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Changing Perspectives on Assessment in Early Childhood Education: The Power of Pedagogical Narration Strelaeff, Ellen 2015-04

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CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: THE POWER OF PEDAGOGICAL NARRATION by ELLEN STRELAEFF BCYC, The University of Victoria, 2012  A GRADUATING PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Early Childhood Education) We accept this graduating paper as conforming  to the required standard ……………………………………………… ……………………………………………… THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 2015 © Ellen Strelaeff, 2015 Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  ii  ABSTRACT  This graduating project investigates using the practice of pedagogical narration as a holistic tool for assessment with young children. Pedagogical narration is a practice through which children's learning processes are made visible when educator’s observe, document, and interpret children’s daily experiences and then share these interpretations in a narrative format with the children, their parents, colleagues, and community. While traditional child assessment practices, typically influenced by developmental psychology, rely on using checklists and classifying children into predetermined categories, pedagogical narration makes children's multiple ways of learning open for interpretation and dialogue. A review of the literature supports pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool as it is a strength-based approach to assessment that situates the child as a competent contributor to knowledge construction. It focuses on children’s search for meaning and the co-construction of new meaning with the educator and significant others in the child’s community. Based on the review of the literature, I identify four principles that can guide educators as they engage in the process of holistic assessment with pedagogical narration: holding an image of the child as competent, initiating a collaborative process between educators, children, parents, and community to elicit multiple perspectives about the documentation, embarking on a collective search for meaning making/interpretation into, and transparency about the educator’s pedagogy.      Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  iii  Table of Contents Abstract ...............................................................................................................................  ii Table of Contents ................................................................................................................  iii Acknowledgements .............................................................................................................  v Dedication ...........................................................................................................................  vi CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION ................................................................................. 1  Purpose ......................................................................................................................  1  Background and Rationale ........................................................................................ 2  Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................. 4  Summary ...................................................................................................................  5 CHAPTER TWO:  LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................................... 6  Sociocultural and Social Constructivist Theories...................................................... 6  Ecological Systems Theory ....................................................................................... 8  The Impact of Developmental Theory on Child Assessment Practices .................... 9  Pedagogical Narration Assessment as Meaning Making .......................................... 11  Pedagogical Narration and the Pedagogy of Listening ............................................. 13  Pedagogical Narration and/as Holistic Assessment .................................................. 14  Summary ...................................................................................................................  16 CHAPTER THREE:  CONNECTIONS TO PRACTICE .................................................. 17  The Creation and Sharing of Pedagogical Narration as a Tool   for Assessment ................................................................................................. 17  Exemplar #1 - Birds and a Trick ............................................................................... 21   Analysis through Holistic Assessment Framework ......................................... 22   Collaborative and reciprocal process with multiple perspectives .................... 22   Image of the child as competent ...................................................................... 23 Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  iv    Meaning making .............................................................................................. 23   Transparency into educator's pedagogy ........................................................... 24  Exemplar #2 - A Restaurant Called Dissolve ............................................................ 25   Analysis through Holistic Assessment Framework ......................................... 28   Collaborative and reciprocal process with multiple perspectives .................... 28   Image of the child as competent ...................................................................... 29   Meaning making .............................................................................................. 29   Transparency into educator's pedagogy ........................................................... 30  Workshop for Early Childhood Educators ................................................................ 31  Summary ...................................................................................................................  31 CHAPTER FOUR:  REFLECTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ............................. 32  Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 32 References  ..........................................................................................................................  35 Appendix A:  PowerPoint Presentation:  Changing Perspectives on Early Childhood  Assessment:  The Power of Pedagogical Narration .................................................. 40 Appendix B:  Permission to use photographs and artwork ................................................. 79  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  v  Acknowledgements  I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and express deep appreciation to my advisor, Dr. Iris Berger, who believed in me and helped make this a reality. I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. Mari Pighini for all of her support and encouragement throughout the program.  Thank you to my cohort, especially my friend Kari Penner, who was an enormous support to me, and to the many instructors who challenged/stretched my thinking and contributed to my learning. In addition, a very special thank you to Dr. Linda Farr-Darling for agreeing to be a second reader for this project.  To my supervisor, co-workers, dear friends and family, I thank you for your endless support and patience, especially to my mother and my late father who passed away part way through the program.  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  vi   Dedication This is dedicated to all of the young children who have inspired me to listen in new ways, and to recognize, and respond in ways that support their curiosity, wonderment, and learning. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  1  CHAPTER ONE:  INTRODUCTION   In my capstone project, I investigate using the practice of pedagogical narration as a holistic form of assessment with young children. In British Columbia’s Early Learning Framework, pedagogical narration refers to a “process to make children’s learning visible” (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2008, p. 13). Children’s learning is made visible through educators “observing, recording, and individually and collectively, interpreting a series of related ordinary moments” (p. 13) within their early childhood settings. The interpretations of children’s learning experiences are then shared with the community in a narrative format that typically includes text and images. The practice of pedagogical narration invites critical reflection as the educators create the opportunity to think more deeply about the children’s learning and the pedagogical practice. When educators share their thoughts about children's learning processes, they engage colleagues, children, parents, administrators and other community members in the interpretive assessment process as they seek multiple perspectives about the documented material they gathered to enrich and deepen their understanding of and construct a holistic picture of the child.  Purpose  While pedagogical narration in the BC Early Learning Framework (herein, the Framework) has been suggested primarily as a tool for curriculum development, I would like to add another dimension and investigate pedagogical narration as a context for initiating holistic assessment with young children. Further, as an early childhood educator and leader in the early childhood community, I would like to open up a dialogue on how pedagogical narration, used as a holistic assessment tool, can enrich early childhood pedagogical practices, as well as the lives Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  2  of children, families, and educators, specifically within my professional context of British Columbia’s (B.C.'s) StrongStart1 program.   My learning from this project will be shared in a three-hour workshop with StrongStart, kindergarten and primary school, early childhood educators. The purpose of the workshop is to invite dialogue about using pedagogical narrations as means for educators to consider holistic assessments with young children. Guiding Questions My guiding questions for this project are as follows: 1) How can pedagogical narration be conceptualized as a holistic approach to assessing young children's ways of knowing? 2) How can pedagogical narration be used to holistically assess young children's ways of  knowing? Background and Rationale  My interest in pedagogical narration was piqued during my undergraduate studies. During that time, I was first introduced to practices similar to pedagogical narration, such as pedagogical documentation from the pre-primary schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy (Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 2007; Rinaldi, 2006), and learning stories from early childhood centres in New Zealand (Carr, 2001, 2011). I also had the opportunity to learn more about pedagogical narration when I became a field leader during the implementation of B.C. Ministry of Education’s Framework (2008). This leadership project, along with my undergraduate studies, introduced me to new perspectives and ways of knowing, being with, and assessing children that were different                                                             1 See for more information about the B.C. StrongStart Centres Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  3  from early childhood approaches that are based primarily on developmental perspective and standardised assessment tools.   I am currently interested in exploring pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool because I believe that standardized tests and checklists may not account for the relational aspects of the child’s learning and meaning making. Different methods for assessing children need to be understood across a variety of contexts such as individual, family, peer, school, community and government, because children are unique and each of these contexts have influence in the child’s life. Pedagogical narration is one approach that can be considered as an alternative tool for assessing children in an inclusive and holistic way. Pedagogical narration, a comprehensive way of documenting children’s learning, offers a starting point for dialogue on assessment, its form and purpose, because it focuses on meaning making and the children’s relationships with their environment. It is important to examine the child’s learning within sociocultural contexts as they affect, and are affected, by the child.   