How Preschool Teachers Assess and Support Children’s Learning

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As your child enters preschool, a new world brimming with discovery and exploration is unveiled. Preschool teachers bear immense responsibility as primary contributors to this educational journey. They must assess children’s education. Moreover, their role extends beyond mere evaluation–it includes crucial support for each student’s academic growth.

How does this process operate? Below, we explore the role of preschool teachers and how they evaluate the development of their young learners and foster their thirst for knowledge.

Understanding Learning in Early Years

As natural learners, young children explore and acquire skills at an astonishing pace. During these formative years, they shape their cognitive, emotional, social and motor abilities, therefore requiring tailor-made approaches. Preschool teachers employ multiple strategies to bolster their learning, which supports growth. They use formal and informal evaluations to determine each child’s strengths, weaknesses, learning styles, interests and aptitudes.

Assessing Young Learners

Observation is a common tool for assessing children in preschool. Teachers keenly watch students during structured activities and free play, recording notable behaviours, interactions, and skill development. While they can easily observe hard skills like holding a pencil, reciting numbers, or recognising shapes, assessing soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving requires careful attention.

Preschool teachers also opt for naturalistic assessments, where children’s natural settings—playtime, mealtime, or group activities—are the context for evaluation. This method allows an unbiased look into the child’s skills, interactions, and tendencies.

Boosted by the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), the formative assessment approach is another tool preschool teachers can use. Ongoing feedback and adaptive teaching strategies are involved to address individual learning needs. Teachers might utilise checklists, learning journals or portfolios to document and analyse each child’s progress over time.

Supporting Learning and Skill Development

Supporting learning at this early stage goes beyond academics. It’s about fostering an environment that encourages curiosity, creativity, and growth. Teachers nurture learning by:

Individualised Learning Plans: Recognising that each child learns differently, teachers design personalised plans catering to individual learning styles and speeds. This approach seeks to channel a child’s needs, capabilities, and interests effectively.

Play-Based Learning: Preschools predominantly employ play-based learning, a strategy that the EYLF endorses as an exceptional method for imparting problem-solving abilities, creativity and social skills. By combining storytelling elements with crafts and other interactive activities, teachers ensure enjoyment and facilitate effective teaching.

Encouraging Self-Expression: Encouraging self-expression receives a high emphasis in preschools: teachers actively motivate children to articulate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas via an array of mediums – art, drama, dance or storytelling. This focus encourages the development of communication skills and emotional intelligence.

Promoting Social Interaction: Preschool is often the first social environment for a child outside their family. Teachers structure group activities and foster collaborative projects to facilitate the development of children’s social skills, teamwork abilities, and an understanding of mutual respect.

Involving Parents: Involving parents in their child’s preschool journey, teachers inform them about the progress and set mutual learning goals together. The continuation of learning at home – a result of parent-teacher collaborations – provides consistent reinforcement.

The Role of Contemporary Tools

Preschools are progressively integrating digital tools into their curriculum, providing audio-visual stimulation and interactive learning experiences. However, their usage is well-balanced with other traditional methods, ensuring a comprehensive learning experience.


Preschool teachers are highly skilled professionals who significantly impact a child’s future learning journey through the complex process of early childhood education. They combine expertise, creativity, and sensitivity to assess children’s learning, an essential task requiring graduate-level proficiency in various methodologies from behaviour analysis to cognitive development theories.

Indeed, the focus of early education transcends mere school preparation; it actively nurtures lifelong enthusiasm towards learning.