Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Intra-acting with Tooling Apparatuses: A Diffractive Analysis of Early Childhood Portfolio and Pedagogical Assessments
by Remstein, Pamela, Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2019, 268; 27542890
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this inquiry was to explore the intra-relationship among the material languages of teachers as they use two forms of assessment, portfolio documentation and pedagogical documentation. I also studied the ethical implications of this relationship for children, families, teachers and the communities where they reside. In order to explore the entanglements that were working with two different human and non-human assessment apparatuses, I participated for four months of collaborative teacher meetings in two early childhood programs in northern New Mexico to see what differences emerged. Each school is Reggio Emilia inspired and accepts state funds for their NM PreK program. I took a post-qualitative approach (Lather & St. Pierre, 2013; St. Pierre, 2014; St. Pierre, 2015) to my research, which allowed me to think with theory as I saturated myself with the data. Working within Karen Barad’s (2007) diffractive analysis, I (re)recognized how differences in material languages of assessments and humans came to matter. Barad is a new materialist, post humanist social scientist, whose work combines the thinking of ontological and epistemological frameworks. The findings of this inquiry led to acknowledging how humans and assessments are producing in the world; how assessments limit the image of humans and how tooling quality in early childhood assessments must move from a thing, a noun, to a verb. Quality as an action is always in process, a space where the past, present and future reside together in continual motion, never reaching a final local (Barad, 2007) and should not be confined by narrow boundaries. From this perspective, teachers, children, schools and communities are perpetually learning, by tooling quality. In order for this to occur, complex innovative assessment tools that challenge thinking for educators and children, in place of deterministic apparatuses matters in the producing of humans who can make a difference. With this comes teachers and their mentors critically exploring their own beliefs and values about teaching, learning, children and families in order to root human biases, in order to revitalize the universe. Doing quality in this sense is becoming with entanglements, performative agents working through boundaries.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cahill, Elizabeth
Commitee: Lucero, Leanna, Salazar Perez, Michelle, Wojahn, Patti
School: New Mexico State University
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- New Mexico
Source: DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Educational tests & measurements
Keywords: Diffractive analysis, Early childhood assessment, Pedagogical documentation, Portfolio documentation, Post humanism, Reggio Emilia approach
Publication Number: 27542890
ISBN: 9781392739808
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