Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Learning & Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Busk

Second Advisor

Xornam Apedoe

Third Advisor

Desiree Zerquera


The disjuncture-response dialectic proposes that the assessment development practices of Indigenous assessment developers exist within a broader environment where attention to broader themes such as settler colonialism (Wolfe, 2006) and Indigenous sovereignty is incorporated. To understand this dialectic, this study sought insight from Indigenous assessment developers about the issues they face when developing culturally specific assessments for use within their environments and settings.This study used a critical (Giroux, 1979; Horkheimer, 2018; McKenzie, 2012) comparative case study approach (Bartlett & Vavrus, 2017) with a convenience sample of three Indigenous assessment developers representing a cross-section of culturally specific assessment development projects across North America and Hawaiʻi. The data for this study were drawn from interviews with Indigenous assessment developers with whom the researcher has collaborated toward the development of culturally specific assessments. The study design incorporated a horizontal, transversal, and a pair of dialectical vertical axes to establish the framing of the interviews. The study findings indicate that Indigenous assessment developers situate measurement disjuncture and culturally specific assessment within larger oppositional structures that include settler colonialism, intellectual elimination, intellectual amplification, and Indigenous sovereignty. The establishment of the disjuncture-response dialectic as a theoretical framework has implications for both research and practice and lead to a generalized disjuncture-response dialectic as a wider theoretical framework that encompasses broader oppositional structures that exist in other fields and disciplines.