Dynamic Testing and Excellence
If gifted children are experts in using strategies, why do they experience problems with learning? Why do they underachieve?
- Bart Vogelaar
In co-operation with OnderwijsAdvies and the het Centre for the Study of Giftedness (CBO) of Radboud University Nijmegen the Dynamic Testing Lab is currently conducting a study into Dynamic Testing and Excellence. Gifted children are said to be experts in the use of (metacognitive) strategies. Research has shown that, in comparison with non-gifted children, they also spontaneously use strategies more frequently, without having been trained in usage of these strategies. It has, therefore, been said that gifted children have the potential to achieve extraordinary performance. The question this study aims to answer is: if gifted children are indeed experts in using strategies, why do they experience problems with learning? Why do they underachieve?
Gifted and non-gifted learners of 5 to 8 years old participate in this study. They solve geometrical analogies, such as the example below, by means of a dynamic test consisting of a pretest, a training session and a posttest. During the training session the children receive assistance tailored to their level. This assistance consists of help equal to or slightly higher than the current level of the child. As soon as a child has discovered a rule, no further help is given. This form of training enables children to achieve better results and show progression. As the pretest and posttest can be compared, and the strategies used per analogy can be analysed, this study has the potential to provide an indication of the learning process. An individual child’s performance on said analogy tasks could be related to the learning process of that child. In addition, this study contributes to our knowledge of learning strategies of gifted children, and to school guidance for gifted children.