Validity in Educational and Psychological Assessment
- Paul Newton - Institute of Education, UK
- Stuart Shaw - Cambridge Assessment
Developmental Psychology | School/Educational Psychology | Student Assessment
Communicating complicated concepts straightforwardly, the authors answer questions like:
- What does 'validity' mean?
- What does it mean to 'validate'?
- How many different kinds of validity are there?
- When does validation begin and end?
- Is reliability a part of validity, or distinct from it?
This book will be of interest to anyone with a professional or academic interest in evaluating the quality of educational or psychological assessments, measurements and diagnoses.
'Countless books have addressed validity, but this is the first volume to provide a comprehensive treatment of the evolution of validity theory in the last century and a framework for evaluating educational and psychological testing in the 21st century.'
'In this groundbreaking book, Newton and Shaw show how the "consensus" view of validity—that validity is not a property of tests, but of inferences made on the basis of the evidence they elicit—was at best rather shallow. Notably, the "consensus" view leaves unresolved important tensions between those who see validation as a never-ending process (e.g., Cronbach, Messick) and those who understand the needs of those who produce assessments to be able to say that they have undertaken necessary due diligence to attest to the quality of assessments (e.g., Ebel, Kane). As well as providing an excellent, scholarly review of the history of the idea of validity, Newton and Shaw show how a modified version of Messick's facet model of validity can produce a rigorously grounded, and yet practical, approach to assuring the quality of educational and psychological assessments. Every serious scholar of assessment should read this book.'
'At last - a scholarly and well-argued book that means validity, the key concept in any assessment, is no longer an essentially American debate. Its scope, logic and clarity will quickly make it the standard international text.'
'With concerns over the validity of educational and psychological tests and assessments growing, this book by Paul Newton and Stuart Shaw is a welcome, and much needed, contribution to the measurement literature. Anyone concerned with the technical quality and value propositions surrounding large-scale testing and assessment ought to read this book. Newton and Shaw take the reader through the history of “validity” as researchers across time and across disciplines use the term. In doing so, they advance the debate by offering a unique and novel framework for assessing issues of test validity. Newton and Shaw leave us with some new concepts—theoretical plausibility and practical viability—for judging the evidence in support of a test’s validity. This book presents today’s and tomorrow’s perspectives on validity as the core idea in educational and psychological assessment. It is a must read for those working in the broad field of psychometrics.'
[This book] was enlightening in terms of helping me reflect on a range of issues around testing and validity. It provides a good way of thinking about these issues in a way that takes into account a range of views from different stakeholders about why a particular testing policy exists. The framework enables different agendas to be made explicit and tensions between different purposes of a particular policy laid bare. It provides a way of critically evaluating policy and making decisions about implementing testing and assessment policies. I wish I had read this book before writing a sub chapter called 'Why Assess?' - covering the same ground on issues of dyslexia assessment would have been easier using Newton and Shaw's revised framework...I would recommend the book to experienced practitioners who want to reconsider the validity of assessments that they undertake. It is perhaps useful for trainers as a book that enables trainee psychologists to consider the social context in which psychometric measures are used and to consider validity in terms which take them beyond the technical aspects of testing and assessment. It is also a useful book for policy makers to consider, especially around the social issues related to assessment and testing policy implementation.
An ideal text for post-graduate courses on educational or psychological assessment, and selections would also make strong contributions to reading lists for under-graduate courses. There is plenty in it for more seasoned scholars of assessment theory as well ... because the historical survey and analysis of the literature is so insightful
In an accessible, statistics-free treatment, Newton and Shaw first distinguish assessment validity from related concepts (such as research validity), before tracing its evolution through the primarily US-led assessment research tradition over the past century. As doctoral students we hope to tap into issues at the cutting edge of the field, and Newton and Shaw’s book enables this, providing the background and theory needed to contribute to contemporary assessment research.
An excellent book which is well written and provides the reader with detailed and informed examples of the application from theory to practice.
This is an excellent and thought provoking text regarding the topic of validity. It explores the topic through history to the current day, in a logical format.
The references to other works give the reader the opportunity to research further if they wish.
This is an essential book for one of the courses I am involved with and I will recommend it for others.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 2: The Genesis of Validity: Mid-1800s–1951