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Issues in Assessment for Gifted & Talented Education Dr Valerie Margrain TKI Webinar 28 June 2011

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1 Issues in Assessment for Gifted & Talented Education Dr Valerie Margrain TKI Webinar 28 June 2011

2 Whakatauki Poipoi te kakano kia puawai. Nurture the seed and it will flourish. Ko ia kāhore nei I rapu, tē kitea He who does not seek will not find

3 Session Aims Consider assessment for learning in gifted and talented education, for all teachers; Highlight assessment purposes and issues of reliability, validity, authenticity and manageability; Promote diverse approaches to assessment to support multi-categorical concepts of giftedness; Link to broader assessment initiatives.

4 Definitions of Giftedness A gifted child is one who performs or has the ability to perform at a level significantly beyond his or her chronologically aged peers and whose unique abilities and characteristics require special provisions and social and emotional support from the family, community and educational context (Harrison, 1995, p. 19, emphasis added). “Multicategory definitions state that outstanding performance in such domains as academic aptitude, creative thinking, social leadership and visual and performing arts, represent giftedness and talent” (McAlpine, 2004, p. 41).

5 Definitions of Assessment Assessment for learning is “the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers, to identify where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there (University of Cambridge Assessment Reform Group, 2002). “Ways in which, in our everyday practice, we observe children’s learning (notice), strive to understand it (recognise), and then put our understanding to good use (respond).” (Drummond, 1993, p. 13) – see also Ministry of Education (2004). Formative assessment should support, inform and serve learning (Black, 2006).

6 Normative - Narrative NORMATIVE Constructs “normal” Bell curve Standardised Labelling Can be costly Not necessarily pedagogical NARRATIVE Contextual Interpretive Personalised Time-intensive For and as learning Authentic and sociocultural

7 Four approaches to pedagogical assessment Four approaches: Curriculum assessment tools (e.g. tests) Rating scales and checklists Observation Narrative assessment Notes: Not a definitive list “Pick and mix” as most useful from a well- stocked “tool box” Different methods for different purposes and aspects of curriculum

8 Evaluating Approaches to Pedagogical Assessment Curriculum assessment tools Rating scales & checklists ObservationNarrative Assessment Reliability Validity Authenticity Manageabiltiy Limitations

9 Assessment Issues Reliable? Can the assessment be relied on to give you accurate information? Are scores consistent from one measurement to the next? Valid? Is the assessment appropriate for the age of the child and the learning context? Does it measure what it is designed to measure? Authentic? Is the assessment worthwhile and meaningful? Manageable? Does the assessment need to be one-to-one, or can groups of children complete it at the same time? Is a quiet withdrawal space needed? Does the teacher need classroom release time?

10 Burt Word Reading Test (New Zealand Revision) This is just one example, amongst many, of a curriculum assessment tool

11 Burt Word Reading Test: Results from a group of NZ precocious readers (Margrain, 2005) JuliaAlistairLeviHenryOscar Age4:014:08 4:094:10 Word Reading Age band 7:09- 8:03 8:01- 8:07 8:00- 8:06 10:04- 10:10 8:10- 9:04

12 Analysis of one curriculum tool: Burt Word Reading Test ReliabilityTest:Retest reliability coefficient ; Internal consistency ValidityCriterion-related validity correlation with PAT tests , with TOSCA and Schonell AuthenticityStandardised for use in NZ in Original test from Scotland. ManageabilityIndividual test. No time limit, but usually around 10 minutes to complete. LimitationsNot text reading. Does not assess fluency, comprehension, engagement

13 Observation (Margrain, 2010a)

14 Narrative: A Learning Story (Ministry of Education, 2009, p. 7)

15 Narrative Marshmallows & Toothpicks (Margrain, 2010b)

16 Learning Stories (as a form of narrative assessment) Make learning visible Support teachers to notice, recognise and respond to learning/learners Value and foster the learner’s progress and achievement Include multiple voices (child, parent, peer) Recognise that learning is socially mediated and co- constructed Do not compare students to others, nor to standards. (Ministry of Education, 2004)

17 Assessment Connections

18 References Black, P. (2006). NCEA – Report by Professor Paul Black. Retrieved March 3, 2006, from govt.nz/index.cfm?layout=document&documentid= 5591& indexid=4060&indexoarentid=6088govt.nz/index.cfm?layout=document&documentid= 5591&indexid=4060&indexoarentid=6088 Drummond, M. J. (1993). Assessing children’s learning. London: David Fulton. Gilmore, A. M., Croft, A. C., & Reid, N. A. (1981). The Burt Word Reading Test: New Zealand revision. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Harrison, C. (1995). Giftedness in early childhood. Sydney: KU Children’s Services. Margrain, V. (2005). Precocious readers: Case studies of self-regulated learning, social support and spontaneous learning in the early years. Unpublished PhD thesis, Victoria University of Wellington. Margrain, V. (2010a). Narratives of young gifted children. Kairaranga, 11 (2), Margrain, V. (2010,). Assessment for learning with young gifted children. Apex, 16 (1). Retrievable from McAlpine, D. (2004). What do we mean by gifted and talented? Concepts and definitions. In D. McAlpine & R. Moltzen (Eds.), Gifted and talented: New Zealand perspectives (2 nd ed.). Palmerston North, New Zealand: ERDC Press, Massey University. Ministry of Education. (2004). Kei tua ō te pae Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Booklet one, An introduction to Kei Tua o Te Pae: He whakamōhiotanga ki Kei Tua o te Pae. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media. Ministry of Education. (2004). Kei tua ō te pae Assessment for learning: Early childhood exemplars. Booklet 19, The arts: Ngā toi. Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media. Ministry of Education. (2009). Through different eyes. Narrative assessment guide for teachers. Retrieved June 30, 2010, from University of Cambridge Assessment Reform Group. (2002). Assessment for learning: 10 principles. Cambridge, UK: Author.


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