DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF SINGAPORE DEVELOPMENTAL CONTINUA OF EARLY ORACY, LITERACY AND NUMERACY SKILLS IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Aljunied, M., Ministry of Education, Singapore
The Singapore Developmental Continua of early oracy, literacy and numeracy skills were researched and developed by psychologists from the Psychological Assessments and Research Branch of the Ministry of Education, to provide teachers working with young children with a framework to link assessment to teaching and learning. Aimed at providing teachers with knowledge, skills and resources that would augment the use of curriculum and norm based assessments in schools, the Continua includes description of the phase of developmental progression in oracy, literacy and numeracy, as well as checklists to facilitate child observation and monitoring of progress. This presentation describes the processes involved in the development of the Continua, which involved a validation exercise with about 300 Singapore children from nursery (3 years) to P3 (9 years). Key features of the Continua are also described, making particular reference to the ways in which the continuum reflects the observed progression of skills among children in which the learning/acquisition of English oracy and literacy occurs mainly in the context of schools/structured learning environments. In addition, the numeracy continuum reflects the progression of skills that are pre-requisite to the mathematics curriculum in schools. The use of the Continua in schools by specialist teachers was evaluated using case studies and feedback from specialist teachers. The focus of evaluation is on the use of the Continua for monitoring children's progress/achievement and identification of instructional targets. Findings suggest that the Continua were most frequently used in the context of children who were exhibiting signs of learning delays/ difficulties. Issues concerning the expansion of the use of the Continua as an assessment framework for linking assessment to teaching and learning are discussed.