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OGT: Intelligence Tests & Gifted Children


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au

(Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: Intelligence Tests & Gifted Children
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:25:16 +1000

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OGT: Intelligence Tests & Gifted Children David Farmer
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KAYE MARCH asked...

>Do you know what tests are generally used by the education department (NSW)?
>We >were given an idea of the results but not the details of the testing. It
>took >the school counselor most of two days to complete the testing. My
>daughter >loved it.  She thought that the tests were the most interesting she
>had been >given and was disappointed when they were finished.

ANSWER:  There is remarkably little documented by the NSW Board of Studies
on what specific tests should be used.  Notably the Board's policy on
Accelerated Progression states 'that there should be a comprehensive
psycholoigcal evlauation of the child's intellectual functioning, academic
readiness and social-emotional maturity' (p.19).  However there is no
further detail provided.

The short answer is - testing should involve a mix of the 'best' (peer
reviewed) tests of aptitude and achievement skills.  This usually involved
the Wechsler tests of intellegience, and some of the ACER tests of
achievement - but the possiblities are endless.

*******************


>I know that this is a little outside the area for discussion but I am curious
>>to find out if specialists in your area ever consider physical assessments.
>My >daughter and quite a few others I know have been found to have gross motor
>>skill problems that add to the social difficulties they have as a result of
>>their giftedness (I am also aware that there is another group that also excel
>>physically).

ANSWER: - I can only answer this one from my own perspective...   I'm an
original export from W.A. (I wonder whether I should own up to that?) and
over there you could not see a Psych without having seen a medical
practitioner first, so we (Psychs) and medicos have a very close working
relationship.  In NSW this is not the case, but I have maintained a
practice of referring the child to (or back to) a medical practitioner to
review general health but most importantly the child's vision and hearing.
On ocassions I will also refer to OTs/physiotherapists if I am concerned
about motor skill development/competence.

Regards Gary.

 

Re: OGT: Gifted kids and emotional profiles etc


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: Gifted kids and emotional profiles etc
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:25:05 +1000

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David Farmer asked...

>Hi Gary,
>
>Are you saying that a wide diversity in strengths and weaknesses (of aptitude
>and achievement skills) is quite normal for children and shouldn't surprise
>us?

ANSWER:   We all vary in our strengths and weaknesses (children included).
However the statistical structure of the achievement and aptitude tests are
such that signficant differences within a profile can be associated with
profiles of 'known' sub-populations such as Gifted and Learning Disabled;
Dyslexic and ADHD etc. etc.  Some variations are normal.  Some extreme
variations may also be normal.  Other variations (usually of substantive)
may be of significant clinical and educational concern and warrant
immediate intervention.

******************

>>> d)  What else should be tested? - On occasions, consideration needs to
>be given to a more wide ranging neuropsychological assessment for a
>child. In this instance testing may need to include a review of higher mental
>processes and critical thinking.<<What sort of occasions?

ANSWER:  When the 'variations' (discussed above) are of such a significant
size/discrepancy, and cannot be adequately explained in the context of
day-to-day life, health status, home and school behaviour.  Or when there
are additional environmental factors involved e/g/ head injuries, drugs,
illnesses etc.


********************

>Are cases where the children's behavioural problems are attributable to
>unusual or "poor" parenting common? I am thinking that gifted children
>probably come from more atypical families than most, and for good and
>ill these atypical families might lead to atypical behaviour in the
>children.


ANSWER:  I must draw limits in answering 'general' questions too generally!
It's on a par with making racial/cultural/gender -based comments - there
are always multiple exceptions to the (flawed?) rules...  One thing that I
will say is that (in my experience) I find it rare to be contacted by
parents of a 'gifted' child who are not actively 'involved' and 'engaged'
in the process of parenting their children - hence truly 'poor' parenting,
even if identified, can be fairly quickly modified because of the
motivation of the parents to change.

The 'atypical' notion I would subscribe to (however I would not include a
negative value lable on such a term).  I am yet to find in the research
literature, any methodologically strong work that identifies socio-economic
variables in the prevalence of 'gifted' children.  However I would suspect
that intellectually strong children who are brought up in an environment
that values an individual's ability to articulate and express themselves
verbally would be a strong predictor.  Schopenhauer (a philosopher - I'd
have to search for the reference) often talked about the "Ubermenschen" (I
hope I go that right) - individuals who separated themselves from the
'herd', and I believe our gifted and talented children define themselves
well in this category.  Yet we as a society (especially Australia)
unfortunately value 'average' and 'typical'.

Hence I would be saying three cheers for 'atypical'.

A certain crowd scene out of Monty Python's Life of Brian comes to mind
with the crowd saying 'We're all individuals' and Brian says 'I'm not...'

Regards Gary.


*************************************

 

Re: OGT: Intelligence Tests & Gifted Children


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: Intelligence Tests & Gifted Children
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:25:00 +1000

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Leslie Schneider asked...

>Hi Gary,
>
>I'd like some clarificaton on what information and reporting are
>*routinely* provided after an assessment, eg. WISC III and some
>achievement tests.

[Leslie's questions on access, ownership, and reporting standards follow...]


                             *****************

>- Do you need to make a specific request for a written report or is
>that done as a matter of course?
>
>- Should I receive a full copy of subtest scores, IQ scores (full scale,
>verbal & performance) as well as achievement test score?

In order to respond, I need to differentiate between school psychologists
and myself and my colleagues in private practice.

SCHOOL BASED ASSESSMENTS
Any assessments carried out by a School Psych is owned by the School, and
may or may not have a report generated.  Depending on which state of
Australia you are in, you may be able to access this direct from the school
or need to put in a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request (e.g. NSW
fee: $27.00) a complicating factor is that the Education Department may
'choose' to release this information only to another Psych, which may mean
you then need to see a Psych in private practice to get these
results/reports explained to you.

PRIVATE PSYCH ASSESSMENTS
Market forces apply here, so you generally get what you pay for.
Assessments need to be negotiated before you start - results only, results
plus report etc. etc. - more imte involved = more money.  However the
important thing to keep in mind is that a number between 50 and 145 (IQ
range) is not going to solve many of the problems that motivated you to
seek an assessment in the first place.

                            *************

>- To what extent are the results of any testing the "property" of the
>person administering the assessment versusthe person who has paid for
>the assessment ( re. a medical practitioner's clinical notes are his/her
>property, not the patient's)?



OWNERSHIP OF ASSESSMENTS
Ownership differs between public and privately funded organisations (e.g.
schools versus private practitioners).  Schools/hospitals etc are subject
to Freedom of Information Legislation (see above).

Private practice is a totally different kettle of fish.  The High Court
established that there was no contractual right for a patient to have
access to medical records of private practitioners (Breen v Williams, 1996,
70 ALJR 7720.  While not tested, there is an implication that this would
apply to psychological records as well.

However there is usually a standard applied that patients can always have
access to any documents released to the 'public domain' i.e.
letters/reports that are sent to yourself/docotrs/schools etc.  The actual
test protocols that lead to the generation of these documents are usually
NEVER released due to the licensing agreements we sign as psychologists to
buy intelligence tests - to maintain the security of these tests.


                            *******************

>Any further comments about the 'etiquette' of the assessment process, and
>what one should expect would be appreciated!

Let's assume we are talking about the WISC-III for the moment.
In an assessment like this, an indication of Verbal, Performance and Full
Scale (and the four factors) results is not unreasonable.  These can be
expressed as ranges (90% or 95% confidence limits (i.e. Verbal IQ =
130-140) or as percentiles (e.g. Leslie scored on the 95th percentile).  I
suspect it would be rare to find someone who will provide 'exact' scores -
...I've been doing this for some years and I am yet to produce an 'exact'
result!

Irrespective of whether the WISC-III is used, some description of what
tests were used and what results were returned is quite a 'reasonable'
expectation.

The 'etiquette' is to ensure
        a) the Psychologist adheres to our Professional Code of Conduct (of
which our Membership to the Aust. Psych. Society is also subject),
        b) the interests of the client/patient are upheld at all times,
        c) the security and integrity of the tests we use are maintained,
        d) effective cooperation, liaison and communication between
professionals and referring parties is achieved.

Obviously item (d) is open to much variation.  The maxim of 'Buyer beware'
applies to psychology just as much as it does to any other activity of
commercial interactions.  In the event you are not sastisfied with the
assessment/reporting service you have purchased, in the first instance
communicate that to the person who carried it out.  Failing an adequate
response there in the (State name) Psychologists Registration Board, and
the Aust Psychological Society - both organisations are able to take
formal, and on occasions, drastic action against a psychologist who isn't
up to scratch.

