Assessment Design and
Framework

Field 013: Early Childhood Special Education

The assessment design below describes general assessment information. The framework that follows is a detailed outline that explains the knowledge and skills that this assessment measures.

Assessment Design

Format Computer-based test (CBT)
Number of Questions 100 multiple-choice questions
Time* 120 minutes
Passing Score 220

*Does not include 15-minute CBT tutorial

Framework

 



Domain Range of Competencies Approximate Percentage of Assessment Score
I Understanding Young Children with Special Needs 0001–0006 27%
II Promoting Young Children's Growth and Development 0007–0019 59%
III Working in a Collaborative Learning Community 0020–0024 14%
Domain I–Understanding Young Children with Special Needs

0001 Understand typical processes of human growth and development.

Includes:

  1. Typical characteristics and progressions relating to young children's physical, communicative, cognitive, psychological, and social/emotional development.
  2. Interactions among different domains of development.
  3. Factors that may influence growth and development in various domains, including environmental, genetic, health-related, economic, cultural, and linguistic factors.

0002 Analyze the developmental significance of disabilities.

Includes:

  1. Effects of disabilities on young children's physical, communicative, cognitive, psychological, and social/emotional development.
  2. Developmental similarities and differences between children with disabilities and their nondisabled peers.
  3. How disabilities relating primarily to one domain of development may affect other domains.
  4. Strategies for fostering development that are responsive to children's individualized needs and optimize their capabilities.

0003 Understand learning processes.

Includes:

  1. Processes by which young children's learning typically occurs.
  2. Recognition of learning as an active, constructive process.
  3. Applications of learning theories.
  4. Factors that may influence children's learning, including environmental, genetic, health-related, economic, cultural, and linguistic factors.

0004 Analyze the significance of disabilities for learning.

Includes:

  1. Effects of various disabilities on children's learning.
  2. Similarities and differences between children with disabilities and their nondisabled peers with regard to learning processes.
  3. Factors that may facilitate or impede learning in children with disabilities.
  4. Strategies for promoting learning that are responsive to children's individualized needs and optimize their capabilities.

0005 Understand assessment procedures for evaluating individual differences and making placement and programming decisions for young children with disabilities.

Includes:

  1. Types and characteristics of informal and formal assessments used in placement and programming decisions for young children (e.g., screening, diagnostic assessment, Response to Intervention).
  2. Interpretation and communication of assessment information to identify and understand children with special needs and to make placement and program recommendations.
  3. Assessment-related issues and evidence-based practices in special education (e.g., early identification and intervention, differentiated instruction, nondiscriminatory assessment).
  4. Strategies and guidelines for using assessment data and multiple sources of information to inform instruction, plan interventions, and monitor student progress.

0006 Understand medical aspects and physical management implications of disabilities.

Includes:

  1. Medical knowledge (e.g., disease etiology, syndromes, impact of chronic illness) required by teachers working with young children with disabilities.
  2. Procedures for the physical management of children with disabilities.
  3. Emergency procedures that may be used in special education settings, including those related to medical conditions (e.g., epilepsy) and mental health issues.
  4. Role of assistive, alternative, and augmentative technology and procedures in fostering optimal student development, participation, and access.
Domain II–Promoting Young Children's Growth and Development

0007 Apply procedures for structuring space and time to create safe, stimulating, and developmentally appropriate learning environments for children with disabilities.

Includes:

  1. Relationships between young children's developmental characteristics and needs and teacher decisions about structuring learning environments.
  2. Strategies for structuring the physical environment, planning learning areas, and scheduling different types of activities to promote children's development in all domains.
  3. Procedures for modifying learning environments in the context of different program models (e.g., inclusive, resource room, self-contained) to address children's diverse physical, social, affective, cultural, linguistic, and cognitive needs.

0008 Apply procedures for using developmentally appropriate individual and group management strategies to provide an atmosphere that enhances young children's learning.

Includes:

  1. Factors, processes, and issues related to individual and group management in a classroom that includes young children with disabilities (e.g., play-based learning, appropriate expectations for students).
  2. Strategies for managing routines and transitions and for establishing and maintaining developmentally appropriate standards of behavior.
  3. Strategies for creating productive, cooperative, and inclusive learning environments and experiences.
  4. Procedures and criteria for conducting and interpreting functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and for developing, implementing, modifying, and monitoring behavior intervention plans (BIPs).

0009 Apply procedures for establishing a positive and supportive classroom climate that promotes all children's self-esteem and sense of competence.

Includes:

  1. Procedures for establishing a classroom climate that is responsive to the cognitive, social, and affective needs of all children.
  2. Strategies for ensuring that all children, including those with cultural and language differences, develop friendships, feel a sense of membership in a supportive learning community and develop a sense of achievement and competence.
  3. Recognition of the effects of teacher behaviors and expectations on children's self-esteem, attitudes toward learning, and social acceptance of differences.

0010 Understand how to promote young children's self-discipline and autonomy.

Includes:

  1. Recognition of how self-discipline and autonomy develop in young children.
  2. Ways in which children's disabilities may affect the development of self-discipline and autonomy.
  3. Learning experiences and environments that foster self-discipline and autonomy (e.g., those that offer children opportunities to apply decision-making, self-assessment, and self-help skills).

0011 Understand how to promote young children's social development.

Includes:

  1. Appropriate expectations for young children's social behaviors.
  2. Ways in which disabilities and other factors may affect social development.
  3. Assessment of social skills and interpretation and communication of assessment results.
  4. How to address inappropriate social behaviors and enhance the social skills of children with specified needs.
  5. Ways to provide children with opportunities to interact productively with peers and adults in various settings.

