Our new manager want us to be a centre of excellence. We are asked to consider what quality assessment means to us and we have found some ‘contested terrain’ over what quality assessment practices are in our centre.

We are working towards quality assessment practices that:

  • are informed by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum
  • reflect the bi-cultural heritage of New Zealand and acknowledges and reflects children’s cultural heritage
  • document each child’s individual interests, strengths, development and progress
  • includes information about children’s knowledge, skills, dispositions and attitudes
  • affirms the child’s view of themselves as capable learners and contributors
  • gives a view of the child’s development within the wider socio-cultural context
  • involves meaningful partnership between children, whānau and teachers
  • involves collaboration between teachers and wider community visitors
  • reflects and promotes responsive, reciprocal and respectful relationships between teachers, children and whānau
  • recognises and makes visible the learning valued by our centre community
  • informs and directs planning for future experiences and interactions that extend children’s learning
  • gives children opportunities to re-visit and reflect on their own learning, set goals and contribute to others learning.
  • reflects emergent curriculum and current understandings of assessment theory
  • writes assessments well and ensures they are of a professional standard. They may include reference to research
  • includes regular documentation of learning
  • includes analysis of child’s learning over time and in a range of contexts

We have a range of skills and understandings of quality practices in our centre and I need to think about how they can all be accomodated. Just saying ‘No, this is not right’ will not encourage staff buy in of the drive toward quality – perhaps a brainstorm will help the situation.