230 – WITHDRAWN – Assessment for playful learning in science

Presentation - ECV2022-230-WITHDRAWN

Assessment for playful learning in science

Cristina Guarrella, The University of Melbourne, Australia (cguarrella@unimelb.edu.au)
Caroline Cohrssen, University of New England, Australia (ccohrsse@une.edu.au)
Jan van Driel, The University of Melbourne, Australia (j.vandriel@unimelb.edu.au)

Background: Assessment for learning equips teachers to make purposeful decisions to guide children’s science learning in play. Consistent evidence since the introduction of national quality standards in Australia has identified a need to strengthen teacher capabilities in assessment.

Aim: This research investigated teachers’ assessment practices, and the influences on these practices, during the implementation of a suite of playful science experiences in long day care and preschool settings in the Northern Territory (NT), Australia.

Method: Adopting a multiple case study approach, assessment data and three semi-structured interviews with teachers from three cases were thematically analysed.

Results: Our findings demonstrate that despite having specific tools to support assessment for learning, these tools were inconsistently applied. Assessment practice was influenced by contextual factors, affective responses, and teaching practice. We identified that following children’s interests was associated with the absence of systematic assessment of scientific thinking to inform planning for learning within the informal curriculum.

Conclusions: To promote the assessment of children’s capabilities within playful learning, we propose a model of assessment for playful learning.

Implications for children: In early learning settings, your teachers will have learning objectives, teaching strategies and the learning environment intentionally prepared to extend the science learning in your play. You will get to direct play experiences, interact with your teachers in play and be introduced to new science skills.

Implications for practitioners: Assessment for playful learning can support you to integrate science teaching and learning into children’s play through purposeful interactions that meet children at their level of capability and provide opportunities for learning within an area of interest to the child.

Funding: This research was supported by the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship and the Collette Tayler Indigenous Education Scholarship. Travel expenses for this research were supported by the Northern Territory Department of Education. 

Key words: assessment, learning progressions, science process skills, qualitative methods

This presentation relates to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:


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