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Selected Resources: Identification and Assessment of
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students,
1993-1996This document has been retired from the active collection
of the ERIC Clearinghouse
on Disabilities and Gifted Education.
It contains references or resources that may
no longer be valid or up to date.
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
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Bernal, E. M. (1994). Finding and Cultivating Minority Gifted/Talented
Students. Paper presented at the National Conference on Alternative Teacher
Certification (Washington, DC, April 1994). 8pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED391345.
This paper focuses on selection of students and curricular programming in gifted
education. A current emphasis on selection rather than identification of able learners,
including culturally diverse able learners, is noted, as are new understandings of the
nature of giftedness, including: giftedness is more than high intelligence; giftedness is
largely developmental; there is no one psychological test that measures giftedness;
giftedness needs special attention to be developed; and one does not need to speak
English to be intelligent. Selection is best done when observation, authentic
assessments, and actual tryouts in programs are used as well as traditional
standardized tests. Principles of good gifted education programs are listed, including:
(1) use of a variety of acceleration options; (2) use of a variety of enrichment options;
(3) homogeneous grouping; (4) regular opportunities for creative expression; and (5)
teaching that is cross-disciplinary, integrated, and reality-based. Characteristics of a
good teacher of the gifted/talented are also briefly considered.
Buchanan, N. K. et al. (1993). Performance-Based Identification of
Culturally Diverse Gifted Students: A Pilot Study. The report was prepared for the
Pacific Rim Symposium on Higher Education Evaluation (June 1993).
11pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED369249.
The Center for Gifted and Talented Native
Hawaiian Children has been developing identification methods congruent with
Hawaiian values and traditional talent areas and has increased the number of native
Hawaiian students identified and provided with enrichment services. This report
describes efforts to combine self-report data and performance-based assessment to
identify students. The Center offers a Saturday enrichment program open to all native
Hawaiians. To identify students for participation in other Center programs, especially
the summer program,
performance-based assessment is conducted during the Saturday enrichment program.
The assessment process involves guided observation using worksheets and
training college students in observation techniques, and
encouraging instructors to design enrichment activities that allow students to
demonstrate their abilities. Initial findings indicate a relationship between students'
self-reported interests and abilities but unacceptably low reliabilities of observers and
failure to predict student achievement in the summer program.
Callahan, C. M. & McIntire, J. A. (1994). Identifying Outstanding Talent
in American Indian and Alaska Native Students.
76pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED367127.
This report reviews and synthesizes the most promising practices used to identify
exceptionally talented students from the Native American population. Preliminary
information includes an Indian Student Bill of Rights, discussion of the problem of talent
identification, and discussion of special issues including diversity within the Native
American population and cultural assimilation versus accommodation. Eight principles
of identification are then presented. These include, among others, using assessments
that go beyond a narrow conception of talent; using appropriate instruments with
underserved populations; and using a
multiple-measure/multiple-criteria approach to identification. Specific practices are then
considered, which address: balancing the ideal and the practical; deciding on a concept
of talent; recognizing the issues of a particular school; identifying traits that may
influence manifestations of talent; recognizing behaviors that distinguish some Native
American students from the general population; looking for manifestations of talent
potential, alternative behaviors, situations, and interpretations; selecting and
constructing appropriate assessment tools; and using the collected student data to
make decisions. Recommendations address
technical assistance, professional development, assessment portfolios, experimental
programs, and program funding. Five appendices include technical information
concerning evaluation measures, two sample case studies, and a list of assessment
Coleman, M. R. & Gallagher, J. J. (1995). State Identification Policies:
Gifted Students from Special Populations. Roeper Review, 17(4),
Results are presented of a national survey of state policies regarding identification of
gifted students from special populations (culturally diverse families, economic
disadvantagement, or gifted students with disabilities). Also considered is a followup
study on the implementation of state policies in Ohio, Arkansas, and Texas. Future
policy directions are recommended.
