It’s the end of 2021, a year that has particularly been tough and challenging for parents, children, and school teachers. The KIT research team wishes everyone health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This issue has several items of interest, including an introduction to the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), a short overview of how children develop their self-dressing skills, a memorial note on the late Prof. Hwa-wei Ko, and a book review of Proč nekveteš?, a picture book about a little bear taking care of plants.
Common Assessment Framework
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) published in 2005 in the UK is a standardized measurement that examines children’s unmet developmental needs and forms an action plan to provide support. To help at-risk children, young people and their families, CAF identifies their needs, accesses the needs, and delivers integrated services. Finally, the CAF assessors review the progress to see how the child has been improved in all aspects of life. The assessment covers the following topics: health, education, emotional and behavioral development, self-identity, family and social relationships, social presentation, and self-care skills. CAF also takes the child’s parents and their wider family environment into consideration, including the occupations of parents, the family’s socio-economic status, the emotional stability of parents, care and stimulus given by parents, education/community resources available, etc. In 2005-2006, people in twelve districts in the UK formally started using CAF. Existing reports suggest that CAF can lead to positive outcomes for children and families with additional needs. Please visit https://www.learningladders.info/news/common-assessment-framework/ for more information.
Dressing is an important ability for young children when they are learning to help themselves. Acquiring self-dressing skills can help children become more independent and more confident. Dressing may seem like a simple task, but actually it requires the coordination of multiple skill sets such as fine/gross motor skills, postural stability, and motor planning. Also, if children want to finish the task of dressing, they should be able to identify front and back of clothing correctly. Young children usually learn how to remove clothes before they learn how to put on clothes on their own.
The following facts derived from the KIT survey results show how young children of different ages demonstrate their self-dressing skills:
- 95% of the 12-month-old children cannot take off a buttonless shirt (e.g., a T-shirt).
- 73% of the 18-month-old children cannot take off a buttonless shirt.
- 45% of the 24-month-old children cannot take off a buttonless shirt. However, 31% of them just began to show the ability, 14% of them show the ability but haven’t mastered it, and 10% of them fully possess the ability.
- 14% of the 36-month-old children cannot take off a buttonless shirt. However, 31% of them just began to show the ability, 25% of them show the ability but haven’t mastered it, and 30% of them fully possess the ability.
- 57.2% of the 48-month-old children fully possess the ability of taking off a buttonless shirt.
Generally speaking, the ability of putting on clothes comes after the ability of taking off clothes. The KIT data indicates that 62% of the 36-month-old children either cannot put on a buttonless shirt independently or they just began to show the ability. As for children at the age of 48 months, 6.5% of them cannot make it, while 18% of them just began to show the ability, 22% of them show the ability but haven’t mastered it, and 54% of them fully possess the ability.
A more complete picture of the development of dressing skills from age 1 to 5 will be revealed when the KIT finishes data collection from KIT-M3 at 60 months old.
A Memorial Note on Prof. Hwa-wei Ko
by Prof. Chien-ju Chang
The Department of Human Development and Family Studies, NTNU & Principal Investigator of KIT
Now it is the holiday season. The KIT research team wishes to offer the deepest gratitude and appreciation for all that the late Prof. Hwa-wei Ko contributed to the KIT project.
Prof. Ko, a giant in education in Taiwan, passed away in 2020. After retiring from National Central University, she held the position as Honorary Professor of College of Education, National Tsing Hua University. Also, she was the former president of the National Academy for Educational Research and the Taiwan Reading Association. She had a keen interest in developmental psychology, educational psychology, reading psychology, and learning disability. Dedicating her life to the research and promotion of reading education, Prof. Ko had pupils everywhere in Taiwan and was an influential researcher as well as an innovator and promoter of reading instruction.
In the 20th century, many advanced countries in Europe and America, such as the UK, the US, and Canada, started designing large longitudinal databases of child development in the hope that results derived from these databases can serve as valuable information sources for national policy making. In view of the importance of creating a similar database that collects long-term data from children in Taiwan, Prof. Ko announced an open call for a proposal to start the pilot project of child development database design when she held the position of Convener of Education Discipline at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ministry of Science and Technology. Supported by Prof. Ko and many other scholars in education, the formal KIT project was launched after the pilot study was done.
It has been ten years since the pilot study began in 2010. Prof. Ko always helped and was a powerful backing of the KIT research team. Her commitment was characterized by a selfless devotion to the project, and we are very much grateful for the foresight she had taken.
Interested readers can visit Wikipedia at https://reurl.cc/dxKRKz and the Reading Research and Education Center of DR. Hwawei Ko at https://www.hwaweiko.tw/ to know more about her life and achievement.
Proč nekveteš?, a picture book written and illustrated by Katarína Macurová, is a story about a little bear doing his best to take care of an unknown plant that never has flowers. Its Slovak version is available at goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30422783-pro-nekvete), and readers can find its Chinese version at Books.com.tw (https://www.books.com.tw/products/0010747746). Click https://youtu.be/fr3fW7Wr9_o to listen.