Using Dynamic Assessment to Identify Gifted Potential in Underrepresented Students — Ophelie A. Desmet, F. Richard Olenchak, Kristen Seward, Anne Traynor, & Karen B. Arnstein
Tuesday, May 21, 2024, 10:45 am – 12:15 pm, Lawrence D. McHugh Hall, Room MCHU 205
This presentation provides an overview of using dynamic assessment (DA) of positive psychological traits as a promising approach to identify gifted and talented students from underrepresented populations. DA is an interactive assessment method that provides scaffolded support to students while evaluating their learning potential and abilities. This allows for a more equitable assessment than traditional static tests. The presentation will describe a framework for applying DA to measure traits like engagement, perseverance, optimism, connectedness, and happiness. Coupled with enriched instruction targeting these positive psychology outcomes, DA holds promise to address the persistent underrepresentation of disadvantaged students in gifted education programs. The presenters will discuss the rationale for using DA and developing non-cognitive metrics of gifted potential. Additionally, the session will cover our early efforts to implement DA in elementary and middle schools and train educators in this method. Ultimately, DA represents an innovative approach to expanding access and equity in gifted education, moving beyond traditional cognitive assessments. The presentation will explore the transformative potential of this technique.