Thanks Leslie for the questions.  I wonder if I'll be this communicative by
the end of this conference?  :)

Regards Gary.

 

Re: OGT:


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT:
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:25:26 +1000

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Julie Pickett asked...

>Hi Gary,
>>
>>>>c) Aptitude testing vs Achievement testing ?  - both of these issues
>>should be reviewed within any testing session.  Is this only when
>>specifically >testing for giftedness, or would you expect a combination of
>>tests to be used >in most cases?

ANSWER:  From a School Psychologist's point of view (and I am not one - so
this needs to be taken with a grain of salt...), I could imagine that they
could go silly testing kids from dawn 'til dusk and not make a dent in
their student population.  Hence I would suspect at schools, an Ed Psych
would be likely to use only the minimum tests possible (due to time, and
demand issues alone) to effectively answer any referral question.  Out of
school (i.e. private sector), it would be a question of what you are
prepared to pay for...  but in this instance I would suspect more than
likely you would see a combination.

Regards Gary.


*************************************

 

Re: OGT: (Bill Forbes)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: (Bill Forbes)
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 12:44:31 +1000

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>Greetings David, Gary, and all:

Bill Asked...
(See Below)

ANSWER:  Yes.  I don't agree with Howard.  No.  and Great.

(I think that should cover all possible responses to Bill's comments.  But
the bottom line is that 'observation' (regardless of in how many settings)
becomes by definition a defacto 'assessment'.  The trouble is 'observation'
unless structured, codified, quantified and standardardised - becomes
'subjective' and 'qualitative' - which is ok as long as you don't want to
compare your observations within or between groups of people.  The point at
which comparison is sought then becomes the point you want to compare
apples with apples and not apples with spherical objects that may be red or
green and can be consumed.

Regards Gary.

*****************
Bill Forbes wrote:
In his writings and again at the "Using Your Brain" conference in Melbourne
>in January, Howard Gardner makes the point that no intelligence test has at
>its base a theory of just what it is that constitutes intelligence. Rather,
>most tests are indicators of likely school success with heavy emphasis on
>language and mathematics skills. The tests are designed empirically and the
>test of their validity  would seem to be how successful they are as
>predictors within the fairly narrow domain of passing school and public
>exams. Presumably this is why many high IQ scorers do not necessarily go on
>to make significant achievements in the wider world, as you have said,
>Gary.
>I think we are all very dependent on testing to identify gifted children;
>some of the participants at the Melbourne conference were uncomfortable
>with Gardner's reluctance to provide tests to measure his 8
>"intelligences". He recommends that identification should occur through
>observing _performance_ in different settings (such as the children's
>museum). Another aspect of Gardner's approach is that value is placed on
>other abilities than verbal or mathematical so that not only is the
>identification broadened but so also is the educational setting in which
>the abilities are then developed. I have seen such settings at the Roeper
>School in Detroit and also at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
>near Chicago, the latter being a public, selective fully boarding senior
>high school (years 10-12), and statistics show that students from these
>schools are still successful in gaining entry to prestigious colleges
>despite deviating from the traditional preparation process for selection.
>Longitudinal studies at IMSA are in place to track the future lives of its
>graduates, and I for one will not be surprised if there is evidence of them
>being more than exam-passing successes.
>Getting back to the topic of testing, however, my feeling is that
>_achievement tests_ that identify whether a student would be better
>challenged by working at a higher level than age peers are a valuable
>source of information that go wider than IQ tests. I believe that St Ives
>primary school has been using the EXPLORE tests that are used for talent
>searching in Iowa in the US, and that they have been a great success. At
>the school where I teach I hope to make use of the same tests this year.
>These tests are designed by American College Testing and are "off level". I
>will report later if I'm successful in getting them introduced.
>Finally, I admit to my own dependence on IQ tests to confirm that a child
>is not only observed to be potentially gifted but that they can get a high
>score on a school-success predictor as well!
>Cheers
>Bill Forbes
>Cranbrook School
>Sydney
>bforbes@ozemail.com.au


*************************************

 

OGT: Re: OGT (Response to Tracy Chaloner)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: Re: OGT (Response to Tracy Chaloner)
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 16:02:51 +1000

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Tracy Chaloner asked...

>Gary,
>
>I'd like to know what the top IQ is. Ibelieve that the WISC-III and WPPSI-R
>both have a ceiling of 160. How then do we know if a child is exceptionally
>gifted or profoundly gifted (using Miracca Gross' criteria of 160 and 180
>IQ respectively)? I have often asked to have the Stanford-Binet LM
>administered but no one wants to use it; it is old, out of date and
>discriminatory they say. How then do you really know?

ANSWER:  It varies depending on the test)s) used.  But most range up to
155.  Some tests such as the Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary
Students go up to 158.  The Slosson Intelligence Test-Revised (SIT-R) goes
up to 164.  The Stanford-Binet (Form LM) 'only' goes up to 170.  The
benefit of the Binet (LM) is that a traditional IQ (Mental
Age/Chronological Age x 100/1) can be calculated;  then using the tables
provided in the 1960 version of this test, it is possible to calculate a
'deviation IQ' (which is what most tests use these days.  But regardles,
either of these allow the possible IQ result to exceed 160.  Using this
method, I've had a couple of kids exceed the 180 mark, and one exceed the
190 mark.   But...

The most important thing to keep in mind is that normative data are
constructed to fit the bell curve (or the poisson distribution).  As part
of the theory surrounding 'standard scores' , point estimates at more than
two standard deviations up from the mean (mean = 100, standard deviation =
15) should always be used with caution (that's why you always tend to see
'confidence limits' with IQ scores).  There is a well known principle that
the error of measurement is larger at the extremes of such a distribution.
Hence with the assessment of Gifted children whose results may already 3 or
4 standard deviations beyond the mean, our level of 'confidence' in these
scores is shaky at best  (We probably just don't own up to this as much as
we should).


********************

>>Also, if a child scores in the 99.9%ile what really is their IQ. On the
>tests they give an IQ that appears to be THE IQ (seems to be from 150+).
>But knowing that the tests ceiling, how do you ever really know what their
>true ceiling is and does it really matter? Does it give us a better picture
>of the child? Going on from that, is it appropriate to use the IQ as a
>quotient i.e. child of 7 with IQ 150, should they be achieving at age 10.5
>and so  then plan a curriculum around that?


ANSWER:   When you are told that a child scores above 99.9% of their
population, the next step is obviously to try and find the most appropriate
population where that child's performances will not be so extreme (assuming
an accuarate assessment).  That's when Mean Age Equivalent scores or Test
Age Equivalent scores are often employed.  By definition these scores are
derived on the basis of which an 'average age-group' would achieve a
similar result.  As with estimating scores at the extremes of a bell-curve,
there are theoretical problems with this process and caution should be the
key word.

Bottom line - yes an 'average test age' can be calculated, and that's what
(I think) you are asking above.   But there is significant uncertainty (in
statistical terms) with this process and I would alwys defer back to the
school to employ current criterion-referenced tests to get this type of
result.

***********************

>>When a child is administered achievement tests such as reading and
>spelling, does it really reflect the true ability of the child? i.e. child
>scores age 12.3 on reading comprehension test, can child really work at
>that level? or child scores 10.0 on spelling test, is that the level of
>spelling the child should be starting at? Do these tests take into account
>actual achievement or potential achievement?


ANSWER:  We're mixing metaphors here talking about achievement and ability.

An achievement test is a good measure of "how far have we come" (i.e.
distance travelled)
An ability test (usually referring to aptitude) is a good measure of "how
much horsepower is under the bonnet".

Both have some statistical strength in predicting future achievement,
though reaserch has shown that aptitude measures (for children over 6
years) are a far better 'predictor' than achievement tests.

Age based scores need to be taken with caution (see above) and again I
would defer to a school to implement end of year criterion-based
assessments.


*****************************

>>Is there testing that discriminates between a child that works very hard
>and scores highly and a child that doesn't work at all and scores highly?


ANSWER:  Short answer is NO.  There's a Motivational Analysis Questionnaire
(sorry for adults only). but there is very little that pertains
specifically to children other than personality/emotional assessments - and
clinical 'guesses'.  Only time will differentiate between the child who is
working vs the child who is 'coasting' due to a lack of depth in their
respective knowledges (the 'deepest' one coming from hard work).  It is one
thing to be 'bright', it is another thing altogether to be well-educated,
and often the brightest kids don't fare well because they have not had
their most optimal education.  The challenge for parents of gifted kids is
to provide an environment that encourages/challenges them to work hard and
apply themselves.

[Please don't ask me what the 'best' way of doing this is, I hate saying 'I
don't know'  ;-)   ].