One of my responsibilities, in my current role of an Early Years Program Supervisor, is consulting the early childhood educators in the StrongStart programs in my region in Southern Interior B.C. The StrongStart programs are publicly funded parent/caregiver and child participation preschool programs in public school settings in B.C. Early childhood educators who facilitate the program, work collaboratively with parents/caregivers as they both share and celebrate in the children’s learning experience. Each session is three hours long and, in many communities, is offered five days per week. Part of my role includes coaching and supporting the educators with the process of creating pedagogical narration. When I coach and mentor the StrongStart educators with the practice of creating pedagogical narration I follow the steps outlined in the British Columbia Early Learning Framework: Theory to Practice (British Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  4  Columbia Ministry of Education, 2008, p. 16).2 When we meet, we provide each other with our individual reflections on the narration that was created by each StrongStart educator from a variety of centres. The reflections are discussed and interpreted amongst the educators and then we arrive at a decision on what pedagogical responses we can offer the child or group of children. Based on these experiences, I believe that using pedagogical narration as a tool for assessing young children’s learning has the potential to change the culture of assessment in early childhood education. Pedagogical narration takes a strength-based approach to assessment and reflects an image of the child as being capable and competent (Rinaldi, 2006). Since educators, parents, and children are involved in and are seen as valuable contributors in the process of interpreting the documented material, pedagogical narration allows for multiple perspectives and voices to become part of the children's learning journeys (Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 2007).  Nevertheless, holistic assessment is a complex undertaking. It not only provides insight into the child's ways of knowing, it also offers a glimpse into the pedagogical orientation of the educator. Pedagogical narration, thus, is a tool that can be used to assess the child's ways of knowing in context, along with providing illumination into the educator's teaching practices. Theoretical Framework  For this project, I will draw from Sociocultural and Social Constructivist (Vygotsky, 1978; Bruner, 1966) theoretical perspectives. Lev Vygotsky (1978) and Jerome Bruner (1966) are both recognized for their development and contributions to sociocultural theory. They argued that children learn within cultural contexts in relationship with adults and peers through meaningful interactive experiences. Fleer (2002) notes that, "Sociocultural approaches to                                                             2 More information on this document can be found at  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  5  teaching and learning foreground the notion that learning is more than an individual construction. Meaning (making) occurs in the context of participation in the real world" (p. 112).   Urie Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Ecological Systems Theory is another theoretical perspective that will inform my investigation. His theory considers the child’s multiple environments a major influence in the child’s development and learning (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). He conceptualizes the child at the center of concentric circles with other systems comprised of the child's family, school, neighbourhood, parents' workplace, social networks, and even broader cultural or subcultural contexts and belief systems. All of these systems either directly or indirectly influence the child's development. These theories will support my view that pedagogical narration can be used as a holistic assessment tool. These theories will be discussed in more detail in Chapter Two. Summary  In Chapter One, I introduced my topic and provided the rationale as well as a personal and theoretical background for this project. In Chapter Two, I will review in depth the guiding theories and explore the relevant scholarly literature about pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool. In Chapter Three, I will make connections between the theories and the literature reviewed and the implications of pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool to early childhood practice, and in Chapter Four, I will discuss insights from this project, as well as its limitations and future possibilities. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  6  CHAPTER TWO:  LITERATURE REVIEW   In this chapter, I will explain in more depth the theoretical framework I selected, and will review the scholarly literature that explores the practice of pedagogical narration in relation to holistic assessment. Sociocultural and Social Constructivist Theories  According to sociocultural and social constructivist theoretical frameworks, children are social beings and as such, their learning does not happen in isolation (Vygotsky, 1978; Rogoff, 2003; Rinaldi, 2006). Rather, children are actively involved in co-authoring their learning processes through engaging with social and cultural networks, including those of their peers and educators, yet this reality is often not included in assessment practice of children's learning (Carr, 2001).   Lev Vygotsky (1896 - 1934), a leader in the sociocultural approach, postulated that social interactions were essential for the child’s learning and development (Vygotsky, 1978; Rogoff, 2003). Vygotsky focused on the social aspect of child development and the important role of the historical, cultural, and social environments for the child's learning. He coined the term “zone of proximal development” (ZPD) which refers to the distance between the present level of the child's development and the next potential level of development that can be realized as the child is supported by an adult or peer while working on a joint task (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86). In this sense, the ZPD attends to the child's strengths (i.e. potential), to the context of learning, and to the significance of the interaction with the adult (educator). From this premise, assessment of learning moves away from a deficit and individualistic view of assessment to a "much more powerful and useful assessment practice for informing teaching and learning practices" (Fleer, 2002, p. 107), because the educator and the child are co-constructing Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  7  knowledge in a reciprocal, interactive manner. While Bruner (1966) encouraged children to discover new knowledge on their own, he too recognized, following in Vygotsky’s footsteps, that children needed particular kinds of interactions with an adult to extend learning of new skills and knowledge – a term Wood, Bruner, & Ross (1979) referred to as “scaffolding” (p. 90). Through the process of scaffolding, learning is understood within the context of relations and mutual attentiveness, as the adult adjusts the interaction to support the child’s construction of knowledge, with the assumption that the child first engages in the task with assistance, and then may engage in it independently. Bruner (1966) argued that evaluation, therefore, “should examine not only the product or content of learning but also the process by which the child gets or fails to get mastery of materials, for only in that way can the efficacy of pedagogy be examined” (p. 164). He further believed that “content cannot be divorced from pedagogy” and that pedagogy “leads the child to treat content in critical ways that develop and express his skills and values” (p. 164).   From a sociocultural perspective, children are seen as competent and intelligent, having rich life experiences that they bring with them to the early childhood classroom (Dahlberg, et al., 2007; Rinaldi, 2006). Educators draw from the children's "funds of knowledge" (Hedges, Cullen, & Jordan, 2011; Gonzalez, Moll, & Amanti, 2005; Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1992), consisting of the diverse social and cultural experiences that children have in their homes and communities to enhance learning. The concept of "funds of knowledge" connects the home and the early childhood classroom by bringing what children already know and care about to the forefront, where educators "use information gathered from the children and families themselves, to identify their strengths and to highlight how unique their experiences are" (Amaro-Jimenez & Semingson, 2011, p. 7).  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  8  Ecological Systems Theory  Bronfenbrenner's (1979) Ecological Systems Theory is relevant to discussions of assessment practices in early childhood education. His concept of "development-in-context" (p. 28) focuses on the understanding that human development "demands more than the direct observation of behavior on the part of one or two persons in the same place" (p. 21). Bronfenbrenner further posits that development in context requires "examination of multiperson systems of interaction not limited to a single setting and must take into account aspects of the environment beyond the immediate situation containing the subject" (p. 28). Bronfenbrenner (1979) defines the ecology of human development as involving the   scientific study of the progressive, mutual accommodation between an active, growing  human being and the changing properties of the immediate setting in which the  developing person lives, as this process is affected by relations between these settings,  and by the larger contexts in the settings are embedded. (p. 21)   He describes the ecological system using the metaphor of Russian nesting dolls where one rests inside a larger one, and so on. His ecological system is divided into four nested layers: the microsystem (which includes the child’s immediate experiences and the most intimate settings such as the home and school); the mesosystem (e.g., relations among home, school and peer group for the child and among family; work and social life for the adult) in which the microsystems interrelate; the exosystem in which the child does not directly participate in but which influences their development (e.g., parent's place of work or network of friends, class attended by older sibling); and the macrosystem (dominant beliefs and ideologies affecting the developing child) (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  9   The aforementioned cultural and contextual theories of learning and development provide the theoretical foundations for my understanding of holistic assessment. These theories are significant to my investigation because the child is viewed as active and engaged in all aspects of their environment.  These theories emphasize the importance of cultural contexts to the child’s learning and development and they also point out the importance of social interactions and co-construction of knowledge in creating new (shared) meaning in a variety of contexts with others. In the next section, I will consider these theories as I review current literature that I feel is pertinent to my investigation of pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool with young children. The Impact of Developmental Theory on Child Assessment Practices  Traditional child observation techniques were used to “assess children’s psychological development in relation to already predetermined categories produced from developmental psychology and which define what the normal child should be doing at a particular age” (Dahlberg, et al., 2007, p. 146). Historically, young children have had their knowledge assessed using developmental checklists, which offer a narrow view of the child (Dahlberg et al., 2007). The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) (Brooks Publishing, 2013) is a common screening tool used to measure children's development in order to find out if the child is developing typically or if there are concerns that require a further developmental assessment. As Robertson (2006) points out, “observational tools as they are often used, are implemented because they are required and are geared towards deficit models, individual children, teaching evaluation and behaviour management” (p. 49). One reason that educators may have found checklists advantageous to use is because they take considerably less time to implement compared with qualitative methods, such as narratives assessment techniques.  