Towards a New Assessment Paradigm: Are Preschools Convinced?
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The practice of documentation has been a “hard to reach place” for many preschool teachers despite the fact that it has largely been encouraged and used as a tool in early childhood settings to assess young children’s learning. Recent policy changes in Hong Kong have also called for the continuous documentation and authentic assessment of children’s performance to replace traditional examinations in preschools. In this study, 62 preschools in Hong Kong were surveyed to determine the current situation of documentation as a tool for assessment of children’s learning in Hong Kong preschools in the face of the new governmental requirements and interventions. The results showed that (1) preschools generally recognized the importance and necessity of using documentation to assess children’s learning, (2) governmental influences were clearly demonstrated in the learning areas documented and assessed, and (3) there was a dissonance between the practice and belief of preschools, and various concerns related to the implementation were also reported. Implications for policies, professional development, and research are discussed.
KeywordsEarly childhood education Learning documentation Learning assessment Hong Kong kindergartens
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