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Fostering the learning potential of at-risk students in the classroom

Studies into the consequential validity of dynamic assessment
PhD ceremony:Ms M. (Marlous) Tiekstra
When:February 11, 2016
Start:14:30
Supervisors:prof. dr. A.E.M.G. (Alexander) Minnaert, prof. dr. M.G.P. Hessels
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Fostering the learning potential of at-risk students in the
classroom

Every student can learn. At-risk students need proper guidance to attain optimal learning outcomes. In many cases, standardised intelligence tests are being used to determine what intervention is appropriate for at-risk students. In practice, however, the teachers’ classroom behaviour appears to remain unchanged.   In order to foster each student’s learning potential, research is needed that provides insight to the way test outcomes are being translated to teacher’s classroom behaviour. This issue is central to this thesis. Dynamic tests, in which hints and feedback are being given during the test procedure, show, more than static (IQ-)tests do, the potential to provide guidelines to educational professionals.  However, better implementation of these tests in the educational field is needed. Moreover, this research shows more factors than test outcomes alone play a role. Implicit theories of intelligence, i.e. that intelligence is either stable or malleable, shape the interpretations of test results and the advice given. Additionally, teachers’ classroom actions are being influenced by their implicit beliefs about intelligence. This highlights the importance of paying attention during initial teacher training programmes to the influence of educational professionals’ beliefs on intelligence to their classroom actions. Furthermore, it is being recommended that the consequential validity of tests should be taken into account in test evaluation reports. After all, since test outcomes are used to guide actions in practice, the validity of the consequences of these advices should be considered.