The EDI Domains
The Early Development Instrument (EDI) looks at five holistic domains. These domains focus not only on academic success, but also the social and emotional development children need to thrive and be ready for school. Explore each one:
PHYSICAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
- Physical health and well-being includes elements focused on the absence of disease and access to appropriate nutrition.
- Examples of questions teachers are asked: Can the child hold a pencil? Is the child underweight or overweight?
- This domain's subdomains: physical readiness for schoolwork, physical independence, and gross and fine motor skills
- Social competence is about interacting appropriately with other children and adults. It also captures general standards of acceptable behavior, cooperation with others, showing respect for adult authority, and communicating feelings and needs.
- Examples of questions teachers are asked: Does the child share with others? Is the child self-confident?
- This domain's subdomains: overall social competence with peers, respect and responsibility, approaches to learning, and readiness to explore new things
- Emotional maturity captures a child’s willingness and eagerness to engage with the world. This domain also includes curiosity about the world, eagerness to try new things, and the ability to reflect before acting.
- Examples of questions teachers are asked: Is the child able to concentrate? Would the child help someone who is hurt or upset?
- This domain's subdomains: prosocial and helping behavior, anxious and fearful behavior, aggressive behavior, and hyperactive and inattentive behavior
LANGUAGE AND COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
- The language and cognitive development domain captures such things as abilities with reading, writing, and numbers; shape recognition; and interest in books.
- Examples of questions teachers are asked: Is the child interested in reading and writing? Can the child tell a short story?
- This domain's subdomains: basic literacy skills, interest in literacy/numeracy and memory, advanced literacy skills, and basic numeracy skills
COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS AND GENERAL KNOWLEDGE
- Communications skills and general knowledge captures: understanding verbal communications and ability to communicate experiences, wishes, and feelings.
- Examples of questions teachers are asked: Can the child communicate his/her own needs? Can the child communicate with adults and children?
- There are no subdomains for the communication skills and general knowledge domain.
Pre-K 4 teachers across DC schools and community-based organizations completed short EDI survey questions about children's development. The five key domains contain 16 subdomains.
The EDI is appropriate for children from ages 4 to 6, and here in DC, most children enter school at pre-K 4. Since universal pre-K is not yet common in the US, other cities assess kindergarteners as the point of school entry. Since DC’s maps are created using a nationally normed data set, this will be important to keep in mind as you interpret DC’s outcomes.
Using children’s development as a starting point for your neighborhood can spark powerful reflections. The Our Children, Our Community, Our Change Action Guide can get you started.