Myth busting and metric making: Refashioning the discourse about development

Stein, Zachary (2008) Myth busting and metric making: Refashioning the discourse about development. Integral Leadership Review, 8 (5).


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Executive summary: This paper is about the use we make of developmental metrics and models in the Integral Community. Motivated by broad concerns about growing markets for psychological technologies I propose the need for discourse about quality control parameters, focusing on the construction and deployment of developmental assessment systems. When it comes to developmental metrics and models I suggest that two myths loom large and that they need to be busted if we want to move forward responsibly. The big take home here is that the most popular approaches are not the most preferable. Discussing the myth of the given raises concerns about our methods and how we determine the relative validity of our various metrics and models. I suggest that we are systematically misunderstanding the nature of developmental approaches because we are not focusing on how we build usable knowledge about human development. The point: we need to be more concerned about the claims we make, and start putting our methods where our mouths are. I ground this discussion by looking at an approach that has jettisoned this myth because it is systemically monitoring the validity of the methods in use and publishing the results of psychometric reliability tests. Discussing the myth of the metals raises concerns about the way we frame the use of developmental metrics and models. I suggest that we are wrongheaded—ethically and scientifically—when we think that the proper use of developmental assessments is to find out how good people are so that we can position them appropriately in the social group and thus give them the acclaim, trust, and responsibility they deserve. If we take methodological consideration seriously and feel the force of the Basic Moral Imperative we simply can't use developmental assessments to engineer meritocracies. To ground this discussion I examine an approach that has jettisoned this myth because it is rigorously separating factual claims from evaluative ones, avoiding holistic vague assessments, and wedding all its efforts to educational interventions. When all is said and done I issue a call for a higher level of discourse in the integral Community about the way we use developmental metrics and models. The vision of a future informed by rigorous developmental assessments needs to be realistically and responsibly articulated and re-articulated. We need concerted philosophical, ethical, and political reflections on role and future of developmental assessments in our society.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Education > Educational Methods and Practices
Education > Educational Theory
Depositing User: Zak Stein
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 19:03
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 19:03

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