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Assessment of Giftedness in School-Age Children Using Measures of Intelligence or Cognitive Abilities

  • Tina M. Newman

Identifying those students who will benefit most from enriched or accelerated programs has been a controversial issue in many school districts. While many would agree that identification of students should follow from and match the program being offered, others feel that identification of students should precede and guide the type of program. In either case, the identification procedures take on an important role, and measures of intelligence or cognitive abilities have traditionally and continue to be widely used in this process. As other chapters in this book address, measures of intelligence or cognitive abilities represent only one aspect of a student. They do not measure motivation, creativity, or other important influences on a student’s success in school or in life. Nevertheless, intelligence or cognitive abilities measures are important predictors of school performance and future development, and they continue to be widely used in the process of gifted identification. Therefore, it is important to understand how best they can be used to assist students, families, teachers, and school districts in ensuring that students are developing to their full potential.

This chapter will present a brief history of tests of intelligence or cognitive abilities, particularly as to how they have been used in identification of students with gifts. Next, the chapter will explore theories of intelligence and how they have influenced the most commonly used measures of cognitive abilities. In addition, there is a discussion of some of the strengths and weaknesses of common measures of intelligence or cognitive abilities for gifted identification and how these tests can be used as part of a comprehensive assessment to develop a learning profile of a student. Finally, there is a discussion of some of the challenging and controversial issues facing those who use intelligence or cognitive abilities measures to identify students who have gifts, cultural factors in tests, and methods of testing and identifying students with both gifts and disabilities.

Keywords

Cognitive Ability Gifted Student Gifted Child Talented Student Gifted Education 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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  • Tina M. Newman

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