Staff members' views on developmental assessment in a multicultural early childhood setting are described and analysis of these views used to initiate a critique of current practice in assessment and evaluation of young children. Staff members expressed opinions and beliefs along a range from endorsement to frank rejection of the utility, validity, and ethics of developmental assessment. Those who reject the practice expressed a “theory” of growth and change that is incompatible with current developmentalist orthodoxy. Opinions of “dissenters” (who stated that they do not believe assessment gives meaningful information about children) suggest alternative practice with greater authenticity for families and children who are not from European American mainstream backgrounds.
Editor in charge: Steven J. Taylor