asking children questions

  • Opportunities to play and explore

  • Social interaction with other children

  • Build a sense of security and self-worth

Reed, 2005


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Important Skills for School Psychologists (Nagle, 2000)

  • Training in traditional and nontraditional assessments

  • Evaluation of technical adequacy of instruments

  • Knowledge of related issues

  • Ability to establish collaborative relationships is imperative

  • Field-based practicum and internship experiences

  • Continuing professional development in early intervention and preschool issues

Reed, 2005


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References

  • Appl, D.J. (2000). Clarifying the preschool assessment process: Traditional practices and alternative approaches. Early Childhood Education Journal, 27 (4), 219-225.

  • Bailey, D. B. (2000). The federal role in early intervention: Prospects for the future. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 20 (2), 71-78.

  • Barnett, D.W. (2000). Best practices in early intervention. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best Practices in School Psychology IV. Bethesda, MD: NASP.

  • Bracken, B.A. (2000). Maximizing construct relevant assessment: The optimal preschool testing situation. In B.A. Bracken (Ed.) The psychoeducational assessment of preschool children (pp. 33-44). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

  • Conroy, M.A., & Davis, C.A. (2000). Early elementary-aged children with challenging behaviors: Legal and educational issues related to IDEA and assessment. Preventing School Failure, 44 (4), 163-168.

Reed, 2005


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References

  • Feil, E.G., & Severson, H.H. (1995). Identification of critical factors in the assessment of preschool behavior problems. Education & Treatment of Children, 18 (3), 261-272.

  • Mills, L. (1994). Yes, it can work!: Portfolio assessment with preschoolers. Paper presented at the Association for Childhood Education International Study Conference, New Orleans, LA, March 30-April 2, 1994.

  • Nagle, R.J. (2000). Issues in preschool assessment. In B. A. Bracken (Ed.), The psychoeducational assessment of preschool children (pp. 19-32). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

  • Paget, K.D., & Nagle, R.J. (1986). A conceptual model of preschool assessment. School Psychology Review, 15 (2), 154-165.

  • Resource Team on National Education Goal 1 (1992). Starting school ready to learn. Questions and answers on reading national education goal 1: ‘By the year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn.’ United States Department of Education.

  • Ross, R.P. (2000). Best practices in the use of play for assessment and intervention with young children. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.) Best Practices in School Psychology IV. Bethesda, MD: NASP.

Reed, 2005