Teachers, as passionate educators, should rely on professional development to engage students and inspire them to accomplish their individual goals as well as to promote successful assessment practices. An integration of Interiors, High Scope, and constructivist approaches in a two-way bilingual program are presented into a program in which high quality assessment practices are promoted. An assessment plan is presented by distributing leadership in both languages of instruction, including parents, students, teachers, and administrators in the process of learning, as well as working along with other schools and communities.
By following children’s interests, using assessment, teachers provide the learner with self-fulfillment and confidence. Teachers must understand culture and language, not just both languages of instruction promoted at school, but also students’ home language and culture. In this way, we must guarantee that assessment reflects our highest educational goals for young children.
Educational program. This ideal scenario of program combination works towards young multilingual and multicultural communities’ success and it could be adapted to different cultures, languages and specific children’s needs.
Let’s start our discussion by defining the approaches and concepts mentioned above. The Interiors Approach Interiors schools have existed on a global level under a variety of cultures for more than 100 years and this is an evidence of the universality of the Interiors pedagogy. In January 2000, the Calgary Board of Education approved the Interiors Alternative Program, which commenced in September 2000, offering three public schools. Interiors schools seem to differ from each other; however, most of them follow the uniqueness in each child development, as well as, specific needs in terms f culture and community engagement.
Although Interiors schools do differ within and between countries, they are different precisely because Interiors respected the uniqueness as well as the universals in each child’s development. These varied environments include activities that speak to the universal needs of young children as well as to the particular needs and interests of individual children and their cultures. ‘ (Aloofer, M. 1992). Interiors classroom groups are mixed-aged; students are treated as individuals without standardized outcomes, thus they work at their wan pace without competing with peers.
A ‘prepared environment’ is offered to students in which they’re free to respond to their natural tendency to work. Kids learn from active, hands-on activities using their five senses. Learning materials are meant to be interesting, reality oriented, and designed to facilitate self-correcting, helping to refine sensory perceptions. Studies have shown that the Interiors Method makes positive contribution to preschool children’s readiness to primary school and is more efficient than current preschool education programs (Kali, G. & An, R.
2011). Interiors & Assessment
In Interiors classrooms there are usually no grades, or other forms of reward or punishment. Dry. Maria Interiors didn’t believe in grades but in daily assessments based on individual observations. Children should never be compared to anyone other than himself or herself until they are emotionally, physically, and socially developed to achieve success.
‘Kids have sensitive periods and they have the desire to learn and they don’t need to be motivated by punishment or reward’. (The Absorbent Mind, Maria Interiors. 1967). Portfolios with children’s work, teacher’s observation and record keeping show students’ progress.
The way the system is measured could be determined by the accomplishment and behavior of the children, their maturity and their enthusiasm in learning. Our ideal Interiors classroom in terms of assessment: On-going assessment, foster motivation on every child and students, which should come from within.
The responsibility of working and learning, which is directed related to every student. Keeping portfolios with students’ work and examples of their accomplishments. Kids can self-assess their work continuously and simultaneously without the teacher correcting or marking due to the ‘control of error’ in each of the materials.
A Two-Way Bilingual Interiors Program Geneses (1987), found that children who learn a second language during the early stages of life or primary language acquisition period achieve higher levels of proficiency in the long term compare to those kids who begin the learning process later. By combining a constructivist theory, the High Scope bilingual (Spanish/English) assessment resources, and the Interiors philosophy into a bilingual immersion program we believe we offer the highest education level for the youngest students, who don’t need to wait to enroll Grade 1 in order to be inspired to learn. Cynthia
Bruno-Cones, a teacher at an international Interiors school in Switzerland, explains the importance of bilingual education and the approach Interventions practice towards multiculturalism and multilingualism.
‘The big picture of the cultural curriculum encourages the perspective that we are citizens of Earth first, and only secondarily American, Japanese, Polish, or other nationalities. ‘ (Bruno-Cones, C. 2008). Marjorie Farmer, coordinator of the Interiors Hispanic Committee, believes that effective bilingual Interiors programs have teachers who speak and practice the culture and target language.
Educators play a role model for children and they could embody the best of their culture and language.
When a program also includes children who are native speakers of the targeted minority language, it is called a dual-language or two-way bilingual program (Geneses, 1986). This means that in two-way bilingual language schools, children can enroll into the program without a background in a second or the target language. This is my ideal classroom scenario in which cultures and language backgrounds are balanced.
Teachers, as passionate educators, should rely on professional development to engage students ND inspire them to accomplish their individual goals. They should also engage students into practices that are conductive to develop key competencies, such as critical thinking, problem solving, personal and collective responsibility, innovation, adaptability, efficiency, communication, and most importantly collaboration, which is the key solution to many problems the human race is currently facing socially, politically and culturally. Like all other Interiors settings, the immersion environment must be one which implicitly rewards competence-not with hokey plastic happy faces distributed by an over controlling adult, but rather with those motional and practical rewards which emerge spontaneously in a children’s community which is emotionally healthy and alive.
