Universiteit Leiden

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Dynamic testing and excellence

Unfolding potential

Bart Vogelaar
18 January 2017

Giftedness is often assessed by means of conventional (shortened) intelligence tests. These tests, however, are assumed to not always provide a picture of children’s potential for learning, especially with regard to special populations. In the current dissertation, therefore, dynamic testing was utilized in order to investigate potential differences between gifted and average-ability children. Dynamic testing refers to a testing method in which training and feedback are integrated into the testing process. The main aims of this dissertation were to investigate potential differences between gifted and average-ability children with regard to their progression in analogy problem-solving, instructional needs during training, transfer of analogy problem-solving skills to analogy construction, as well as the roles that metacognition, cognitive flexibility and test anxiety potentially play in analogy problem-solving. The results showed that, in general, vis-à-vis their average-ability peers, gifted children showed higher initial scores on the tests, but showed similar progression after practice or training, equivalent instructional needs, and equivalent transfer success and effectiveness. Test anxiety and metacognition were, further, found to play a role in progression in analogy problem-solving, specifically with regard to training benefits. Lower scores of metacognition, and higher test anxiety scores were related to higher progression after training.