Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Dynamic Testing and the Relation with School performance and Language difficulties.

What is the effect of a dynamic training in children’s inductive reasoning skills and how is it related to children’s school performances and language development.

Inclusive education was introduced on August 1, 2014. The educational needs of a student is more than ever a key point for teachers and schools. But how does the teacher gain insight into the educational needs of a child? In many situations, it is necessary to determine the cognitive development of the child.
For the measurement of children’s intelligence, or cognitive development, a standard static test is often administered at a single moment in time. A disadvantage of this form of testing is that static test administrations reflect only what a child has learned up to that time, and not the ability to learn. Moreover, static tests provides insufficient information about how a child learns and from what kind of instruction the child could benefit the most.
Dynamic assessment obviate these disadvantages and fit in perfectly with the principles of inclusive education. During a dynamic test, standardized assistance is offered usually between two test sessions. Our project studies the effect of dynamic testing using a series completion task, which is a form of inductive reasoning. The task is administered  during several sessions: a pretest, two training sessions, and a posttest. The dynamic training consists of structured step-by-step help offered according to the ‘graduated prompts’ procedure. Through this method of testing, it is possible to obtain information on how children solve cognitive tasks, and is therefore considered as a means to estimate their ability to learn. The qualitative information derived from dynamic testing can be important to determine what type of instruction children need from the teacher.

Several researchers emphasize the importance of dynamic testing for children with learning and / or language difficulties. Children with receptive and/or expressive language problems often experience difficulties with planning (serial) tasks. Therefore, we aim to provide more insight into the effectiveness of dynamic testing by means of the ‘graduated prompts’ method and the effect of this training method on children with learning and/or language difficulties. Using a dynamic test for these children can provide more insight into learning processes and the ability to learn, and will help teachers in achieving that these children benefit optimally from instruction in class.

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