As assessment for learning becomes a more common practice in schools throughout North America, this study adds to the current literature that validates assessment practices which educators may use to help guide instruction and support student learning. This study examines the concurrent validity of the Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) using Kindergarten and Grade 1 teacher-assigned year-end scores and reading Curriculum Based Measurement (WRC) as the criterion variables. Besides conducting a test of validity, this study will also establish DIBELS benchmarks, or cut-off points, for Kindergarten and Grade 1 using a Northern British Columbia sample. DIBELS scores and CBM reading scores for Kindergarten and Grade 1 students were compared to their final Language Arts performance score. A correlational analysis between the criterion and predictive variables did not confirm concurrent validity of the various DIBELS measures at the Kindergarten level. Being limited to a pass/fail option for final reporting of Language Arts, the teacher assigned final scores resulted in a skewed distribution making a correlation difficult to confirm, indicating the possibility of a Type II error with the Language Arts data. However, significant correlation coefficients were produced between Grade 1 DIBELS measure and WRC. After establishing benchmarks for DIBELS, risk factors were able to be established. These risk factors provide an indication to educators the degree to which a student may be at risk in their early literacy development. This study supports the use of using DIBELS as part of a teacher's assessment regime to identify potential at risk readers so that timely and appropriate interventions can be put into place.
How can moral development be fostered in the classroom? To answer this question, this project examines education literature, the author's own experiences, current brain research relating to self regulation, an overview of moral development theories, moral development research, and the instructional implications of this research. There is evidence that certain conditions foster moral development and that these conditions can be promoted in the classroom. Moral development depends on social experiences that teach developmental building blocks such as emotional knowledge, self-regulation and pro-social behavior. Without these building blocks, moral development is unlikely to occur. Linking the fostering of moral development to content embedded in Manitoba's Social Studies curriculum will be made through the example unit plans included.