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Storying Learning in Early Childhood

When Children Lead Participatory Curriculum Design, Implementation, and Assessment

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Elizabeth Quintero

Storying Learning in Early Childhood documents philosophical, research, and critical questions about notions of childrens’ experiences and learning potential that heavily influence the profession. Critically created, child-centered curriculum and assessment collaborations focus on contexts of homes, schools, and communities. This book brings into focus policy issues, economic issues, and political realities that affect us all as we engage in curriculum and assessment. Patterns of findings under the foci of critical, responsive curriculum and authentic assessment for all children have illustrated new questions, provoked new trajectories of informants, and reiterated connections to dynamic issues in early childhood internationally. The work involved in curriculum and assessment points to international discussions about what is «quality» in early care and education and who has the power to decide. These international dynamics highlight the inevitable connections among programs for young children, policies, and politics. Further consideration regarding multiple histories, strengths, and needs of young children also illustrate little-discussed refugees and migrating people around the world – and their children – who are growing and experiencing life wherever they are living in a variety of situations with or without support.
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Chapter 4. Assessment in Early Childhood: Storying Learning

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ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD: STORYING LEARNING

Storying Learning Over Time

As we have maintained throughout this study, and as I opened this book by saying, early childhood teacher education is about young children’s learning, young children’s learning to learn, and the social and cultural contexts where this learning takes place. It is also about the people and the human aspects that support this learning. For these reasons, an integrated approach to curriculum is paramount. And, finally, an assessment system that documents the complicated process over time with a collaboration of families, children, teachers and researchers is of utmost importance, so that we may continually learn about the learning. Qualitative data featuring the voices of the children and the people important in their worlds give shared meaning to quantitative data being analyzed by policy makers in current international discussions about curriculum, assessment, and quality. My certainty about this stance regarding the importance of collecting documentation over time through collaboration of families, children, and educators is confirmed by research and practice.

We have realized as we have studied the work of New Zealand early care and education researchers and teachers over the past several years that we can borrow and adapt some of the intellectual, academic, collaborative, and ← 75 | 76 → practice-based structures that they have been using and perfecting for the past decades. These professionals have created a responsive (to children and families, culture, and language) and research-based curriculum and an assessment system...

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