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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

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

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  1. An aptitude perspective on talent: Implications for identifying academically talented children David Lohman Belin-Blank Center & Iowa Testing Programs University of Iowa

  2. 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

  3. Ways of measuring aptitude • 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

  4. Aptitude “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.

  5. Important Aptitudes for Academic Learning • 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

  6. Aptitude perspective • 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?

  7. We are more alike than some suggest … • 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.

  8. Using appropriate (multiple) norm or comparison groups • 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

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

  10. Talent identification as an ongoing process

  11. Main ideas • 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