Ford, D. Y. (1994). The Recruitment and Retention of African-American
Students in Gifted Education Programs:
Implications and Recommendations. Research-Based Decision
Making Series 9406. 84pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED388012.
describes barriers to the successful recruitment and retention of African American
students in gifted education programs and services, and offers recommendations for
ensuring successful recruitment and retention of this population. Barriers to recruitment
identified include: inadequate identification practices, too little attention given to
non-intellectual barriers to achievement, too little attention given to learning style
preferences, over-reliance on quantitative definitions of underachievement, and lack of
family involvement in the educational process. Placement factors which educators
should consider include service options, demographic variables, family concerns, and
academic needs. Educators also need to address the following barriers to retention:
classroom climate; the need for multicultural focus in education, curriculum, and
inservice training for teachers; counseling personnel trained in gifted and multicultural
education; recruitment of racially and culturally diverse teachers in gifted education;
increased parental/family involvement; increased collaboration among professionals;
early identification; and program evaluation. Recommendations are offered in the areas
of: (1) equitable identification and assessment; (2) compatibility of placement; (3)
increased emphasis on retention; (4) needs assessment,
especially regarding underrepresentation of African Americans in gifted programs; (5)
collaboration with allies in the African American community; (6) collaboration with a
variety of relevant organizations; and (7) equitable allocation of resources.
Frasier, M. M. & Passow, A. H. (1994). Toward a New Paradigm for
Identifying Talent Potential. Executive Summary. For the full report, see EC 304375. 16pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED388020.
Issues concerning the identification of
giftedness are considered, and a paradigm of giftedness is presented. Traditional
identification approaches are reviewed with attention to the limitations of tests to identify
talent potential among those currently underrepresented in gifted programs. The values
environmental influences of several cultures are examined, with concern focused on
additional challenges posed to high achieving, ethnically diverse students. Within-group
cultural differences are also considered. A study which examined the characteristics of
economically disadvantaged and limited English proficient students who are gifted is
discussed, along with the behaviors that characterized gifted performance. It is noted
that research suggests that there may be "absolute" behaviors which
characterize high performance cross-culturally, as well as specific attributes or
behaviors which manifest in particular cultural contexts or settings. After briefly
considering the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act, a paradigm of
giftedness is presented that consists of: new constructs of giftedness, absolute and
specific behaviors, cultural and contextual variables, authentic assessment, and
identification through learning opportunities.
Kranz, B. (1994). Identifying Talents among Multicultural Children.
Fastback 364. This fastback is sponsored by the McIntosh Trail Georgia Chapter of Phi
Delta Kappa. 31pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED370320.
This pamphlet examines the limitations of traditional identification strategies as they
are applied to children from minority and nontraditional cultural backgrounds, and then
suggests more effective alternatives. Conventional group tests are criticized for not
providing a sufficient basis for addressing students' needs with regard to enrichment.
Tests that measure qualities of divergent thinking and creativity are viewed as important
in expanding the concept of intelligence. Three models for identifying and cultivating
talent are described: (1) the Kranz Talent Identification Instrument, which creates a
talent profile based on children's abilities in visual arts, creativity, academic talent,
psychomotor talent, underachievement talent, performing arts, one-sided talent,
leadership and organization, spatial and abstract thinking, and hidden talent; (2) Howard
Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, which posits seven types of human
intelligence, including linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic,
spatial, interpersonal, and intrapersonal; and (3) Robert J. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory
Model, which contends that human intelligence depends on a thoughtful relationship
between a person's internal and external worlds and which assesses and teaches
insight skills involving selective encoding, selective combination, and selective
Mills, C. J. & Tissot, S. L. Identifying Academic Potential in Students
from Under-Represented Populations: Is Using the
Raven's Progressive Matrices a Good Idea?. Gifted Child
Quarterly, 39(4), 209-17.
The Raven's Progressive Matrices (RPM) and the Raven's Advanced Progressive
Matrices (APM) were evaluated as possible instruments for identifying academically
talented students in minority populations. A significantly higher proportion of minority
children scored well on the RPM than on a traditional measure. Issues and concerns
about using the APM as the sole identification measure are raised.
Passow, A. et al. (1996). Toward Improving Identification of Talent
Potential among Minority and Disadvantaged Students. Roeper Review, 18(3), 198-202.
