Our sincere gratitude to Dr. H. Carl Haywood, Professor of Psychology, emeritus, and Dr. Carol S. Lidz for their generous donations and inspiration to establish the Dynamic Assessment Collection at Peabody Library.
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Dynamic assessment is an interactive approach to conducting assessments within the domains of psychology, speech/language, or education, that focuses on the ability of the learner to respond to intervention.
Primary Characteristics of Dynamic Assessment
Dynamic assessment is not a single package or procedure, but is both a model and philosophy of conducting assessments. Although there are variations on several dimensions of the model, the most consistent characteristics are as follows:
- The assessor actively intervenes during the course of the assessment with the learner with the goal of intentionally inducing changes in the learner's current level of independent functioning.
- The assessment focuses on the learner's processes of problem solving, including those that promote as well as obstruct successful learning.
- The most unique information from the assessment is information about the learner's responsiveness to intervention.
- The assessment also provides information about what interventions successfully promote change in the learner (connecting assessment with intervention).
- The assessment is most often administered in a pretest-intervention-posttest format.
- The assessment is most useful when used for individual diagnosis, but can also be used for screening of classroom size groups.
- The model is viewed as an addition to the current, more traditional, approaches, and is not a substitute for existing procedures. Each procedure provides different information, and assessors need to determine what information they need.The underlying assumption of dynamic assessment is that all learners are capable of some degree of learning (change; modifiability). This contrasts with the underlying assumption of standardized psychometric testing that the learning ability of most individuals is inherently stable. Research with dynamic assessment has demonstrated that determination of the current levels of independent functioning of learners is far from a perfect predictor of their ability to respond to intervention.