Dynamic assessment of academic ability of bilingual immigrant Latino children
Matthews, Michael Stuart
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Dynamic assessment (DA)assesses learning potential using a pretest – teaching – posttest format.DA methods have promise as a less biased means of evaluating academic potential among students from non-mainstream backgrounds.This study investigated DA ’s effectiveness for identifying bilingual immigrant children who could benefit from gifted program placement.|The Children ’s Inferential Thinking Modifiability (CITM)test was the dynamic measure.Students ’ CITM performance was compared with their performance on conventional nonverbal measures of academic ability to determine the relationship between students identified using the dynamic and conventional measures.|Seventy-five Mexican American second graders participated.After attrition and selection,67 students worked one-on-one with the researcher in either English or Spanish.Data sources included a language background survey;a picture-based measure of productive vocabulary,school test scores,the Raven ’s Coloured Progressive Matrices, and the CITM test.Parents completed a rating scale of student behaviors characteristic of gifted Mexican American children,and a survey addressed parental education.|Students were selected into gifted-potential (G-P)and average categories based on performance at or above the 90th percentile (local norms)on nonverbal measures.The G-P students were further differentiated based on identification through dynamic measures,static measures,or both categories.|Static measures identified 25 students (37.3 percent)as G-P,including five of the eight students previously nominated as potentially gifted under school criteria.Seven of these 25 students also met G-P criteria based on the dynamic measure.Dynamic criteria identified eight additional G-P students,including one of the three students previously nominated under school criteria but not selected using the static criteria.|The three G-P groups (static,dynamic,and both)were compared on language proficiency and socioeconomic status measures.Groups did not differ significantly on any of these measures,nor did they differ appreciably from students not identified. |Results suggest that dynamic testing does identify some potentially gifted students not identified by traditional nonverbal measures.However,students identified with dynamic methods are not necessarily more representative of the overall student population on measures of SES or language proficiency.The observed lack of difference may be due to the restricted range of participants on these measures.