Assessing Preschoolers’ Disruptive Behavior: Associations Among Teachers, TAs, and an Impartial Observer


This study examined associations among Teachers, TAs, and Observational ratings of children’s disruptive behavior. Alignment between Teachers and TAs did not predict observational measures above a single teacher’s ratings. Teachers and TAs were equally aligned with observational measures, except for ratings of oppositionality. Findings point to the importance of a multi-method assessment that gathers information from various sources, including TAs.

Source: The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), Curry School of Education

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State-Funded PreK Policies on External Classroom Observations: Issues and Status


Early education programs are increasingly being promoted by states and the federal government as an integral part of their efforts to ensure that all children enter school ready to learn. As these programs and their enrollments have grown in recent years, so too have efforts to monitor their quality and performance. A common focus is on documenting the quality of children’s learning experiences through the collection of classroom observation data. In order for these data to be useful for informing the monitoring process, however, they need to demonstrate evidence of being appropriate and defensible for their intended interpretation and subsequent uses.

In this new Policy Information Report, Debra Ackerman examines the variety of state PreK classroom observation policies on program decisions that are informed by observation score data, the protocols being used, and how often such data are collected from classrooms. Just as important, the author reminds us of the particular validity and reliability challenges that are inherent in relying on classroom observation score data for a variety of low- and high-stakes decisions.

It is our hope that this report will cause policymakers, school leaders, and practitioners to reflect on their early education program classroom evaluation policies, whether they meet acceptable levels of validity and reliability, and what actions they can take to improve the usefulness of data collected to improve the quality of children’s early learning experiences. As federal and state efforts to improve access to high quality early education continue to grow, it will be increasingly important to monitor this critical segment of our education pipeline.

Source: Educational Testing Service

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Baby E-lert, Sharing Information on the Quality Care of Infants, Toddlers, and their Families


This Baby E-lert presents two health and safety resources relevant to promoting best practices for caring for infants and toddlers.  Also included are a parenting program for mothers and an article on observation. Share them with co-workers, families, and other early care professionals in your community!

Source: Early Head Start National Resource Center

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Results Matter Video Library – Practicing Observation, Documentation and Assessment Skills | CDE

We wish to thank the families and early childhood education teams who have partnered with us to create the videos in the Results Matter Video Library. CDE professionally produces these videos and obtains voluntary written permission from all parties who appear in these video clips. The videos are developed to raise awareness about the importance of high quality early childhood education, to share promising practices in the field and as professional development supports to help early childhood providers better understand ways to use observation, documentation and assessment to inform practice.

You can watch the clips online or download QuickTime versions of the videos for use in educational and professional development activities.

Use of these Videos in Professional Development Activities

Below each video, there is a DOWNLOAD VIDEO link which can be used to download an Apple QuickTime .MOV file for use in professional development activities. IMPORTANT NOTE: 1) You may not use any of the videos on this site for commercial purposes; 2) You may not edit, alter, transform, or build upon any of the videos on this site; and 3) You may not post a copy of any of the videos on this site to any web site.

Source: Colorado Department of Education

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Clearing Your View: Staying Objective in Observation

Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start staff watch and observe babies every day. But do these everyday observations give us a true picture of the baby? This podcast explains how to observe babies and record what is seen in an objective way that will help staff understand the meaning of the child’s behavior.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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Early Childhood Research & Practice

Spring 2013

We are pleased to welcome you to the Spring 2013 issue of Early Childhood Research & Practice. ECRP is now in its 15th year as an open-access, peer-reviewed, multilingual internet-only journal with a continually growing international readership. ECRP receives more than 1,700,000 user visits annually from the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South America, China, and many other places around the world.

The current issue includes five articles on a range of topics related to early care, education, and intervention. A special section on parents’ perspectives may be of interest to advocates of emphasizing the voices of parents in early childhood research; three small studies from the U.S. are featured in that section. For the first time, ECRP also offers reviews of recently-published books.

Are you an educator who is interested in the Project Approach? Our multi-media 2-disc teacher resource titled Projects to Go includes the popular DVD “Rearview Mirror: Reflections on a Preschool Car Project” and a CD-ROM of selected ECRP articles (most in both English and Spanish) related to the Project Approach. See for more information.

Topics addressed in this issue include:

  • recent literature related to young children’s school readiness in literacy and mathematics
  • parent-child interactions during family cooking activities
  • reactions of adult and adolescent mothers of children receiving early intervention services to specific aspects of those services
  • perspectives of parents with young children on the autism spectrum regarding their families’ experiences with early intervention services
  • mothers’ and fathers’ observations of their children’s transitions from a child-centered preschool into traditional kindergartens

We hope that you find these articles useful.

ECRP is an open-access journal. We do not take subscriptions and fees from authors are not accepted. We cannot accept advertising. Thus, we are completely dependent on contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporate donors. So we urge you to help support ECRP with a tax-deductible donation. Any amount can make a difference. In fact, if each of our readers donated just $5, we could sustain the journal indefinitely!

Donations to ECRP are managed by the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF). For instructions, go to

We also invite you to like us on Facebook.

Thank you,
Lilian G. Katz, editor
Jean A. Mendoza, associate editor
Susan Fowler, associate editor

Source: Early Childhood Research & Practice

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EHS TA Paper No. 15: Observation: The Heart of Individualizing Responsive Care


This paper supports staff in Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs who provide professional development. It offers information on observation as well as strategies to support and strengthen this important component of quality infant and toddler care. Use this resource with teachers, family child care providers, and home visitors who work with infants, toddlers, and their families.

Observation informs individualization. It is the first step in providing the kind of individualized, responsive care for infants and toddlers that builds relationships, supports attachment, and promotes healthy brain development. Because individualization cannot happen without observation, this technical assistance paper focuses on observation:

  • What it is
  • Why it is important
  • What to observe
  • How to observe and document
  • How to set up observation systems
  • Reviewing and reflecting on observation information

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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Look Again: Using Sensitive Skilled Observation in Your Program


Observation is a critical skill to support relationship-building and learning about the youngest children and their families. It also is required in the Head Start Program Performance Standards. In this audio conference, faculty share strategies for making observation practical and meaningful to Early Head Start and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start staff’s work.

Source: Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center

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