Document Type

Policy Brief

Publication Date



Developmentally-appropriate curriculum - infants & toddlers, authentic assessment


Authentic assessment provides an alternative approach to gathering child performance information and designing developmentally-appropriate curriculum for infants and toddlers. Conventional tests and assessment have been shown to lead to the mismeasurement of children through the use of norm-referenced testing practices (Bagnato, 2007). Additionally, many of these traditional testing practices have not been developed or validated for infants or toddlers and result in biased samples of a child’s functioning (i.e. results that differ from how a child actually behaves.) This policy brief describes what authentic assessment is, the role observation plays in authentic assessment, how information from observations is used to develop curriculum, outcomes from authentic assessment, and the need to include authentic assessment training in professional development activities for early childhood practitioners who work with infants and toddlers.

Funding Organization

Grant Award No. 90YE0105 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.



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