ECE353 Ashford Week 5 Importance of Intelligence Testing Discussion

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Question Description

Educators in the United States public school classroom often work with children of varying levels of ability. Children in your classroom may have Individualized Education Plans (IEP) that require specific accommodations and modifications. As part of the process of an IEP, a school psychologist evaluates the child’s intellectual functioning using a variety of intellectual and achievement tests. Once the IEP meeting takes place, various providers (including possibly speech therapy and occupational therapy) will also be present at the meeting. For the purpose of this discussion, we focus specifically on the role of a school psychologist and intelligence testing using a case study from your textbook. In addition to using the case study as support for your initial reply, read and include support from the article Intelligence: Foundations and Issues in Assessment (Gottfredson & Saklofske, 2009). Before responding in this discussion, review the Week Five Instructor Guidance page for additional information, resources, and support.

Case Study: Please refer to the case study in the Introduction section of Chapter 10 of your textbook to review the case study for this week’s discussion. After reading the case study and article, reflect on the following in your initial reply:

  • Discuss the importance of intelligence testing and one of the controversies discussed in the article and/or the course textbook.
  • Explain whether or not it would have been appropriate for Dr. Williams to provide some hints to help the child during testing. Why or why not?
  • Discuss whether or not you believe an intelligence test would provide enough information to make a decision about Michael’s educational placement. Why or why not? If not, what other information should Dr. Williams gather?
  • Considering that Michael is a very young child, explain how her age could factor into the decision in favor of or against placement into a special education program.
    • Describe other factors (e.g., environmental, genetic, biological, etc.) that may be contributing to Michael’s performance and IQ score during testing (without mentioning any diagnoses).
  • Please use in-text citations from the chapter attached and use the reference:
  • Farrar, M. J. & Montgomery, D. (2015). Cognitive development of children: Research and application [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

