The development of an idiographic method of measurement for use in dynamic assessment

Hurley, Emma (2019) The development of an idiographic method of measurement for use in dynamic assessment.


The dynamic, multifaceted nature of humans requires an individuated, dynamic approach to evaluation and intervention. The primary purpose of this research is to address issues of evaluating dynamic assessment research and practice. Dynamic assessment (DA) is, broadly, a psycho-educational approach to maximising potential in people, in particular marginalised, disenfranchised people or people not flourishing within their learning environment. In order to usefully consider a methodology of measurement which aligns with the philosophical foundations of DA it was necessary to propose a widening of the parameters or scope of reference within which DA is situated. The situation of DA within a copasetic framework – Integrated Social Learning Theory (ISLT) clarifies the theoretical paradigm for research and practice.
The novel idiographic methodology developed for this thesis Individual Dynamic Evaluation and Assessment (IDEA) uses open card-sorts to capture the participant’s self-concept. Multidimensional scaling analysis of card-sort data renders a graphical representation of that self-concept in relation to others in the form of a life-space map. General Procrustes analysis of these life-space maps over time allows the evaluation of movement in self-concept for a person over time.
DA is primarily concerned with the mediation of learning between the expert and novice. The focus of DA is the person, and the examination of movement or change for that person. Drawing from development and social learning theories which align with this position bolsters the grand theories of dynamic DA posited by Vygotsky, Luria (Luria, 1976; Luria & Cole, 1976; Luria, Cole & Cole, 2006; Luria & Yudovich, 1956, 1959), Haeussermann (1956), Feuerstein (1990, 2003; Feuerstein, Rand & Hoffmann, 1979; Feuerstein, Feuerstein, Falik & Rand, 2002 ) Bruner (1956, 1960) & Rey (1938). The ISLT framework allows for the useful consideration of intraindividual methods of evaluation and measurement. A position has been taken – namely that nomothetic methods of measurement are not best suited to the goal of usefully examining change over time in therapeutic practice contexts.
ISLT and IDEA-1 consider the person as a complex, dynamic system. Learning and psychological support are inextricably linked within this paradigm. This has ramifications for practice. A holistic approach to psycho-educational support is recommended, the basis for which is provided within the ISLT framework.
This thesis presents a novel N=1 case study design which is wholly idiographic in nature. The methodology for evaluation described here provides a basis for evidence-based practice while maintaining a focus on the progress of the individual under targeted intervention. The repeated measures design described here is one which has a format with which practitioners and researchers are familiar. It stands separate from the intervention procedure unlike integrated scoring systems and is idiographic in focus unlike nomothetic sandwich study designs. The results from the sixteen studies presented here provides the beginnings of an evidence-base for the use of this approach in intraindividual contexts.

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