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  10   The field of early childhood has long been influenced by the tenets of developmental psychology (Dahlberg et al., 2007; Rogoff, 2003). Child focused institutions are “prominent in developmental psychology, connecting with ideas about stages of life, thinking and learning processes, motivation, relations with peers and parents, disciplinary practices at home and school, competition and cooperation” (Rogoff, 2003, p. 8). Rogoff asserts that “with the rise of industrialization and the efforts to systematize human services such as education and medical care, age became a measure of development and a criterion for sorting people” (2003, p. 8). Before this systematization, children moved forward in their schooling as they learned (Rogoff, 2003). It has only been in the last century-and-a-half that "the cultural concept of age and associated practices relying on age-grading have come to play a central, though often unnoticed role in ordering lives in some cultural communities” (Rogoff, 2003, p. 8). As school became compulsory, children were segregated from their parents and communities, and a gap was formed between the child and adult worlds.   According to New (1994), “the field of child development was built upon a predominance of studies conducted on white, middle-class American children” (p. 68). Since the 1996 version of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) position paper on "developmentally appropriate practice" was adopted, there have been significant changes. With the rise in population of immigrant families, increased numbers of home languages and cultures in the schools, issues of poverty, and an increase of children with special needs, the context and culture of early child hood education has shifted (NAEYC, 2009). No longer do children fit into the prescribed categories suggested by developmental theories, and there may be more than one way to "educate" and assess children (Dahlberg et al., 2007). Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  11   Increased accountability policies and learning standards have had a major impact on how educators teach, how children learn, and how assessments are carried out (Dahlberg et al., 2007; Curtis & Carter, 2008). The NAEYC “imbued the definition of developmentally appropriate practice with a belief that young children learn best through self-initiated play and discovery, and teachers should foster independence” (as cited in Curtis & Carter, 2008, p. 90). This belief led to a “hands off” approach to teaching, which consequence was managing children’s behaviour "with the value of protecting individual rights" (Curtis & Carter, 2008, p. 90). While educators came to believe they were protecting children's rights, instead they unintentionally narrowed down possibilities for constructing the image of child as competent and full of possibilities (Curtis & Carter, 2008). Additionally, fostering independence and individuality may marginalize cultural perspectives “that value interdependence over individual efforts and learning in groups over individual efforts and achievements” (Curtis & Carter, 2008, p. 90).   Pedagogical Narration and Assessment as Meaning Making  In contrast with traditional assessment strategies that rely on predefined standards and are mostly retrospective, Dahlberg and Moss (2005) and Rinaldi (2006) discuss pedagogical documentation (narration) as a tool for meaning making that is both retrospective and prospective. Pedagogical narration and assessment as meaning making is about co-constructing and deepening understanding of learning in relationship with others in ways that create new paths for future learning. Pedagogical narration and assessment as meaning making allows for multiple perspectives, varying interpretations, and are open-ended and provisional. Central to this perspective is the idea that children are seen as competent and capable beings with great potential. Children are seen as powerful thinkers, always searching for meaning. Rinaldi (2006), Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  12  an educational leader in Reggio Emilia, where the methodology of pedagogical documentation (narration) has been explored and practiced for many years, describes the competent child as follows, “much has been said and written about the competent child (who has the ability to learn, love, be moved, and live), the child who has a wealth of potentials, the powerful child in relation to what s/he is and can be right from birth” (p. 105). Rinaldi (2006) further argues that,   documentation is a substantial part of the goal that has always characterised our  experience:  the search for meaning - to find the meaning of school, or rather, to  construct the meaning of school as a place that plays an active role in the children's  search for meaning and our own search for meaning (and shared meanings). (p. 63,  author’s parentheses)   In their critique of universal standards of quality in early childhood programs, Dahlberg & Moss (2005) resist a definition for quality, which they describe as a "means to make judgements about what is good or right, within a framework of universal, normative ethics" (p. 88). With regards to universal ethics and the conventional discourse of quality, it is assumed that the evaluator is objective and able to conform to code. Dahlberg & Moss (2005) further point out how pedagogical documentation (or narration) reflects assessment as meaning making, because it provides a means for “making judgements of value” which is different from the “normalising judgements associated with evaluation as quality” (p. 157). Dahlberg et al. (2007) describe pedagogical documentation as both process and content. Content refers to the many ways and forms to collect the materials that children and educators have produced (via photographs, written notes, audio/video), and the process is how the documented material is reflected on and interpreted in a collaborative, democratic way and in relationship with others (e.g., children, parents, colleagues, administrators, community) (Dahlberg et al., 2007; Rinaldi, 2006).   Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  13   Pacini-Ketchabaw, Kocher, Berger, Isacc, & Mort (2007) add that, "meaning making also offers alternative ways of responding to and celebrating the diversity that characterizes British Columbia's children and families" (p. 8). Furthermore, they add that from this premise, "evaluation becomes a democratic process, and a (provisional) decision in which people are active participants and for which they must take responsibility - not delegating responsibility to the expert, the legislator and the inspector" (p. 157). Moreover, with the rise of sociocultural theories over the past 30 years, educators have been invited to re-examine the importance of culture in the context of learning and the importance of the adult’s role in scaffolding (Curtis & Carter, 2008). The role of the adult (e.g., educator) is demonstrated through their reflections on the pedagogical choices and actions that they make and what thought processes and assumptions orient them as they document (Rubizzi, 2001). Learning through co-constructing meanings with children opens up many possibilities; it is a perspective that gives a different value to the process of assessment.  Pedagogical Narration and the Pedagogy of Listening  In Reggio Emilia, the practice of pedagogical documentation is linked with the "pedagogy of listening" (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005; Rinaldi, 2006) which is "listening with all of one's senses…suspending judgements and prejudice…being open and sensitive…being aware and curious…and listening to the "hundred languages of children" (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998, p. 3). Listening, as pedagogy and an approach to assessment, is not easy (Rinaldi, 2006). Listening brings the "responsibility to act on what we heard" (Kinney, 2005, p. 121). By using a pedagogy of listening with the child, educators “interrupt predetermined meanings” and disrupt problematic “totalising practices such as the concepts and classifications of developmental psychology which give us as teachers or researchers possibilities to possess and Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  14  ‘comprehend’ the child” (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005, p. 101). When classifying the child into predetermined norms, as many assessment tools do, the voice of the child is often disregarded (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005). Yet, when children are presented with documentation of their experiences in narrative form, they realize that they are being heard and that what they have to say has value and meaning (Rinaldi, 2006). Further, as Rinaldi (2006) eloquently states, "they discover that they 'exist' and can emerge from anonymity and invisibility, seeing that what they say and do is important, is listened to and is appreciated:  it is value" (p. 72). Additionally, educators are able to gain insight into who the child is through noticing their ways of knowing and theorizing and by listening to the uniqueness of children's words and actions (Rinaldi, 2006). "Through these stories," as Berger (2010) points out, "children are released from their anonymity, they gain a multiplicity of identities, and they become foci for dialogue and interest" (p. 72). Pedagogical narration as a reflection of the pedagogy of listening allows educators to assess, understand, and make visible the richness and intelligences of children (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005; Rinaldi, 2006).   Pedagogical Narration and/as Holistic Assessment  Rinaldi (2006) explains that the practice of documentation (or pedagogical narration) and assessment are inherently entangled because “at the moment of documentation (observation and interpretation), the element of assessment enters the picture immediately, that is in the context and during the time in which the experience (activity) takes place” (p. 69). In their discussion about pedagogical documentation (or pedagogical narration), Pacini-Ketchabaw and colleagues (2007) argue that, "this approach to teaching and learning with young children offers an alternative to models with predetermined outcomes and standardized assessments" (p. 8). Pedagogical narration, when contrasted with traditional child observation and assessment Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  15  methods, is used to make children’s multiple ways of knowing and learning visible. Pedagogical narration reveals how children make meaning of their world by viewing children's ways of knowing through documenting their creations and experiences using photography, audio/video recordings, and written notes (Dahlberg et al., 2007; Rinaldi, 2006). It is a practice of intentionality, of deep engagement with and in the lives of children, or "a habit of paying attention, watching and listening closely, reflecting together about what we see, planning from our reflections and understandings, and telling the stories in ways that enrich our community" (Felstiner, Kocher, & Pelo, 2005, p. 60). Moreover, the process of sharing pedagogical narration helps link the child’s home and community experience with that of the early childhood classroom and opens up a space for communication with parents/caregivers, coworkers, and administrators, about how to meaningfully assess children’s learning processes (Curtis & Carter, 2008; Dahlberg et al., 2007). Dahlberg and colleagues (2007), Rinaldi (2006), and Carr (2001) argue in favour of using narrative assessment (e.g., pedagogical narration and learning stories) as holistic assessment tools in early childhood settings with young children.   Importantly, pedagogical narration causes the educator to pause and reflect on what/how children are learning and making meaning of their world (Carr, 2001; Dahlberg et al., 2007). As well, educators reflect on how their own values and beliefs, such as their image of the child, interact with assessment of children’s learning (Dahlberg et al., 2007; Felstiner et al., 2005). Because it involves a process of interpretation, the documentation is open-ended, and creates spaces of uncertainty, and this, Rinaldi (2006) adds, is where "true didactic freedom, of the child as well as the teacher" (p. 70) lies, because the interpretation may open up many possibilities for further dialogue, questioning of theories, and comparing ideas. Rinaldi (2006) also posits that Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  16  this is "where the meeting on 'what to do' takes place and the process of assessment (deciding what to 'give value to') is carried out" (p. 70).   