TESTEN - LPAD - Learning Potential Assessment Device

The Learning Potential Assessment Device (LPAD)
The LPAD is a procedure and a set of instruments that enable us to evaluate the learning process and identify the individual’s cognitive functions, operations and problem solving strategies. The LPAD is based on Feuerstein’s theory of Structural Cognitive Modifiability, which proposes that intelligence is dynamic and modifiable, not static or fixed. LPAD offers a viable alternative to static IQ type of tests, because it focuses on the learners’ dynamic potential or propensity rather than their current performance level. The LPAD has an interactive nature with the evaluator actively mediating to the student in the process of assessment.

The goals and procedures of LPAD differ in principle from those of static assessment. The LPAD is process rather than product oriented, it investigates the learner’s process of reasoning rather than the quantifiable answers. LPAD compares the learner’s performance to his or her own performance at different times and different conditions, rather than to the age norm. LPAD evaluates individual learning propensity and cognitive modifiability rather than the current level of performance. LPAD actively produces in the learner a sample of cognitive changes and uses them for evaluation. The outcome of LPAD procedure is a descriptive profile of modifiability that includes the area of cognitive change and degree of change. On the basis of LPAD assessments recommendations are made regarding the psycho-educational intervention, which often includes the Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) program.

The LPAD battery consists of 15 instruments aimed at assessing cognitive processes related to perception, attention, memory, problem-solving, and logical reasoning, including: Organization of Dots, Complex Figure Drawing Test, Reversal Test, Diffuse Attention Test (Lahy), Positional Learning Test, Plateaux Test, Associative Recall (Functional Reduction and Part-Whole), 16 Word Memory Test, Tri-Modal Analogies, Raven Colored Progressive Matrices and Standard Progressive Matrices, Set Variations B-8 to B-12, Set Variations I, Set Variations II, Representational Stencil Design Test (RSDT), Numerical Progressions, Organizer.

LPAD assessment can be carried out both individually and in a group format (10-15 students per group) with a wide range of clients and for a variety of goals. For example, LPAD can be used for assessing children with severe developmental, behavioral and learning problems and developing remediation programs for them. At the same time LPAD in a group format can also be used for selecting adult learners for professional training or pre-academic courses. Parents who would like to receive an LPAD assessment of their child may apply to the Clinical Services of the ICELP.

Training in LPAD is offered to psychologists, educators, speech and occupational therapists, and other professionals both at the ICELP and in the context of International Workshops. The training process includes acquaintance with LPAD instruments, supervised assessment experience, and report writing.

Over the years a considerable body of research literature has been accumulated on the LPAD method, comparison between LPAD and static assessment methods, as well as LPAD and other dynamic assessment methods (see Bibliography). A new revised edition of the foundational study by Reuven Feuerstein et al, The Dynamic Assessment of Cognitive Modifiability was published by ICELP Press in 2002 (see Publications).

Learning Propensity Assessment Device-Basic (LPAD-B)
Target Population: The LPAD-B is an approach to the dynamic assessment of cognitive functions, based on Feuerstein’s theory of structural cognitive modifiability (SCM) and mediated learning experience (MLE) (see elsewhere in this website for descriptions of these concepts). The LPAD-B is directed toward the young child, from approximately three to six or seven years of age, and those older learners who are severely low functioning. In many instances, successful mediation of the instruments of the LPAD-B prepares the learner for the LPAD-Standard, and allows for the further assessment of higher cognitive functions and potential for modifiability. Appropriate candidates for an assessment of this type are those who have presented special learning and developmental needs, or those learners for whom questions of learning potential have been raised.

Goals of the Instruments: There are three important goals of the LPAD-B: assessment of the learner’s needs for and amenability to processes of prevention, acceleration, and/or remediation. For each of these goals, both the content (the specific necessary concepts and skills) and the processes (available strategies, openness to mediation, adaptability) of learning must be assessed, and mediated for the learner to explore the cognitive functions and adaptive potential for change.

Assessment Process and Instruments: The assessment is conducted through a combination of formal and informal evaluation activities. There are currently 16 formal instruments in the LPAD-B battery, organized into four areas:

  1. Perceptual-Motor Development: Complex Figure Drawing, Visual Transport, Spatial Orientation, Mazes;
  2. Memory: Memory in Two Modalities, Associative Recall: Part-Whole & Functional
  3. Concept Development: Progressions, Concept Formation, Part-Whole & Functional Part-Whole;
  4. Abstract Thinking: Test for Inferential Thinking, Absurdities, Picture Assembly.

Manipulative puzzles, both flat and three dimensional, are also used to bridge perceptual-motor and concept development functions. Informal assessment occurs through the mediation of pre-requisite skills (concepts and processes necessary to build readiness for the more formal responding, and the mediation that occurs during the general assessment process). The model for dynamic assessment presents the examinee with a cycle of “test-observe-mediate-test-observe-mediate, etc.” The LPAD-B examiner selects from among the instruments a “battery” of tools that enable a systematic and comprehensive assessment, leading to the formulation of a “picture” of functioning, areas of change, response to mediation, and nature of the modifiability observed (a Profile of Modifiability).

Available Materials: LPAD-B Examiner’s Assessment Materials and Examiner’s Manual (in preparation) available only upon the completion of an authorized training experience.

Training Models: The use of the LPAD-B requires the participation in a training workshop, conducted by an ICELP authorized trainer. The purpose of training is to give the examiner a foundation in the theory of SCM and MLE, an understanding of dynamic assessment, and practice with the specific instruments of the battery. The workshop usually comprises lectures, seminars, practice experience and the completion of a written report of an assessment to gain certification as an LPAD-B practitioner (for further information regarding methodology, programs of training, costs of training, please contact ICELP


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