Date of Award

1-1-1997

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Associate Professor Dr. Collette Tayler

Abstract

In recent years several policy changes have occurred in Western Australia regarding the provision of pre-compulsory education, particularly for children turning five. These changes have led to education of such children centred largely in full-time, on-site classes rather than in sessional, independent community centres, resulting in pre-primary education becoming mainstream school business. As such it is incorporated in the administrative, managerial and educational policies of the school including school development planning. The school development plan (SDP), a major tool of accountability within the school, provides a planning framework in selected priority areas in which methods of assessment and evaluation of children's progress are an important tool in demonstrating that accountability. There is a concern among some pre-primary teachers and Early Childhood Education specialists that these changes may lead to a trend towards practices more indicative of upper primary school levels, known as a 'push down' effect, on pre-primary classes. There is also a concern that an emphasis on assessment and evaluation for accountability purposes may lead to a decline in the use of assessment data in classroom planning. This qualitative study examined how and why teachers in selected Perth metropolitan pre-primary classes gathered and recorded information on children's progress, and how these choices related to the teacher's responsibility as articulated in the school development plan. The study also identified how that information was used both at class and school levels.

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