The article that is to be reviewed is “Identification of giftedness inculturally diverse groups” by Wilma Vialle in Gifted EducationInternational, 1999, Vol 13, pp 250 -257. In this article Vialle (1999)recognises the under representation of disadvantaged students in educationallygifted programs. Vialle identifies the disadvantaged students as being childrenfrom “. . . non-English-speaking backgrounds, indigenous children andeconomically disadvantaged children” (Vialle, 1999, p250).
Vialle suggeststhe cause of this under representation of disadvantaged students lies in thelinear model approach “. . whereby a narrow set of identificationprocedures? usually an IQ test? is used to identify gifted students who arethen placed in a program that may or may not be specifically designed to meettheir intellectual strengths. ” (Vialle, 1999, pp. 251-252). Viallesperceived resolution to neutralise these disadvantages occurring in theidentification of giftedness is to use an identifying procedure that shifts fromthe more traditional approach of mainly IQ testing to a more diverse,multi-facet approach that supports the use of Howard Gardner’s MultipleIntelligence’s Theory.Order now
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory opposestraditional methods that view intelligence as unitary, and perceive’sintelligence to contain seven distinct domains. These domains include and can bedefined as follows: Linguistic Intelligence is the ability to use language toexcite, please, convince, stimulate or convey information; Logical-mathematicalIntelligence is the ability to explore patterns, categories, and relationshipsby manipulating objects or symbols, and to experiment in a controlled orderlyway; Spatial Intelligence is the ability to perceive and mentally manipulate aform or object, and to perceive and create tension, balance, and composition ina visual or spatial display; Musical Intelligence is the ability to enjoy,perform, or compose a musical piece; Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence is theability to use fine and gross motor skills in sports, the performing arts, orarts and craft production; Intrapersonal Intelligence is the ability to gainaccess to and understand one’s inner feelings, dreams, and ideas; andInterpersonal Intelligence is the ability to get along and understand others. (Hatch ; Gardner, 1988, cited in Vialle 1999, pp. 252-253).
Using theseaspects for assessment criteria to identify giftedness in particular areas,instead of traditional measures is the key argument presented in this article. Several other authors have share the same view as Vialle when concerningdisadvantaged students, but offer different assessment procedures again. Inagreeing with Vialle, Bolig ; Day state that “Traditional intelligencetests. .
. specify neither how, nor what, to teach to improve performance; theydiscriminate against minorities and individuals whose backgrounds are not middleand upper-middle class; they fail to address individual differences inmotivation, personality, and/or social competence. . . . and they only assess onedimension of an individual’s abilities, that of intellectualability.
“(Bolig ; Day, 1993, p. 110). Bolig ; Day then presenttheir method to identify gifted students in a non-discriminating manner thatconsists of the concept of dynamic assessment. Dynamic assessment includesstatic measures of ability as well as dynamic measures that consist of”. . .
tests of ongoing learning that measure how easily the child acquiresnew knowledge and skills. (Bolig & Day, p. 110). The idea presented seemsunderdeveloped when compared to that of Vialle as collecting portfolios ofchildren work is done in many schools already, and the disadvantage has morepotential to occur when compared to using Gardner’s Multiple IntelligenceTheory. Multiple Intelligence Theory in identifying giftedness contains enoughscope to break some of the culturally diverse barriers sometimes experiencedbecause of the three underlying principles of Gardner’s Theory that arepluralisation, contextualisation and distribution.
“Pluralisation involvesthe recognition that intelligence is a complex, multi-faceted concept;contextualisation demands that intelligence be interpreted in the light of themilieu in which the individual functions; and finally, distribution involves theindividual’s relationship with other resources and artefacts, particularly theways in such resources are used to support or enhance intelligent behaviour”. (Gardner, 1994, cited in Vialle, 1999, p. 253). In using a multi-facetassessment procedure students from diverse backgrounds are able to show an arrayof skills in different areas of intelligence, and be recognised as containingsuch attributes, that were not traditionally thought about as being intelligenceuntil recently.
There are still many differing opinions about intelligence andthere are limitations recognised in both models, traditional and contemporary. Berk (1997) in discussing Gardner’s Theory acknowledges the importance andconnotations for the field of Intelligence recognition, but also raises somelimitations and states that “. . neurological support for the independence ofhis intelligence’s is weak. .
. . logical-mathematical ability, inparticular seems to be governed by many brain regions, not just one. (Berk,1997, p307). Berk (1997) also recognises that some current mental tests assesssome of the main intelligence’s identified by Gardner . Vialle in presentingMultiple Intelligence Theory realises and develops class room based activitiesand assessment practices that relate to the different intelligence typesidentified by Gardner.
In presenting these activities and procedures Vialle isdisplaying her competence and usefulness of the suggested approach. MultipleIntelligence theory has several important implications for the class room as itcaters and provides for a large diversity and actually takes into considerationcultural background. This can be seen in his definition of intelligence, in that”. . intelligence refers to the human ability to solve problems or to makesomething that is valued in one or more cultures”. (Checkley, September1997, The First Seven .
. . and the Eighth ). The importance is seen inwhat is deemed culturally important, and it needs to be recognised that what isdeemed as important in one culture might not be given the same significance inanother, therefore confusion can sometimes occur in determining what is and isnot important. It can be concluded from Vialle, that there is a significantunder representation of disadvantaged students in gifted programs throughoutAustralia and the United States.
Vialle attributes this to the traditionalprocedures used in determining intelligence among students and the amount ofbiases contained by these tests towards the disadvantaged students. INpresenting Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory Vialle constructs andappropriate argument about the method that should be used to determineintelligence and supports this with relevant, real world class room activitiesand assessment procedures. These procedures allow intelligence to be recognisedas more than just cognitive competence and focus on real world skills that areused in everyday situations and contain little cultural biases. This articledevelops valuable insights into the relevance, implementation and assessment ofdiverse intelligence and states that “. .
talent identification can occur asa consequence of providing an engaging, varied and challenging environment inwhich students’ potentials are given the opportunity to emerge. ” (Vialle,1999, p. 253). BibliographyBerk, L.
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Vialle, W. (1999). Identification of giftedness in culturally diverse groups. Gifted Education International, 1999 Vol. 13, pp. 250 – 257.
A B AcademicPublishers. Vialle, W. ; Perry, J. (1995) Nurturing Multiple Intelligencesin the Australian Classroom. Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.