An aptitude perspective on talent implications for identifying academically talented children
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An aptitude perspective on talent: Implications for identifying academically talented children . David Lohman Belin-Blank Center & Iowa Testing Programs University of Iowa. Going beyond national norms for school-based talent identification

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An aptitude perspective on talent implications for identifying academically talented children

An aptitude perspective on talent: Implications for identifying academically talented children

David Lohman

Belin-Blank Center & Iowa Testing Programs

University of Iowa


  • Going beyond national norms for school-based talent identification

  • As important for ability as for achievement test scores

  • Talent as an inference from performance conditioned on opportunity to learn

  • Change is always difficult, sometimes impossible for schools


Ways of measuring aptitude
Ways of measuring aptitude identification

  • Direct:

    • Learns in a few trials what takes others many trials to learn.

    • Opportunity to learn essential

  • Indirect :

    • Brings required (or helpful) cognitive, affective, & conative resources to the situation

    • Opportunity to learn is essential


Aptitude
Aptitude identification

“The degree of readiness to learn & perform well in a particular situation or domain.”

Corno, Cronbach et al., (2002) Remaking the concept of aptitude. Erlbaum.


Important aptitudes for academic learning
Important Aptitudes for Academic Learning identification

  • Cognition (knowing)

    • Domain knowledge & skill

    • Reasoning abilities in the symbol systems used to communicate knowledge (Verbal, Quant., Spatial)

  • Affection (feeling)

    • anxiety, interests, working alone/with others

  • Conation (willing)

    • persistence, impulsivity


Aptitude perspective
Aptitude perspective identification

  • What kind of expertise do you hope to attain?

  • What are the phases in its development?

  • Is there more than one route available for developing this competence?

  • What must a person know and be able to do in order to succeed in the educational systems that develop this expertise?


We are more alike than some suggest
We are more alike than some suggest … identification

  • Although OTL groups differ in mean scores on most measures of ability and achievement

  • Predictors of academic success in particular domains are the same for all ethnic and OTL groups studied.


Using appropriate multiple norm or comparison groups
Using appropriate (multiple) norm or comparison groups identification

  • If schools do not need national norms to identify promising runners or swimmers, then why are they mandatory for identifying promising scientists?

  • Especially when the consequence is not admission to a “gifted” program.

  • Importance of multiple perspectives – the nation, the district, the school, one or more OTL groups


Varied levels of instructional support

Varied levels of instructional support identification

Matching the level of instructional challenge and support to the current academic development of the student.



Main ideas
Main ideas identification

  • A comprehensive perspective on talent development is helpful

  • Differentiated measures of ability & achievement are much more useful than composite scores

  • All children must bring the same cognitive, affective, & conative resources to the learning context

  • Inferences of ability or talent ALWAYS assume conditioning on OTL

  • Using existing measures in this way is not difficult and, in fact, quite helpful


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