Dynamic assessment, which is often characterised by the learning potential approach across the world and in South Africa, is receiving more and more attention from educators and research practitioners alike. The nature of dynamic assessment lends itself to application in areas where prior dependence on static (traditional) forms of psychometric assessment can no longer be sustained as viable options towards assessment. A main focus area within dynamic assessment is the field of tertiary selections and admissions. More research is needed in this field in South Africa and in order to progress within the field in this country in terms of designing, developing, norming and implementing dynamic assessment tests/batteries, previous research has to be investigated in detail in order to understand the areas which need attention and improvement more fully. In addition, it is not only the negative aspects which need to be investigated but also the success with which many studies have been greeted which needs to be looked at. Investigating the status of South African research into the field of dynamic assessment offers the interested practitioner a platform from which to view results that have emanated from this country in the past fifteen years. Past reliance on static measures meant that product-based assessment made no allowance for the detection and measurement of potential within individuals. It is not the contention of this study to state unequivocally that all disadvantaged students possess equal potential, but that a large pool of learners with potential are often passed over during selection for admission. In order to address these and similar issues, new tests will have to be developed but these can only be developed once past and current research is properly assessed. This is the aim of the present study. There is no document yet available on the status of dynamic assessment in South Africa which pays close attention to the research details of various findings within this field. The main findings indicate that although the field is still being researched today, there has been a decrease in the number of studies as well as a concomitant decrease in the implementation of dynamic research efforts. The reasons cited are lack of time, costs, inefficiencies and also confusion as to what dynamic assessment entails. There is, as yet, no consistent definition of dynamic assessment in South Africa, which makes it all the harder to entrench dynamic assessment as a methodology and implement it on as wide a scale as possible. Most research efforts in this field in South Africa presently comprise Master's and Doctoral studies and are, for the most part, efforts emanating from a handful of tertiary institutions. Some past research efforts have been successful but have since been disbanded, whereas there has been a growing awareness of the usefulness of dynamic assessment but it is not being implemented for the reasons stated above. This study investigates these results. Dynamic assessment is most certainly a prudent and effective partial solution to the issue of assessment in South Africa and can no longer be ignored. Yet, with cautious interpretation of the results, researchers and practitioners in the field will be better able to arrive at a more informed opinion of the advances in the field when allowed to scour past and present research.
Thesis (MA (Research Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2003.
Ramothlale, Elizabeth Faith(University of Pretoria, 2010-04-07)
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