Kei Tua o te Pae

Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best-practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching.

The exemplars are a series of books that will help teachers to understand and strengthen children's learning. It also shows how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning.

We are making improvements to our download-to-print functionality. So if you want a printed copy there are PDF versions available at the bottom of the main cover page.

Acknowledging uncertainty

What does “assessment for learning” look like for the strands in which the outcomes of the curriculum are organised: wellbeing, belonging, contribution, communication, and exploration? Part of that question is how do we decide 'what next?'. Margaret Donaldson (1992) says that education “is about suggesting new directions in which lives may go” (page 259). Assessment is part of that process. But the phrase “assessment for learning” suggests that we know what an appropriate next step might be, and for complex learning, we don’t always know. Gordon Wells (1999) states:

"[The] teacher always has to be responsive to the students’ goals as these emerge in the course of activity, and by collaborating with them in the achievement of their individual goals, to enable them to extend their mastery and at the same time their potential for further development. From a teacher’s perspective, therefore, one is always aiming at a moving target."

pages 318–319

Who knows?

Child creating a cut-out Child creating a cut-out Cut-out

Isaac is one of a group of children who have been reading a book about space with the teacher. Isaac decides to make an alien out of green card “cos aliens are green”. In the 'What next?' section of the assessment, the teacher has written the following, concluding with the question “who knows?”.

Keep supporting and extending his interest in space, which is encouraging him to try new things (using the art area resources) and to practise exploring his imagination and communicating his ideas. We have downloaded pictures of planets off the Internet for him, bought new books, and been playing a CD about planets for the children to listen to. The term break may have some effect on the interest, so we will have to wait and see if this is still topical when he comes back. A little provocation (perhaps alien footprints in the family area or a trip to the Star Dome) may help trigger something... Who knows?