It is Difficult to Review the Quality of Education if You Don’t Know What Children are Learning: ERO and Self-Review of Early Childhood Services
By Ken Blaiklock
Blaiklock, K. (2012). It is difficult to review the quality of education if you don’t know what children are learning: ERO and self-review of early childhood services. NZ Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 15, 1-10.
A critical look at the New Zealand Education Review Office’s draft guidelines for reviewing early childhood services is provided in this paper. ERO’s guidelines provide a range of “evaluation indicators” to inform centres as to what is considered to be effective practice. The indicators that ERO provides in relation to the assessment of children’s learning are supportive of current practices in the use of narrative assessment or Learning Stories. This paper argues that such practices provide little evidence about what children are learning in early childhood centres, thereby making it very difficult to assess programme quality. The paper also argues that ERO needs to make more extensive use of international research on effective assessment strategies rather than limiting its theoretical and research base to mostly local approaches.
Key words: Education review, quality, self-review, learning.
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