Carr (2001), who has carried out several studies in New Zealand on the use of learning stories, which are similar practices to pedagogical documentation, describes assessment with learning stories as "creating a shared picture of each child in order to be able to plan for further learning experiences" (as cited in Gould & Pohio, 2006, p. 84). Carr (2001) adds that, This approach to assessment is like action research, with the teacher/researcher as part of the action. Assessment procedures in early childhood will call on interpretive and qualitative approaches for the same reasons a researcher will choose interpretive and qualitative methods for researching complex learning in a real-life early childhood setting. (p. 13)    According to Carr (2001), in this sense, narrative assessment becomes an "integral part of the learner-in-action" (p. 141), as the focus on assessment leads the educators to "take a critical look at the assessment format" (p. 144) and modify it to make the process more responsive, in tune with everyday practice, and more pedagogically sound. Summary   In this chapter, I explained my theoretical framework and presented the scholarly literature that supports the practice of pedagogical narration in its potential to be a holistic assessment tool. In Chapter Three, I will discuss practical suggestions for using pedagogical narration as a holistic tool for assessing young children's learning within the context of British Columbia Ministry of Education's StrongStart programs.   Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  17  CHAPTER THREE:  CONNECTIONS TO PRACTICE  In this chapter, I connect the theories and literature I have reviewed with the practical application of pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool. The review of the literature supports my argument for using pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool. This approach to assessment is valuable to young children as they begin to feel heard and understood through meaningful dialogue about the pedagogical narratives. The narrations, crafted by the educator, reveal and expand children's meaning making and learning processes. Further, pedagogical narration helps bring the community together, where through co-constructing the narrations, parents, children, and educators can collaboratively "contribute to the creation of common language and understandings about early learning" (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2008, p. 14). As a leader in the field of Early Childhood Education, as well as a coach/mentor of the early childhood educators in a number of B.C. StrongStart programs, I will, use exemplars of pedagogical narrations to discuss how our team used pedagogical narration to make children's meaning making visible and how pedagogical narration was used as a holistic assessment tool with young children. Finally, I will discuss the workshop that I plan to offer early childhood educators. The workshop explains and exemplifies the use of pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool. The Creation and Sharing of Pedagogical Narration as a Tool for Assessment  The exemplars below were created by documenting ordinary moments in the StrongStart Centre using photography and written notes. According to the Framework, an ordinary moment "may be an anecdotal observation, children's work, photographs that illustrate a process, audio or video tape recordings, or children's voiced ideas" (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2008, p. 16) without any interpretation. The purpose of the creation of pedagogical Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  18  narrations was to illustrate how children are making meaning within their learning environment (StrongStart Centre), as well as, to use this process to holistically assess young children's learning. After the initial phase of documentation (e.g., notes taking, photography), the educator reflected on the narration and shared her reflections with the children, parents, and colleagues in order to gather their perspectives and interpretations. Pedagogical narration is typically shared with parents and colleagues through dialogue, in person and sometimes by email. Sharing the narrations also allows for collaborative planning for future educational possibilities as the assessment and curriculum processes become reciprocal and complementary to one another. Parents offer a different insight into children's learning processes than colleagues because they have knowledge of the children outside of the early childhood setting. The conversation between the educators and the parents is reciprocal. Both can become partners in the child’s education, curriculum development, and holistic assessment process.  Since parents are required to participate in the StrongStart programs with their child, the parent-educator partnership can be strengthened through pedagogical narration and the holistic assessment process associated with its creation, because parents feel included and valued. As a holistic assessment tool, pedagogical narration can also demonstrate what children know and can already do independently or with assistance (Vygotsky, 1978).   To illustrate how pedagogical narration is used as a holistic assessment tool, I am proposing a number of guiding principles that are based on the literature review carried out in Chapter Two. Because we recognize that children have complex identities and are "grounded in their individual strengths and capacities, and their unique social, linguistic, and cultural heritage" (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2008, p. 4), we need to rethink what assessment practices ethically respond to how children learn in diverse contexts and how their learning is Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  19  interpreted. More specifically, I argue that holistic assessment entails holding an image of the child as capable and competent with unique perspectives, theories, and views to share (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2008). Further, initiating a collaborative and reciprocal process between educators, children, parents, and community members to elicit multiple perspectives about the meanings of the documentation is imperative for inviting many varying viewpoints, which add to the rich interpretations of the narratives (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005).   Another important consideration is that holistic assessment provides transparency and insight into the educator's pedagogy. It prompts educators to consciously think about their daily practice with children, and their "pedagogy of listening," (Rinaldi, 2006) as they challenge assumptions and create new ways of listening, understanding, and responding to children. As Rinaldi (2006) says, "documentation makes it possible for teachers to sustain the children's learning, while at the same time the teacher learns (learns to teach) from the knowledge building process of the children" (p 57). The fourth principle is the collective search for meaning making/interpretation. As discussed by Rinaldi (2006), children are always searching for meaning, as are educators, who also search for shared meaning with children, parents, and colleagues. Dahlberg et al., (2007) add that it is in relationship with one another and through co-construction that we make meaning of the world around us.   One of the StrongStart educators that I supervise created the first exemplar "Birds and a Trick". The educator recorded, in written notes, what was said in the moment with the child, and then captured the moment with a digital photo of the picture they drew during their play. The educator reflected on a "Birds and a Trick" for some time and then shared her reflections with her colleagues and the child's parents to gain their perspective or interpretation of the narration. The educator thought that this interaction with the child was worth documenting because it Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  20  revealed what/how the child had learned and remembered from a previous visit to the StrongStart Centre and how this child was applying her learning in a different way.  The second exemplar, "A Restaurant Called Dissolve," is one I created by documenting an ordinary moment at a StrongStart Centre. I had used written notes and photographs of the child's work to create the pedagogical narration. I then reflected on the narration and shared my reflections with the child's parents and my colleagues in order to gain their perspective or interpretation of the interaction. The first section below demonstrates what took place during the ordinary moment. The second section illustrates what happened on the next visit to the StrongStart Centre.3                                                             3 Consent to use the narrations in this project was obtained from the parents and the educator. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  21  Exemplar	#1	‐	Birds	and	a	Trick	 Lisa is a four‐year‐old girl who has been attending StrongStart since she was an infant. On this particular morning, she arrived with her mom and announced that she wanted to do some colouring. I joined her at the craft table and she talked about colouring birds for her grandma, “because  grandma  likes  birds,  blue  birds  and  robins".  Lisa  began  to  draw  a  robin  using  felt markers while I coloured a blue bird on my page. I asked her if we needed to add anything else and she said, “yes, food". She moved closer to me and said, “I’ll do  it” and started dotting my paper with blue dots. I asked her if she could tell me what it was and she said, “It is bird food, like seeds.”  Of course, I thought.                    Lisa’s mom  came and  sat down at  the other end of  the  table with  two blank  sheets of paper for colouring. Lisa said with excitement, “I will show you a trick. I need another white one" referring to another white (blank) sheet of paper. I asked, “Is it going to be a magic trick?" and smiled at her mom. Neither of us knew exactly what she was going to do. Lisa reached for her mom’s white paper and also a piece of paper with a  turkey pictured on  it and brought  them both over to me. She put the plain white paper on top of the turkey picture and began to colour vigorously with her blue felt. Lisa’s mom and I looked at each other trying to figure out what she was doing. Lisa stopped,  lifted the top page and  looked at the turkey paper disappointed and confused. Lisa didn’t say anything. Moments  later, Lisa’s mom and  I  figured out that Lisa was trying to do a crayon rubbing like we had done two weeks earlier with leaves. I explained to Lisa that  the  reason  it didn't work  for her  this  time was because  the picture of  the  turkey wasn’t bumpy  like the  leaves we used previously. The picture of the turkey was on a smooth piece of paper.  I showed her with my hand the smooth paper and encouraged her  to  feel  the page as well.  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  22   The educator's initial reflections:  Lisa knew what  she wanted  to do when she arrived at StrongStart that day.  Lisa  frequently  makes  things  for  her grandma and grandpa.  Lisa  knew  what  her  grandma  likes  and proceeded to draw/colour it.  Lisa's  memory  is  very  keen.  She remembered  that  I  had  shown  her  the "trick"  of  rubbing  leaves  two  weeks earlier and she recalled the steps.  Even  though  she  used  a  felt  and  not  a crayon,  she knew  to  rub  really hard and then  look  at  her  picture  below  to compare.  Interpretations from parents and colleagues: From Lisa's Family  We  live  with  Lisa's  grandparents  and they are a big part of her  life  so  it's no wonder  she makes  a  lot  of  pictures  for them.  She is always thinking.  She  always  has  something  going  on, something  she  is working  on  to  try  and make sense of.  From Colleagues  Interesting  how  even when  she  is  away from  her  grandparents  how  they  still have an  influence on her. Lisa  is thinking about  them  and  colouring  her grandmother's  favourite  things.  I would have  loved  to  have heard  their  reaction to the story. Was it shared with them?  I  loved  that  she  remembers  the  crayon rubbing from the previous week and tried to  apply  her  new  knowledge  to  today's activity.  Was  she  familiar with  the word/concept "smooth" and "bumpy" or was  that new vocabulary that she learned today?  			Analysis	through	Holistic	Assessment	Framework		Collaborative	and	reciprocal	process	with	multiple	perspectives	  Pedagogical  narration  is  shared  with parents/caregivers  and  community  and helps  strengthen  the  school/community partnership.  When  the  narration  was shared  with  Lisa's  family,  her  mom  had several comments.  She mentioned that Lisa always had something going on, something she was working on  to make  sense of  and understand.  The  parent was  not  surprised by  Lisa's  actions  and  it  seemed  to  confirm for  her  that  Lisa  is  just  as  curious  at  the StrongStart  Centre  as  she  is  at  home. Perhaps Lisa’s mom also holds an  image of Lisa as capable and competent.   