The Development of Citizen Competences since Kindergarten: How Do Assessment Practices of Childhood Educators and Parents Contribute to Children’s Development?

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Given the complexity of today’s society, it’s necessary to change the learning process since kindergarten, placing the learner in a more active role. These characteristics of society lead us to the need to develop competences that every citizen of the 21st century should have. Considering that the education of future citizens begins from the moment they’re born, the first step in primary education – pre-school education – assumes a vital role. Thus based on the basic knowledge identified by Cachapuz, et al. (2004) and placing it in context within pre-school education, five competences that children should develop in pre-school education were defined and validated in a preliminary phase of the research.

In accordance with what some authors defend (Gaustad, 1996; Katz, 1997) one of the ways to increase the development of competences is through learning assessment by educators and family, and this is what we focus our research on. Using a case study methodology, within a kindergarten context, and in which sources and data collection techniques are used (interviews; natural observation of practises; documental analyses), we seek to find a more global vision of learning assessment based on the development of competences. Within education policies in Portugal for pre-school education, assessment is considered an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Assessment should serve the curriculum and learning process, backing up all the educational intentions and decisions (ME, 1997). According to some authors (Gaustad, 1996; Zabalza, 2000) for the assessment of learning to be authentic it needs to result from different visions and from sharing and negotiating with all the elements that are a part of the process. Thus family has a primary importance in pre-school education assessment, because we can’t know each child’s interests and needs if we do not consider the family to be a privileged source of information.


Keywords: Citizen Competences, Development, Pre-School Education, Assessment, Learning Process, Family
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Development of Citizen Competences Since Kindergarten, The


Dr. Rita Leal

Educational Researcher, PhD Student, Didactic and Technology Department, University of Aveiro
Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

I have a degree in Childhood Education concluded in 2005. I worked as ECE for a year and then moved on to the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria assuming the position of Internship Supervisor in the same area and where I have been for the past two years. I am now taking my Phd in the area of learning assessment in pre-school education at the University of Aveiro. At the University of Aveiro I also work in educational research together with my Phd Supervisor.
I also work as trainer in the area of pre-school education for the Portuguese Minitry of Education. This job has me giving training sessions to other ECEs in the didactics area. I have published some articles in some Portuguese Journals in the didactics area.

Prof. Nilza Costa

Affiliation not supplied
Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal


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