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Selected Resources: Identification and Assessment of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students, 1993-1996

This 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)
E-mail: webmaster@hoagiesgifted.org
Internet: http://eric.hoagiesgifted.org
ERIC EC Minibib EB2
August 1997
Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in microfiche collections at more than 1,000 locations worldwide; to find the ERIC Resource Collection nearest you, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm. Documents can also be ordered for a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com/, service@edrs.com, or 1-800-443-ERIC.

Journal articles (for example, EJ999999) are available for a fee from the originating journal (check your local college or public library), through interlibrary loan services, or from article reproduction services: Carl Uncover, now at Ingenta: http://www.ingenta.com/, uncover@carl.org, 1-800-787-7979; or ISI: tga@isinet.com, 1-800-523-1850.

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 assessment summaries, 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 instruments.

Coleman, M. R. & Gallagher, J. J. (1995). State Identification Policies: Gifted Students from Special Populations. Roeper Review, 17(4), 268-75.
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.
This report 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 and 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 comparison.

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, 16(5), 13-16.
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 minority groups, 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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