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What is Special Intelligence andEducation? Individual Differences 1 10 iStockphoto/Thinkstock Pre-Test Voyagerix/iStock/Thinkstock 1. 1. You can use the terms disability and handicap interchangeably. T/F Learning Objectives 2. 2. The history of special education began in Europe. T/F 3. the 3. end Theoffirst legislation protected students with disabilities was passed in the 1950s. By thisAmerican chapter, you should that be able to: T/F • Analyze the qualities that determine IQ tests’ usefulness and adequacy for measuring intellectual differences 4. in 4. children. All students with disabilities should be educated in special education classrooms. T/F 5. 5. Special education law is constantly reinterpreted. T/F • Identify and relate the hierarchy of intellectual abilities posited by the psychometric approach to 6. intelligence. Answers can be found at the end of the chapter. • Explain how nature and nurture interact to influence intellectual differences in children. • Differentiate stability, change, and modifiability in intelligence. • Evaluate evidence that IQ scores can be improved in children through intervention. Pretest Questions  Pretest Questions 1. The modern intelligence test was first developed to identify gifted children so that they could receive advanced instruction. T/F 2. Children’s performance on measurements of nonverbal intelligence (for example, spatial reasoning) is positively related to verbal intelligence (for example, vocabulary). T/F 3. Because genetic differences influence intellectual differences between children, the impact of the environment is minimal. T/F 4. By age 6 or 7, a child’s IQ score is a fairly good predictor of subsequent IQ scores throughout the child’s development. T/F 5. Generally speaking, if an intervention boosts a young child’s IQ score, the improvement is permanent even after the intervention ends. T/F Michael is a 6-year-old who is struggling both academically and socially. His parents are recently divorced, and he is experiencing significant psychosocial stress. Michael had some issues prior to the divorce, but his symptoms have been exacerbated. Michael’s teacher is unsure if the child’s difficulties in school stem from problems coping with the divorce or from cognitive delays that make it difficult to keep pace with the other children. As part of the assessment procedure, the school psychologist, Dr. Williams, administers an intelligence test to measure Michael’s cognitive functioning. Intelligence test performance is a factor in determining whether a child is eligible for specialized services (Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 2004). Questions on the intelligence test ask Michael to remember a string of randomly arranged digits (“Repeat after me: ‘3-1’”). Others require him to arrange puzzle pieces or solve addition and subtraction problems. During testing, the 6-year-old seems tired or perhaps unmotivated. However, Williams avoids providing minor hints and suggestions to prompt Michael and help him out a bit. When the test is over, Williams tallies the child’s correct answers and determines how his scores compare with a large sample of same-age children. He will look for patterns that indicate areas of relative weakness and strength. At the end of the assessment, Williams faces a dilemma. Michael’s outcome on the intelligence test finds him right on the borderline for placement in a special education program. Questions to Think About 1. Should Williams have provided some hints to help the child during testing? Explain your reasoning. 2. Do you believe an intelligence test would provide enough information to make a decision about Michael’s placement? Why or why not? If not, what other information should Williams gather? Explain your answer. 3. Michael is a very young child—how should his age factor into the decision to place him in a special education program? 4. Would the divorce impact Michael’s cognitive functioning? If so, how? Introduction Introduction Differences in children’s intelligence predict later income, occupational status, and educational attainment in adulthood (Firkowska-Mankiewicz, 2011). Children’s intelligence is even related to later health and length of life (Batty, Deary, & Gottfredson, 2007)! This broad influence raises a number of questions. What is intelligence? How is it measured? Why do children differ in intelligence? What steps, if any, can be taken to increase intelligence? These questions are heavily researched, and we will address them and other related questions in this chapter. Although there is no single, universally agreed-upon definition, many contemporary psychologists would agree with the description of intelligence as: “The ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience” (Gottfredson, 1997, p. 13; see also Kranzler & Floyd, 2013). Another definition is that intelligence is the “ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles by taking thought” (Neisser et al., 1996, p. 77). Notice that these definitions include cognitive processes that are broadly applicable, like reasoning, abstract thinking, and learning from experiences. Processes like reasoning and learning from experiences are evident every day in multiple settings. As you reread the definitions, notice also how the cognitive processes relate to schooling. As we will see, from the beginnings of modern intelligence testing, the concept of intelligence has been closely tied to school performance. Intelligence can also be defined as an ability or set of abilities that extend beyond those found in the previous definitions, and we will discuss various theories of the nature of intelligence in Section 10.2. For now, however, we will work with a conception of intelligence that is tied to the definitions we have just presented. These definitions are widely accepted and underlie most tests of intelligence and contemporary research on the subject (Nisbett et al., 2012). Core Themes, Intelligence, and Individual Differences The nature and measurement of intelligence is a broad, expansive topic. The four overarching themes in our text help us organize our understanding of the wide-ranging material. The themes also place the study of intelligence into context by relating the material to topics and ideas we have encountered in previous chapters. Nature and nurture. The extent to which intellectual differences are related to genes or environment has generated considerable theorizing and large-scale investigations over the years. Consequently, the nature–nurture theme is evident throughout this chapter. Recall from Chapter 1 that the nature–nurture theme is often raised in the context of why people differ from one another. This concern with individual