Department of Education

Joshua McGrane

Deputy Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment & Associate Professor

Dr Joshua McGrane is Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment. He completed his university medal-winning PhD in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Sydney.

He has been a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia and also worked as a Psychometrician for the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) in the New South Wales Department of Education. This has provided him with extensive experience in academic and government contexts in education, including psychometric analyses and innovation of state and national-level educational assessments. At OUCEA, Josh’s Research Fellowship is funded by AQA. His research and teaching interests span the conceptual, empirical and statistical aspects of psychometrics and educational assessment. This includes questioning and investigating the key philosophical assumptions of educational and psychological measurement, as well as their historical development.

His empirical research employs a range of psychometric models, in particular the Rasch model, for scale development and validation of cognitive and non-cognitive assessments. These include achievement tests, learning progressions, performance assessments and social attitude surveys. He is committed to the use of innovative methods to enhance the validity and reliability of educational assessments, to promote the role of assessment in improving educational outcomes, and to strengthen the connection between substantive and methodological theories.

Doctoral Applications

Josh would welcome informal contacts from prospective doctoral students interested in the following topics:

  • Psychometric modelling of cognitive and non-cognitive attributes in education
  • The history and philosophy of measurement in the social sciences
  • The use of innovative methodologies in educational assessment; Rasch and IRT modelling of educational and psychological data

Publications:

  • Featured Publications

    • McGrane, JA, Maul, A (2020) “The human sciences, models and metrological mythology”, Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2019.107346

    • McGrane, JA, Nowland, T (2017) “Likert or not, survey (in)validation requires explicit theories and true grit”, Measurement: interdisciplinary research and perspectives. Taylor & Francis (Routledge): STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15366367.2017.1369783

    • Maul, A, MCGRANE, JA (2017) “As Pragmatic as Theft Over Honest Toil: Disentangling Pragmatism From Operationalism”, Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives. Taylor & Francis (Routledge): STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15366367.2017.1342484

    • McGrane, JA (2015) “Educational Growth, Learning Progressions, and Metrological Simulacra: Putting the House in (Partial) Order”, Measurement.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15366367.2015.1105085

    • Humphry, SM, McGrane, JA (2015) “Equating a large-scale writing assessment using pairwise comparisons of performances”, Australian Educational Researcher.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-014-0168-6

    • McGrane, JA (2015) “Stevens’ forgotten crossroads: the divergent measurement traditions in the physical and psychological sciences from the mid-twentieth century”, Frontiers in Psychology. Frontiers Media.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00431

    • McGrane, JA, Butow, PN, Sze, M, Eisenbruch, M, Goldstein, D, King, MT (2014) “Assessing the invariance of a culturally competent multi-lingual unmet needs survey for immigrant and Australian-born cancer patients: a Rasch analysis.”, Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-014-0717-5

    • MCGRANE, JA “The bipolarity of attitudes: unfolding the implications of ambivalence”, Applied Psychological Measurement. SAGE Publications.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/0146621618762741

    • MCGRANE, JA, Humphry, SM, Heldsinger, SA “Applying a Thurstonian, two-stage method in the standardized assessment of writing”, Applied Measurement in Education. Taylor & Francis.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/08957347.2018.1495216

  • Book chapters

    • Lenkeit, J, McGrane, J “England”, In: IVS Mullis, MO Martin, S Goh (eds.) PIRLS 2016 Encyclopedia: Education Policy and Curriculum in Reading. Boston: Boston College, TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center.

    • MCGRANE, J “The curious case of Queensland and a middle way for senior schooling assessment”, In: Examination Standards: How measures and meanings differ around the world.

  • Conference papers

    • McGrane, JA, Lu, L, Turnbull, M Evaluating the reliability and validity of the English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) Learning Progression in NSW Government schools. (Washington DC)

    • McGrane, JA “Stevens’ forgotten crossroads: The divergent measurement traditions in the physical and psychological sciences from the mid-20th century.”, National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) Annual Meeting. (National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) Annual Meeting, San Francisco)

    • McGrane, JA Does attitudinal ambivalence necessitate the bivariate measurement of attitudes?. (Sydney)

  • Journal articles

    • McGrane, JA, Maul, A (2020) “The human sciences, models and metrological mythology”, Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation. 152
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.measurement.2019.107346

    • DOUBLE, KIT, MCGRANE, J, Stiff, J, HOPFENBECK, T (2019) “The importance of early phonics improvements for predicting later reading comprehension”, British Educational Research Journal.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3559

    • McGrane, JA, Nowland, T (2017) “Likert or not, survey (in)validation requires explicit theories and true grit”, Measurement: interdisciplinary research and perspectives. 15(2) 91-94.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15366367.2017.1369783

    • Maul, A, MCGRANE, JA (2017) “As Pragmatic as Theft Over Honest Toil: Disentangling Pragmatism From Operationalism”, Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research and Perspectives.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15366367.2017.1342484

    • Price, A, Oliver, M, McGrane, JA (2015) “What's working memory to do with it? A case study on teenagers”, Teaching Science. 61(2) 26-32.

