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The Role of Testing and Assessment in Early Childhood Education

Perspectives
The goal of education is to provide children with the opportunity to amass a wealth of knowledge, love for learning, and academic strength. Children go to school to read, write, and learn a variety of subjects. While education is meant to be exciting for children, there have to be standards in order to make sure that progress is being and those children are where they need to be in order to move onto the next phase of their education. Education builds as it grows, and students need a strong foundation in order to succeed and continue. Without those strong building blocks, students will continue to fall back and repeat the same material again and again. And so, testing and assessment come into play to make sure children are where they need to be. However, in early childhood settings testing is almost non-existent because of the stigma around testing. The current debate in our education system argues that testing is not a good measure of a child’s actual knowledge. Rather, assessment gives teachers a better picture of a student’s abilities and capabilities in the classroom. Thus, currently the debate continues over assessment versus testing in the classroom due to the demand for knowledge on whether or not testing is a good way of measuring a student’s progress in school.
In the context of education, testing refers to “a method to determine a student’s ability to complete certain tasks or demonstrate mastery of a skill or knowledge” (Danuri 2012). Assessment is “the process of gathering information to monitor progress and make any decisions necessary” regarding curriculum and teaching (Danuri 2012). Assessment is a process that measures growth over time whereas testing is a form of evaluating what a student knows at...

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