differences, idiographic development, is a focus as we explore why children differ from one another in intelligence. Intelligence Tests Section 10.1 Performance and competence. Second, intelligence testing is intended to accurately measure differences in children’s intellectual competencies. We will address whether intelligence tests are considered fair and accurate. Such concerns are related to the performance–competence theme of our book. Are the test scores really measuring intelligence (competence), or do the scores reflect, to some extent, performance limitations (for example, low motivation or cultural misunderstandings)? Continuity and discontinuity. Generally, intelligence testing is concerned with stable differences among individuals, rather than stage-like cognitive changes that occur within an individual (Miller, 2012a). Consequently, in this chapter we primarily focus on the question of whether there is continuity in intellectual differences. We address whether intellectual differences are relatively stable and continuous during childhood, whether children’s intelligence fluctuates during development, and whether childhood intelligence predicts later outcomes. Domain general and domain specific. Our fourth theme is concerned with whether cognition is better characterized as domain general or domain specific. In this chapter, we will see evidence indicating that intelligence is a general ability that cuts across a wide variety of cognitive domains. We will also encounter a theory that suggests there are many intelligences, each somewhat specific to a particular domain. 10.1 Intelligence Tests The results of intelligence tests can have a powerful impact on a child’s educational future, as we saw in the case study. Results can influence whether a child is placed in special education classes. Sometimes children are tested for placement into accelerated education programs. Intelligence tests are also used for clinical assessments; for instance, the results of a test can help determine if a child who recently suffered a head injury is experiencing cognitive impairments as a result of the injury. The influence of intelligence testing naturally raises two questions: How is intelligence measured, and how do we know if an intelligence test is dependable and accurate? Our focus on testing provides a foundation for subsequent sections in which we discuss theories of intelligence, its stability and change, and the factors that influence individual differences in intelligence. First, however, we will describe how intelligence tests developed and how they are used today. The Development of Intelligence Testing The French Third Republic passed laws in the early 1880s making school mandatory and free for all 6- to 13-year-old children (Nadeau & Barlow, 2010). The inclusiveness of the French education system meant that classrooms were filled with children of varying backgrounds Intelligence Tests Section 10.1 and skill levels. Soon government officials were faced with the dilemma of how to effectively handle children who had difficulty keeping pace with their peers. An instrument that could accurately identify at-risk children was sought, particularly when concerns arose over the accuracy and impartiality of a school official’s or parent’s opinion. Alfred Binet was a French psychologist who, along with his collaborator Theodore Simon, set out to resolve the problem by creating an effective measurement of children’s intellectual capabilities (Binet & Simon, 1916; Nicolas, Andrieu, Croizet, Santioso, & Burman, 2013; Wolf, 1973). Binet’s test ultimately contained three distinctive features still found in many intelligence tests (Siegler, 1992). First, it measured high-level cognitive abilities like memory, vocabulary, and reasoning that clearly related to the child’s schoolwork (Binet & Simon, 1916). These abilities are closely related to the definitions of intelligence presented in the previous section. Second, a single composite score summed across different cognitive subtests was used to estimate a child’s intelligence (Siegler, 1992). As we will see, this feature of intelligence testing remains influential. It also brings to the forefront the question of whether intelligence is really a singular entity. We discuss theories that address whether intelligence is made up of one or numerous entities in Section 10.2. Third, test items were arranged in sequence from less to more difficult. This arrangement allowed test administrators to determine how far children could progress before reaching their ceiling. A ceiling is typically established when a child misses a specified number of items. Once the child’s ceiling was established, the tester could then compare it with the average ceiling reached by same-age peers. In our case study at the beginning of the chapter, Michael’s score is low because he missed items that other children his age typically answer correctly. In other words, Michael did not progress through as many items as his peers. IQ Tests Today The conventional scoring method used to express intelligence is known as the intelligence quotient (IQ). Conceptually, an IQ score is derived by comparing an individual’s performance (called a “mental age”) against the typical performance of those who are the same chronological age. In this formulation, IQ = mental age ÷ chronological age (Stern, 1914). For instance, if an 8-year-old’s performance is at the level of a typical 10-year-old, she would have a score of 1.25 (that is, 10 ÷ 8). Conventionally, average IQ scores are set at 100 (Kranzler & Floyd, 2013). Thus, 10 ÷ 8, (or 1.25) multiplied by 100 results in an IQ score of 125. Figure 10.1 illustrates the types of items found on commonly used intelligence tests. These tests generally have (a) subtests that measure cognitive abilities (for example, math, vocabulary, math, and reasoning) and (b) a full-scale composite score that is derived from subtest performance. Section 10.1 Intelligence Tests Figure 10.1: Sample items found on IQ tests Examples of questions found on commonly administered intelligence tests. Note that items assess various abilities such as verbal comprehension (Information; Vocabulary) and reasoning (e.g., Block Design, Picture Completion). Typical IQ Subtests Matrix Reasoning Information On what continent is Argentina? Arithmetic If four toys cost six dollars, how much do seven cost? Find the missing piece from the six pictured below. Vocabulary What does “debilitating” mean? Comprehension Why are streets usually numbered in order? Picture Completion Indicate the missing part from an incomplete picture. Block Design Use blocks to replicate a two-color design. ? Object Assembly Assemble puzzles depicting common objects. Coding Using a key, match symbols with shapes or numbers. Picture