Sunday, August 21, 2011

International Contact: Final Blog

This course have me the opportunity to learn and explore about the children in China.  Eventhough I was not able to contact a person to speak,  I used the website "Save the Children" to learn and research about the children in China.

Things I learned.....

Despite China's strong and sustained economic growth, poverty is still persistent, especially in remote rural areas. Income inequalities between eastern and western China have broadened, and the income gap between rural and urban residents has widened considerably since the late 1970s. Urban incomes are now more than three times higher than rural incomes. China’s government is taking strong measures to correct this trend by increasing investment in rural areas, especially in infrastructure, irrigation, education and health. The government is putting in place favourable policies in support of the rural population. They include agricultural tax exemptions that became effective in 2007, provision of subsidies for agricultural production and increased agricultural procurement prices, and expansion of social protection and security coverage. The government’s investments aim to create a balanced, prosperous society through economic and social development.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Early Childhood Program Evaluation Instruments

Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale

  • The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) is an evaluation tool that assesses programs for young children ages two and half through five years. The ECERS can be used in school- or center-based programs, and includes a total of 43 evaluation items that are grouped into seven different subscales. The subscales include Space and Furnishings (e.g., indoor play space, the classroom, gross motor space), Personal Care Routines (e.g., greetings, departure routines, health and safety, rest periods), Language-Reasoning (books, communication, informal language used in the classroom), Activities (fine motor, arts, blocks, and other content area centers), Interaction (supervision of students, discipline, and interpersonal interactions), Program Structure (schedule, group time, play periods, adaptations for students with disabilities), and Parents and Staff (provisions for parents/staff, staff interactions, professional development). Periodically the ECERS is revised based on research data and professional use/program feedback.

HighScope Assessment

  • The HighScope Educational Research Foundation is a nationally-known early childhood organization. This non-profit groups creates curriculum for preschools, conducts educational research, trains professionals, and provides assessment/evaluation tools to programs. All tools are based on current, accepted early childhood research. The Preschool Quality Assessment (Preschool PQA) is designed to evaluate an early childhood program's strengths and weaknesses. Specific areas covered by the Preschool PQA include staff/teacher interactions with students, the overall educational environment, routines/schedules, curriculum, parents and family communications and services offered, staffing issues (e.g., professional development and minimum educational/experiential requirements), and the management of the site/center.

Classroom Assessment Scoring System

  • The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) was designed by top child development and educational researchers to evaluate early childhood programs. This tool focuses on the teacher-student day to day interactions and includes assessments of social and emotional classroom behaviors such as the sensitivity of teachers to students, overall class organization (e.g., behavior management strategies), and instruction. CLASS can be used by school administrators, site directors/managers, or other education professionals. Individuals with no experience using this assessment tool may opt for a two-day training session. CLASS materials include two manuals based on student ages and scoring forms.