Dynamic Assessment of Young Children: Educational and Intervention Perspectives

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    108 Scopus citations


    Dynamic/interactive assessment (DA) has been motivated by the inadequacy of conventional static tests to provide accurate information about the individual's learning ability, specific deficient functions, change processes, and mediational strategies that are responsible for cognitive modifiability. A growing need for DA with young children has emerged recently because decisions about treatment should be made as early as possible. The objectives of this paper are to review the major criticism of the standardized static testing approach, present the theoretical basis of the DA approach, describe current research on DA of young children within educational and intervention perspectives, and suggest some directions for future research. The theoretical foundations of the presented research derive from Vygotsky's sociocultural theory, specifically the zone of proximal development concept, and Feuerstein's mediated learning experience theory. DA has been applied with different clinical and educational groups and was found to be more accurate in reflecting children's learning potential than static tests, especially with minority and learning disabled children. The mediational strategy is also reported as more effective than other intervention approaches (e.g., graduated prompt). The DA approach was found useful in assessing outcome effects of cognitive education programs aimed at enhancing "learning how to learn" skills. Crucial issues of cost-effectiveness, training, reliability and validity, and generalization are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)385-435
    Number of pages51
    JournalEducational Psychology Review
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2000


    • Cognitive education
    • Cognitive modifiability
    • Dynamic assessment
    • Mediated learning experience
    • Zone of proximal development


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