NSW preschool assessment study

review of formative assessment practices in early childhood settings

Linda J. Harrison, Rebecca Bull, Sandie Wong, Sheena Elwick, Belinda Davis

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This research was commissioned by the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Education (DoE) to investigate formative assessment tools for early childhood education (ECE) services in NSW, focusing on children in their year before school. The purpose of the research project, described by five areas of investigation, was to:

- assess the validity of different formative assessment tools and any evidence that their application has led to improved teaching practice and child development outcomes;
- identify the extent to which any of the effective tools have been currently employed in the NSW ECE sector;
- indicate the extent to which the observed outcomes of effective formative assessment tools align with the Early Years Learning Framework;
- indicate whether the tools have been demonstrated to be effective for students with additional needs;
- consider effective tools that can be embedded in the NSW ECE sector, including by providing information on best-practice models of delivery of professional learning and effective tools for the sector.

The scope of the study comprised two complementary components: a review of the literature on formative assessment tools used in early childhood education and care settings for children aged 3- to 5-years; and stakeholder consultations with ECE service providers and staff who are directly involved in the selection, use, and interpretation of formative assessment tools and practices.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyNSW Department of Education
Number of pages115
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

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