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Instruments Used in the Identification of Gifted and Talented Students

Carolyn M. Callahan
Scott L. Hunsaker
Cheryll M. Adams
Sara D. Moore
Lori C. Bland

The study of instruments used in the identification of gifted and talented students had multiple facets. First, published literature, standardized and locally developed identification instruments and procedures, and strategies used to identify underserved populations were collected and catalogued in a computer database. Then standardized instruments were reviewed using the Scale for the Evaluation of Gifted Identification Instruments for each construct of giftedness that schools named as an area in which they identified gifted students. These reviews were also entered in the database. The review of identification procedures led to the compilation of standards for identification. In addition, descriptions of school systems from this sample which exhibited innovative, exemplary practice and a selected group of innovative Javits projects were described in a monograph entitled Contexts for Promise: Noteworthy Practices and Innovations in the Identification of Gifted Students.

Finally, data were collected on three locally developed instruments with potential for providing unique types of data for screening and identifying talent. The first instrument, the Diet Cola Test, was found to be reliable for group assessment purposes and useful as a program evaluation tool rather than as an identification instrument. The second instrument, a Peer Referral Form, was found to have high reliability and exhibited validity as recommended for a nomination form in the screening of Hispanic populations. Finally, the Teacher Search List was found to be reliably used by teachers in assessing middle school students.

Reference:
Callahan, C. M., Hunsaker, S. L., Adams, C. M., Moore, S. D., & Bland, L. C. (1995). Instruments used in the identification of gifted and talented students (Research Monograph 95130). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.


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Instruments Used in the Identification of Gifted and Talented Students
Carolyn M. Callahan
Scott L. Hunsaker
Cheryll M. Adams
Sara D. Moore
Lori C. Bland


Guidelines

  1. Adopt a clearly defined but broadened conception of giftedness.
  2. Use standardized instruments, process and performance indicators and multiple sources of data (e.g., student, teacher, parent, peers) to get the most complete picture of the student being identified.
  3. Use separate and unique instruments for different areas of giftedness.
  4. Assess the construct under consideration by using instruments that are reliable and valid.
  5. Identify or screen students without using single cutoff scores or summed matrix scores.
  6. Use nontraditional methods for effective identification of underserved populations who may manifest giftedness in different ways.
  7. Identify based on students' needs not on quotas.