>Is one gifted and the other just a hard worker? Do the standard Weschler
>tests look at reasoning and critical thinking abilities as well as the
>language and mathematics side?

ANSWER:   Yes.  (to both)  There are books available on the 'clinical
information' that can be derived from the Weschler tests.  These tests were
originally conceived by a clinician for this very purpose.  The question
that needs to be asked is how much information is obtained and communicated
from a standard assessment - and how much is used.  Quite often these tests
are applied for the end (IQ) score only, which is on a par with wearing
your raincoat in the shower.  You have still had a shower, but you've
missed out on a hell of a lot in the process!

Regards Gary.

 

Re: OGT: Coaching and IQ tests/General Aptitude tests


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: Coaching and IQ tests/General Aptitude tests
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 16:20:34 +1000

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Jan Gebels asked...

>Hello Gary
>
>Thanks for the opportunity for us to chew over some ideas with you.
>
>My question concerns the IQ test component the Selective High School exam
>(in NSW.  It is called the General Aptitude test - and carries a max of 100
>marks out of the total  of 300 marks.  It is widely acknowledged that these
>days most children who get into a selective high school have been
>coached/prepared.  This certainly happens for the English and Mathematics
>sections of the exam.  But what about the General Aptitude?  Is it possible
>for a child to be coached/prepared for this important part.
>
>If the answer is no - then thats good news.  If the answer is yes, then surely
>>the selective high schools in NSW will not be receive the most academically
>>able students, only the most coached students.


ANSWER:  Unfortunately YES.  In my idle moments some years back I did an
MBA which required me to sit the GMAT - Graduate Management Admissions Test
set by Harvard.  You cannot access the test - it's actually scored at
Harvard and returned to the University that is screening student
applications, but you can buy books, videos, cassettes, sample
questionnaires and even attend full-day (or week-long) workshops in the
U.S.  No soundtrack yet I'm told!  I muyst admit having that without having
bought a book and 'coached' myself, my own performance would have been less
than impressive.

The security of the General Aptitude Test is still fairly good, and as yet
there is little published on how to help you to 'improve' your performance.
But I suspect that's only a matter of time...

In terms of false positives - i.e. where selective schools enrol a student
based on a, shall we say, 'optimistic' GAT score, their performances would
most likely be revealed through the continous assessment process within the
school system. If the child is successfully 'swimming' good luck to them,
if they show signs of 'sinking' then I would suspect it wouldn't take the
school too long to identify.


***********************

>Finally, is it also possible to coach for an IQ test, administered properly
>by a trained psychologist?
>
>I ask these questions as someone basically in favour of IQ tests for the
>information they provide to parents/students/teachers alike.  They are a
>good tool to have in the workshop.   But are the results able to be
>manipulated?
>
>Thanks,  Jan


ANSWER:  Nice list of questions, Jan.  Like most things in life, practice
makes perfect and IQ tests are no different.  In fact all of our tests come
with test-retest standard errors of measurement that take into account
'practice effects' from doing these repeatedly.  I would like to hope that
any self-respecting Psych would not violate the integrity of these tests to
'coach' someoneto do them better.  On the other hand there are subtests
within IQ tests that are highly senstivie to practice effects and any
'properly trained' psychologist should have a reasonable chance of
detecting someone who has been 'coached'.

Regards Gary.


*************************************

 

OGT: Re: OGT - intelligence testing


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: Re: OGT - intelligence testing
Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 22:56:40 +1000

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Deborah Bensted asked...

Thank you for the information so far.
>
>My question...
>
>My daughter's class teacher recommended testing and advised using a
>private "well-known in the gifted area" assessment centre as the system
>within schools meant that usually children at the other end of the scale
>were tested.  That advice was received from others in the area.  I
>wondered why it made a difference -either the tests are reliable and
>valid or not.  So what influence does the tester ulitmately have on the
>results?  And will the recommendations the tester makes be dependent on
>their position regarding gifted education?

Good question.

ANSWER:  There are a number of reasons why you might choose to seek an
assessment from someone experienced in the gifted area. I believe the
importance of this question should not be taken lightly...

1.      The first and most obvious you dealt with yourself, and works on
the principle that you wouldn't take your grandmother to a paediatrician
but to a gerontologist or specialist in geriatric medicine.

2.      The second relates to having the knowledge of what tests to apply -
and we are yet to even start on the debate surrounding the Stanford-Binet
LM vs the Stanford Binet IV vs the WISC-III.  I have mentioned the SAGES
before - the Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Students, other
than this, there are a number of tests specifically targetting gifted and
talented students. A significant majority of psychologists would not have
heard of, much less used many of the specific assessments in the gifted
area.  That is not to be perjorative in any way but to identify the issue
of specialisation.  We are dealing with children with abilities who occur
at a rate of 1 in 1000, to 1 in 100,000.  Specific research studies aside,
I am fortunate in being able to assess on average about 2 to 3 children of
IQ 135+ each week, some of my colleagues may not see that many in their
careers.  Equally there are a multitude of sub-populations of individuals
(e.g. vision-impaired, hearing impaired children come to mind straight off)
who I would immediately refer to colleagues of mine on the basis that I had
little assessment experience with these individuals.

3.      The third issue and I believe the most important is that while the
tests give a score, but the content of the test process tells a story.  It
tells me how the child approaches problems spatially, verbally,
sequentially, simulataneously, analytically, holistically and so on, and
on.  The process also gives me an idea of how impulsive the child is versus
how deliberative, it tells me whether the child will persist, how attentive
s/he is - with or without supervision, their strategies on problem-solving,
their perseverance etc.  This clinical information and emotional profile
analysis together with their scores and information from parents,teacher
and school then allow me to suggest (in my opinion) whether there is a
'defensible' basis for an acceleration - subject or grade, single or
multiple steps.  I also combine that with the experience of my previous
recommendations - (especially some of my not so successful ones) to ensure
that the steps are taken are in the best interests of the child.

4.      And will the recommendations the tester makes be dependent on
their position regarding gifted education? - Quite possibly, and as
indicated in points #1, #2, and #3, the question is then begged - does the
tester have a 'position' on gifted education? - and that's precisely why
you want to see someone who at least knows something about the issue at
hand.


*****************

>>Ulitmately it seems that the recommendations of the tester are only as
>useful as the willingness of parents and teachers to heed them.  My
>experience at this stage is that the recommendations are read selectively
>and filtered accorded to the reader's understanding of gifted children.

ANSWER/COMMENT:  Ultimately, and sadly you are absolutely correct.  I have
visions of hearing my father talk about leading horses to water.  I must
have written about an ocean full of reports...  (mind you, there's the odd
few horses that I could have cheerfully given a bath to!!  ;-)

The filtering process can however, be subject to some degree of variation
of success.  Following an assessment I usually spend time with parents (and
with permission, schools) talking about tests, results and recommendations
- and most important implementation of these.  Many parents who have an
assessment of their child carried out, and receive a recommendation that
acceleration could be an option, often want that implemented by the school
immediately - and become frustrated at a perceived 'slowness' of the
'system' to respond.

Diplomacy rather than raw emotion tends always to be the victor, but that
is usually the hardest course of action when it is your own child involved
(n.b. I'm a parent too).  However one thing to keep in mind is that 'fast'
change by a system may often not be 'effective' nor long-term change, and
the only one who tends to pay the price for that is the child.  If Daniel
(aka Mum and Dad) intend to take on Goliath (aka the Education system, - no
offense intended), then the strategy needs to be considered, reasoned,
articulated well, and above all defensible.  I can recall having a child
referred to me (for reassessment) by a school after they had received a
telephone call from a parent to the Deputy Principal saying "my child's got
an IQ of 133. please take them out of Year two and start them in Year Four
on Monday" (the Deputy got the 'phone call on Friday morning!  ;-).

'nuff said?..

Thanks for the thanks, Deborah, I had this sinking thought that all my
learned responses had vanished into the ether...

Regards, Gary.


****************************

 

Re: OGT: (Leslie's Question)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: (Leslie's Question)
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 16:34:02 +1000

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Leslie Schneider asked:

>>Aptitude testing vs Achievement testing ?  - both of these issues
>>should be reviewed within any testing session.  I am amazed at how
>>frequently 'Gifted' children who are referred to me for an assessment,
>>suddenly become identified as 'Gifted & Learning Disabled (GLD)
>>following a much more extensive testing process.
>
>Could you expand on this, please?  What is sufficient for identification
>as GLD?

