A new study shows that Work Sampling for Head Start (WSHS)—an observational assessment developed by Erikson president Samuel J. Meisels and colleagues for use by early childhood teachers—is a valid and reliable tool for documenting learning in language, literacy, and math among three- and four-year-olds. It can accurately be used to predict early mathematics and reading performance and identify children at risk.
Designed to document what children are learning and have begun to master, WSHS is an adaptation of the Work Sampling System widely used with children from five to ten years of age. This study is the first to evaluate the use of these assessments with preschoolers. The study by Meisels, Yange Xue of Mathematica Policy Research, and Melissa Shamblott of the St. Paul Public Schools, was published in Early Education and Development [Routledge: 19(6), 963-981].