Arnold Gesell’s Developmental Assessment Revalidation Substantiates Child-Oriented Curriculum




Guddemi, Marcy
Sambrook, Andrea
Wells, Sallie
Randel, Bruce
Fite, Kathleen E.
Selva, Gitta
Gagnon, Kelly

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Educators and parents are increasingly concerned about effects of high-stakes testing on children who may not be developmentally ready to perform tasks according to rigorous standards of today’s kindergartens. In response to this issue, and to provide new psychometric data for the Gesell Developmental Observation (GDO), Gesell Institute conducted a nationwide study with nearly 1,300 children aged 3 to 6 years. Results confirm that children are able to perform developmental items according to a sequential trajectory of increasing difficulty, relative to their chronological age in 6-month intervals, and that performance mastery on items does not occur at the same time for all children of the same age. Results support the continued use of the revised GDO, now named the Gesell Developmental Observation–Revised (GDO-R), as an instrument to determine a child’s developmental level along a continuous path of growth and learning. Also discussed is the importance of establishing effective and appropriate academic goals based on a child’s developmental assessment results.



developmental assessment, developmentally appropriate practice, Gesell, GDO-R, kindergarten, kindergarten readiness, common core state standards, early childhood education, Curriclum and Instruction


Guddemi, M., Sambrook, A., Wells, S., Randel, B., Fite, K., Selva, G., & Gagnon, K. (2014). Arnold Gesell's developmental assessment revalidation substantiates child-oriented curriculum. SAGE Open, <4(2).


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