We  learned  from  Lisa's mom  that  their family  lives with Lisa's grandparents. Lisa  is aware  that  her  grandma  loved  robins  and bluebirds and proceeded  to draw a picture for her. Perhaps  Lisa  felt  connected  to her grandma  even  though  they  were  apart while  she  was  attending  the  StrongStart Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  23  program. Lisa  is also showing that grandma is important to her as she frequently makes pictures  for  her.  This  exemplar  illustrates how  important  the  historical,  cultural,  and social contexts are for learning and meaning making  (Vygotsky,  1978).  It  also  points  to Bronfenbrenner's  (1979)  Ecological Framework,  specifically  the  mesosystem, where  two  microsystems  (e.g.,  home  and the  StrongStart  Centre)  become interrelated.  The  comments  from  Lisa's mom help  to construct a holistic picture of who Lisa is and to her "funds of knowledge" (Hedges, et al., 2011; Gonzalez, et al., 2005; Moll, et al., 1992) and  the  life experiences that she bring to the StrongStart Centre.    The  interpretations  from  colleagues confirmed  for  the  educator what  she was initially thinking when she realized Lisa was remembering and  taking her  learning  from a  previous  activity  (e.g.,  crayon  rubbing using  paper  over  leaves);  transferring  her knowledge and challenging herself in a new learning  situation  (e.g.,  rubbing with  a  felt marker, using a smooth surface instead, and expecting to see the same results).  Image	of	the	child	as	competent	  The educator approached the creation of pedagogical  narration,  as  a  holistic assessment  tool,  through  an  image  of  the child as one who is a competent being and a powerful thinker, not a passive recipient of the adult's (e.g., educator's) knowledge.    As  the  exemplar  above  demonstrates, Lisa was  able  to  represent what  she  knew verbally  and  through  her  drawing.  In  this exemplar,  Lisa  is  showing  that  she  is knowledgeable  about  what  birds  eat.  She knows  that  bird’s  seeds  are  tiny  and represented that by colouring dots near the bird.  This  also  demonstrates  that  Lisa  is being heard and that what she has to say is important and has value.   The  educator  in  this  example  is  looking and listening for Lisa's strengths. Robertson (2006)  would  describe  this  pedagogical approach as follows, "I wonder what would happen  if  we  tried  to  discover  what  they already  knew, before we  started  to  'teach' them"  (p. 46). The educator has  clearly  let the  child  take  the  lead  in  discovering  and rediscovering what  she  already  knew.  The educator  did  not  disrupt  the  flow  of  Lisa's learning  processes  and  instead  observed and waited until she was done to offer her help  and  an  explanation  as  to  why  the activity  did  not  work.  This  was  an intentional decision that the educator made practicing  the  "pedagogy  of  listening" (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005; Rinaldi, 2006).    Meaning	making		  The “pedagogy of  listening”  (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005; Rinaldi, 2006), as described  in Chapter Two, is central to meaning making. In the above exemplar, Lisa is being listened to when  she  expresses  herself  using many languages, including her choice to be silent, as  Lisa displayed when  she  lifted her page and  the  drawings  did  not  match.  She expected  to  see  a  drawing  similar  to  the picture of the turkey. Her silence conveyed a loud message that was interpreted by her mom  and  the  early  childhood  educator  as surprise,  and  quite  possibly, disappointment.  One  of  the  comments  by the  parent  was  that  Lisa  was  always thinking.  Perhaps  this  silence  was representing  her  thinking  and  her  attempt to  make  connections  and  meanings between why the activity worked previously and not on this particular day. Even though she used  a  felt pen  and not  a  crayon,  Lisa Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  24  remembered  that she needed  to  rub  really hard  and  then  look  at  her  picture underneath  to  compare.  Lisa  was experimenting  and  testing  a  cause  and effect  theory.  She  was  also  recalling something  she  had  learned  and  clearly enjoyed  in a previous week as  she wanted to apply this newly learned knowledge. The educator was curious about the activity Lisa selected  and  it  was  through  collaboration with Lisa's mom that they figured out what Lisa was doing with the felt rubbing.     This exemplar helps  the educator better understand  how  Lisa  is  learning  through real  life  experiences  and  how  Lisa  thinks and  interprets  reality  and  solves  problems based  on  her  relationship  with  her environment  (Rinaldi,  2006).  The  depth  of knowledge that children bring with them to the discussions at the StrongStart Centres is remarkable.  They  are  continuously searching  for  meaning.  Children  are problem solvers and work collaboratively in co‐constructing  knowledge  and  this  can become  part  of  the  holistic  assessment process.     Transparency 	and	insight	into	the	educator's	pedagogy	  The interpretations from the parents and colleagues had the educator wondering why she  didn't  share  the  narration  with  the grandparent to add yet another perspective on  the  narration  with  Lisa.  Pedagogical narration and/as holistic assessment allows for not only the child's learning processes to be  understood,  but  also  for  the pedagogue's as she "encounters  the child's ideas,  theories  and  hypotheses  with respect, curiosity and wonder" (Dahlberg, et al.,  2007,  p.  55).  The  comments  from  the parents  and  colleagues  have  caused  the educator  to  realize  that  there  are  many more possibilities that the educator, parent, and child can explore and realize together. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  25    Exemplar	#2	‐	A	Restaurant	Called	Dissolve	  Laura, her dad, and Ryan were playing in the kitchen centre. Laura (4 years, 1 month) and  Ryan  (2  years,  10 months) were  busy cooking olive and nut soup (using craft eyes for the olives and pompoms for the nuts).   As  their  restaurant  play  continued,  they added  pizza  as  another  one  of  their delicacies.  Other parents and children were involved at  some  level and were  invited  to taste‐test.  They  “oohed” and  “aahed” over the children’s creations. Laura had quite an audience and she  received  rave  reviews  for her dishes.    Brian,  Laura’s  dad,  asked  if  she  had  a name  for  her  fabulous  restaurant.  At  that moment  she  decided  she  needed  some paper and a pen  to write out  the name of the restaurant for all of us to see.   Laura  “wrote”  on  each  of  the  pages  as we  made  comments  about  how  long  the name of the restaurant should be.   When  she  had  finished writing  on  each page, we asked if she could tell us the name of  her  restaurant.  She  replied:  “This  page says  cooking  restaurant  ...  nothing  to dissolve.”                 Holding the next piece of paper, she said:       “The  restaurant  only  gives  sandwiches and  treats  ...  and  pizza  ...  and  NO applesauce.”               “This one says, ‘What do you think of my restaurant? Is it good or is it bad?’ ”  "This one says  ‘Thank you  for remembering it.’"    Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  26    Brian explained that Laura was referring to  the  customer  satisfaction  survey  that restaurants  often  provide.  As  Brian continued  with  his  explanation,  Laura interrupted him and  said,  “You  can have a sleepover at my restaurant. A long name for it, to dissolve.”   I asked Laura  to  tell me about  the word dissolve. She  replied, “Dissolve  is when you get  treats  and  cookies.  When  you  get surprises, and you thank someone who gives it to you.”   At the end of the play it was decided that her restaurant name was Dissolve.    The  next  time  Laura  attended StrongStart,  she  arrived  with  her  abuela (maternal grandmother) Anne. I showed her the pictures of the drawings she had made and  read  the draft narration  I had created. We discussed the restaurant experience we had  engaged  in  the  previous  time  she attended  and  brainstormed  further  ideas and  thoughts  we  had  about  restaurants. One of the  ideas Laura mentioned was that "restaurants have menus so you can decide what  to  eat."    I  offered  Laura  the opportunity  to  create  a  menu  for  her restaurant.  It  was  nearing  the  end  of  our StrongStart  session, and many  families had already  gone  home.  Laura,  Anne,  and  I engaged in this activity.    I  provided  pictures  of  food  from magazines, scissors, glue, and markers. But, Laura  had  another  idea.  Reaching  for  a folded  piece  of  construction  paper,  she explained to us that she did not want to use the pictures and would prefer  to write out the menu. She opened the folded paper and began to write on the right‐hand side of the page.    “How do you write  strawberry pie?”  she asked.    Anne  asked  her  to  sound  it  out  and demonstrated  how.  Laura  made  a  hissing sound  “sssssssss”  as  she  wrote  the  letter. Next she made  the sound “te  te”  for T and then  the “rrrr”  for R and  so on  ... until  she had written “STROBERE PA” on her menu.        “Okay,  it’s  going  to  be  one  penny  for strawberry pie. Abuela, can you please write ‘French  fries’  on  here?”  Anne  agreed  to write  ‘French  fries’  and  Laura  copied  the word ‘French’ underneath.   Laura decided that the French fries would cost  a  loonie.  She  asked  how  to write  the word loonie. Anne explained to her that she could  use  a  symbol  instead  that  would represent a loonie. She asked Laura to write the  letter  S  and  then make  a  straight  line through it.   “Then  you  put  the  number  1  beside  it. And that is considered a loonie.”   Laura  wrote  the  letter  S  and  drew  a straight  line  through  it  ... although  the  line was on an angle and the ends  joined the S, making it look like the number 8. She wrote the number 1 below it.   Laura moved to the left side of the paper and began to draw the strawberry pie. Next she  drew  and  named  the  plate  of  French Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  27  fries  with  ketchup  and,  finally,  the  French chips.   “Here’s the strawberry pie and  it’s sliced in  half,”  she  said,  as  she  drew  two  lines through the pie. She then drew dots on the pie  and  told  us  they  were  extra strawberries.   Pointing to the right side of the page, she explained,  “This  side  is  things  you  need  to pay  for.  The  rest  you  don’t  need  to  give money for.”   She wrote her symbol  for a  loonie, drew the  number  1  beside  the  symbol,  and followed with two more sets of symbols and numbers.  She  explained  to  us  that  the  pie now cost three loonies.    Anne  explained  that,  in  future,  Laura could  draw  the  number  3  beside  the  $ symbol to indicate the value and added that Laura’s way was good, too.      Anne asked, “I wonder how we will know the restaurant is open?”    Laura:  “I need a  flat piece of paper and on  one  side  I will write  open  and  one  side will say closed.”     Laura did not require any assistance with these signs at all.   She  placed  the  sign  on  a  chair with  the CLOS  side  showing.  Anne  and  I  waited  by the sign while Laura set up her restaurant.        Finally Laura motioned for us to come in. Anne asked,  “Can we  seat ourselves, or do we wait to be seated?”   Laura:  “You  have  to wait.  And  here’s  a cell phone in case someone calls you.”   Laura  led us  to our  table and seated us. She  placed  the  menu  on  the  table  and described her specials.       She  took our order and before we knew it,  Anne  was  enjoying  French  fries  with ketchup  and  I  was  enjoying  the  French chips.  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  28  The educator's initial reflections:  Laura enjoys dramatic play and  loves  to be  surrounded by an audience. She  likes to take the lead.  I was  curious about  the word  "dissolve" and its meaning for her.  Laura and her parents or her abuela are often  reading and writing  together. This can explain how effortlessly she was able to write  "open"  and  "clos".  She  is  often practicing  writing.  She  is  familiar  with "sounding  out"  and  has  letter/sound recognition.  Laura appears to be quite knowledgeable about certain elements of the restaurant experience.  Laura also knew some "math" or money concepts,  such  as  half,  loonie,  three loonies, one penny.  Interpretations from parents and colleagues: From Laura's Family  Laura often uses words  that  she's heard or  makes  something  up  to  represent what she is thinking at the time.  