Considering a commitment for viewing young children holistically, important aspects in children like behavior should be assessed.This can enable teachers to determine what a child can do and know his/her abilities. For instance, in an observation of a child recounting what happened say yesterday at home with a smile and expressive language is a good measure of oral language skill than when he is ask to retell a story in an unfamiliar setting. Also to be assessed is a child’s physical and socio-cultural environment. Children’s social relationships can have a considerable effect on their cognitive growth. More over, a child’s cognitive development can be assessed so as to know his progress and performance and determine how ready he is for preschool or elementary school enrollment. Further more, children psycho-social and emotional aspects can be assessed. To be note is that some times emotions serve as the language of the young child especially where verbal skills are lacking and are also meaningful and show the child feelings. Also, children’s needs can be assessed in order to have an understanding of their developmental status and condition so as to be able to define the areas like physical,fine and gross motor skills, social,cognitive and language development that are in most need of attention.
School-aged children are assessed in Cameroon in the following ways:
1). Informal assessment: With this method children are evaluated on aspects that personal and meaning full. Check-list and open ended questions are used to measure student’s performance.
2). Formal assessment: It is a nation wide testing and include the use of evaluation tools to measure students knowledge and application of skills against specific criteria.
3). observations enable the teacher to be able to measure a child’s ability and developmental progress.
4). Running records. With this method of assessment, the observer objectively writes a narrative format of the child’s activities at a give time. This help to analyze social skills and development.
5) Teacher Rating: A way to organize ideas of children’s development in to scales.e.g. recording children’s grades in to report cards
Portforlios: The collection of work samples indicating different dimension of their learning and focus on their strength and demonstration of knowledge and skills over time
To be noted here is the fact that assessment are used to identify specific areas where children may need additional support, they may also be evaluated for other things like developmental disability or special need classes and the more information we get regarding children’s progress in learning, the more focused lessons can be developed to meet their needs
1). DVD: “The journey through the life span” (Disc 2)
2). Berger, K. S. The developing person through childhood (5th ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers
3). Assessing young children (2004). Pearson education, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/NR/rdonlyres/FD21F05l1-A5AD-42
4). Guyatt, H. L., Brooker, S. Donnnelly, C.A. Observation: Scholarly articles for methods of assessing school-aged children in Cameroon.
5). Rufffieux, N., Njamnshi, A. K., Mayer, E., Sztajzel, R., Eta, S.C., Doh, R. F., Kengne, A. M., Ngamaleu, R. N., Chanal, J. Neuropsychology in Cameroon: First normative data for cognitive test among school-aged children.