ANSWER:  The process of identification of 'Giftedness' I think we are aware
of by now (that is not to suggest we all agree on the process).
The process of identifying a 'Learning Disability' is not dissimilar,
though either (dare I say both) are not simple tasks.  In basic terms we
try to determine whether a child's learning abilities differ from their
assessed intellect, and if so, in what ways. This is also referred to as an
aptitude-achievment discrepancy.  One of the first signs of this,  is a
clinically significant difference favouring Performance IQ over Verbal IQ.
Having found that, the next step is to explain why.  We can have a global
verbal learning deficit, we can a specific language deficit (a dys-lexia, -
aka: disturbance of language - surface or deep), we can have an attentional
deficit that exacerbates poor verbal skill acquisition, and so on.

The notion of 'Gifted and Learning Disabled' as a blended concept is
largely attributable to Linda Silverman, who argued that asynchronous
development must in essence represent a combination of a series of
overdeveloped abilities with some underdeveloped abilities.  I think I can
safely leave the rest to her upcoming workshops - watch David Farmer's
notes for more information.

********************************


>What approach would you take with a child whose previous assessment was
>99%ile WISC III (including significantly lower scores for digit span,
>arithmetic and coding), probable learning disability/ies (as per
>achievement tests of spelling, oral reading & arithmetic) and probable AD/HD?
>How do you tease out the contribution of GT/LD/ADD to the overall picture?
>
>Please use these questions as starting points rather than limits!
>Sometimes it's difficult to pose the question that will provide the
>information one *really* wants without knowing the answer (or at least the
>jargon) first!
>:)

Thanks Leslie - wow, and this is only Day Two of the conference  ;-)

ANSWER:  First things first. The triad of subtests you refer to out of the
WISC-III (Arith, Digit Span and Coding) is actually a Quadrad, and includes
Symbol Search.  These 4 tests divide into 2 factors, namely  'Freedom from
Distractibility - FD' (Arith, Digit Span) and 'Processing Speed - PS'
(Coding & Symbol Search).  The factor names should be self-explantory.

Possible (as opposed to probable) learning disabiities start from a
depression of one or more of your 3 r's (reading, writing, and 'rithmetic),
compared with assessed intellect.  N.B. As you might have guessed, the guy
who coined the term '3 r's' was dyslexic!

Possible (as opposed to probable) ADD/ADHD 'questions' start from a
depression of one or both attention/concentration factors - FD and PS,
compared with assessed intellect, but the 3 r's could be quite intact.  We
then need to collect observational data from parents, family, teachers etc
regarding behaviour, activity (hyperactivity), impulsivity etc.  This needs
to be a consistent pattern of symptoms for at least six months and usually
well before the child is 7 years of age.

STRATEGY OF 'TEASING OUT':
a)  I would need to test IQ, learning and school achievement.  That gets us
to the 'GT' part.
b)  I would then need to reconcile IQ (profile), against achievement
testing (expressive and receptive) to try to sort out the 'LD' part.
c)  I would then employ longer tests of attentional function, and executive
function, and behavioural checklists for home and school to address the
'AD/HD' part.
d)  Somewhere in a,b, and c I need to work out whether one is causing the
other - e.g. am I so bright, I become bored; if I am bored I don't pay
attention (I don't learn and I miss out on the basics); if I am not paying
attention I am probably playing up (what else is there to do?).
 At the very least this scenario can be reworked into 3 or 4 other
variations of cause and effect.
e)  Having 'teased' all this out - what would I do?  Put it all together
and talk to Mum/Dad, Teacher and Family Dr.

I think that I have walked into the Land of Specifics about as far as I can
go...

Hope it helps

Regards Gary.

****************************

 

Re: OGT: IQ tests


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: IQ tests
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 16:33:55 +1000

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Wendy Hayes asked...

>Hello Gary,
>
>a. Please comment on the appropriateness of a WISC-III test to assess a
>9 year old already identified as profoundly gifted on a Stanford-Binet
>at age 5 years, and radically accelerated in primary school. The
>retesting was requested by his secondary school to assist in planning
>adequate and suitable provisions for this incoming student and was
>accompanied by achievement and socio-emotional testing. If there is a
>ceiling on the WISC, can it still be used to identify profoundly gifted
>children such as those in Miraca Gross's study?

ANSWER: Allow me to come at this one from two directions.
1)      There is a difference between the public school system and the
private school system in terms of what tests are used (and accepted) by
either system.  The public system has a greater demand for the WISC-III (in
some states I understand it is actually named in policies relating to
acceleration).  The private system allows more flexibility.  Both,
obviously, demand a defensible basis of testing and reporting.

2)      In a study that Professor Gross (Excetional Childrens Unit, UNSW)
and I have just completed in conjunction with Methodist Ladies College,
Burwood NSW comparing the WISC-III and the Stanford-Binet (LM) on 22
students of IQ >120  suggests (on cursory review of the data only) that
both tests are valuable but for very different reasons.  The structure and
conceptual base of these two tests are almost polar opposites, and without
taking this too far, a positive finding on both is not just duplicating
your first finding, but actually replicating it from a totally diffeent
angle.

3)      I'm glad I said I'd only respond in two points. Our study (point
#2) has shown that for some kids, the WISC-III is better than the Binet.
The challenge for Professor Gross and I is to work out the profile of these
kids!   The other issue to keep in mind is that the WISC-III does have a
ceiling, but at this stage we don't know whether your son has hit it.
From a position of logic, we are only going to know this after the fact.
From a parent's point of view, a 'test' (of intelligence) administered
well, is actually a great deal of fun for kids, so other than the
logistical hassles for you of getting it done (unless the school is
offering), I wouldn't have too many concerns.


****************************

>>b.  Any suggestions for the most suitable age to assess a child whose
>siblings are gifted, who suffers a learning difficulty.

Year One or Two (at the latest).



****************************


>>c. I have come across several clinical psychologists who will not
>divulge an IQ result as an absolute figure to the parents of the child
>who is tested (and have paid for the service). General descriptions such
>as moderately or highly gifted are provided. Is this a common practice,
>and can you discuss the possible reasons for this reluctance?

ANSWER:  I addressed this issue in an earlier OGT response (I'm on a
different computer now, so I can't reference it, but I posted it on
12.05.97).  Bottom line: Psychologists made a big contribution with the
development of the 'IQ'.  They made an equally awful contribution with the
abuses of this concept. Chidren were often excluded soley on the basis of
their  IQ.  The history of IQ testing originated in institutions, where
assessments were implemented in order to identify which child with
developmental disaiblities would respond to rehaiblitative efforts.   90
years after the introduction of IQs, we (Psychs) now have it drummed into
us at Uni. that IQs are NEVER to be divulged - which in some ways is the
pendulum swinging too far the other way.  Hence what we, (certainly me) do
is give out ranges - these can be numerical, i.e. 135 - 145 or descriptive
i.e. moderately gifted.

A statistical range works on the notion of uncertainty i.e. 10 + or - 1  =
9-11 Hence if you have been given the descriptor, and you ask for the
'range' that defines that descriptor, then you will know approximately
where your child is placed.  N.B. a child called 'Average' could range from
IQ of 90-110.

Hope that helps.

Regards, Gary.

****************************

 

Re: OGT: IQ tests (Qns from the Stewarts)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: IQ tests (Qns from the Stewarts)
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 10:02:14 +1000

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Angus and Jennie Stewart asked

>Hello Gary,
>We have an 11yo, year 7 at a local selective high school. She was tested at
>4y using Stanford-Binet and had a score of 150. At age 11 and with many
>characteristic signs, was tested for ADHD, which included a WISC III. This
>showed a discrepancy of 27 points between a verbal rating of 99.9th centile
>and a performance rating of 90th centile. A GADAPOL (? whatever that is ?)
>silent reading test gave a score of 16y 10months at age 10y and 10 months..
>Lowest scores were on visual organization and digit span. Does this mean
>that she has special areas or needs that we should be aware of/concerned
>about, and what are the implications of these apparent discrepancies.
>We have an 8yo assessed on WISC at 145, who is going well. Both these
>children have been successfully accelerated, although after about 6 months,
>the oldest seemed to have reached the ceiling again.

ANSWER (AND MY QUESTIONS):  When I posted my introduction to OGT one of my
conditions on facilitating discussions was:

c)  Given the distances involved (electronic and geographic), I will only
be able to talk in generalities - rather than with respect to particular
children.  However I am more than willing to pose possible questions and
ideas regarding cases that may not have been considered as yet.

I have no desire to stifle debate especially since this in the first OGT
Conference, but I think you will understand my need to step back from being
'child-specific' - I can end up moving out to a very thin end of a branch
if I do this.