She  and  her  older  brother,  along  with their  abuela,  work  on  science experiments  at  home.  The  often "dissolve" ingredients to make something else,  almost  like  alchemy.  We  suspect that  Laura  may  have  used  the  word "dissolve"  in  a way  that would  suggest that  you  combine  different  food ingredients to make a new food ‐ cooking alchemy.  Laura  is  very  familiar  and  enjoys  the restaurant  experience  and  has  her favourite  in  town because  they give her colouring materials while we wait for our meal to be served.  Laura  also  likes  to  help  cook  and  play restaurant at home.   She spends a  lot of time "writing" and  is constantly  asking  us  to write words  for her to copy or to help her spell so she can write the words on her own.  From Colleagues  I wondered what  the  significance of  the cell  phone was  and  if  Laura  notices  her parents or others talking on a cell phone while waiting to be seated in restaurants.  I wondered  if  she  knew  that  a  “loonie” represented  a  “dollar”.  Or  do  children nowadays  only  know  loonie  or toonie/townie and not really know that it is an actual dollar value.  She  knows  the  alphabet  and  is  able  to sound out letters to make words. 	Analysis	through	Holistic	Assessment	Framework	 Collaborative	and	reciprocal	process	with	multiple	perspectives	  Based on her studies on  learning stories in New Zealand, Hatherly  (2006)  says  that, "little  is  more  compelling  than  reading  a story about yourself (if you are the child) or about  'my  child'  (if  you  are  a  parent)"  (p. 30).  Pedagogical  narration  allows  for  a meaningful  connection between home and school as several of the StrongStart children attend  with  a  caregiver  rather  than  a Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  29  parent.  Laura's  parents  appreciated  the opportunity  to  participate  in  a  narration involving  their  child.    In  Laura's  case, both parents  work  and  cannot  always  attend StrongStart  with  her,  therefore  she  often attends with  her  abuela.  Despite  this,  her parents and abuela could contribute to the documentation  and  holistic  assessment process by sharing their  insight about what the  pedagogical  narration means  to  them and what  Laura's  previous  experience  has been with the content in the narrative.      In this exemplar, the parents shared that Laura  is  often  involved  in  science experiments  at  home  and  mixing ingredients together, so this is possibly how she may know and use the word "dissolve". Pedagogical  narration,  as  a  holistic assessment  tool,  is  a  wonderful  way  to enter  into  a  discussion  about meanings  of words  and  also  build  on  the  children's vocabulary. Laura's parents also added that she  loves  to help cook and  is often playing restaurant at home. As we learned from her parents,  Laura's  family  frequented restaurants and she enjoyed the restaurant experience. Laura was already familiar with the menu  genre when  she was developing her  own.  She  had  knowledge  that menus have print on both sides and include pricing.    Sharing  the pedagogical narrations, as a form  of  holistic  assessment  with  others, allows  for  multiple  interpretations  and planning  "what's  next?"  into  a  process. Pedagogical narration  involves a “we” (e.g., educators,  parents,  children),  rather  than an  “I”  (e.g.,  educator),  as  educators move from being  an  isolated  teacher  to being  in interdependent  relations  with  others (Roberson,  2006).  Through  this collaboration,  the  educator,  Laura,  and Anne have a greater understanding of what was  noticed  and  observed.  It  is  important for the educator to not only  listen to Laura but  to  be  fully  attentive  to  what  is  being observed and then taking responsibility and sharing  in  the  decision  making  (in  this exemplar with grandparent as well).   Image	of	the	child	as	competent	  Revisiting  the  stories with  children  is  a holistic way of using assessment in learning. In  this exemplar,  the educator notices  that Laura  is  demonstrating  confidence  in  her knowledge  and  is  able  to  represent  her thoughts  through  dialogue  and  writing. Once  she  was  reminded  of  her  previous restaurant  experience  at  the  StrongStart Centre,  she  immediately  knew  what  task she  was  interested  in  doing  next.  It  is through  this  process  of  pedagogical narration  and  assessment  that  Laura's competence  becomes  visible.  Laura  is exhibiting  that  she  has  a  wealth  of potentials  and  resources.  She  is  excited  to show what  she  knows.  Had  a  checklist  or another  form  of  assessment  been completed  on  Laura,  educators would  not have a complete sense of who she really  is and her multiple ways of knowing. Meaning	making		  In  this  exemplar,  Laura  was  making connections  with  what  she  already  knew about  restaurants  through  these  varied experiences  between  home,  community, and  the  StrongStart  Centre.  As  part  of holistic assessment practice, the role of the educator  is  to  listen  intentionally  for purpose  in  order  to  interpret  and  assist  in Laura's  search  for  meaning.  "This  means listening  to  the  ideas,  questions  and answers of children, and struggling to make meaning  from  what  is  said,  without preconceived  ideas  of  what  is  correct  or Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  30  valid"  (Dahlberg  et  al.,  2007,  p.  60). Once Laura  understood  the  symbol  for  a  loonie, she was  able  to  represent  her  knowledge about  something  costing  more  and  drew the  $  symbol with  the  number  1  beside  it two more times to represent the menu item costing  three  loonies.  Anne  was  able  to scaffold (Wood et al., 1976) this learning for Laura.  This  is  an  example  of  a  child  led inquiry that is followed up (scaffolded) with the  assistance of  an educator  and  another adult  in  Laura's  life.  It  is  in  this  space  that assessment  on  learning  is  co‐constructed and reciprocal.    Moreover,  these  rich  cultural experiences have meaning  for  the  children because  they  connect  their  home  and StrongStart  Centre  contexts  and  make visible  the  child’s  "funds  of  knowledge" (Hedges et al., 2011; Gonzalez et al., 2005; Moll et al., 1992). Funds of knowledge are meaning centered, which makes  it valuable for holistic assessment.    Therefore,  curriculum  development  and assessment become a reciprocal process. By planning  and  assessing  together  through pedagogical narration, the adult’s world and the  child’s  world  become  closer.  Learning through  co‐constructing  with  children opens  up  many  possibilities.  The assessment  process  changes  and  is modified  as  educators,  children,  and parents  move  forward  together.  In  this exemplar,  pedagogical  narration  and/as holistic  assessment  provided  a  deeper understanding of who Laura  is, rather  than trying  to  fit  her  into  predetermined categories.  Here  the  educator  used  her judgment  as  to  what  Laura  was  trying  to make meaning of.  Transparency 	and	insight	into	the	educator's	pedagogy	  The  learning  that  takes  place  at  the StrongStart  Centre  happens  through interactions  with  others  and  the environment.  Learning  from  others  is  very powerful  and  the  educator’s  role  is  to support  and  enhance  the  learning  that occurs. Once the educator, in this exemplar, has had the opportunity to reflect "on how the learning is proceeding" (Rinaldi, 2006, p. 101), she was able to base her teaching on what the child’s ideas and what she wanted to  experiment with.  This was  illustrated  in section  two.  After  some  discussion  about restaurants, it was Laura who took the lead when she suggested making a menu for her restaurant  "Dissolve".  The  educator  was open  and willing  to  follow  the  child's  lead by  making  a  decision  about  what  to  give value to and by following through as part of the assessment process.    In  the  exemplar  above  (section  one), Laura  is showing us that she enjoys playing restaurant.  The  educator  is  noticing  and noting that this is an interest of Laura's. The educator  then  follows  up  (section  two)  by inviting  Laura  to  make  a  menu  for  her restaurant,  in order to find out more about Laura's  learning  processes.  Her  interest  in the restaurant experience acts as a catalyst for  challenging  herself  and  learning something  new.  After  reading  comments from  her  colleagues,  the  educator became curious  about  learning more  about  Laura's knowledge of  cell phones  and her  concept of money.  This  could  be  something worth exploring  with  Laura  in  the  future.  The comments from the parents and colleagues caused  the  educator  to  reflect  on  the narration  and  see  what  else  she may  not have  noticed  that would  be  interesting  to explore in the future. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  31  Workshop for Early Childhood Educators  The workshop I propose to present to early childhood educators and Kindergarten teachers in our district/region will focus on using pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool within early learning settings. The interactive workshop will consist of a PowerPoint presentation, but will include time for dialogue and inquiry. The workshop will be approximately 2.5 - 3 hours long and will be divided into 3 parts. In Part I, I will discuss pedagogical narration and why this tool can be used for holistically assessing young children's learning with the potential of changing the culture of assessments within early childhood education. In Part II, I will present highlights from the scholarly literature reviewed, including the pedagogy of listening, pedagogical narration as meaning making, the importance of having multiple perspectives, and gaining insight into the educator's pedagogy. In Part III, I will share pedagogical narrations and involve the participants in thinking why/how these can be interpreted as holistic assessments. The presentation will conclude with questions such as: How can early childhood spaces be supported in exploring pedagogical narration as a tool for holistically assessing young children? Summary   In this chapter, I presented and analyzed two pedagogical narrations that were created by early childhood educators in the StrongStart program as exemplars to show how pedagogical narration can be used to holistically assess young children's learning. I identified principles that can guide educators as they engage in the process of holistic assessment with pedagogical narration. In Chapter Four, I will offer my conclusions, insights, and future possibilities from this project. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  32   CHAPTER FOUR:  REFLECTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS  I have learned through my investigation that while it is a complex and multifaceted process, pedagogical narration can be used as a holistic assessment tool to enrich the lives of children, families, and educators in the early childhood settings. Like Vygotsky (1978), Bruner (1966), and Bronfrenbrenner (1979), I believe that children do not learn in isolation, and the assessment of children’s learning should not be limited to the outcomes of developmental checklists. Instead, what I have argued for is adopting a more inclusive, holistic, and sociocultural form of assessment that includes consideration of the child's ecology, history, and culture within varying contexts.  Like Rinaldi (2006), I believe that the creation of pedagogical narration is inherently imbued with an element of assessment. As educators document (through photographs, written notes, children's artwork and audio/video recording) and interpret (through conversations with children, parents, and colleagues) children's learning processes, assessment inevitably enters the picture. Yet, pedagogical narration as holistic assessment tool, offers a new way of thinking about assessment because it focuses on children’s competence and the funds of knowledge that they bring in their search for meaning. Since through the process of creating a pedagogical narration the educator shares her or his interpretation of the documented event with others, this process also invites the educator to examine her or his practice by continuously engaging in self-reflection on the consequences and possibilities of her or his teaching.    