Subjects:Early childhood education, Educational outcomes, Education, Toddlers, Investments, Government accountability
Keywords: Assessment, Developmental Learning outcomes, Singapore research
In most countries, the funding for early childhood education has increased and governments in some countries have taken serious steps to bring about positive change in the profession. However, the increase in funding by governments and other funding organisations around the world has, understandably, attracted increased accountability as these organisations need to know that their financial investments are achieving desired outcomes. To seek evidence that positive learning outcomes have indeed been achieved through these investments is a reasonable request, and there is a shared responsibility and accountability for professionals to provide appropriate evidence. The downside, however, can be the request for standardised test information, as if performance on such tests provides proof of all desired outcomes. More than ever before, it is important for early childhood educators to be able to provide accurate, objective information about children's assessment in ways other than by standardised testing, which may not reflect the complex reality of children's lives. This paper reports on a research study in Singapore that investigated curriculum effectiveness using developmental learning outcomes as a means of assessing children. The research was devised to examine if eight specified broad developmental learning outcomes could measure the effectiveness of the curriculum by assessing children's learning as shown in qualitative data. Practical examples showed evidence of children's learning and the role of the educator in facilitating and documenting developmental learning outcomes.