# That being said, and given the detail that you provide OGT, my first
question is to ask why the assessing Psychologist has not dealt with these
questions?  My practice is to assess a child, write a report, and either
have a follow-up in office or telephone consultation with the parents.  Did
this happen?  If not why not?  Don't hesitate to ever walk into the office
of someone with a list of questions and work through them one by one until
you are satisfied with the response.  Believe me, I find that process far
more effective (and time efficient) rather than saying to parents - "well
you have received my report - any questions?'
#  The next issue is that an assessment should provide intervention
strategies, if not just a series of basic activities known to enhance the
particular skills under discussion - did you get any of these?
#  From a totally different angle, have you had your child's vision and
hearing checked recently?
What might be nice would be to return to your tester with these questions,
and then provide OGT with some feedback.


I will always welcome discussion with parents about these issues, and
direct them to additional support agencies (e.g. NSWGTC Assoc or SPELD Inc
for Learning Disabilities).  Bottom line is, no professional should be
offended with questions being asked about their assessment or their
interpretation/findings - in fact they should feel gratified that their
work has been taken seriously enough for people to think and question what
is meant.  The one issue that I would make clear to parents seeing me...
By all means get a second opinion, (I would 'shop' around buying a fridge -
my children are alot more important).  BUT - do me the courtesy of having
the right of reply should you seek further help or obtain a differing
opinion...  I may have already considered options x, y and z, but simply
not communicated that sufficiently.


*****************************

>We have a 6yo assessed by the school last week with 160 on a WISC III and
>are currently considering the options for her as the school has suggested
>acceleration to year 3. If 160 is the limit of the WISC III should we have
>another type of test done? How does the WISCIII compare with the Stanford
>Binet and do both tests pick up tendencies towards ADHD behaviour patterns.

ANSWER:  Can I ask you to review my comments to 'Leslie Schnieder's,
'Tracy Chaloner's questions that I posted on Monday and yesterday.
Regarding the specifics of ADHD and intelligence tests, they are but one
source of information - and an accurate finding should be the result of
collecting information from a multitude of sources.


*****************************

>Should we have our 3yo assessed or wait for evidence - although we don't
>have very good comparators for what's normal.
>Many thanks for this discussion list - as we gingerly tread this path it is
>empowering and comforting to have the experiences and opinions of others.

ANSWER:  Why test now?  Even if I tested your 3yo and concluded that s/he
has an IQ the size of a planet, what are we going to do then?  I generally
suggest to parents that testing is of value when the child is 6years + (or
at least late 5 years).  The other issue to keep in mind with early
assessments, is that the tests used for under 6yo's is very low on
educational content, hence the predicitive validity of a IQ result on a 3yo
is tenuous at best when leaping from that to possible achievement in a
school environment.

COMMENT:  The OGT conference process is new, and we need to identify the
best ways of making it worthwhile for all participants.  Please review
previous questions and answers that have been posted, and feel free to
return with supplmentary question(s).

Regards, Gary.

 

OGT: IQ tests (D.Farmer's & W.Hayes Qns)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests (D.Farmer's & W.Hayes Qns)
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 22:48:17 +1000

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                        Binet   vs  Wechsler (WISC)  etc.

David Farmer asked about some recent research...  Wendy Hayes asked a very
similar question about the differences between these two tests...

** Previously I had said...

>> 2)      In a study that Professor Gross (Excetional Childrens Unit, UNSW)
>> and I have just completed in conjunction with Methodist Ladies College,
>> Burwood NSW comparing the WISC-III and the Stanford-Binet (LM) on 22
>> students of IQ >120  suggests (on cursory review of the data only) that
>> both tests are valuable but for very different reasons.  The structure and
>> conceptual base of these two tests are almost polar opposites, and without
>> taking this too far, a positive finding on both is not just duplicating
>> your first finding, but actually replicating it from a totally diffeent
>> angle.

David then asked...

>Could you elaborate on the different reasons etc...

ANSWER:  Here goes...    The Binet Scales date back to the early 1900's and
are really the beginning of structured assessment of 'intelligence' as we
know it today.  It is a fascinating history [OK, it does depend on what
turns you on... :-)], but the tests orignated from the idea of identifying
children who would not benefit from teaching in (at that time) very
overcrowded schools in Paris.  Alfred Binet a member of the education
commission at the time decided to develop a 'screening' tool that could
help with this identification process.  To cut a long story short, Binet
developed his scale, he then got together with another guy - Theophile
Simon, and walla - you have the Binet-Simon Scales (circa 1905).  Then the
U.S. got hold of this, and of course out came the new improved product -
the Stanford Binet Scales (1912, then 1937, then 1960 - note the LM
version, then 1986 - version IV).

The philospophy of this test assumed a global (and measureable) concept of
intelligence - let's call it 'g'.  Binet argued that if 'g' could be
determined at particular ages (let's call this a 'mental age' or MA) and we
know that individual's chronological age - or CA, then we can divide MA by
CA and multiply by 100/1 then we get a quotient of intelligence (or an IQ).
This is the historical version of a 'ratio IQ'.

The Stanford Binet is structured along the following principles:

*  The Scale typifies years and discriminates child at an age level
*  For each age, the number of test items varied from between 6 - 12 items
per year
*  The Scale used a 50% rule on the basis of - 'if 50% got it right (at
that age), then an item was used in the scale'
*  The Scale had complicated scores, this was because the items at every
age were heterogeneous, that is, they sampled multiple domains of
behaviour/intellect at each level.

Then along came David Wechsler... He wanted a 'clinical' test which
identified and 'localised' brain function(s) as much as possible; which
highlighted the notion of verbal and non-verbal measures of intellect; and
which showed the varying degrees of ability within an age rather than
between ages.

The principles of the Wechsler Scales (WAIS, WISC, WPPSI) were then:
*  Point scored, not age scored - so an individual simply acquired a
'score' on items rather than credits for age.
*  The Wechsler test items are homogeneous, i.e. there is a Vocabulary
subtest, an information subtest, arithmetic, and so on.
*  The test is divided into subscales and combined for a total 'index' score
*  No age difference at adult level, rather than an ability deiference.
*  The 'index' score also called an IQ worked on the basis that the average
score was 100, and there was a standard deviation of 15 (hence this is
often referred to as a 'deviation IQ' and is the basis of what we use
today.

The benefit of the deviation IQ is that we can then apply a whole group of
test items to a set of children and we should see a 'normal distribution
(normal curve for the statisticians) of responses.

The differences then between the Binet scales and the Wechsler scales are
enormous and very important.  If I had my choice I would always use both
simply because you get more information.  The Binet (as in Stanford-binet
LM) can go much higher, as we have discussed earlier, but the Wechsler can
give me a clinical profile of the child's abilities which may be critical
if the child has any strengths or weaknesses to be identified.

Did that help??

*******************************


>Also how to teachers cope these days when they want to give an IQ test
>or equivalent to a whole class. I remember doing these when I was at
>school in the 1960s, but they seem to no longer be used.

ANSWER: Groups intelligence tests are still widely used, not so much by
teachers but moreso by school counsellors, unis, defence forces, police
recruiting etc.
What has happended since the 1960s is a great deal of 'tightening' up of
access to tests, and who can administer them etc., which is one of the main
reasons teachers don't use aptitude tests but certainly do use achievement
tests.

*******************************


>Apart from the politics, what sort of tests are available and what are
>their strengths and weaknesses?

I have an entire office full of tests, which include aptitude, achievement,
specific cognitive tests, educaitonal, vocational, emotional and
personality to name just general areas.  I think at last count I had about
three hundred different tests.  I'm not sure that I can address this
question much further...


Regards, Gary.

****************************

 

OGT: IQ tests (K. March's Qns)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests (K. March's Qns)
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 23:24:34 +1000

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Kaye came back with some follow-up quesitons...

>Gary,
>Thankyou for the time & effort you have put into this discussion.
>
>On reviewing your reply I thought of two further points.
>
>1. How useful it was to be told the reading & spelling ages that my daughter
>was operating at. This enabled us to liase with the librarian to find suitable
>books. What have other parents found the most useful type of information??
>
> The testing also gave the counselor a basis on which to comment about the
>likely success of our daughter's acceleration which was very comforting ( and
>as it turned out,  extremely accurate).


ANSWER/COMMENT:  This highlights the issue/beneift of assessing aptitude
and achievement.  It is not much good (if we talk about cars for a minute)
to know how fast a car can go or how much horsepower is under the bonnet
without knowing (in some way at least ) how far it has driven.  As Kaye has
pointed out, the benefit of knowing an achievement measure (at a age-based
result) is that it allows intervention to be targetted specifically at,
above or below a certian point, and then allows reassessment at another
point to see if the intervention was of value.

I'm pleased about the ACCURACY, its nice to hear about the good ones too.

Thanks Kaye.

