Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Kelly-Vance


In the last 30 years early childhood assessment has changed because of educational laws. Today, tests must do more than find children with delays; these tools must provide information about problems and lead to interventions. Because of public law younger children are being tested and assessing young children requires that new ways of measuring development be created. Developmental theory suggests that children can be assessed through play. Presently, the ability to assess language skills using play assessment was investigated. Both play in the home setting and play in an unfamiliar playroom was compared to a standardized test (MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory-CD!). The results suggest that there is a moderate correlation between the CDI and play in both the home setting and the unfamiliar playroom. Both types of assessment had benefits because they provided qualitatively different information. The play assessment elicited information that was more descriptive and conducive to intervention planning and the CDI provided quantitative information useful in screening.


An Ed. S. Field Project Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Education Specialist University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2003 Colleen Ryan Dupuis.