Development of the ACEI Global Guidelines Assessment

From 2001-2003, the ACEI Global Guidelines Task Force conducted pre-pilot activities in multiple countries using the Global Guidelines Assessment (GGA). These initial activities provided information about the feasibility of the GGA as a method for gauging program quality in a variety of countries and types of programs. After utilizing pre-pilot feedback to make content and format revisions, the first edition of the GGA, which included 98 indicators across the five areas of program quality, was published in 2003. Following the collection of informal and formal data by various researchers, a second edition of the GGA was later released in 2006.

Developing a program assessment tool with global applicability requires a balance between sensitivity to cultural variations and meaningful, evidenced-based constructs that are reliable and valid across cultures. Since the inception of the GGA, its developers have conducted a number of studies to evaluate its characteristics and to be sure that the stakeholders who use the instrument can gain valid and useful information to improve program quality.  Two studies were conducted, the first from 2007-2008 and the second from 2011 to 2014.

From 2007 to 2008, a formal, cross-national reliability and validity pilot study was conducted in six sites across four countries: Guatemala, Taiwan, United States, and People’s Republic of China with 168 programs and 336 individuals.[i] The results were promising, indicating strong internal consistency for each subscale and the total GGA, and moderate interrater consistency for each of the five subscales. The researchers also compared item ratings with the qualitative descriptions provided as examples to support the rating. They found that in some sites these two kinds of data were strongly matched, but in other sites they did not match as much. Overall, there was a moderately acceptable level of congruence between item ratings and the supporting examples across the six sites. In 2010-2011, a Rasch model of item analysis was conducted with these data to examine whether clusters of indicators measured similar concepts. Based on these analyses, a third edition of the GGA with 76 indicators was published in 2011. (See Hardin, Bergen, and Hung’s (2013) article about this study for more information.)

To further test the viability of the GGA as a global tool for assessing and improving early care and education program quality, another study was conducted from 2011 to 2014 with a larger sample and in an increased number of countries.[ii] In total, 678 individuals within 346 early childhood programs in nine countries—India, Italy, Mexico, Peru, and Thailand were included in addition to the previous four—and across 12 research sites participated in the reliability and validity study. The results primarily confirmed the findings of the previous study[iii] across a larger number of countries and programs. (Read a detailed summary of results.)

Because the development of the GGA has been driven by such a rigorous and robust line of research, ACEI is pleased to offer it as a useful, reliable, and effective onsite evaluation tool for early childhood stakeholders to assess and improve the quality of care and education available to young children worldwide.

Research on the ACEI Global Guidelines Assessment (GGA)

In addition to studies on the validity and reliability of the Global Guidelines Assessment, a growing body of comparative and international research has explored how the tool has been used in practice to improve the quality of early childhood care and education programs in diverse settings around the world.

Barbour, A., Boyer, W., Hardin, B., & Wortham, S. (2004). From principle to practice: Using the global guidelines to assess quality education and care. Childhood Education, 80, 327-331.

Bergen, D., & Hardin, B. J. (2015). Involving early childhood stakeholders in program evaluation: The GGA story. Childhood Education, 91(4), 259-264.

Cecconi, L., Stegelin, D. A., Pintus, A., & Allegri, R. (2014). Utilizing a global environmental assessment tool to facilitate professional development: The voices of kindergarten teachers in Italy. International Journal of Early Childhood, 46(2), 205-229.

Diwan, M. S., Nazarali, S., & Kelly, K. L. (2015). From measurement to action-using programmatic assessments to promote ‘Quality in ECD’: Model exemplars from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and U.A.E. ARNEC Connections, 9, 25-27.

Geisinger, K. F. (1994). Cross-cultural normative assessment: Translation and adaptation issues influencing the normative interpretation of assessment instruments. Psychological Assessment, 6, 304–312.

Hardin, B. J., Bergen, D., Busio, D. S., & Boone, W. (2016). Investigating the psychometric properties of the ACEI global guidelines assessment, third edition (GGA) in nine countries. Early Childhood Education Journal. doi:10.1007/s10643-016-0795-9

Hardin, B. J., Bergen, D., & Hung, H-F. (2013). Investigating the psychometric properties of the ACEI global guidelines assessment (GGA) in four countries. Early Childhood Education Journal, 41(2), 91-101.

Hardin, B. J., Vardell, R., & De Castañeda, A. (2008). More alike than different: Early childhood professional development in Guatemala. Childhood Education, 84, 128-134.

Hardin, B. J., Wortham, S., Mbugua, T., & Bergen, D. (2005, April). Assessing and improving early childhood program quality using the ACEI global guidelines assessment. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada.

Nazarali, S., & Kelly, K. L. (2015). Building capacity in Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) early childhood programmes: Using effective tools for professional development. ARNEC Connections, 9, 23-24.

Rentzou, K. (2010). Using ACEI global guidelines assessment to evaluate the quality of early child care in Greek settings. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(1), 75-80.

Stegelin, D., Cecconi, L., & Pintus, A. (2015). Utilizing the ACEI global guidelines assessment (GGA) tool for teacher professional development in the United States and Italy. Childhood Education, 91(4), 265-273.

Stegelin, D., Cecconi, L., Pintus, A., & Allegri, R. (2011). Expanding the use of the global guidelines assessment tool in Italy: Blending assessment and teacher training in the municipal kindergartens of Parma. Teacher Education Journal of South Carolina, 11(1), 104-109.

[i] Hardin, Bergen, & Hung, 2013

[ii] Hardin, Bergen, Busio, & Boone, 2016

[iii] Hardin, Bergen, & Hung, 2013