The Importance Of Program Assessment
In order to evaluate and understand children's performance and progress, we need to evaluate the educational experiences that the programs they attend are providing.
Programs, rather than children, should be held accountable for learning. To help programs meet these obligations, educators need valid tools to assess how well their programs promote learning in all areas of development.
What Is Program Quality?
Program quality, like child development, has many dimensions. It includes
Structural components — the classroom: how the the learning environment is set up and what happens during the program day.
Process — how adults interact with children and plan and carry out meaningful learning experiences. Ways in which staff relate to parents, one another, and the community can affect children and are part of the quality process. Finally, agency-wide factors influence what happens in the classroom and directly or indirectly impact children.
Valid assessment instruments can guarantee that we are looking at the right ingredients of quality. They give us the information to evaluate whether we are achieving appropriate levels of quality, and if not, where and how we can improve.
HighScope has comprehensive program quality assessment tools for infant-toddler, preschool, and family child care programs. At the early elementary level, HighScope offers a tool to assess whether your school is a "ready school." Explore the links to the left for more information.