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Essentials of Gifted Assessment

Essentials of Gifted Assessment

Steven I. Pfeiffer

ISBN: 978-1-118-87316-8

Mar 2015

192 pages



An Up-to-Date Overview of the Theory and Practice Underlying Gifted Assessment

Essentials of Gifted Assessment introduces readers to the theory and practice underlying gifted assessment. Steven Pfeiffer, a leading expert in the field of gifted assessment, discusses what it means to be gifted, why we should identify gifted students, and the purposes of gifted assessment.

Well-organized and engaging, the book examines key principles of gifted assessment and provides an up-to-date overview of gifted assessment measures. Topics include the use of local norms, measuring creativity and motivation, nonverbal measures, the importance of recurring gifted assessment, multi-potentiality, gifted testing and minority group students, and evaluating the twice-exceptional student. Early identification and intervention greatly benefits gifted students, who may otherwise never realize their full potential. Throughout the book, Pfeiffer equips school psychologists with the tools they need to:

  • Identify and assess uniquely bright and talented students
  • Integrate multiple assessment measures including intelligence, cognitive ability, and achievement tests
  • Assess gifted students with coexisting disabilities and disorders
  • Promote the abilities of gifted students using evidence-based strategies

The book also includes extensive illustrative material, such as callout boxes and case examples, that facilitate use as a quick reference, plus end-of-chapter "Test Yourself" questions that help reinforce key concepts. Essentials of Gifted Assessment helps new and seasoned school psychologists and other professionals acquire the skills and knowledge needed for ethical, evidence-based, and informed clinical practice with high-ability students.

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Series Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

One Introduction to Gifted Assessment 1

Who Are the Gifted? 1

Brief History of Gifted Education 3

Giftedness as a Social Construction 6

Tripartite Model 7

Should We Identify Gifted Students? 13

Purposes of Gifted Assessment 14

Two Conceptions of Giftedness Guide Gifted Assessment 17

Traditional Psychometric View 19

Talent Development Models 21

Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent 22

Subotnik’s Developmental Transitions in Giftedness and Talent 23

Stanley’s Talent Search Model 27

Renzulli’s Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness 29

Expert Performance Perspective 30

Multiple Intelligences Model 32

Theory of Successful Intelligence: WICS 33

Synthesis of Divergent Views of Giftedness 35

Conclusion 40

Three Gifted Assessment: Guiding Principles and Fundamental Beliefs 44

Fundamental Beliefs of Gifted Assessment 44

Key Principles in Gifted Assessment 48

How We Define Gifted Is Important 48

Assessment Should Consider Types of Available Gifted Programs 49

Psychometrics Count 51

People, Not Test Scores, Should Make Diagnostic Decisions 52

Multiple Measures Are an Advantage 53

Local Norms and Recurring Assessment Are Advantages 53

Beliefs and Principles Conclusion 57

Decision-Making or Selection Models 58

Four Measuring Intellectual and Academic Ability 63

Why and When to Use Tests of Cognitive and Academic Ability 64

Where Does Abstract Reasoning Fit In? 65

What Tests of Cognitive Ability Measure 67

General and Specific Abilities 68

Hierarchical Models: Cattell-Horn-Carroll 68

Abstract Reasoning 70

General Intelligence (g) 71

Clinical Insights 73

General Ability Index 73

Clinical Considerations and Adaptations for High-Ability Students 75

Tests with High Ceilings 75

Testing the Limits 76

Extended Norms 77

Levels of Intellectual Giftedness 78

Some Popular IQ Tests Used in Gifted Assessment 79

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children—Fifth Edition 80

Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence—Fourth Edition 81

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition 82

Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities 83

Differential Ability Scales, Second Edition 84

Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition 85

Cognitive Assessment System, Second Edition 86

Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales 87

A Few Illustrative Academic Measures 88

Conclusion and Recommendations 88

Five Identifying and Assessing Creativity 92

Defining Creativity 92

Measuring Creativity 97

Divergent Thinking: Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking 97

Divergent Thinking: Profile of Creative Abilities 100

Self-Report: Abedi Test of Creativity 101

Teacher Checklist: Gifted Rating

Scales—Creativity Scale 102

Consensual Assessment Technique 104

Creativity, Intelligence, and Talent Development 106

Unanswered Questions 108

Six Alternative Gifted Assessment Methods 110

Teacher and Parent Nominations 110

Portfolio Assessment 111

Nonverbal Measures 115

Teacher Ratings 115

The GRS as a Measure of Change 124

Assessing Readiness for Grade Acceleration 124

Types of Acceleration 124

Iowa Acceleration Scale 126

Seven Frequently Asked Questions About Gifted Assessment 129

Six Questions 129

1. Should Nonverbal Tests Be Used as Part of Gifted Assessment, and If So, When? 130

2. How Should We Approach the Assessment and Identification of Typically Underrepresented Gifted Populations? 131

3. What Constitutes a Complete Gifted Assessment Test Battery? 134

4. Should Social Competence, Passion for Learning, Motivation, and Emotional Intelligence Be Included in Gifted Assessment? 135

5. Should We Be Concerned About Multipotentiality When Testing High-Ability Students? 137

6. Are There Any Recommendations for Assessment of the Twice-Exceptional Learner? 138

Concluding Comments 140

References 143

About the Author 163

Index 165