Arrangement Reorder a set of scrambled picture cards to tell a story. Similarities In what way are dogs and rabbits alike? Source: Flynn, J. R. (2007). Solving the IQ puzzle. Scientific American Mind, 18(5), 24–31. Some commonly administered intelligence tests are summarized in Table 10.1. Table 10.1: Representative IQ tests administered to children Test Age range Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, fifth edition 2 to 85+ Features • Ten subtests assess cognitive processes such as working memory, general knowledge, quantitative and spatial reasoning, and vocabulary. • Subtests are administered in both verbal and nonverbal forms. • All 10 subtests are scored. The full-scale IQ score combines all 10 subtests. (continued) Section 10.1 Intelligence Tests Table 10.1: Representative IQ tests administered to children (continued) Test Age range Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, fourth edition (WPPSI-IV) 2 to 7 Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, fifth edition (WISC-V) 6 to 16 Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, second edition (KBIT-2) 4 to 90 Features • Ages 2 to 3 assessed by three subtest areas of verbal comprehension, spatial knowledge, and working memory; testing for ages 4 to 7 also includes processing speed and reasoning subtest. • Subtest scores and full-scale IQ. • Ancillary scores enhance utility for special cases, such as the assessment of school readiness or suspected language delays. Ancillary scores include a cognitive proficiency score (working memory and processing speed) indicating informationprocessing efficiency. • Five subtests assess verbal comprehension, spatial knowledge, working memory, processing speed, and reasoning. • Subtest IQ scores and full-scale IQ • Ancillary index scores provide additional information relevant to clinical situations (such as a nonverbal index score for children with autism) and school achievement (such as a quantitative reasoning index). • Provides a quick screening measure for identifying children at academic risk or those eligible for enriched educational programs. • Three subtests. Two measure verbal knowledge such as vocabulary, and one measures nonverbal knowledge related to reasoning about novel problems (that is, choosing which of five pictures best matches the concept in a target picture). • Subjects receive verbal, nonverbal, and IQ composite scores. Sources: Bain & Jaspers, 2010; Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004; Raiford & Coalson, 2014; Roid, 2003; Wechsler, 2014. IQ Scores As noted earlier, a child’s IQ score is determined by comparing his or her performance with same-age peers. The comparison group is called the normative sample. A normative sample is a group of individuals who are representative of the larger population. In order to be representative, the sample must be inclusive and proportionately reflect the different backgrounds and ethnicities within a population. To illustrate, the normative sample for the Stanford-Binet (fifth edition) totaled nearly 5,000 individuals and was chosen to match demographic information derived from the 2000 U.S. Census (Roid, 2003). IQ scores in normative samples generally form a normal distribution (Gottfredson, 2008). This means scores within the sample most frequently occur in the middle—the overall average—and then occur less and less frequently as scores deviate further and further from the average (see Figure 10.2). Recall that most IQ tests are quantified so that the average score is 100 (Kranzler & Floyd, 2013). Thus, when a child is said to have “above average” intelligence, this means, in a literal sense, that the score is higher than 100, the average score of children the same age. Section 10.1 Intelligence Tests Figure 10.2: Normal distribution Scores within a normal distribution tend to cluster toward the middle (average) in their frequency. As scores deviate from the average, they occur with less and less frequency. IQ scores typically follow a normal distribution. 34% 0.1% Standard Deviation IQ Score 34% 13% 2% 13% 2% 0.1% –3 –2 –1 0 1 2 3 65 70 85 100 115 130 145 A standard deviation measures the extent that scores vary from the average. Conventionally, IQ scores change by 15 points for every standard deviation above or below the average (Kranzler & Floyd, 2013). In other words, IQ scores that are one standard deviation above the average are 115, while scores one standard deviation below the average are 85. When scores are normally distributed, 68% of scores fall within one standard deviation of the mean, and 95% of the scores fall within two standard deviations (see Figure 10.2). Thus, 95% of IQ scores typically fall between 70 and 130. Scores that are two standard deviations below the mean (scores of 70 or lower) indicate an intellectual disability (Prifitera, Saklofske, & Weiss, 2008). An intellectual disability is characterized by “significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior” that originate before age 18 (Schalock, Luckasson, & Shogren, 2007, p. 118). The transition to school is difficult for children diagnosed with intellectual disability—the cognitive and behavioral expectations of schooling can often exceed the child’s readiness. Social skills (for example, appropriate expression of feelings) and self-regulation skills can positively contribute to the ability of 5- to 6-year-old children with an intellectual disability to adapt to school (McIntyre, Blacher, & Baker, 2006). Consequently, early interventions that focus on social and behavioral competencies may be useful in smoothing the transition to schooling for children who have an intellectual disability. Children identified as gifted (also referred to as “talented”) exhibit extraordinary intellectual ability, promise, creativity, and motivation (McClain & Pfeiffer, 2012). Children are generally identified as “gifted” or “talented” in intelligence as their IQ scores approach 130 (McClain & Pfeiffer, 2012). Other measures, such as teacher ratings for mo ...
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Final Answer


Intelligence testing is imperative since it can affect an educational future of a child. The
outcomes from the intelligence test will impact regardless of whether a kid is put in a specialized
curriculum class. These tests are additionally used to decide whether there is any psychological
impedance because of harm (Farrar, 2015). The contentions that encompass intelligence test
legitimacy inquire as to whether the tests are reasonable for youngsters from every single cultural
foundation. In the event that people have an arrangement of encounters that inclination them to
reliably confound and miss test questions, then t...

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