****************************


>2. Do you think it would be wise if the testing was standardised? Would this
>lead to an inflexible system or would it be helpful when children are
>transferring to different schools? Maybe some of the teachers on the list
>could comment on the amount and type of information that is included with the
>files of students like this.
>
>Kaye


ANSWER:  Testing (if we are talking about intelligence) is standardised.
That's the benefit of the WISC-III for instance.  At last count it is in 15
languages around the world and the training I received, and that I give my
students, would be the same as that in the UK, the US or Europe etc.

I'm not sure about this 'leading to an inflexible system' or 'children
transferring...'  Please elaborate if you wish...

Regards, Gary.


****************************

 

OGT: IQ test (Libby's Qn)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ test (Libby's Qn)
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 23:37:49 +1000

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Libby Lee asked...

Hi Gary,
>
>I am wondering if you could comment on cultural bias of IQ testing and
>how this might impact on minority groups etc. What has been your
>experience in identifying gifted aboriginal or ESL students for example?
>
>Libby Lee


ANSWER: I do cultural testing from time to time, mainly for medico-legal
and employment assessment purposes, not often for kids.  However I have a
number of good 'culture fair' (note - not culture free) tests.  These
include the Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence (TONI-2); the Comprehensive
Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence (C-TONI), both of which are normed down to
about 7years (I think..), and have been validated on gifted populations;
they also have really high 'ceilings' and I have used them with gifted
children as a criterion measure against other tests.

I have not had the opportunity to assess any gifted Koori children, though
it would be great.  However I have been able to assess children from a huge
array of backgrounds and language mixes.

Appropo the cultural bias,  bias is introduced often because the tester is
unaware of cultural or language issues and/or has not chosen tests
carefully enough.  Similarly tests like the WISC-III can be given via a
partial administration using the non-verbal elements only to minimise such
a bias.

Regards Gary.

****************************

 

OGT: and IQ tests (Tracy's Qns.)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: and IQ tests (Tracy's Qns.)
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 09:53:14 +1000

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Tracy asked for a comment relating to assessments at the extreme ends of
the 'normal curve'...

David wrote:
>
>>The levels of giftedness are not overly fixed but generally are seen to
>>go like this (at least in terms of IQ scores)
>>
>>130-145 Gifted (or moderately gifted)
>>145-160 Highly gifted
>>160-175 Exceptionally gifted (or severely gifted)
>>175+    Profoundly gifted
>>
>>In broad terms they are meant to correspond to the bands for any
>>disability or variable condition - such as severely hearing impaired,
>>profoundly hearing impaired.
>
>I'd like to add that even IQ scores may not really identify the levels.
>When a child tests above 99%ile, the scores are at best uncertain (see OGT
>online conference re: IQ testing). Sometimes the %ile ranking seems to
>better express the level of the child's "intelligence" i.e. if a child
>scores in 99.9%ile on WPPSI or K-bit, they are given a score of around
>150+. This is seen to be in the  "highly gifted" range. But how do we know?
>You can't get higher than 99.9%ile on most tests so what is their true IQ?
>They may be exceptionally or even profoundly gifted and unless you have
>access to someone as skilled as Gary Banks, you may never know. The point
>is also that it probably doesn't matter, the child's behaviour and
>achievements ( or lack thereof) will direct you (as parents) the teachers
>and schools more than an IQ score.
>
>Out of interest, there are similar problems at the profoundly
>intellectually disabled end of the curve. Apparently tests do not
>discriminate below 40 IQ. This is also a problem for parents advocating for
>support for those children. (Gary, a comment perhaps?)


COMMENT:  The only thing I would add is to endorse your suggestion
regarding  behavioural observations of the child both at home and at
school, especially for children at either ends of the continuum.  The
critical issue to keep in mind is that there are alwyas going to be
exceptions to the rule and IQ testing is no different.  In manufacturing,
the major principle at work is the 80/20 rule - which is often applied to
everything, i.e. 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of our products, and so
on.  In computer programming you often find risk management procedures of
90/10 rules, i.e. a software product is released assuming that 90% of the
code is correct, or alternatively that only 10% of the code is wrong!

As I covered in my earlier responses to tests, we (psychs) use 'uncertainty
levels' which is probably more honest than many other professions regarding
difficulties with the work we do.  The trouble is, often these levels are
not communicated adequately either by the tester, nor understood by the
recipient.

I am constantly trying to drum into my students heads that testing is
simply a structured snap-shot (aka kodak moment) of life, and we 'could'
get just as much information by observation - the trouble is, it will take
us a much longer time to be able to collect the same amount of data and
information.  An IQ test is a way of sampling multiple domains of behaviour
in the shortest time possible.  Oberservation is still a critical (and
sometimes THE most critical) component within any assessment.

Regards, Gary.

 

OGT: IQ tests (D.Farmer's Qns)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests (D.Farmer's Qns)
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 10:07:43 +1000

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David picked up a critical point re WISC's and Binet's results - well done!

He asked...

>Gary K. Banks wrote:
>>
>>                         Binet   vs  Wechsler (WISC)  etc.
>>
>
>>...
>
>> The differences then between the Binet scales and the Wechsler scales are
>> enormous and very important.  If I had my choice I would always use both
>> simply because you get more information.  The Binet (as in Stanford-binet
>> LM) can go much higher, as we have discussed earlier, but the Wechsler can
>> give me a clinical profile of the child's abilities which may be critical
>> if the child has any strengths or weaknesses to be identified.
>>
>> Did that help??
>
>
>Certainly did, Gary. One problem though. I think I understood all the
>points you raised, but I don't understand why a WISC score can't also be
>seen as a ratio IQ - assumably there are still statistical means for
>various chronological ages.
>

ANSWER:  Given the stuructral differences between the Binet and the
Wechsler scales, direct comparison is always tenuous.  Let me address your
question this way...

The notion of a ratio IQ (mental age/chronological age x 100/1) is limited
because of the very concept - your chronological age keeps rising, but your
mental age doesn't, therefore (as much as our kids keep telling us...)
using this 'ratio' we must keep getting more stupid as we get older!

The deviation IQ takes this into account and simply looks at perfromance
levels within age bands - say 35-44 year olds and places those performances
on a normal distribution with 100 being the 'average performance, and so
on...

There is no point making a ratio IQ from a WISC result.   BUT!!! there is a
big point in making a deviation IQ out of a Binet (David, the reverse of
your idea...)  this is only possible using the Standford-Binet LM (1960)
version, but up until the age of 13 years, 11 months it is pooible to
transform a ratio IQ into a Deviation IQ (which then makes comparison of a
Binet result with a Wechsler result statistically a bit more defensible).

This was one of the findings Prof Gross and I found (we think) when we
looked at the data from our recent research - the Binet deviation IQs
correspond very well with the WISC IQs - despite nearly 30 years between
the normative populations  (...and you thought we were evolving and getting
smarter...;-)

Hope that helps,  - nice observation.

Regards, Gary.


*************************************

 

OGT: IQ tests (Angus & Jenny's Qn.)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests (Angus & Jenny's Qn.)
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 23:29:24 +1000

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Jennie asked:

>Dear Gary,
>Thankyou for the free flow of information and enlightenment you've lent to
>this discussion group.
>Could you please give some general guidelines on the 'ceilings' of the
>WISC-III and the Stanford-Binet tests. If a child scores 164+ at age 6 on
>the S-B should one bother with further testing, or is this sufficient to
>indicate their level of 'need' outside the 'norm'?
>Many thanks, Jennie

ANSWER:  The WISC-III has a ceiling of 160 for the IQs (i.e. Verbal,
Performance and Full Scale IQs) and 150 for the factors such as freedom
from distractibility and so on.

The Stanford Binet IV goes up to 164 - BUT - there are some fundamental
difficulties with its item selection when it was being established.  This
is one of the major reasons why (for example) UNSW Exceptional Children's
Unit will advocate use of the earlier edition - the Stanford-Binet LM.  The
beauty of the LM edition is that (if the child is young enough - usually
under say 12 years of age you can calculate a ratio IQ, and as discussed in
earlier postings - transform this into a deviation IQ (which essentially
menas that that test is 'relatively' without a ceiling.

In response to your sepcific question of a child scoring 164 on the S-B...

I would ask S-B - which one???  SB-LM or SB-IV ? This is important because
the LM works on cognitive domains within a ratio IQ stucture.  The SB-IV
followed current trends and included factor construction with deviation
IQs.  The reason I ask is simple - An IQ score is a summary measure made up
of dozens of responses to dozens of differing tasks.  Its on a par with
Douglas Adams deciding the answer to the Meaning of Life was '42' - our
problem is then the question...  With an IQ of 164, the question is then
'made up of what'? one specific talent?, three? or maybe 11 out of 13?
That sort of detail may be of critical importance in programming effective
strategies with the school teacher/school counsellor and home environment.

