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An Assessment Tool for Professional Development

by Mary Benson McMullen, Mehmet Buldu, Martha Lash, and Kazim Alat
May/June 2004
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/an-assessment-tool-for-professional-development/5015731/

Lilian Katz (1993) describes four primary ways that we can assess our programs for quality " from above, below, outside, and inside our program. These perspectives on quality can help us make better and more informed decisions about how to make improvements within our own programs as well as impact the quality of early care and education overall. The assessment tool presented at the end of this article will allow program administrators, professional development trainers and consultants, and researchers to examine factors that influence quality from multiple, interrelated perspectives.

Perspectives for Assessing Quality

Most of us are familiar with what Katz describes as the “above,” or top-down perspective, from first hand experience. It is used by licensing consultants, accreditation validators, and the many others who may be called in from outside a program to assess its quality for a variety of purposes. In this perspective quality is assessed primarily by looking at structural and process factors.

Structural variables are fairly easy to examine, as well as to regulate. They include such factors as group size and ratio of adults to children, and the quality, quantity, and safety of resources per child (including space, equipment, and materials). In addition to features related to the ...

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