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The development of kindergarten children as evaluated by their kindergarten teachers and mothers

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Author(s): Hannelore Koch | Ursula Kastner-Koller | Pia Deimann | Christine Kossmeier | Claudia Koitz | Marina Steiner

Journal: Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling
ISSN 2190-0493

Volume: 53;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 241;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Kindergarten teachers | developmental diagnosis | preschool age

ABSTRACT
Kindergarten teachers represent one of the first non-family caregivers for a child; they play a part in educating the child and have significant insight into the developmental status of each individual child. Their assessment of children’s development can be an important part of information in the diagnostic process and is also essential for the early detection of developmental problems. Hence, the aim of this study was to measure the accuracy of kindergarten teachers’ assessments compared to mothers’ accuracy in the evaluation of their children’s development. Eighty children between the ages of 4 and 6 were tested with the Wiener Entwicklungstest (Viennese Developmental Test, WET, Kastner-Koller & Deimann, 2002). Meanwhile, these children’s kindergarten teachers were asked to estimate which items of each of the WET-subtests they personally thought children would be able to solve. The evaluations made by the mothers of 30 children in the sample were also included in the analysis in order to allow for a comparison between the mothers’ and teachers’ assessments. A multivariate multifactorial variance analysis yielded significant results. Kindergarten teachers under- and overestimated children in several developmental areas, though they were able to accurately estimate children’s overall developmental level. The comparison with mothers showed no difference regarding the assessment accuracy between the two groups of caregivers. A behavioral assessment based on a parents’ and teachers’ questionnaire (Verhaltensbeurteilungsbogen für Eltern und Erzieher, VBV 3-6; Döpfner, Berner, Fleischmann & Schmidt, 1993) also showed similar results. These results highlight the importance of various behavioral and developmental assessments by caregivers.
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