Early Childhood Australia
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Fogarty Learning Centre
Developing positive social and emotional growth and development in young children has always been a fundamental priority of early childhood practitioners. However, with an increasing economic and political focus on the foundational early childhood years, there has been a global push for the measurement of outcomes in early childhood education. This paper reports the findings of a major literature review to examine the assessment of social and emotional competence and wellbeing in young children. The review was conducted by a team at Edith Cowan University as part of project funded by the Western Australian Department of Education and Training. It describes a number of issues dominating the early childhood literature about assessment and reports on the complexities of examining a domain that is socially and culturally constructed and where meaning belongs to the individual rather than to the person assessing the individual's behaviours.