Early Development Instrument (EDI)
The Early Development Instrument (EDI) is a population based measure for communities. It is a teacher completed instrument which measures children's readiness to learn at school across five developmental domains: physical health and well-being; social knowledge and competence; emotional health/maturity; language and cognitive development; and general knowledge and communication skills.
The instrument has been designed to provide information for groups of children in order to:
- report on populations of children in different communities,
- assess the strengths and deficits in students, and
- predict how children will do in elementary school.
The instrument's name: "Early Development Instrument: A Population-based Measure for Communities" (EDI) reflects the fact that it measures the outcome of the early years. At the same time, however, it provides information on children's readiness to learn at school. This refers to a child's ability to meet the task demands of school, such as: playing and working with other children, listening to the teacher, remembering and following rules, and being comfortable exploring and asking questions.
The EDI consists of 104 core questions grouped into five scales and two indicators of special skills and special problems. Testing to date has demonstrated that the EDI has good internal and test-retest reliability, and external validity.
The average time for completion per student is reported at 20 minutes (according to teachers), and teachers may refer to a guide for teachers which was developed to facilitate the completion of the EDI. The questionnaire is completed in the second half of the kindergarten year (February/March).
The offord Centre for Child Studies, at McMaster University, is a national repository of the EDI data. The majority of the Early Development Instrument data is also processed at the Centre. Once data has been collected and analysed, each site receives a report consisting of four separate documents:
- Demographic frequency tables and simple comparisons for all students in the sites (e.g., girls vs. boys);
- Descriptive report which puts the site results in perspective;
- Behavioural profiles of children with the highest and lowest scores for each scale;
- School-level reports, which are one-page summaries of each school EDI data, including frequencies of all demographic variables, means, standard deviations, and percentages of students scoring in various percentile ranges for each scale.