28th June 2016

A new online, open-access ebook, Understanding What Works in Oral Reading Assessments, published last week, features 22 articles written by 50 experts from 30 organisations and draws on the first-hand experiences of donors, implementers and practitioners across 60 developing countries. The ebook also outlines six recommendations to make the best use of these assessments to improve learning.

Produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the Global Partnership for Education and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the publication reflects the Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG). This goal states that all children should be in school by 2030, learning the skills they need for adult life.

Oral reading assessments are attracting growing interest from governments and others as a tool to measure early reading ability and this ebook presents recommendations for selecting, implementing and using oral reading assessments, as well as basic principles that should be applied at the different stages of such assessments—from planning and design to implementation and use of the resulting data.

Moreover, it highlights the importance of detecting reading weaknesses early in a child’s educational experience, as well as the need for more and better data to develop the evidence base needed to identify and effectively address weaknesses while monitoring progress.

The chapter ‘Assessing Young Children: Problems and Solutions’, has been co-authored by CEM Director of Research, Professor Christine Merrell and former CEM Director, Professor Peter Tymms, and draws on their extensive research using the PIPS and iPIPS assessments. Furthermore, it highlights the many challenges involved in designing reliable and valid assessments to measure young children’s cognitive development and of making international comparisons between children in different cultures.

Read more on the UNESCO Institute for Statistics Blog.

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