Author: DEQUITO, JENNIFER, YU, AGNES JOANA
Type of paper: Abstract refereed
Despite the reductionist view on the use of standards to improve practices, research evidence proves that teachers value the developmental impact of standards to guide and shape their practices (Loughland & Ellis, 2016). In the current educational reform in the Philippines, the implementation of the Philippines Professional Standards for Teacher (PPST) faced challenges in relation to how the standards are interpreted. One of the most contentious aspects of it are the standards relating to assessment and reporting, which apart from the generic description of standards, there is a separate department order (DepEd Order No. 8, series of 2015) from the central office that specify the assessment reforms in the country. In the context of the early childhood education (ECE), both documents are viewed by teachers to be irrelevant given the context of the early years. To find the nexus between the standards and the department order, and to provide a greater clarity on how the standards look like in the actual teaching practices of ECE teachers, we interviewed 10 proficient ECE teachers and conducted 15 classroom observations to gather evidence that relate to the five strands indicated in the NCBTS. These include practices in the design, selection, organization and utilization of assessment strategies; monitoring and evaluation of learner progress and achievement; feedback to improve learning; communication of learner needs, progress and achievement to key stakeholders; and use of assessment data to enhance teaching and learning practices and programs. We converted the evidence of practices into a five-point Likert scale and administered to 200 ECE teachers. We analysed the results using a probabilistic model of competence to link the latent trait theory to Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. Drawing on from the work of Griffin (2018) with the application of Rasch’s (1960/1980) latent trait theory, we established the developmental continuum of ECE teachers’ assessment practices. We will discuss the implications of these developmental continuum to theory, practice and policy formulation. Particularly, we will illustrate how the developmental continuum can be linked to professional development program with emphases on training design, delivery, teacher learning and resource allocation. Furthermore, we will discuss how the developmental continuum can be used in the initial ECE teacher education program both for curriculum design and graduate teacher accreditation.