Pamela Moss


Member Since: 2015

Pamela Moss’s work lies at the intersections of educational assessment, philosophy of social science, and interpretive or qualitative research methods. Her approach to the study of assessment engages the critical potential of dialogue across research discourses–educational measurement, hermeneutics and critical theory, and sociocultural studies–sometimes to complement, sometimes to challenge established theory and practice in assessment. Her current research agenda focuses on validity theory in educational assessment, assessment as a social practice, and approaches to methodological pluralism in research policy and practice.

Since 2001, she has been engaged in a series of multidisciplinary dialogues with colleagues to theorize and research assessment as an interacting element of a social environment. This includes attention to the ways in which conventional assessment instruments are taken up and used in local contexts as well as the ways in which practitioners use evidence of learning and the factors that shape it to address questions guiding their practice. These dialogues have resulted in two edited books, Evidence and Decision Making (2007) and Assessment, Equity, and Opportunity to Learn (2008), and miscellaneous papers. Evidence and Decision Making illuminates the crucial roles that teachers, administrators, and other education professionals play in constructing and using evidence to make decisions that support learning. Assessment, Equity, and Opportunity to Learn reflects a multi-year collaboration, funded by the Spencer Foundation, which explored the synergies and disjunctions between psychometric and sociocultural orientations to opportunity to learn and assessment. She has extended this work to focus on methodological pluralism in education research more generally, most recently with a co-authored chapter on Methodology for the 5th Handbook of Research on Teaching, forthcoming from AERA in 2016.

Moss was a member of the joint committee revising the 1999 AERA, APA, NCME Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, of the National Research Council’s Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality, and chair of AERA’s Task Force on Standards for Reporting on Empirical Social Science Research in AERA Publications. She has served on technical advisory committees for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the Interstate New Teacher Support and Assessment Consortium, and the student testing programs in New York and California. She is co-founder and co-editor of the journal, Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspective.

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