Theoretical Rationale




Personal Construct Psychology was proposed by George Kelly (1955).  He held the view that each of us is a scientist and that we have the capacity to represent our environment not just respond to it.  Kelly saw the person as an active anticipatory agent is his/her own life and that all our present interpretations of the world are subject to revision and replacement. His theory is useful for those who wish to understand teacher and learner thinking from the inside, from ‘the world of the lived experience from the point of view of those who live it’ (Scwandf, 1994). His approach encourages the experimenter to find out what the subject is thinking about rather than asking the subject to find out what the experimenter is thinking about. Techniques used are open-ended and are associated with other constructivist and interpretivist approaches.

My LID Series utilizes laddering, scaling and a variety of open-ended prompts to elicit the worldview of the child. It is an invaluable framework that helps us develop our understanding of how children make sense of themselves and the world.


Open-ended tasks and assessment techniques are used throughout the series to elicit the child’s view of themselves as learners and their views of the learning process. Open-ended tasks do not have correct answers or one particular answer. They take different forms in the series with gentle prompts and cues and offer opportunities for all learners even in the most diverse of classroom settings to participate in the task at hand.  Different learners may use different types of thinking and use of open ended assessment techniques and tasks encourage student-to-student interaction, may elicit more complete and more complex responses, encourage students to question themselves, their peers and their teachers and stimulate thought and exploration. Open-ended activities work well in mixed-ability classrooms because they have “low floors” and “high ceilings.” This means they require minimal background knowledge and also have high or no limits on the knowledge and skill participants might use and learn.

Opportunities to Respond (OTR), also referred to as Active Student Response Strategies (ASRS) may be defined simply as teacher behaviour that prompts or solicits a student response (Simonsen, Myers & DeLuca, 2010). OTRs invite all learners to actively respond to teacher prompts. Use of OTRs in the classroom supports pupil learning, engagement and assessment. Use of OTRs provides an effective means of supporting individual student assessment in whole class settings. In addition, obtaining frequent responses from students provides continual feedback for the teacher on student learning and the effectiveness of instructional tasks and teaching.

Self-assessment helps learners actively control their own learning process, and as such is an important step on the way to greater learner autonomy.

There is significant evidence to suggest that learners learn at a meaningful level from feedback from one another as well as giving feedback to each other (Falchikov, 2012). Peer assessments require learners to: take initiative and to demonstrate responsibility for their own learning; encourage learning through discussion and the development of collaborative skills. Peer assessment enhances learner motivation and interest and encourages metacognition. My LID Series contains several exemplars for use in peer assessment learning contexts.