A06-S01-23 04

Comparison of methods in the identification of secondary school students with high abilities


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Andrea IzquierdoUniversidad de Alicante
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Natalia Pérez SotoUniversidad de Alicante
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José Manuel Ponsoda TornalUniversidad de Alicante
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Juan Luis CastejónUniversidad de Alicante


In the field of giftedness, the procedures for identifying gifted and talented students are probably the most discussed and widely written-about topics. The present study primarily aimed to identify high-ability students in a sample of Spanish middle school students. Specifically, the participants were a total of 1456 students of first and second year of Compulsory Secondary Education in the province of Alicante (Spain); however, some students were not included in the final sample because of insufficient language proficiency, incomplete tests, or lack of family consent. Thus, the final sample included a total of 1400 participants (n= 1400). Of this final sample, 52% were first-year students, and the remaining 48% were in their second year. In terms of gender, 52.8% were boys and 47.2% girls. The age range of the participant sample was between 12 and 15 years (M= 12.8, SD = 0.67). In addition, 81.4% of the students belong to a public school and 18.6% to a private one. The measures used were a non-verbal general intelligence test (Factor “g”), a differential aptitude test (BADYG), a creativity test (fluency, flexibility, originality, elaboration, title, and special details), and the average performance measure. The average time for the test administration was three hours and forty minutes distributed over three days. Data analysis techniques varied according to the established objectives and included the following: a) identification method for students with high abilities, for which different cut-off points were used for each of the variables (BADYG, G Factor, Creativity, and Performance)  separately (from the top 10%) and the combined variables, taking into consideration all the variables used in the identification (from broad percentiles such as 90%) (the “or” rule), and an identification method in which an average of the criteria scores exceeding a cut-off point for the top 10% was used (the “mean” rule); b) techniques for verifying agreement among the results of different selection criteria, such as chi-square (c2), phi (j, kappa (k), and intraclass correlation coefficients for continuous variables; and c) means for comparisons for two (student t test) or more (one-way ANOVA) groups. The gifted students were identified using two methods: a) the “or” rule: obtaining a score corresponding to the 90th percentile or higher on any of the tests independently, and b) the “mean “rule: presenting an average of the criteria scores exceeding a cut-off point of the top 10%. The results indicated that the prevalence of students with high abilities is similar to the prevalence identified in other studies when using unique identification criteria. However, the prevalence rate reduced considerably when two or more criteria were combined. The results indicate the need to use different identification criteria and to analyze the heterogeneity existing within the group of high-ability students. Such results would aid in designing educational interventions suitable to the profiles of the different subgroups. The correct identification of gifted students will equip such students to obtain the help, resources, and optimum educational experiences necessary for their optimal development.

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      Alberto Nogales Moyano

      Comentó el 14/06/2023 a las 06:21:30

      How can data analysis techniques and computer algorithms be utilized to improve the identification of gifted and talented students based on multiple criteria, such as non-verbal general intelligence, differential aptitude, creativity, and performance measures?

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        Andrea Izquierdo

        Comentó el 14/06/2023 a las 17:42:23

        The idea is to use different identification criteria in order to identify as many students with high abilities as possible.

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      Sara Elena Otal Franco

      Comentó el 08/06/2023 a las 12:40:28

      I fully agree with the importance of your work and I find it very timely and appropriate. Could you also tell me what strategies could be used to deal with gifted pupils or, perhaps, what bibliography could be interesting to read in order to introduce me to this subject? Thank you.

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        Andrea Izquierdo

        Comentó el 08/06/2023 a las 14:47:58

        Good afternoon,

        Thank you for your comment. It seems to me a very interesting question, and complicated to answer. It would be necessary to deepen in the case and in the specific needs of each gifted student to offer the most appropriate response and strategies.
        As for the bibliography, I recommend you to consult the book chapter that we are going to publish derived from this communication.
        In addition, on the website of the Ministry of Education there is a document that you can consult about these students, and it is free of charge. The link is as follows: https://sede.educacion.gob.es/publiventa/d/8073/19/0

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