Dynamic Assessment: Fairness through the prism of mediation

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Dynamic Assessment (DA) originated in the writings of L.S. Vygotsky more than 80 years ago, and despite its popularity among a small community of specialists it is not widely pursued by educational researchers. This paper seeks to strengthen dialogue between DA proponents and the broader assessment community by identifying potential contributions DA may offer to considering such pressing questions as how assessment may support teaching and learning and how fairness in education may be pursued. It is argued that the defining feature of DA that cuts across the varied approaches that have been developed by psychologists and educators working in diverse contexts around the world is a commitment to looking beyond learner independent performance and examining contribution to joint activity as central to diagnosing abilities. This position prompts a view of teaching and assessment as integrated activity and approaches fairness through the provision of culturally available forms of support. Attention then turns to trends in DA research that are elaborated in the articles in this special issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalAssessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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