The Early Development Instrument: An Examination of Convergent and Discriminant Validity
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The convergent and discriminant validity of the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a teacher-rated assessment of children’s “school readiness”, was investigated in a multicultural sample of 267 kindergarteners (53% male). Teachers evaluations on the EDI, both overall and in five domains (physical health/well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language/cognition, communication/general knowledge), were related to direct, child-based assessments of performance on two standardized measures of school readiness, and measures of phonological awareness and early social competence. Regression analysis indicated that together the four comparison measures accounted for 36% of variance in overall EDI scores, each making a significant and unique contribution. Results supported the convergent validity of overall EDI scores but not the discriminant validity of EDI domain scores. Moreover, correlations between EDI scores and comparison measures varied widely across teachers, suggesting considerable individual differences in teacher’s ability to evaluate school readiness relative to direct, child-based assessments, and confirming that the EDI is more appropriate for deriving inferences at higher aggregated levels such as community or region. The validation of EDI domain scores remains an important challenge in future research.
KeywordsSchool readiness Early Development Instrument Validity
The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support received from the British Columbia Ministry of Education and the Human Early Learning Partnership of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. We also extend our thanks to the school districts, schools, teachers and students that participated in this research and to the graduate and undergraduate students from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University who assisted in data collection and coding. Finally, we extend special thanks to Victor Glickman and Clyde Hertzman for their support, but especially for their patience.
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