Assessing young children

| November 3, 2010

Title: Assessing young children
Author: Gayle Mindes
Publisher: Boston : Pearson, c2011
Call Number: LB1131 .M6146 2011

From the Publisher:

This book is written for the teacher who wants to understand and deliver an effective educational program for all young children from birth through age 8. Accordingly,  it reflects the knowledge base of early childhood and early childhood special education. It provides illustrations of appropriate practice for prospective teachers and discusses current trends for experienced teachers. It approaches assessment as an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Key components of the assessment system include cultural sensitivity,family collaboration, and a vision of inclusionary practice in all early childhood environments—child care and school. Relevant professional standards are addressed throughout. The text is written in nontechnical language with support from the most current research. All “hot topics” are included as well—standards-based and outcomes-based teaching, high-stakes testing, response to intervention (RTI), coping with legislative demands, as well as relevant technology in the assessment process..

About the Author(s):

Gayle Mindes: In September 2009, early childhood education students at DePaul University began to be prepared in greater depth to more effectively teach all children, including linguistically, culturally, and ability-diverse populations. The revised Early Childhood Education Program leading to a B.S. in the School of Education meets all of the requirements for the Type 04 certificate for teaching children from birth through age 8. The degree program also meets the requirements for approval in early childhood special education for those working in programs with children ages 3 to 6 years old.

This new degree program builds on the current program at DePaul and is required for all education candidates entering the university after June 1, 2009. All graduates of the program will be eligible for the English as a Second Language (ESL) or the Bilingual Education endorsement.

The development of the proposal for the new degree program was led by Gayle Mindes, Professor of Education at DePaul University. Over the course of a year, Gayle and a small group of other education faculty met and shared drafts to develop the details for the new degree program, along with the rationale for the degree change. According to Gayle, the rationale for the new program is congruent with DePaul’s social justice mission: “The School of Education has long worked toward providing opportunities and access for underserved populations. The degree program’s emphasis on working with culturally and linguistically diverse populations is consistent with our philosophy of social justice.”

Now, DePaul students are taking their first education classes in the new degree program. “The new program will provide greater depth of preparation and will provide teacher candidates with more tools to work with diverse populations,” says Gayle. “Some of the course content is new, and other courses build on existing curriculum and the social-cultural foundations of our program.” The new degree program also includes a third practicum teaching experience, which must be in a program serving children who are culturally and linguistically diverse in infant, preschool, or primary settings. DePaul’s location in the center of Chicago offers many practicum placement opportunities for working with diverse populations.

Student responses to the new program have been favorable. “The freshmen students I advise, particularly those who are bilingual, are very excited about the new program,” says Gayle. “I have also had notes from elementary education majors asking if they could enroll in the program as well.”

DePaul is the first university in Illinois to offer this new Type 04 program that includes the ESL/Bilingual Endorsement. “We were able to put the new program in place and make changes to our education curriculum because of the flexibility we have in our degree requirements.” Gayle hopes that the experience at DePaul will encourage other institutions of higher education in Illinois to consider new degree options to better prepare education students to work with the diverse populations of children and families who attend our early childhood and elementary school programs in Illinois.

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