Suggestions are made for a new paradigm for identifying talent potential in
underserved populations. Suggestions focus on dynamic assessment of gifted
behaviors within students' own sociocultural contexts, more varied and more authentic
assessment, and integrating identification processes with learning opportunities.
Plucker, J.A. et al. (1996). Wherefore Art Thou, Multiple Intelligences?
Alternative Assessments for Identifying Talent in Ethnically Diverse and Low Income
Students. Gifted Child
Quarterly, 40(2), 81-92.
This study evaluated the reliability and validity of a battery of instruments based on
Multiple Intelligences theory, including teacher checklists and performance-based
assessment activities developed for the identification of talent in culturally diverse
and/or low-income kindergarten and first-grade students. Acceptable reliability but
questionable validity were found.
Reyes, E.I. et al. (1996). Developing Local Multidimensional Screening
Procedures for Identifying Giftedness among Mexican American Border Population.
Roeper Review, 18(3), 208-11.
This article reports on a project
responding to the need for culturally relevant alternatives to existing assessment
practices in the identification of giftedness among rural Mexican Americans in
southwestern United States. Students identified using
multidimensional and holistic procedures showed similar cognitive and performance
profiles to those identified using traditional methods.
Saccuzzo, D. P. et al. (1994). Identifying Underrepresented
Disadvantaged Gifted and Talented Children: A Multifaceted Approach. (Volumes 1
and 2). 151pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED368095.
The primary purpose of
this study was to determine if a model for identifying gifted and talented students could
be developed that would provide equal access to gifted programs for children of all
ethnic and economic backgrounds. The culturally and ethnically diverse San Diego City
School District provided a pool of over 35,000 children referred for giftedness whose
records were coded and analyzed through this research. Based on these findings, a
model designed to increase the proportion of ethnically and economically diverse
students referred for assessment and
identified as gifted was implemented and evaluated, with the Raven Progressive
Matrices used as the criterion measure of intellectual ability. Component research
papers by Dennis P. Saccuzzo, Nancy E. Johnson, and Tracey L. Guertin cover the
following topics: the use of the Raven Matrices in an ethnically diverse gifted population;
use of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Revised with disadvantaged gifted
children; evaluation of risk factors in selecting children for gifted programs; information
processing in gifted versus nongifted African-American, Latino, Filipino, and white
children; ethnic and gender differences in locus of control in at-risk gifted and nongifted
children; and understanding gifted underachievers in an ethnically diverse population.
Appendices include a teacher nomination form, a student/parent information form, and
an independent evaluation review, in which author Margie Kitano finds the new model to
have significantly impacted school system practice and increased the number and
proportion of underrepresented students referred and identified although failing to fully
meet the initial criterion for equal access.
Sisk, D. (1993). A Different Approach Pays Off. Gifted Child Today,
Project Step-Up (Systematic Training of Educational
Programs for Underserved Pupils) locates children from minority, economically
disadvantaged populations with high potential in Texas, Arkansas, Florida, and Arizona,
and then uses a teaching approach that emphasizes critical thinking, vocabulary
building, self-esteem strengthening, problem solving, and positive feedback.
Frasier, M. M. et al. (1995). A Review of Assessment Issues in Gifted
Education and Their Implications for Identifying Gifted Minority Students. 47pp. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED388024.
This review of research and literature examines
issues related to the identification of potentially gifted students from groups most likely
to be underrepresented in gifted education programs, including racial and ethnic
economically disadvantaged students, and those with limited English proficiency. Three
major reasons for underrepresentation are identified and discussed: (1) test bias (the
most frequent attribution for underrepresentation in programs); (2) selective referrals
(usually because of teacher attitudes and knowledge about minority students and the
type of school students are likely to attend); and (3) reliance on deficit-based paradigms
(making recognition of the strengths of minority children less likely). Recommendations
for modifying traditional assessment
procedures include the use of multiple criteria and nontraditional measures and
procedures and modification of selection criteria. Four aspects of assessment are
discussed: the construct of giftedness, the referral process, the identification process,
and the process by which decisions are made using assessment
information for curriculum and instructional planning.
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