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.

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Assessment within a team context – Te aromatawai ā-rōpū

"Exemplars are examples of assessments that make visible learning that is valued so that the learning community (children, families, whānau, teachers, and beyond) can foster ongoing and diverse learning pathways. [emphasis added]."

Early Childhood Learning and Assessment Exemplar Project Advisory Committee and Co-ordinators, 2002

Book 5 emphasises the importance of inviting all members of a child’s learning community to participate in assessment. For children supported by an early intervention team, this community includes all members of that team: the children themselves, their families and whānau, their teachers, and others such as:

  • early intervention specialists;
  • speech-language therapists;
  • education support workers;
  • hospital-based therapists;
  • psychologists.

In a sense, all these people speak “different languages” and may use a different “lens” to plan for and assess a child’s learning, a lens that may look very closely at one aspect of development and leave other aspects for other people to consider. It is vital that team members communicate with each other in ways that work well for the child and do not overlook any of the participants, especially the family and whānau. The parent of a child with early intervention support comments:

"Communication is just the key to the whole thing. Otherwise, I mean, we all go off in different directions."

Dunn and Barry, 2004, page 21

Books 2, 5, 6, and 7 in this series suggest that sociocultural assessment will have consequences for community, competence, and continuity. Lepper et al. highlight the capacity of a shared assessment tool to develop a shared language that supports a community of practice working collectively for the competence and continuity of learning of children with special needs.