Assessment and Identification of Gifted Students: A Summary of the Identification Process (page 2)
After the student has been identified, the parents must be informed of the decision and asked for permission to place their child in whatever program the school provides. The signed permission form will then be placed in the student’s permanent case study file. Administrators should explain to the parents the concept of giftedness and the purpose of the program and clearly invite their participation.
The following recommendations have been drawn from a review of the literature on identification practices by Abeel, Callahan, and Hunsaker (1994). Experts in the field of gifted education recommend that those who are developing identification practices
- Base identification procedures on a broad and well-defined conception of giftedness to ensure appropriate service to the gifted population designated for the program.
- Use multiple criteria, including standardized and nonstandardized instruments, process and performance indicators, and multiple sources of data, in the identification of gifted learners.
- Use identification strategies and instruments that are appropriate for each area of giftedness that the program is designated to serve.
- Select instruments for the identification process that are reliable and valid for the construct they are expected to measure. For example, Abeel and colleagues suggest that, “Although tests of intelligence provide relatively objective, valid and reliable measures of general intellectual ability in the sense of predicting general school achievement, they give little information about specific talents, even in the intellectual domain” (p. 4).
- Recognize the limitations of using the score of a single test or the summed matrix score as the basis of identification and include a more comprehensive selection of evaluation data.
- Base identification and placement on student need rather than on the number or prespecified percentage of students a program can accommodate.
- Use appropriate instruments and strategies to identify underserved populations that account for the different behavioral aspects of giftedness exhibited in different cultures.
In this article, the rationale and procedures for selecting gifted children who need differentiated education to continue their growth have been discussed. Search and screening procedures and the problems involved in using them have been discussed. Identification has been viewed from a variety of perspectives, including the importance of assessment and case studies. The main purpose of identification is to provide placement that allows appropriate educational experiences that can enhance the continuous growth and progress of every gifted child.
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