WHAT IS DYNAMIC ASSESSMENT?
Dynamic Assessment (DA) is a service offered to parents through WISDOM’s Mediated Learning Program.
As the method used is mediational, this assessment is an interactive learning assessment, not a static test. The child has opportunity to learn and use strategies while being assessed.
The child experiences an immediate personal change in ability to think. John Hoekstra, WISDOM's in-house assessor, describes this service as, “a way to gather specific information about a child’s learning strengths and weaknesses, using a mediational approach.”
During the assessment the parent acts as an observer, while the trained assessor presents the child with a series of instruments (problems to solve) that allow the assessor to evaluate the way the learner overcomes difficulties. The child is gently challenged with a variety of learning situations and is mediated throughout the experience. From this process, the parents are given information about what thinking processes (cognitive functions) need strengthening.
“DA is a unique learning experience for both the parent and child which brings to light the many areas where successful learning has happened already, and points to the most effective ways to continue the journey. Dynamic Assessment is a positive experience for the child. Learners usually emerge from the assessment with more confidence in their learning, optimism that they are not stuck in their challenges, and a sense of hope for their future. DA gives parents information as to how their child learns best, where learning is fragile and where it is strong. It is a valuable step in making brain changes that will bring your child to a place of solid success as a learner." -DA assessor
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM A DYNAMIC ASSESSMENT?
Consider assessment if your child is experiencing learning difficulties that have been occurring over time (where a pattern exists), in order to give you greater insight into what the causes may be.
It is also helpful to the parent who wishes to know more about how their child thinks, see areas of giftedness, and gain deeper perspective on existing strengths.
The minimum age for assessment is recommended to be no younger than eight years old. A Dynamic Assessment usually takes five hours, with breaks provided- more or less time may be needed. The length of the DA can be discussed with the assessor.
Parents are briefed as soon as the assessment is complete, and first impressions are shared by the assessor. The results of the assessment are then examined thoroughly at the assessor’s office, and a written report is provided to parents. Recommendations are made and follow up support is offered.
It is strongly recommended that parents attend a Mediated Learning parent-training workshop before proceeding with an assessment for their child. Please discuss this with the assessor or program manager when making an appointment for assessment.
Assessments take place in Edmonton, Mundare, Derwent and Calgary, and may be arranged in other locations. This can be discussed when making an appointment.
WISDOM students are eligible for an educational subsidy that covers most of the assessment cost. The pre-subsidized rate is $1200, but WISDOM parents pay only $500.