As children mature, they often develop unevenly across developmental domains. Reliable studies also confirm wide variations among children of the same chronological age relative to changes in physical, cognitive, social-emotional, and aesthetic development. These facts alone render single, more conventional assessments less useful or reliable in documenting what children actually know and can do at any particular age. This is the most compelling reason why increasing numbers of educators in the 1980s began to question the efficacy of traditional methods of testing (e.g., paper and pencil tests) and to call for more practical alternatives. Early advocates such as Grant Wiggins, P. David Pearson, Elfrieda Hiebert, and others began to press for the use of what they termed authentic assessment to measure and evaluate growth.

Authentic assessment ...

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