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By Arwen Hann
While our country's youngest children are not assessed with end of year tests or other formal assessments, the Ministry of Education does require early childhood education (ECE) services to be ''informed by assessment, planning and evaluation (documented and undocumented) that demonstrates an understanding of children's learning, their interests, whanau and life contexts''.
The most popular form of assessment in ECE services in recent years has been the Learning Story approach.
Learning Stories were based on ideas developed by Margaret Carr in the late 1990s and use a narrative form to describe what children have been doing in an early childhood setting and interpret the learning that is taking place in certain situations. The Learning Story is written by early childhood teachers or parents within a programme, can be about individual children or a group of children and is usually accompanied by photographs of the activity or examples of the outcome such as a painting.
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