0012 Understand how to promote young children's receptive language development.

Includes:

  1. Ways in which disabilities and other factors (e.g., having a home language other than English) may affect receptive language development.
  2. Informal and formal assessment procedures for evaluating needs and progress in receptive language.
  3. Interpretation and communication of assessment results.
  4. Selection and adaptation of methods, resources, and technologies to help children meet specified goals and compensate for receptive language impairments.
  5. Strategies for providing children with opportunities for functional and social communication in authentic settings.

0013 Understand how to promote young children's expressive language development.

Includes:

  1. Ways in which disabilities and other factors may affect oral or alternative language development.
  2. Informal and formal assessment procedures for evaluating needs and progress in expressive language.
  3. Interpretation and communication of assessment results.
  4. Selection and adaptation of methods, resources, and technologies to help children meet specified goals and compensate for expressive language impairments.
  5. Strategies for providing children with opportunities for meaningful oral communication in authentic settings.

0014 Understand emergent literacy and how to encourage the emergence of literacy in young children.

Includes:

  1. Recognition of how literacy emerges and develops, and the relationship between literacy and language development.
  2. Ways in which disabilities and other factors may affect emergent literacy in young children.
  3. Strategies for creating a print-rich environment that offers children opportunities to develop skills, knowledge, and positive attitudes related to emergent literacy and to interact with print in varied and meaningful contexts.

0015 Understand how to promote young children's daily living skills.

Includes:

  1. Ways in which disabilities and other factors may affect the development of daily living skills.
  2. Assessment procedures for evaluating needs and progress in daily living competence.
  3. Interpretation and communication of assessment results.
  4. Use of task analysis and other strategies to develop instruction.
  5. Selection and adaptation of methods, resources, and technologies to address individualized daily living skills and goals.

0016 Understand how to promote young children's cognitive development.

Includes:

  1. Ways in which disabilities and other factors may affect the development of cognitive skills and abilities.
  2. Informal and formal assessment procedures for evaluating needs and progress related to cognitive skills development.
  3. Interpretation and communication of assessment results.
  4. Selection and adaptation of methods, resources, and technologies to help children develop cognitive skills and meet specific cognitive goals.

0017 Understand how to promote young children's understanding of their world through exploration of content-area skills and concepts.

Includes:

  1. Recognition of developmentally appropriate learning goals and experiences in mathematics, social studies, and science.
  2. Assessment procedures for evaluating needs and progress related to content-area skills and concepts.
  3. Interpretation and communication of assessment results.
  4. Strategies to facilitate young children's content-area learning and foster their thinking and problem-solving skills.
  5. Selection and adaptation of instructional strategies, resources, and technologies to individualize content-area instruction, integrate content-area instruction, and facilitate achievement.

0018 Understand aesthetic development and the role of the arts in young children's overall development.

Includes:

  1. Ways in which disabilities and other factors may affect young children's appreciation of and engagement with the arts (i.e., visual arts, music, dramatic forms).
  2. Strategies for providing young children with opportunities to create and respond to various art forms.
  3. Strategies for using the arts to help children explore ideas, express personal thoughts and feelings, and achieve desired goals in various developmental domains.

0019 Understand how to promote young children's physical development.

Includes:

  1. Ways in which disabilities and other factors may affect the development of young children's gross-motor, fine-motor, and perceptual awareness skills.
  2. Assessment procedures for evaluating needs and progress related to physical skills development.
  3. Interpretation and communication of assessment results.
  4. Strategies for providing developmentally appropriate experiences and activities to promote physical development.
  5. Selection and adaptation of instructional strategies, resources, and technologies to address individual goals and needs.
Domain III–Working in a Collaborative Learning Community

0020 Understand how to establish partnerships with other members of the school community to enhance learning opportunities for young children with disabilities.

Includes:

  1. Consultation, collaboration, coteaching, and communication skills and strategies for working with other school staff and support service providers to solve problems and promote children's development development (e.g., effective use of Response to Intervention).
  2. Strategies for providing various services (e.g., providing inservice programs for staff, coordinating instruction involving multiple educators).
  3. Strategies for working with other professionals in the context of different program models (e.g., home-based, integrated, self-contained classroom).

0021 Understand how to foster strong school-home partnerships.

Includes:

  1. Strategies for establishing school-family partnerships and maintaining effective communication with families, including families with diverse backgrounds.
  2. How to recognize and overcome barriers to communication, access, and participation.
  3. How to work collaboratively with families to solve problems and promote their participation in educational planning, in classroom activities, and in their child's learning at home.
  4. How to provide information, support, counseling, and referrals to families whose children have disabilities.

0022 Understand how to encourage school-community interactions that enhance young children's opportunities for learning and development.

Includes:

  1. Strategies for working effectively with community agencies and services that can help meet the needs of young children with disabilities.
  2. How to establish and maintain positive relationships with community institutions to facilitate children's successful transitioning.
  3. Strategies for engaging community support for the early childhood special education program.

0023 Understand requirements, responsibilities, and constraints associated with teaching young children with disabilities.

Includes:

  1. Legal and ethical issues affecting early childhood special education teachers.
  2. Teacher roles and responsibilities (e.g., resource person, advocate, member of Evaluation Team and IEP committee).
  3. Application of special education-related regulations (e.g., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, PL 94-142, ADA, PL 99-457) and guidelines (e.g., involving referral, evaluation, eligibility, equity, program development, due process).
  4. Procedures for evaluating programs and using and communicating program evaluation results.

0024 Understand the history and philosophy of early childhood special education and key issues, trends, practices, and research relating to the education of young children with disabilities.

Includes:

  1. The historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of early childhood special education.
  2. Key issues and trends in early childhood special education (e.g., early intervention, multisensory instruction, alternative assessment).
  3. Evidence-based best practices and research in early childhood special education and their appropriate applications (e.g., differentiated instruction, Universal Design for Learning).