Recommendations  Based on what I have learned from this project, I would like to make the following recommendations. British Columbia’s Ministry of Education has supported the development of Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  33  the Early Learning Framework and its companion document the Early Learning Framework: Theory to Practice as a curriculum tool, which outlines the creation of pedagogical narration. However, I feel that more support through targeted and frequent professional development opportunities is required to assist educators with the use of pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool. Further, educators would require mentors to help understand how the core principles of pedagogical narration, as holistic assessment tool, may work in their early childhood setting. I would also recommend that a major review of the current assessment practices used in early childhood education in B.C. be undertaken in order to devise a new, and more holistic, culture of assessment. Using the four guiding principles outlined in this project (holding an image of the child as competent; initiating a collaborative process between educators, children, parents, and community members to elicit multiple perspectives about the documentation collected; embarking on a process of a collective search for meaning making; and engaging in self-reflection), educators can be encouraged to use pedagogical narration as an effective and holistic assessment tool with young children. It is important for educators to work closely together, to increase community dialogue about early education and to support children's learning and meaning making more visibly outside of the classroom walls. Being an early childhood educator can be isolating, as centres are often separated from each other geographically and professionally, therefore, administrators must make time and space for groups of educators (and parents) to meet and discuss pedagogical narrations.  Another recommendation is to share the narrations/assessments of the children enrolled in early childhood programs, including StrongStart, with the child's future Kindergarten teacher as part of a transition plan for entering school. Through reviewing pedagogical narration, the Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  34  Kindergarten teachers could see firsthand the children's competencies. And perhaps incorporate this form of assessment in the Kindergarten classroom. Pedagogical narration as an assessment tool would also demonstrate the importance/relevance in fostering and maintaining the educator-parent partnership that was formed in the early childhood program.   Inspired by the practices of pedagogical documentation in Reggio Emilia and learning stories in New Zealand, educators in B.C. may consider the use of pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool, not only to assess children, but also as a catalyst for energizing educators themselves to reflect on their own practice and challenge their assumptions of children's learning processes. As Rinaldi (2006) says, "being able to reflect and discuss the ways in which children, and all human beings, learn (thus enriching the humanity of each individual and all of us) is a great possibility and necessity that the school up to now has not been able, or not wanted, to offer. It is a time for change" (p. 100). Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  35  References Amaro-Jimenez, C., & Semingson, P. (2001). Tapping into the funds of knowledge of culturally and linguistically diverse students and families. 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The stories we share: using narrative assessment to build communities of literacy participants in early childhood centres. Australian Journal of Early Childhood. (31)1, 27-34 Hedges, H., Cullen, J., & Jordan, B. (2011). Early years curriculum: funds of knowledge as a conceptual framework for children's interests. Journal of Curriculum Studies. (43)2, 185-205. Kinney, L. (2005). Small voices…powerful messages. In Clark, Trine Kjorholt, and Moss (Eds.), Beyond listening: children's perspectives early childhood services. (pp. 111-128). The Policy Press, University of Bristol.  Moll, L., Amanti, C., Neff, D., & Gonzalez, N. (1992). Funds of knowledge for teaching: using a qualitative approach to connect homes and classrooms. Theory into Practice. Qualitative Issues in Educational Research. (31)2, 132-141 NAEYC (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth to age 8. A position statement from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Retrieved from  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  38  New, R. (1994). Culture, child development, and developmentally appropriate practices. Teachers as collaborative researchers. Diversity and developmentally appropriate practices. Challenges for early childhood educators. (pp. 65-83). Teachers College Press: New York and London.  Pacini-Ketchabaw, V., Kocher, L., Berger, I., Isaac, K., & Mort, J. (2007). Thinking differently about 'quality' in British Columbia: dialogue with the Reggio Emilia early childhood project. Canadian Children. (32)1, 4-11 Rinaldi, C. (2006). In dialogue with Reggio Emilia. Listening, researching and learning. New York, NY: Routledge. Rinaldi, C. (1998). Projected curriculum constructed through documentation - progettazione. An interview with Lella Gandini. In Edwards, Gandini & Forman (Eds.), The hundred languages of children. The Reggio Emilia approach - advanced reflections. (pp. 113-125). Ablex Publishing.  Robertson, J. (2006). Reconsidering our image of children: what shapes our educational thinking? In Fleet, Patterson, & Robertson (Eds.), Insights. Behind early childhood pedagogical documentation.  (pp. 37-54). Pademelon Press.  Rubizzi, L. (2001). Documenting the documenter. Project Zero. Reggio Emilia. Making  learning visible. Children as individual and group learners. (pp. 94-115). Cambridge, MA. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  39  Wood, D., Bruner, J. S., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 17, 89-100.  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  40  Appendix A  PowerPoint Presentation:  Changing Perspectives on Early Childhood Assessments:  The Power of Pedagogical Narration          Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  41  Slide 1  Welcome everyone to this three hour workshop ‐  Changing Perspectives on Early Childhood Assessments:  The Power of Pedagogical Narration.  This workshop was developed as part of my Capstone project for a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education.    The workshop has been developed to present in three parts.  In Part I, I will outline my project’s guiding questions, discuss my theoretical framework and review what pedagogical narration is.  In Part II, I will discuss child observation and the impact of developmental theory on assessment and introduce the holistic assessment framework.            Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  42  Slide 2    In Part III, I will share two pedagogical narrations and make connections to the four principles of the holistic assessment framework which include:  initiating a collaborative and reciprocal process with multiple perspectives, an image of the child who is capable and full of potential, the search for meaning making/interpretation, and transparency into the educator’s pedagogy.    Finally, we will discuss where we go from here.  This is an interactive workshop which means at any time you can feel free to stop me and ask for clarification, any questions you may have and also offer your thoughts on how this may work (or not) in your early childhood setting.             Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  43  Slide 3     About me:  Currently, part of my role is to supervise the StrongStart educators in several programs throughout the Boundary.  The StrongStart programs are a publicly funded parent/caregiver and child preschool program.  Each session is three hours long and in many communities, offered five days per week.  Many service providers, including Public Health Nurses, Infant Development Consultant, Baby’s Best Chance Coordinator, Community Dental Hygienist, Coordinator of the Child Care Resource and Referral program, Family Literacy Facilitator and others, visit the StrongStart programs and present information on what their programs and services they offer.   I became interested in pedagogical narration when I was an undergraduate student at the University of Victoria in the Child & Youth Care program.  At the same time, I became a field leader during the implementation phase of British Columbia’s newly published Early Learning Framework. While the practice of pedagogical narration has been used for curriculum development, I was curious to know how it may be used as a holistic assessment tool with young children and will share this investigation with you.       Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  44  Slide 4     Ask the group:  What are some child assessment tools that you are aware of or currently using to assess young children.  List the participant's responses on a chart.               Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  45  Slide 5 Project’s Guiding QuestionsHow can pedagogical narration be conceptualized as a holistic approach to assessing young children’s ways of knowing?How can pedagogical narration be used to effectively and holistically assess young children’s ways of knowing?    Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  46  Slide 6     Pedagogical narration describes a contemporary approach to documenting children’s learning processes and making their learning visible through written notes, photographs, artwork, video/audio recordings.  Educators collect documentation and then reflect and interpret these moments individually or with others.    The interpretations of children’s learning processes are then shared with the community in a narrative format that typically includes texts and images.    The practice of pedagogical narration invites critical reflection as the educators create the opportunity to think more deeply about the children’s learning and the pedagogical practice. Pedagogical narration offers a starting point for dialogue on assessment, its form and purpose, because it focuses on meaning making and the children’s relationships with their environment.  It is important to examine the child’s learning within sociocultural contexts as they affect, and are affected, by the child.  It is one approach that can be considered as an alternative tool for assessing children in an inclusive and holistic way.   The educators in the StrongStart program use the British Columbia Early Learning Framework (2008) and its companion document British Columbia Early Learning Framework: Theory to Practice to guide their practice in creating pedagogical narration.  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  47  Slide 7   The theories that I drew from were Sociocultural and Social Constructivist theories (Vygotsky and Bruner) who argued that children learn in relationship with adults and peers and within cultural contexts through meaningful interactive experiences. According to these theoretical frameworks, children are social beings and as such, their learning does not happen in isolation. Vygotsky focused on the social aspect of children’s development and the important role of the historical, cultural and social environment for the child’s learning.  He coined the term “zone of proximal development” (ZPD) which refers to the distance between the child’s actual development and the level of potential development when the child is supported by an adult or peer while working on a joint task.  From this premise, assessment of learning moves away from a deficit and individualistic view of assessment to a more powerful and strength based form because the educator and the child are co‐constructing knowledge in a reciprocal, interactive manner.  Bruner, following in Vygotsky’s footsteps, recognized that children needed particular kinds of interaction with an adult to extend learning of new skills and knowledge – a term he referred to as scaffolding.  Through the process of scaffolding, learning is understood within the context of relations and mutual attentiveness, as the adult adjusts the interaction to support the child’s construction of knowledge, with the assumptions that the child first engages in the task with assistance, and then may engage in it independently.   Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  48   Ecological Systems theory (Bronfenbrenner) considers the child’s environment, relationships, and experiences a major influence in the child’s development and learning.  He describes his ecological system as Russian nesting dolls where one rests inside a larger one and so on.  