You are able to assess individuals in the early childhood and school age core knowledge areas (core competencies) so that you are informed about the possible gaps in your training and plan your training around closing the gap. Core knowledge self assessment can be achieved using: (1) the Individual Training Needs Assessment (ITNA) for noncredit training, and (2) Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) for college-level learning. These personal development planning tools are centered around the Minnesota Early Childhood and School-age Care competencies.
Core competencies are the knowledge, skills and abilities deemed critical for early childhood and school-age care practitioners. The personal development planning tools assess the following core content areas:
Child Growth and Development: assesses practitioner's understanding of how children acquire language and develop physically, cognitively, emotionally and socially.
Learning Environment and Curriculum: assesses practitioner's understanding of how to establish an environment that provides learning experiences to meet each child's needs, capabilities and interests.
Assessment and Planning for Individual Needs: assesses practitioner's understanding of how to observe and assess what children know and can do in order to provide curriculum and instruction that addresses their developmental and learning needs.
Interactions with Children: assesses practitioner's understanding of how to establish supportive relationships with children and guide them as individuals and as part of a group.
Families and Communities: assesses practitioner's understanding of how to work collaboratively with families and agencies/organizations to meet children's needs and to encourage the community's involvement with early childhood education and care.
Health, Safety and Nutrition: assesses practitioner's understanding of how to establish and maintain an environment that ensures children's health, safety and nourishment.
Program Planning and Evaluation: assesses practitioner's understanding of how to establish, implement, evaluate and enhance operation of an early childhood education and care program.
Professional Development and Leadership: assesses practitioner's understanding of how to serve children and families in a professional manner and to participate in the community as a representative of early childhood education and care. (back to top)
Level 1 and 2 Core Competencies ITNA
Enrolling in the right training on the learning continuum is critical for a practitioner's continued learning progression. Proper placement ensures that the practitioner has the proper background. The ITNA tool is designed to help practitioners choose which training suitable for them or to seek an assessment of prior learning. The results of any ITNA are not intended to predict successful completion of any competency.
Use this link to go to the printable version of the Level 1 and 2 Core Competencies ITNA (pdf). New ITNA Instruction Guide to Using the Individual Training Needs Assessment. An online version of ITNA is available for Registry members.
You will need your Registry account number to take the test. (back to top)
Experiential learning is learning that occurs as a result of life experience that may include paid and volunteer work, noncredit courses and workshops, work study, service learning, and so forth. Prior Learning Assessment is a systematic process to identify the learning an individual has gained through life experiences and assess it for college credit. Early childhood professionals often gain college level learning by participating in training offered by community agencies. Through the Early Childhood Assessment Program, Metropolitan State University faculty review community trainings and assess them for college credit. Early childhood professionals who participate (or have participated) in the assessed trainings may earn experiential learning credit. A list of the approved training is available on the Early Childhood Assessment Program Web site.
Prior Learning Assessment is conducted by a trained faculty using various measurement techniques. The criteria for selecting measurement techniques for the competence revolves around appropriateness and might include:
- Oral Interview - An oral interview is a face-to-face situation in which your evaluator asks you questions to evaluate your knowledge and application levels.
- Situational Observation - this involves observing and examining your behavior in a natural setting. Through this observation the evaluator can record how you respond to actual life situations which require your understanding of the practical implications of a subject matter.
- Product Evaluation - this measurement technique involves the examination by the evaluator of actual products of your work or other activities that demonstrate your knowledge and application of a subject matter.
- Research Paper - is appropriate for measuring competence that involves the ability to express complex concepts that cannot be evaluated by an observation.
For more information about Prior Learning Assessment, visit the Early Childhood Assessment Program. (back to top)