Gesell Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Adaptive Skills: Skills such as social responsibility, self-help skills, community self-sufficiency, and social adjustment that allow the child to adjust and function in daily life.  Measured by Gesell’s developmental assessment tools – GDO-R and GES.

Age Appropriate: One of three performance level ratings on the GDO-R and GES which indicates that the child has the skills and behaviors typical of his or her age-matched peers. 

Age Band: A specific range of chronological ages used in the GDO Study to define each of the 7 age groups studied and to ensure systematic comparison of results; always written with year and/or superscript 6 denoting 6 months.

Age-matched Peers: The reference group of children included in one age band which is supported with similar data. 

B

C

 

Child Recording Form (CRF): A booklet that contains all the pages necessary for the examiner to record observations and the child’s responses to tasks.  Perforated pages can be easily removed for the child’s work, and for the Summary Profile Form.  There is a different CRF for the GDO-R and the GES.


Chronological Age:
Actual age in years, months and days, calculated by subtracting date of birth from date of assessment; always written with a superscript for months. 


Concern:
One of three performance level ratings which indicates that a child’s responses are atypical from age-matched peers, and raises questions that were not answered by administering the GDO-R and/or GES.


Criterion-Referenced Assessment:
An assessment that measures a child’s performance against a set criteria or objectives rather than against another student’s performance.  Both the GDO-R and GES are criterion-referenced assessments.

 

D

 

DEMO: Abbreviation for demonstration or demonstrate, as in demonstration of a GDO-R and GES task.

 

Developmental Age: An age in years and half years which best describes a child’s collective behavior and performances on a developmental scale.  Developmental age may be equal to, older, or younger than a child’s chronological age.  A Developmental Age encompasses a child’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical make up.  


Developmental Scale:
A continuum of developmental ages and associated behaviors compiled from responses to tasks for each age group and confirmed by a set of experts and established developmental theory. 


Developmental Score:
An age reported in years and half years relating to the developmental scale for an individual task for the Development Strand on the GDO-R.

 

Distinguishing Features: Characteristic behaviors, product expectations, and process descriptions of developmental tasks for each age group on the GDO-R.

 

E


E-Kit:
The Community Early Childhood LEADership E-Kit (©2012) is a summary of an early childhood conference organized by Gesell Institute.  The electronic proceedings serve as a guide for educational reform in communities across the country.  The E-Kit is intended for educators, parents, and policy makers. 


Emerging:
One of three performance level ratings on the GDO-R and GES which indicates that the child consistently completes some age appropriate tasks with ease, but others with less success. 


F

G


GDO Study:
A research study undertaken by Gesell Institute to update the GDO ©2007. Systematic baseline data was collected 2008-2010 on 1,287 children, age 3-6, from across the U.S. using all GDO tasks.


GDO-R Examiner’s Manual
: A Gesell manual ©2011 that contains information about the rationale, theory, and development of the GDO-R.  It provides specific information about the administration, scoring, and interpretation of all GDO-R tasks. 


GDO-R Examiner’s Script
: A spiraled-bound book ©2011 that provides the standardized instructions for administration of the GDO-R.  It is sequenced for efficient administration and enhanced organization, and includes visual stimuli cards.

Gesell, Arnold, MD (1880-1961): Early in the 20th century, Dr. Gesell observed and documented patterns in the way children develop, showing that they all go through similar sequences, though each child moves through these sequences at his/her own rate.  He claimed that growth can be thought of as a cyclical spiral, each rotation of the spiral encompassing the time it takes to move through a cycle of six stages.  Dr. Gesell’s theory is known as a maturational-developmental theory.  It is the foundation to nearly every other theory of human development to follow him.  

 

Gesell Developmental Observation-Revised (GDO-R): A developmental tool ©2011 that is part of a multi-dimensional assessment system.  It assists parents, educators, and other professionals in understanding characteristics of a child’s behavior in relation to typical growth patterns based on sequential, normative stages of development.  Consisting of tasks and subsets, the GDO-R system is a performance-based, criterion referenced standardized set of procedures that measure a child’s behavior through direct observation and through surveying parents/guardians and teachers.  For children ages 2 ½ to 9.

 

Gesell Early Screener (GES): A screening tool ©2011 that evaluates four domains of a child’s development: Cognitive, Language, Motor, and Social/Emotional/Adaptive.  Its purpose is to observe a child’s response to a selected group of developmental and academic tasks from the GDO-R that can detect possible concern or delay, or the possible need for further evaluation.  For children ages 3-6.

 

GES Examiner’s Manual: A manual ©2011 that contains information about the rationale, theory, and development of the GES.  It provides specific information about the administration, scoring, and interpretation of all GES tasks.


H


Hallmark Observation:
A unique characteristic that not all children will exhibit, but when it appears is considered to be definitive for that developmental level.  Used in the GDO-R.

 

I

 

J

 

K

 

L

 

M

 

Manipulatives: The individual materials used to administer the different tasks of the GDO-R and GES (i.e., assessment cards, wooden blocks, a small jar with pellets, bean  bag).

 

Mastery: Child completed GDO-R and/or GES task successfully.


Maturational-Developmental Theory: Early in the 20th century, Dr. Arnold Gesell observed and documented patterns in the way children develop, showing that they all go through similar sequences, though each child moves through these sequences at his/her own rate.  He claimed that growth can be thought of as a cyclical spiral, each rotation of the spiral encompassing the time it takes to move through a cycle of six stages.  Dr. Gesell’s theory is known as a maturational-developmental theory
.  It is the foundation to nearly every other theory of human development to follow him. 


