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Dynamic assessment in New Zealand : knowledge, application and utility amongst resource teachers of learning and behaviour : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the for the degree of Master of Educational Psychology at Massey University, Albany Campus, New Zealand
Many types of educational assessment have relied upon summative assessment
that focus on the products of learning. In contrast, Dynamic assessment (DA) is a type of
assessment that links assessment and intervention. The key features of DA are interaction and
embedded intervention. The outcome of DA is information pertaining to the processes of learning and
the generation of information for intervention. There exist a wide variety of uses for DA, however,
DA is not applied with as much frequency as other types of assessment. Among the suggested reasons
for the lack of application of DA is a low level of knowledge of DA. A survey was developed
to gather information on the level of knowledge, application and utility of DA
amongst Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour in New Zealand. The results indicated
that most participants were not at all (43.5%) or barely (33.9%) familiar with DA. Articulated
understanding of DA was found to be lower than the reported level of familiarity. Application was
also limited with 15.1% of all participants and 32.9% of participants familiar with DA indicating
that they apply DA. It was also found that actual rates of application of DA are likely to be
lower than reported rates of application of DA. Most RTLB (92.5%), indicated that DA was, or
would be useful to their practice suggesting that DA is seen to have utility amongst this group.
These results, combined with levels of contentment with current knowledge and application of DA
suggest that there is a need for training on DA in New Zealand. The results of the current
research were congruent with prior research finding limited levels of knowledge and application of
DA. Further, the suggestion of limited DA application being partially due to limited knowledge
on DA was supported. It is hoped that training in DA would see the application of DA become more
frequent in New Zealand in the future.