Measuring school readiness globally: Assessing the construct validity and measurement invariance of the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) in Ethiopia

Sharon Wolf, Peter Halpin, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Amy Jo Dowd, Lauren Pisani, Ivelina Borisova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The post 2015 context for international development has led to a demand for assessments that measure multiple dimensions of children's school readiness and are feasibly administered in low-resource settings. The present study assesses the construct validity of the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) developed by Save the Children using data from a sample of children (∼5 years of age; N = 682) from rural Ethiopia. The study (a) uses exploratory and confirmatory bi-factor analyses to assess the internal structure of the assessment with respect to four hypothesized domains of school-readiness (Early Numeracy, Early Literacy, Social-Emotional development, and Motor development); (b) uses latent regression to examine concurrent validity of the domains against a limited set of child and family characteristics; and (c) establishes measurement invariance across three focal comparisons (children enrolled in center-based care versus home-based care; girls versus boys; and treatment status in a cluster randomized controlled trial of a center-based program). The results support the conclusion that the IDELA is useful for making inferences about children's school readiness. Implications for future use of the IDELA and similar instruments are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2017

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school readiness
Ethiopia
construct validity
Learning
learning
emotional development
Home Care Services
home care
social development
Statistical Factor Analysis
Randomized Controlled Trials
literacy
regression
demand
resources

Keywords

  • Ethiopia
  • Factor analysis
  • Measurement invariance
  • School readiness
  • Sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

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abstract = "The post 2015 context for international development has led to a demand for assessments that measure multiple dimensions of children's school readiness and are feasibly administered in low-resource settings. The present study assesses the construct validity of the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) developed by Save the Children using data from a sample of children (∼5 years of age; N = 682) from rural Ethiopia. The study (a) uses exploratory and confirmatory bi-factor analyses to assess the internal structure of the assessment with respect to four hypothesized domains of school-readiness (Early Numeracy, Early Literacy, Social-Emotional development, and Motor development); (b) uses latent regression to examine concurrent validity of the domains against a limited set of child and family characteristics; and (c) establishes measurement invariance across three focal comparisons (children enrolled in center-based care versus home-based care; girls versus boys; and treatment status in a cluster randomized controlled trial of a center-based program). The results support the conclusion that the IDELA is useful for making inferences about children's school readiness. Implications for future use of the IDELA and similar instruments are discussed.",
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