Measuring early learning and development across cultures: Invariance of the IDELA across five countries.

Relatively little research has addressed whether conceptual frameworks of early learning generalize across different national contexts. This article reports on a cross-country measurement invariance analysis of the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA). The IDELA is a direct assessment tool for 3- to 6-year-old children, intended to measure Early Literacy, Early Numeracy, Motor, and Social-Emotional development. Its generalizability is evaluated using samples from 5 countries: Afghanistan (N = 2,629); Bolivia (N = 480); Ethiopia (N = 682); Uganda (N = 504); and Vietnam (N = 675). The 4-domain model of the IDELA was supported in each country, although the domains were highly correlated. Measurement invariance analysis revealed that most IDELA items do not provide a basis for comparing children’s development over the 5 countries. This research supports the use of the IDELA for program evaluation and within-country monitoring purposes, but cautions against its use for international comparisons. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)