A WISC-III will always give you far more structured and detailed
information than an S-B.  But as I hope I have highlighted before, these
tests are now understood as being complementary, not replications of each
other.  The other issue is that assumptions are made of 'gifted' children
that their abilities are elevated in all areas.  In my experience I would
suggest this is a very rare occurrence, at which point if you accept that,
then the corollary is that the child has a profile of strengths and
weaknesses.  It may be of paramount importance that we identify the
weaknesses.  An IQ of 164 won't give you any idea of that.  A broad based
achievement and  aptitude battery of tests will.

Regards, Gary.




****************************

 

OGT: IQ tests (Lizette Campbell's Qns)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests (Lizette Campbell's Qns)
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 23:29:35 +1000

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Lizette Campbell, Child & Educational Psychologist commented and asked:


>I have been following the discussion with interest over the past week.  I
>would be very interested in your overall findings of the Binet vs the W-III.
>Are they going to be published somewhere?

ANSWER:  Yes. Data analysis currently underway, write up should be
occurring over the next few months.  Publishing at some point thereafter.
I'll get David Farmer to 'list' it on OGT at some point.

*******************************

I prefer the WISC-III for it's diagnostic properties, but am also much more
familiar with it, so I'm not sure if that's just a personal bias.  I also
agree that there is so much more information available from observation of
the processes as well as the behaviour of the child and from other skills
based measures and input from parents and teachers.  I am fascinated by
what "mistakes" tell us about the thinking of a child, but often people
simply mark something as wrong and don't look past that.
>
>Lizette Campbell, Child & Educational Psychologist


COMMENT:  I don't think your bias is unwarranted regarding preference for
the WISC-III.  It is simply a better test on a range of fronts, but as you
would have seen from some of the postings on the OGT, parents (and
sometimes schools) are still interested in finding out about what level the
child is operating at if s/he hits the top of the WISC-III.   I also
endorse your comments and share your concern, if not angst regarding the
(too often?) simplistic analysis and reporting of assessments.

Thanks for your comments, and please feel free to add/subtract or develop
any questions posted.

Regards, Gary.

****************************

 

Re: OGT: OLSAT/Slosson (Bill Forbes Qns)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: Re: OGT: OLSAT/Slosson (Bill Forbes Qns)
Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 23:29:46 +1000

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Bill Forbes asked about the OLSAT:

Dear Gary et al,
>Would anyone care to comment on the usefulness of the OLSAT tests? We use
>them at this school and tend to compare a student's class performance with
>the stanines, especially when he does not match up (as distinct from down)
>to these. They are also seen as powerful in the selection process of
>students for classes grouped by ability. My personal view is that they are
>useful for screening purposes but that's about it from the point of view of
>identifying giftedness. They also seem dependent on English language
>skills.
>I've heard it said that the Slosson tests might correlate well with WISC
>global scores. Is this anyone's experience?
>Does anyone else use the Slosson tests? Do you modify the questions to
>de-Americanise them?
>Cheers
>Bill Forbes

ANSWER:  I just read Lizette Campbell's comment on the OLSAT, and am in
total agreement.  Going back to the work that Prof Gross and I did, we have
OLSAT and SLOSSON results as well as Binet's and WISC-III and I suspect
that statistical analysis of our population will support Lizette's
observations.  I would echo your view that the OLSAT and SLOSSON are good
for screening purposes - but that's not about it, that's their purpose and
their benefit.  They are time-saving and very reliable.  I'm just in the
process of scoring the protocols of a child I assessed this morning on the
Slosson and the WISC-III.  Slosson was 138, WISC-III was 136 (FSIQ) - not
bad for a ten minute 'screen'.

Regards, Gary.



****************************

 

OGT: IQ tests (Wendy Hayes' Qn)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests (Wendy Hayes' Qn)
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 13:36:27 +1000

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Wendy Hayes commented/asked:

>Dear Gary,
>I am just coming to grips with some of the complexities of IQ testing as
>discussed on this forum, and hope that you could maybe direct a
>non-expert to some reading material to help me further understand the
>differences and strengths of the more frequently used tests.
>
>A question relating to one of our children - How do you effectively
>measure IQ in a 7 year old child with virtually NO reading or written
>language skills (verbally now OK apart from mixing of similar words and
>difficulty remembering particular words, he didn't speak any words at
>all till he was 3 years old). Appears to have the hallmarks of a fairly
>severe learning difficulty, which I'm only now starting to
>realize because it is disguised in a number of ways due to presence of
>other strengths.


ANSWER:  I understand you're from the 'bush' but given the vastness of
Australia that leaves a fair amount of the land mass to choose from.  It is
difficult to suggest resources to you without knowing where you are.
However if your 7 year old is speaking and communicating effectively, now
is a good time to have him assessed, and this would include an educational
and a behavioural review.  Depending on the findings (and where you are) a
review by a speech pathologist via your base hospital may also be
warranted.  The other issue is that standardised tests of intelligence such
as the WISC-III do not tap into 'reading' or 'writing' per se, but rather
the skills that underpin those abilities - so word knowledge at a
conceptual level, word usage and comprehension (all verbal - not written)
is assessed and so on.  Hence if your 7 year old is bright (i.e. aptitude)
it should be revealed in at least some way(s) via a profile test like the
WISC-III.

Alternatively the options of booking up a psych in your closest city for
the next school holidays would be another possibility.  As a matter of
booking priorities, I tend keep school holidays more freely available for
people from regional areas, and you would probably find most psychs will
endeavour to be as accomodating as possible if you need to travel to access
their services (at least I hope they are...:).

********************************

>I haven't yet comprehended what intellectual giftedness may mean in a
>child who has not been able to develop the tools to function to a high
>level, say in the language or mathematical area. Isn't it those skills
>which are needed to demonstrate high ability in IQ tests, and as
>opponents of the widespread use of IQ testing in the Melbourne press
>have been writing  this week, IQ tests measure ability to do well in IQ
>tests. But I know that this child thinks deeply and knows a lot and to a
>depth of understanding that confounds us sometimes. So, if we can't
>properly measure this by our testing, does that mean that he is not
>gifted by definition?


ANSWER:  I've missed the debate in the papers, but the topic rears its head
every few years, dies down, then reappears etc.  It is a reasonable
criticism to raise, albeit somewhat circular.  One of the most common
definitions of intelligence goes like this - "Intelligence is what
Intelligence tests test.'  So as the Melbourne press said IQ tests measure
ability to do well in IQ tests - which is great and exactly what we would
want them to do.  The next question relates to: what is the value of the
information about how well a child/person does on an IQ test, and even more
importantly - how does this relate to everyday life?

Surely if we believe a child 'thinks deeply' then that can be accessed by
an outsider, and if such an ability is accessible, then surely we can
measure it in some way; i.e. testing for it.  If we are clouding the issue
about 'predictions' from tests, then I share some of the concerns expressed
by the opponents.  If at age 7, Johnny has an IQ of 145 does that mean he
is going to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon. I don't know, but I
certainly do know that an IQ test WILL NOT tell me that either.  Johnny may
end up being a very successful white collar criminal - who know's?  But
long-term prognoistications from an IQ test are going to be tenuous guesses
at best, and on a par with reading tea-leaves at worst!

Alternatively if we took the approach the opponents of testing suggest - we
can always be like that frog who sits on the lilly pad - "sometimes I sits
and thinks, sometimes I just sits..." (But how the hell would you and I
know the difference?)

***********************************


>Thanks for your massive input to the forum and our collective wisdom in
>spite of the loss of your own. I could go on about getting our teeth
>into the subject but the general gnashing can be heard from out here in
>the bush. By understanding a little more about the subject I hope in the
>future to avoid some of the frustrations we have found in the past with
>testing. The experienced tester knows all about his findings and their
>significance, but since in the country that expert person rarely if ever
>is available for ongoing involvement in implementation of the
>recommendations it may be up to the parent as main advocate for his
>child to learn as much as possible.
>
>Thanks again.
>Wendy Hayes

ANSWER:  You are more than welcome - especially if it helps...

Regards, Gary


*************************************

 

OGT: Re IQ tests (Julie Pickett's Qn)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: Re IQ tests (Julie Pickett's Qn)
Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 12:18:35 +1000

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Julie Pickett asked:

>Hi Gary
>
>Thanks for your interesting information on the subject of intelligence tests.
>
>I have some general questions regarding tests that are done to select
>children in primary school for enrichment programs (in-house or pull-out)
>and also for tests done by testing agencies (ACEP) for private school
>scholarships.
>
>Do most states/schools in Australia use fairly standard tests or each
>administer their own?

