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Early Childhood Development

Jeffrey Trawick-Smith
Sixth Edition
2014, 2010, 2006, 2003, 2000
Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
A Multicultural Perspective
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Research and Assessment in
Early Childhood
Development
Chapter 2
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
KEY QUESTIONS
What are correlational and experimental
studies of children, and do they differ?
How are qualitative/ethnographic methods of
studying children different from
quantitative methods?

What events have led to an emphasis on
assessment in schools in the United
States?
2-3
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
KEY QUESTIONS
What are summative assessments
and how are they used?

What are formative assessments
and why are they useful to
classroom teachers and other
professionals?
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
KEY QUESTIONS
What are quantitative and qualitative
assessments that teachers can use to
identify disabilities and support
childrens learning?

What kinds of information are commonly
included in a case study?
2-5
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What are correlational and
experimental studies of
children, and do they differ?
2-6
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH

Definition: Research methods in which
children are observed and their behaviors
counted or rated numerically. The
numbers that are obtained are then
entered into computer programs and
analyzed statistically.

Includes: correlational and experimental
research.

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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Correlational research

Descriptive research
Studies relationships among two or
more characteristics or behaviors
(factors)
Attempts to determine: are these
factors related?
Can be cross-sectional or longitudinal
Note that correlation causation!
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Experimental Research

Studies causes of characteristics or
behaviors
Researcher intervenes in one of two
groups and then compares outcomes
of the groups
Often used to determine efficacy of
an intervention, but caution must
still be used
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
When to use experimental or
correlational research
Correlational: Unable to manipulate
variables, interested in describing
relationships between existing
factors.
Experimental: Interested in inferring
cause, testing an intervention, can
ethically manipulate variables
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
A wealth of research exists on
what children are like and how
they develop in the early years.
This research can guide
professional practice.
CRITICAL CONCEPT #1
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Child development research helps us
to:
Create developmentally appropriate curricula
Promote positive behavior and learning
Identify developmental delays or disabilities
Understand and appreciate cultural diversity
Guide advocacy activities and the shaping of public
policy

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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
How are qualitative/
ethnographic methods of
studying children different
from quantitative methods?
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
QUALITATIVE STUDIES
Results are thick descriptions of childrens
development that capture all aspects of their
lives.
Rich and detailed narratives illustrate
childrens development.
Purpose is to describe individual behavior or
development within a particular context.

Patterns or trends in behavior can be
identified.
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY
Definition:
A type of qualitative research that
uses methods from anthropology to
study development within a particular
group

Captures the rich complexity of the
individual, culture, and context
Gives us the most complete picture of development
within a particular culture
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
How do they differ?
Quantitative methods: Behaviors are counted or
rated numerically. Can capture trends in
behavior among large groups of individuals.

BUT:
Does not provide the rich detail of qualitative
and ethnographic approaches
May not take into account the cultural
context
May not capture the important details of an
individual childs experience
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Many of the ideas in this text are
derived from research on young
children. Although research studies
yield important information, flaws
and biases are common.
CRITICAL CONCEPT #2
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION
We need to understand research
methods so we can critically
evaluate the results
We must be cautious in how we
interpret research findings

Study findings = good guess
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What events have led to an
emphasis on assessment in
schools in the United States?
2-19
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
THE ASSESSMENT AND
ACCOUNTABILITY MOVEMENT
Push in the United States to focus on
assessment in schools over the last few
decades

WHY?
Assess the effectiveness of education and social
services
Assess whether children of all backgrounds
benefit equally from services
Improve measures of educational success
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
THE ASSESSMENT AND
ACCOUNTABILITY MOVEMENT
A mixed blessing:
Has helped teachers to focus on the impact of
their teaching practices, identify children
with disabilities, assess individual
childrens level of need and craft
appropriate interventions.
BUT: Has placed increased stress and
pressure on teachers, reduced emphasis
on important non-academic skills like art
and play, does not always account for
cultural diversity.
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What are
summative assessments
and how are they used?
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
An overall evaluation of childrens growth after
they have completed a school year or some
other long period of learning and teaching.

Usually quantitative, can be averaged across children.

Used by schools/funding organizations to determine if
educational goals are being met.

Are students making good progress? Are they ready to
move to the next grade or instructional level?
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What are formative
assessments and why are
they useful to classroom
teachers and other
professionals?
2-24
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT
The evaluation of childrens behavior, learning,
and development over time, and relatively
frequently, in order to immediately improve
services to individual children.

Can be quantitative or qualitative.

Used by teachers to chart the progress of an
individual child and determine how the needs
of this child could be better met.
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
TYPES OF FORMATIVE
ASSESSMENT- QUANTITATIVE
Developmental checklist: Teacher/ caregiver
rates childrens attainment of developmental
milestones, such as resolving conflicts or playing
cooperatively with peers.

Time sampling: Teacher/ researcher observes
children at regular time intervals and records
behaviors or interactions that occur during that
period.

Event sampling: Teacher/researcher records the
number of times an event or behavior occurs.
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
TYPES OF FORMATIVE
ASSESSMENT- QUALITATIVE
Anecdotal record: Teachers write detailed,
objective notes on everything a particular child
says or does during a classroom observation.

Work sampling: Examples of childrens play and
work that reveal important information about
their development are collected and analyzed
over time.
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
WRITING AN ANECDOTAL
RECORD
Can focus on:
An individual child, an individual play area, or a whole-
classroom observation
A single behavior, problem, or area of development, or can
be used to observe classroom behavior generally

1. Teacher takes brief field notes during observation.

2. When time allows, teacher writes up notes in more
descriptive form.

3. After several records are written, teacher rereads
and looks for patterns.
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What are quantitative and
qualitative assessments that
teachers can use to identify
disabilities and support
childrens learning?
2-29
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES
Quantitative and qualitative assessments
discussed above can be used to help parents
and teachers identify special needs.

Examples of quantitative assessments include:
Battelle Developmental Inventory- tests for
general cognitive delays
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test- determines
progress in language development
Woodcock Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability-
assesses cognitive and academic ability and
identifies areas of delay.
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES
Qualitative assessments can also provide key
information in identifying special needs.
Better picture of ability in children of diverse
backgrounds who may be at a disadvantage
when taking formal quantitative assessments.
Richer description of childs abilities and
difficulties in context
Can take into account culture-, family-, and
home-related factors.
Include work sampling, anecdotal records, case
study
2-31
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What kinds of information
are commonly included in
a case study?
2-32
Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
CASE STUDY
Can rely on both summative and formative
assessments. May include:
Anecdotal records, observational reports, work
samples, videos
Descriptions of peer and family relationships, home
and classrooms environments
Health and medical assessment
Clinical interviews with child and family
Formal screenings (e.g. language assessment,
Autism Rating Scale, etc.)
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Qualitative and ethnographic
studies are gaining favor among
child development researchers.
Such research is viewed as less
culturally biased and more useful
for practicing classroom
professionals.
CRITICAL CONCEPT #3
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
PRACTICAL APPLICATION
Qualitative and ethnographic data in
the classroom:
Anecdotal records can be used to
describe childrens learning and
development
Case studies provide an in-depth
examination, can be particularly
useful when it comes to children
with special needs
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Trawick-Smith
Early Childhood Development: A Multicultural Perspective, 6e
2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
We can ask ourselves frequently:

How can I use these methods to
discover what children in my care
need most to enhance their
development?
PRACTICAL APPLICATION