‘ (Oarswoman, 2008). Professional planning and development by teachers is key in the effectiveness of a high quality assessment plan, which also promotes competencies in a two-way bilingual language Interiors/High Scope/constructivist approach.
Importance of the 21st Century Competencies in Interiors Classrooms Interiors Method already promotes some of the twenty first century competencies such as problem solving skills, multilingualism, culture, awareness, and critical thinking. Children can correct themselves without the presence of a teacher. Materials have a ‘control of error’ and kids can develop skills to solve problems by themselves.
Kids can self-assess their work continuously and simultaneously without the teacher correcting or marking. There is generally only one problem to be solved with every material.
Therefore, students can easily notice mistakes and correct them, which enable children to focus, develop concentration, as well as, gather more attention on the subject. ‘The child realizes that through his own efforts he can be independent and achieve things he has set his mind to. To help the child is not what he needs and indeed.
.. To give help is an impediment for the child’ (Interiors, 1971). Independence and freedom are fostered in most Interiors classrooms, the approach basically implies that the more teachers help students -instead of inspire them to learn- the less the children will succeed by themselves.
In the case of bilingual settings, especially in Interiors classrooms, problem-solving skills are effortlessly encouraged. This is another reason that proves the effectiveness of early bilingual educational programs; where kids are exposed to challenges in the early stages of life.
They’re driven to reflect on their intended meaning as they respond to a speaker who doesn’t share their primary language, and they must solve the problem of what it will take to have a peer or a teacher understand what they are trying to say. Their day involves numerous demands to turn the unfamiliar into the familiar. (Lei & Moraine, 2001) Constructivist Approach & Assessment In constructivist classrooms, learning is known not as a linear process but a complex one which confronts standards curricula. In other words, learning is not easily measurable by simply using tests and scores. Some students fail even though they eave gained knowledge, although others might pass all tests without learning. The five principles of constructivism in classrooms: First: present materials differently depending on student’s perspectives and valuing their opinions.
Second: contrast, validate or contradict student’s original ideas.
Third: include relevance, interest, and meaning based on students in the subject presented. Fourth: deliver appropriately the understanding of a whole and its parts. Fifth: students’ assessments should be based on daily activities instead of evaluating them separate from the classroom work (Brooks, J. G. , & Brooks, M.
G. 1999). I only appreciate similarities and the possibilities of integration when comparing constructivist approaches and Interiors philosophy. ‘Paradoxically, the Interiors approach, which is generally thought to be more rigid than the constructivist, is in fact more open.
Interiors explicitly endorses the three major epistemology (empiricism, nativity, and constructivism), while the constructivist employ them without fully acknowledging them. Given these similarities, it is time for these two approaches to work together to create an even better learning environment for young children’.
Liken, D. (2003) What can we learn from other Pedagogies in terms of Assessment? Early childhood pedagogy in New Zealand is supported by a bicameral curriculum, and using a multifaceted approach to assessment. A key shift here is less planned activities, and instead opportunities for children to self-direct their own interests, and for practitioners to provide co-constructed environments which supports these interests. ‘ (Heathery & Sands, 2002). By following children’s interests, using assessment, teachers provide the learner with self-fulfillment and confidence, some core outcomes that are often neglected in traditional assessments practices.
New Sealant’s early childhood education pedagogy introduces ‘Learning Stories’ as a method of assessment in young children.
Here is a sample that Susan Hill shared when introducing Learning Stories as assessment technique in New Sealant’s pedagogy: the little rug is no longer necessary as Wiremen is off exploring the world. His roll-poly antics are leading him in new direction! He pulls himself into headstand positions (gymnastic potential here) then flops down and looks up with those dramatic dark eyes as if to say: Well what do you think of that? And while on the move he’s checking the environment out with lots of “observational pauses”.
Big world here I come! ‘ Learning Stories seem to be a successful tool and an opportunity to show parents the results of observations during the child’s learning process. Assessment in the system of Turkish Ministry of National Education Curriculum (MOON) is divided in three basic concepts: assessment of the child, the program, and the teacher.
The child is to be known by the teacher very well, which is also accomplished in a Interiors setting as well, since kids are mixed-age groups and they spend 2-3 years with the same teacher.
Using the MOON approach, teachers can use observational rooms, anecdotal records, developmental checklists, standardized tests, portfolios and developmental reports. (Г¶glen Seminar, H. , Logan, R. , 2011).
The High Scope curriculum is based on the work of constructivist, such as Jean Pigged, as well as David Weakest, High Scope founder. The basic premise of this curriculum is that children learn best by doing, which is not different compared to Interior’s ideas, where movement is considered important in the learning process.
Control is shared between adults and children so that children’s creativity is encouraged as they explore their individual interests. The main difference between Interiors and High Scope is basically that High Scope has its foundation on assessment. High Scope curriculum aims to help children gain knowledge and skills in the areas of literacy, initiative and social relations, movement, music and classification.
The assessment tool is called High Scope Child Observation Record (CORE), which could also be purchased online.