His ecological system is divided into 4 layers:  • Microsystem – which includes the child’s immediate experiences and the most intimate settings such as the home and school • Mesosystem – (e.g., relations among home, school and peer group for the child and among family, work and social life for the adult) in which the microsystems interrelate • Exosystem – (e.g., parent’s place of work or network of friends, class attended by older sibling) in which the child does not directly participate in but which influences their development • Macrosystem – in which dominant beliefs and ideologies affect the developing child  Bronfenbrenner believed that children need to be observed within all of their contexts and not be limited to a single setting (e.g., early childhood classroom)                           Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  49  Slide 8   As I mentioned earlier, my interest in pedagogical narration was piqued during my undergraduate studies.  During that time, I was first introduced to practices similar to pedagogical narration, such as pedagogical documentation from the pre‐primary schools in Reggio Emilia (Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 2007; Rinaldi, 2006), and learning stories from early childhood centres in New Zealand (Carr, 2001, 2011).  My undergraduate studies, along with my work on the implementation of the Early Years Framework, introduced me to new perspectives and ways of knowing, being with and assessing children that were different from early childhood approaches that are based primarily on developmental perspective and standardized assessment tools.  Gunilla Dahlberg is a Professor at the Institute of Education, Stockholm Sweden.  Peter Moss is Professor at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK and Alan Pence is Professor at the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, Canada.  Carlina Rinaldi is an executive consultant for Reggio Children, a professor at the University of Modena and Reggio, and a councilor for the municipality of Reggio Emilia.  Before she became a consultant, she worked as a pedagogista and then as a pedagogical director of the municipal early childhood services in Reggio Emilia.  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  50  Margaret Carr teaches early childhood education at the University of Waikato in New Zealand and was instrumental in developing New Zealand’s national framework for early childhood education. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  51   Slide 9    Pedagogical narration is different from traditional child observation and assessment techniques associated with the developmental approach.   Traditional child observation is more about classifying or conforming the child into a certain set of standards.  The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a common screening tool (as you have already mentioned) used to measure children’s development in order to find out if the child is developing typically or if there is a concern that requires a further developmental assessment.  One reason that educators may have found checklists so advantageous to use is because they take considerably less time to implement compared with qualitative methods, such as narratives (e.g., learning stories) (Carr, 2011).  Children are capable of much more than what is revealed in a checklist or standardized test and that pedagogical narration can make children’s capabilities visible and significant for their educational journey.  According to New (1994), “the field of child development was built upon a predominance of studies conducted on white, middle‐class American children” (p. 68).  Since the 1996 version of the position paper by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on developmentally appropriate practice was adopted, there have been significant changes.  With the rise in population of immigrant families, increased numbers of home languages and cultures in the schools, issues of poverty, and an increase of children with special needs, the context and culture of early childhood education has changed (NAEYC, 2009).  No longer do children fit into Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  52  the prescribed categories suggested by developmental theories, and there may be more than one way to “educate” and assess children.  Increased accountability policies and learning standards have had a major impact on how educators teach, how children learn, and how assessment is carried out.  The NAEYC (2009) “imbued the definition of developmentally appropriate practice with a belief that young children learn best through self‐initiated play and discovery, and teachers should foster independence” (as cited in Curtis & Carter, 2008, p. 90).  This belief led to a ‘hands off’ approach to teaching and (perhaps unintentionally) led instead to managing children’s behaviour “with the value of protecting individual rights” (Curtis & Carter, 2008, p. 90).  While educators believed to be protecting children, instead they had a narrowed view of who the child is and what their capabilities are.  Additionally, they may have been marginalizing cultural perspectives “that value interdependence over individual efforts and learning in groups over individual efforts and achievements” (p. 90).                              Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  53  Slide 10   To illustrate how pedagogical narration is used as a holistic assessment tool, I am proposing the following 4 principles to guide the educator’s practice in holistically assessing young children.  1) Holistic assessment entails holding an image of the child as capable and competent with unique perspectives, theories, and views to share (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2008)  2) Initiating a collaborative and reciprocal process with multiple perspectives between educators, children, parents, and community to elicit multiple perspectives about the meanings of the documentation.  The strength of pedagogical narration as a holistic assessment tool is that it allows for dialogue with children, parents, and educators and invites many varying perspectives which add to the rich interpretations of the narratives (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005).  3) The collective search for meaning making/interpretation.  As pointed out by Rinaldi (2006), who was a leader in the preprimary schools of Reggio Emilia, children are always searching for meaning as are educators who also search for a shared meaning with the children, parents, and educators.  Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence (2007) add that it is in relationship with one another and through co‐construction that we make meaning of the world around us. Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  54   4) Another principle of holistic assessment is that it provides transparency and insight into the educator’s pedagogy.  It prompts educators to consciously think about their daily practice with children, and their “pedagogy of listening” (Rinaldi, 2006) as they challenge assumptions and create new ways of listening, understanding, and responding to children.  We will discuss the “pedagogy of listening” (Rinaldi, 2006) in more detail later in this presentation.                     Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  55  Slide 11   Next, I will lead you through a couple of exemplars that were created by StrongStart educators.  We will then have an opportunity to analyze the exemplars using the four principles in the holistic assessment framework.           Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  56  Slide 12                Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  57  Slide 13             Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  58  Slide 14   Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  59   Slide 15              Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  60  Slide 16   Once the pairings or groups of three have had an opportunity to discuss these questions, we will hear from each group and have a larger group dialogue on the analysis of the narrative.   Then I will share anything that was missed in our collaborative analysis with what I had in my exemplar.             Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  61  Slide 17                        Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  62  Slide 18            Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  63  Slide 19     Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  64  Slide 20               Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  65  Slide 21             Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  66  Slide 22            Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  67  Slide 23                Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  68  Slide 24             Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  69  Slide 25  Once the pairings or groups of three have had an opportunity to discuss these questions, we will hear from each group and have a larger group dialogue on the analysis of the narrative.  Then I will share anything that was missed in our collaborative analysis with what I had in my exemplar.                 Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  70  Slide 26   Finally, we will end the evening with a discussion on the following question:  How can early childhood spaces be supported in exploring pedagogical narration as a tool for holistically assessing young children?  The participant’s thoughts and ideas from the brainstorm will be recorded on chart paper and plans for follow up will be made, depending on the outcome of this session.              Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  71  Slide 27   The Art of Awareness – How Observation Can Transform Your Thinking (Deb Curtis and Margie Carter) (2008)  Learning Together with Young Children (Deb Curtis and Margie Carter) (2000)  Insights – Behind early childhood pedagogical documentation (Fleet, Patterson, Robertson (Eds.), 2006)  The Hundred Languages of Children – The Reggio Emilia Approach – Advanced Reflections (Edwards, Gandini, & Forman, 1998)          Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  72  Slide 28   Making Teaching Visible – Documenting Individual and Group Learning as Professional Development (2003)  An Encounter with Reggio Emilia – Children’s Early Learning Made Visible (Kinney & Wharton, 2008)  Making Learning Visible – Children as Individual and Group Learners (Project Zero Reggio Children) (2001)  Beyond Listening – Children’s perspectives on early childhood services (Clark, Trine Kjorholt, & Moss (Eds.), 2008)    Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  73  Slide 29    Doing Foucault in Early Childhood Studies – applying poststructural ideas (MacNaughton, 2005)  Flows, Rhythms, & Intensities of early childhood education curriculum (Pacini‐Ketchawbaw (Ed.), 2010)  Ethics and Politics in Early Childhood Education (Dahlberg & Moss, 2005)  Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care – Languages of Evaluation (Dahlberg, Moss, & Pence, 2007)  In Dialogue with Reggio Emilia – Listening, researching and learning (Rinaldi, 2006)  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  74  Slide 30                Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  75  Slide 31  Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  76  Slide 32                Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  77  Slide 33              Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  78  Slide 34             Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  79  Appendix B Permission to use photographs and artwork. This letter asks for parental consent to allow the children's artwork and samples, from the children in the StrongStart program, to be used in the exemplars for my Capstone project.  Permission was obtained by the parents.  The letter is included below.              Running head:  CHANGING PERSPECTIVES ON ASSESSMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION  80  (letterhead)    December 15, 2014   Dear Parents/Guardians:  As you are aware, I am working on my graduating project in order to complete the requirements of my Master of Education degree in Early Childhood Education with the University of British Columbia.  The focus of my study is using pedagogical narration as a form of assessment with young children.  I would like your permission to use the pedagogical narrations that were created by an early childhood educator in the StrongStart program that your child attends.  I will not use any identifying photos, only photos of your child's artwork and I will also use pseudonyms to protect your child’s identity.  Thank you for your support.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.  I can be reached at by email or (250) 442-0567 by telephone.  Sincerely,    Ellen Strelaeff  


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