Co-constructional task analysis: Moving beyond adult-based models to assess young children's task performance

Publication Date



The assessment of young children's thinking competence in task performances has typically followed the novice-to-expert regimen involving models of strategies that adults use when engaged in cognitive tasks such as problem-solving and decision-making. Socio-constructivists argue for a balanced pedagogical approach between the adult and child that takes into account the situated nature of learning and children's emergent competence. The model of task performance co-constructed between the researcher and the children in the study reported here is a direct response to this challenge. The qualitative study involved 28 seven-to eight-year-olds in a primary classroom in New Zealand and examined a total of 25 cases of children's task performances over a period of three months. Case examples are discussed in this article to demonstrate how the model can be used to analyse and assess children's thinking competence. It is argued that the findings discussed in this article could contribute to educational assessment methods.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

This document is currently not available here.