Mean: The average of a set of scores calculated by summing the scores and dividing by the number of scores in the set.


Multi-Dimensional Assessment System:
An integrated system of tasks and measures that assesses a child’s developmental, academic, social/ emotional and visual/spatial ability derived from multiple sources.  Both the GDO-R and the GES are multi-dimensional assessment systems.


N


National Lecture Staff (NLS): Gesell Institute is represented throughout the United States by our National Lecture Staff, a carefully selected, highly educated, and intensively trained group of professionals.  They work together to provide a variety of training opportunities across the country.  The NLS conduct half and/or full day staff in-services for schools.  Professional development covers a variety of subjects about child development, especially as it relates to the classroom.  Many NLS specialize in Parent Information meetings as well.  The NLS are solely responsible for the Gesell Developmental Observation – Revised (GDO-R) training. 


O

Overall Performance Level: The examiner’s collective impression of Age Appropriate, Emerging, or Concern for the child based on the child’s quantitative and qualitative performance across all GDO-R strands including social/emotional behavior and adaptive skills. 

 

Overt Behavior: Any easily observable behavior expressed physically or verbally, or lack thereof.  An essential part of the GDO-R.  It plays a significant role in the assessment of young children, revealing information about the child’s developmental level, and a reflection of a child’s perception of his/her world.

P

Parent/Guardian Questionnaire (PQ): A survey that collects information about the child’s prenatal and early health history, as well as important social, emotional, and adaptive behavior observed by the family and caregivers in the home.  The PQ is an integral component of both the GDO-R and GES.

Performance Assessment: An assessment that requires a child to perform a GDO-R task which is evaluated based on a set of criteria and observable outcomes.


Performance Level Definition: A qualitative description of children’s capabilities in multiple domains across three performance levels and seven age bands.  Used to check and confirm a child’s overall performance level assigned by the Examiner on the GDO-R.

 

Performance Level Expectation: One of three levels (Solid, 70% of children in each age band successfully completed a task; Qualified, 50-69.9% of children in each age band successfully completed the task; and Not Yet Expected, less than 50% of children in each age band successfully completed the task) that enable the examiner to compare the child’s performance on an individual task to his or her peer group.  Included in Gesell’s developmental assessment tools – GDO-R and GES.

 

Performance Level Rating: One of three levels (Age Appropriate, Emerging, or Concern) used to describe a child’s performance on each GDO-R and GES strand.  

 

Process: The observable method and approach used by a child to complete a GDO-R task. 

 

Psychometric: Pertaining to the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits.

 

Q

 

Qualified Examiner:An individual who has attended a 3-day workshop in the last 5 years, and is trained to administer the Gesell Developmental Observation-Revised (GDO-R).

 

R

 

Reliability: The consistency of a measure to achieve the same results each time.

 

Rubric: A set of rules of conduct or procedures, a chart of behavior for comparison, or a standard for evaluation. 

 

S

 

Social/Emotional Behavior: Behavior related to how a child interacts with adults and peers, expresses his or her feelings toward others; and is able to self-regulate.  Measured by Gesell’s developmental assessment tools – GDO-R and GES.

 

Standard Deviation: A measure to describe how far data deviates from the mean.

 

Standardization: The process of determining established norms and procedures for a test to act as a standard reference point for future test results.

 

Strand: A group of tasks which collectively measures a performance area or domain.  GDO-R strands consist of Developmental, Letters/Numbers, Language/Comprehension, Visual/Spatial Discrimination, and Social/Emotional Development. 

 

Strand Score: The average of scaled scores for a set of tasks within a strand.  This score corresponds to one of three performance level ratings for each strand and age band.  Strand scores are applicable to three GDO-R strands: Letters/Numbers, Language/Comprehension, and Visual/Spatial Discrimination.

 

Strand Scoring Worksheet: A one page worksheet to convert raw scores from individual GDO-R and GES tasks into scaled scores, and then produce a strand score when averaged within one strand.

 

Summary Profile Form: Provides a summary of a child’s scores on the GDO-R and GES, and is intended to facilitate communication between parents and teachers.  It also provides important documentation about the child’s developmental functioning.  

Supplemental Trends: Supplemental information by age about qualitative responses and approaches to some tasks in the GDO which was not derived from the GDO Study, but is the opinion of a team of expert examiners, and is based on prior data.

 

Survey: A series of questions or observations designed to reflect a basic picture of a child’s behavior (e.g., Teacher Questionnaire, Parent/Guardian Questionnaire).

 

T

 

Task: A set of GDO-R and GES questions, stimuli, or procedures that elicit a response or set of behaviors that can be measured.

 

Teacher Questionnaire (TQ): A survey that allows the teacher to record social, emotional, and adaptive behavior observed in the classroom.  For example, the TQ also documents how, where, and with whom the child plays with most often.  The TQ is an integral component of both the GDO-R and GES.

Technical Report:The GDO-R/GES Technical Report lists the number of items, sample size (N), maximum possible points, mean raw score (Mean), standard deviation (SD), and internal consistency coefficient for each task.

TERM: Abbreviation for discontinuing or terminating a GDO-R or GES task.

 

Transitional Kindergarten

 

Trend: A characteristic response to a GDO-R task based on prior data and the opinion of a team of experts for children under age 3 or between the ages of 6 and 9, or for entire tasks which were not included in the GDO Study.

 

U

 

V

 

Validity: The degree to which an instrument measures what it claims to measure.

 

W

X

Y

Z