ANSWER:  Obviously a variable issue throughout the land, however you will
find all states/schools will use some standardised tests with or without
additional elements that may be relevant to local issues.  By virtue of
being called 'standardised' it implies that the test material has been
applied to segmented age groups, and a response profile obtained within
each age/grade group that (theoretically at least) should follow the
confines of a 'standard curve' (or bell curve or normal distribution etc.).


**********************************

>Are these tests generally achievement or aptitude tests or a mixture of both?

ANSWER:  If we are talking schools, I would suspect that in the main
achievement-based tests would dominate, though at OC level, or selective
and enrichment program levels, I would think that a combination of the two
would be the order of the day.

*************************************

>Are the results based on the child's age eg 12 years 4 months or the child's
>grade level?

ANSWER:  You will find the more well-known and internationally available
tests will offer both age and grade equivalent scoring.  Again more
localised tests, by definition, usually have smaller samples that lead to
the generation of the norms and as such it would be more the exception that
the rule to see other than age-based scoring.

Hope that helps

Regards, Gary.


*************************************

 

OGT: IQ tests (Gayle's Qn)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests (Gayle's Qn)
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 23:16:37 +1000

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Gayle asked:


>>Hello Gary,
>>
>>Perhaps you have some advice for parents on choosing the person who
>>should conduct a test on your child.  I was first warned of this
>>when we had our eldest tested at the age of 4.  The ed. psychologist
>>who was recommended by the NAGC did a very good job and confirmed
>>our worst fears that we were very unlikely to find provision for our
>>child in any school (state or private)  However, she also warned us
>>to take care with tests or at least those giving the tests.
>>
>>The example she gave to illustrate this was that she held a glass
>>bottle up and asked him what was likely to be found in it.  The
>>answer she expected was milk or something similar.  He thought for
>>some time before offering liquids for the answer.   She said that
>>many testers without experience with gifted children would not have
>>waited long enough to get such an answer, but would have assumed that
>>the lack of a quick answer meant that he did not know.
>>
>>So we were lucky (or well advised by the local association) but how
>>otherwise can a parent judge who should test their children.
>>
>>Gayle
>>

ANSWER/COMMENT:  Gayle raises a valid point regarding the credibility of
practitioners within psychology who are prepared to indicate the limits of
their experience and training.
* As I have indicated in previous responses, the rules of the market place
apply just as much to psychology as they do to any other business
transaction (assuming we are talking about a fee paying interaction) -
above all, the maxim of Buyer Beware holds true.
* Equally, given the expense that is involved (anywhere from say $200 to
$500 or more) - shop around.  Ask what the assessment process will involve,
what tests will be used, what feedback you as the purchaser will get.
* Talk to Australian Psychological Society (the head office in Melbourne
maintains a 1800 telephone information service that will provide you with
members who indicate a speciality in this area, and are geographically
local.
* Talk to consumer groups, specailist schools, Universities offering degree
courses (or elements of one) and so on.
* Don't hesitate to ask the Psychologist what/where/when they did their
training and experience - and obviously how that training/work relates to
gifted kids etc.  One thing I can suggest - any Psych who is not prepared
to respond to these sort of questions - shouldn't be your first port of
call...

As my father used to say

'When all else fails - ask...'

(and) 'If in doubt - Don't...'

- I'm sure there is some sort of application for either of those two
sayings here.

hope that helps.

Regards, Gary.

****************************

 

OGT: IQ tests & creativity (Malcolm's Qn)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ tests & creativity (Malcolm's Qn)
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 23:16:44 +1000

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Malcolm Smith got the last question in:

>>
>>Hello Gary,
>>
>>I'm probably a bit slow off the mark here, but in your opening message you
>>stated.....
>>
>>Caution should be applied when testing someone who has
>>demonstrated high creativity, and for such people measures outside of IQ
>>testing may prove to be of great importance (Groth-Marnet, 1997 p.199).....
>>
>>Could you expand on this please? Is creativity a separate issue from I.Q.
>>and if so, how do you measure it (asuming it is relevant to the topic)?
>>
>>Regards, Malcolm.
>>
>>
>>
>>\../mmmmal    &     _%^^%_
>>                      J
>>                      =

ANSWER:  A tough one to finish the conference with...

If you look through the gifted literature you will find the notion of
'creativity' is tied very closely to the concept of 'giftedness', yet we
(psychs) have done only an average job of assessing this element of the
overall construct.

Hollingworth (1926) argued that 'a gifted child may be far more excellent
in some capacities than in others.
Throndike (1927) talked about social intelligence, concrete intelligence
and abstract intelligence.
Arieti's (1976) model of giftedness includes 'creativity' as a central
element; as does Renzulli's (1978) model.
Guildford's early work using factor analysis identified four factors -
comprehension, memory, evaluation and convergent production and a fifth
kind of intelligence - DIVERGENT PRODUCTION.
Getzel & Jackson (1962) said convergent thinking tends to be assessed
within intelligence tests, but such tests tend to neglect divergent
thinking - the ability to 'invent and innovate'.

How do we assess creativity?  How do I explain this one?  - A computer term
immediately comes to mind - WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get.   -
Hence creativity (usually?) implies the creation of something - so we
should be seeing something being produced, that is fundementally different
from everything around it, for example when the four year olds are finger
painting the large pieces of paper and themselves, and you see one little
child (same age) sitting in the corner drawing 3-dimensional houses and
people using crayons - you have an immediate demonstration of 'creativity'.

At an assessment level, some tests do take 'creativity' into account.  For
example, the Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Sudents (SAGES) has
a subtest of 'divergent production' which measures one facet of creative or
productive thinking-fluency.  This subtest measures ideational fluency (how
many 'ideas' you can produce in a set period of time) using pictures and
figures in a matrix format.

Another test I use (with gifted kids) had its origins in the assesment of
people who had suffered massive brain damage, or were showing early signs
of dementia - and is called the Design Fluency Test - a task requiring
people to produce or 'invent' drawings under two sets of conditions.  A
free condition - producing drawings that resemble neither objects or
nameable forms.  A four-line ('fixed') condition, i.e. acceptable drawings
that are limited to four lines, straight or curved.  Try it out on yourself
- five minutes for the free condition, four minutes on the fixed conditon.
Contact me off-list if you want some indication of the 'norms'.

There are a number of variations of the above tests using words, or figures
or lines as stimuli - all usually assessing 'fluency' associated with
volume of unique idea generation.

Other mechanisms of assessment of 'creativity' tend to follow the path of
personality assessment, particularly using methods known as 'projective
tests'.  The classic Ink-blot test (aka the Rorschach test) is one example
here.  However reliability of this sort of approach is somewhat open to
criticism.

The final part of your question was 'Is creativity a separate issue from
I.Q.?', And in response I would say - no.  HOWEVER - the scope for the
expression of 'creativity' within a standard test of intelligence is
extremely limited, but a tester may detect 'signs' of this, sometimes
through unusual responses or approaches to problem-solving tasks.  This can
then lead on more formal assessment using some of the measures discussed
above.

Hope that explains it a little bit...

Regards, Gary.



****************************

 

OGT: IQ Tests (That's all folks...:)


From: gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)
Subject: OGT: IQ Tests (That's all folks...:)
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 23:16:51 +1000

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Dear all,

Well, as they say in the classics, that's all folks...

David has someone lined up for the next e-mail-filled OGT Conference...

I hope that some of my comments regarding the joys, opportunities, dangers
and pitfalls of IQ (and other) tests have addressed at least some of your
quesitons.

As you can see, it doesn't take much to get me going, or to wax lyrical, or
to bucket some less than professional practices that I have seen in my
travels.

I am happy to have had the opportunity to answer some of your questions, at
the very least, it will keep me (and I hope some of my colleagues) on our
toes in terms of our ability to articulate the issues surrounding an
assessment that involves your child.  It is all too easy for us to become
complacent doing this work repeatedly, when it will often be a 'once-only'
experience from your perspective.

BUT  Do me a favour and keep one thing in mind...


The burden of communication is, (by definition) shared, so if I can ask
something of the readers of OGT, it is to communicate some of these
questions/issues/concerns to the people carrying out assessments with your
children.  As I tell many parents leaving my office - if your questions
come to mind after you have left - we have both wasted our time.

If there are issues readers feel that I have not dealt with adequately,
then I leave an open offer to people to contact me off-list.  Otherwise
general notes on OG might be an option (David?).

Regards, Gary.


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gkbanks@tradesrv.com.au (Gary K. Banks)

                                 GARY K. BANKS
                             CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
                             Level 3, 12 Thomas St.
                            CHATSWOOD,  NSW,  2057
                                  AUSTRALIA
                          PH: (+612) 9415 2800
                         FAX: (+612) 9415 1361

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