ISBN 10: 1446253236 / ISBN 13: 9781446253236
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Validity is the hallmark of quality for educational and psychological measurement. But what does quality mean in this context? And to what, exactly, does the concept of validity apply? These apparently innocuous questions parachute the unwary inquirer into a minefield of tricky ideas. This book guides you through this minefield, investigating how the concept of validity has evolved from the nineteenth century to the present day.

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.'

(Wayne J. Camara 2013-07-02)

'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.'

(Dylan Wiliam 2013-06-17)

'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.'

(Gordon Stobart)

' 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.'

(Howard T. Everson)

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