It seems to me that education ministries and communities around the world are reflecting on the idea of the importance of creating and promoting assessment practices towards high quality education for the young dents. An Effective Assessment Plan from my Leadership and Personal Point of View Programs, rather than children, should be held accountable for learning and that’s exactly what we are trying to accomplish with this paper. If we implement a high quality assessment plan in a school in a program where students are not inspired by learning, our effort on assessment practices is not worth it.
Even before imagining our ideal classroom scenario and school in terms of assessment from a leadership point of view, we must begin by assessing our own program and ask ourselves parents, teachers and students): Are our kids learning happily? Does learning inspire students, or are they Just attending school because parents send them? Is the curriculum appropriate and adapted to this century and community? To help programs meet the obligation of offering high quality education, teachers need valid tools to assess how well their programs promote learning in all areas of development.
We can enhance Interiors, High Scope, and constructivist approaches by offering the opportunity to children, parents, and the community, to be involved in education as well as using assessment to shape the curriculum.
We must guarantee that assessment reflects our highest educational goals for young children. My goal as an educator is to successfully develop a successful two-way bilingual language program that fosters the Interiors philosophy integrated with High Scope and constructivist approaches. This new concept of early childhood education supports bilingualism based on a balanced distribution of power and school leadership.
This program will promote high quality assessment practices by involving all stakeholders in education: community, parents, students, teachers, and administrators. The freedom that Interiors teachers promote in classrooms allow students to work on their own interests, possibly encouraging confidence, uniqueness, and high self-esteem leading to success in their life Journey. Integrating High Scope, Interiors, and constructivist approaches under a bilingual environment is a challenge but not an impossible task.
Bilingual education requires especial attention to students due to language barriers that might interfere with the communication with children as instruction is given and assessment practices and goals are established. Whereas the assessment of young children has traditionally soused on tracking child development milestones and providing instructional guidance for early childhood educators, assessments are increasingly being used to document children’s skill development, to hold programs accountable for child outcomes, to identify children in need of special services, and to certify children as ready for school. (Waterman, C. , McDermott, P. , Fantasize, J. , Sadden, V.
2010). There is a limitation when developing an assessment plan for early childhood education. Young children, specifically preschool and kindergarten are not all capable of implementing paper-and-pencil assessments or self-assessments so a different method must be applied such as oral conversation, work samples, lessons and presentations. Then, technology could also be used as a tool for an appropriate assessment plan.
While Interiors educators have always striver to provide authentic experiences, they have not always looked to the power that technology has in providing these experiences.
Technology can open the door to more authenticity for students’. (Hubbell, E. 2006). The use of a Smart Board, video cameras and photography, as a retentive form of expressing knowledge or concepts, as well as assessment practices, is a great idea of combining education, science, technology and individual interests. My program facilitates the use of technology to assess and produce samples of ‘good quality work (Davies, A.
007). Media literacy integrated in all content areas is key in this 21st Century education challenge based on the Government of Alberta Reports and information resources. I think that technology provides methods for making assessment more feasible. By quality assessment practices we define the following: eating specific goals and expectations together with parents and students, bringing students, parents, and teachers together so the learning process is enhanced. Preparing reports for kids where not Just teachers are assessing children, but parents also participate in this process.
Collecting samples of quality work and keeping children’s portfolios for both, parents and students’ review.
Parents are invited to the school to participate on a regular basis on special days. At least once a year; parents should visit the school and have conversations, prepare a presentation, read a story, book or plan a dramatic play for kids and teachers. They also need to communicate with teachers in written forms by using information sheets, where they can write their feedback about their children’s progress.
Some samples of parental involvement, students’ assessment for teachers and self-assessment are found in the Appendix 1, 2 & 3 (Retrieved from Alberta Education). Parents should be able to express their opinion in written, as well as in oral forms, about what they are expecting from their kids, what they think their kids should learn, and how they would like their kids to learn (See Appendix 4.
Retrieved from Alberta Education). Parents can also have the opportunity to review the curriculum, and then compare their answers to outcomes defined by the school, teachers and students.
Parental involvement requires at least three major seminar meetings, at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. The main purpose for these meetings, in which students participate as well, is for parents to learn about the program, the academic goals, social and interdisciplinary areas, as well as to share their children’s interests outside the classroom. Conclusions In conclusion, an integration of Interiors, High Scope, and constructivist approaches in a two-way bilingual program is created in which high quality assessment practices are promoted.
Lastly and most importantly, if we are working towards a successful assessment plan under a bilingual program, teachers must understand culture and language, not Just both languages of instruction promoted at school, but also students’ home language and culture.
Teachers must be aware of children and families’ backgrounds in order to maintain a nourishing relationship and open communication with parents and students. By following children’s interests and following these principles on assessment, teachers provide the learner tit self-fulfillment and confidence.
Sharing responsibility in education, using technology as a method for making assessment more feasible, and considering professional planning and development are key practices in order to create a high quality early education program. Lastly, distributing leadership in both languages of of learning, as well as working along with other schools and communities are certainly recognized as the dynamics needed to be implemented in our ideal classroom working towards children’s success in school. Appendix 1- Samples of parental involvement and students self-assessment Appendix 2- Sample of parental involvement