    • Sze, M, Butow, P, Bell, M, Vaccaro, L, Dong, S, Eisenbruch, M, Jefford, M, Girgis, A, King, M, McGrane, J, Ng, W, Asghari, R, Parente, P, Liauw, W, Goldstein, D, Psycho-oncology Co-operative Research Group Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) TEAM (2015) “Migrant health in cancer: outcome disparities and the determinant role of migrant-specific variables.”, The oncologist. 20(5) 523-531.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2014-0274

    • McGrane, JA (2015) “Stevens’ forgotten crossroads: the divergent measurement traditions in the physical and psychological sciences from the mid-twentieth century”, Frontiers in Psychology. 6
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00431

    • Seo, D, McGrane, J, Taherbhai, H (2015) “The Role of Student Growth Percentiles in Monitoring Learning and Predicting Learning Outcomes”, Educational Assessment. 20(2) 151-163.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/10627197.2015.1028621

    • McGrane, JA (2015) “Educational Growth, Learning Progressions, and Metrological Simulacra: Putting the House in (Partial) Order”, Measurement. 13(3-4) 200-205.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/15366367.2015.1105085

    • Humphry, SM, McGrane, JA (2015) “Equating a large-scale writing assessment using pairwise comparisons of performances”, Australian Educational Researcher. 42(4) 443-460.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-014-0168-6

    • McGrane, JA, Butow, PN, Sze, M, Eisenbruch, M, Goldstein, D, King, MT (2014) “Assessing the invariance of a culturally competent multi-lingual unmet needs survey for immigrant and Australian-born cancer patients: a Rasch analysis.”, Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation. 23(10) 2819-2830.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-014-0717-5

    • Butow, PN, Bell, ML, Aldridge, LJ, Sze, M, Eisenbruch, M, Jefford, M, Schofield, P, Girgis, A, King, M, Duggal, PS, McGrane, J, Goldstein, D, Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Research Group (PoCoG) CALD team (2013) “Unmet needs in immigrant cancer survivors: a cross-sectional population-based study.”, Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 21(9) 2509-2520.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-013-1819-2

    • Butow, PN, Aldridge, L, Bell, ML, Sze, M, Eisenbruch, M, Jefford, M, Schofield, P, Girgis, A, King, M, Duggal-Beri, P, McGrane, J, Goldstein, D (2013) “Inferior health-related quality of life and psychological well-being in immigrant cancer survivors: a population-based study.”, European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990). 49(8) 1948-1956.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2013.01.011

    • Colagiuri, B, King, MT, Butow, PN, McGrane, JA, Luckett, T, Price, MA, Birney, DP, Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group, Australian Ovarian Cancer Study--Quality of Life Study Investigators (2012) “A comparison of the FACT-G and the Supportive Care Needs Survey (SCNS) in women with ovarian cancer: unidimensionality of constructs.”, Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation. 21(5) 887-897.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s11136-011-9993-5

    • Luckett, T, Goldstein, D, Butow, PN, Gebski, V, Aldridge, LJ, McGrane, J, Ng, W, King, MT (2011) “Psychological morbidity and quality of life of ethnic minority patients with cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.”, The Lancet. Oncology. 12(13) 1240-1248.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/s1470-2045(11)70212-1

    • McGrane, JA (2010) “Are psychological quantities and measurement relevant in the 21st century?”, Frontiers in Psychology.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00022

    • Humphry, SM, McGrane, JA (2010) “Is there a contradiction between the network and latent variable perspectives?”, The Behavioral and brain sciences. 33(2-3) 160-161.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1017/s0140525x10000786

    • McGrane, JA, White, FA (2007) “Differences in Anglo and Asian Australians' explicit and implicit prejudice and the attenuation of their implicit in-group bias”, Asian Journal of Social Psychology. 10(3) 204-210.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-839X.2007.00228.x

    • DOUBLE, KIT, MCGRANE, J, HOPFENBECK, T “The impact of peer assessment on academic performance: a meta-analysis of control group studies”, Educational Psychology Review.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-019-09510-3

    • MCGRANE, JA, Humphry, SM, Heldsinger, SA “Applying a Thurstonian, two-stage method in the standardized assessment of writing”, Applied Measurement in Education. 31(4) 297-297.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1080/08957347.2018.1495216

    • MCGRANE, JA “The bipolarity of attitudes: unfolding the implications of ambivalence”, Applied Psychological Measurement.
      DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/0146621618762741

  • Reports

    • McGrane, J, Stiff, J, Lenkeit, J, Hopfenbeck, TN, Baird, J (2017) Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS): National Report for England. London: Department for Education.

    • McGrane, J, Chan, J, Boggs, J, Hopfenbeck, T (2017) The assessment and moderation of writing with primary-aged students in contexts where English is the primary language of instruction: A systematic review.. Oxford University Press.

    • Humphry, S, McGrane, JA, Marais, I, Young, M, Seo, D, Wolfe, E, Song, T, Lazendic, G, Gregory, K, Lau, J National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) Technical Report.

Follow Us