ERIC Number: ED338674
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Psychometricians' Beliefs about Learning.
Shepard, Lorrie A.
Beliefs that psychometricians hold about learning were examined through telephone interviews with directors of testing from all 50 states and with a sample of test directors from 50 selected school districts. Interpretations of what these measurement specialists believed were based on reanalyses of the primary narrative interview data. A majority of specialists operated from implicit learning theories that encourage the close alignment of tests with curriculum and judicious teaching of test content. These beliefs, associated with criterion-referenced testing, derive from behaviorist learning theory that requires the sequential mastery of constituent skills and behaviorally explicit testing of each learning step. This sequential facts-before-thinking model of learning is contraindicated by a substantial body of evidence from cognitive psychology. It is asserted that the hidden assumptions about learning should be examined precisely because they are covert. Formal debate among measurement specialists will help ensure that testing plays its desired role in the improvement of education. There is a 32-item list of references. Two appendices present two tables summarizing interview responses and nine figures illustrating models of measurement concepts. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.
Identifiers: Test Directors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Boston, MA, April 16-20, 1990).