Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dissertation dish: Prediction of CHC abilities by teachers

It is DD (dissertation dish) time!!!

I just received an e-alert regarding the availability of a new CHC-related dissertation [click here for other CHC/WJ III dissertations recently located]. Below is the reference and abstract. Without reading the dissertation, a question that needs to be asked is how good where all the questionnaire items. Possibly higher teacher-rated and actual tested CHC relations would be present with improved rating scale items.
  • Upper elementary teachers' predictions of their students' oral reading levels and levels of reading-related CHC abilities by Zavertnik, Jennifer Leigh, Ph.D., Temple University, 2007, 158 pages; AAT 3268230
  • Intelligence tests are invaluable tools for school psychologists to assist in understanding a student's cognitive strengths and needs in making accurate diagnostic and treatment decisions. Research has shown that profile analysis, the time-honored method of test interpretation practiced by the majority of school psychologists, is flawed. The Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) Theory of Cognitive Abilities offers the most empirically supported theory of intelligence to date. Based on this theory, researchers have proposed a cross-battery approach to cognitive assessment. School psychologists are encouraged to use this framework to provide more reliable and valid psychoeducational evaluations. However, little research has looked at the application of CHC theory in the classroom. This study investigated whether teachers were able to predict the level of CHC abilities that their 3 rd , 4 th , and 5 th grade students possess as related to reading achievement. This study utilized a 23-item questionnaire completed by the student's teacher based on classroom observations. Each item related to one of the five broad CHC abilities that have been found to correlate with reading achievement: Gc, Ga, Glr, Gsm and Gs. The teachers were also asked to rate each student's oral reading ability. Ten subtests from the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability--Third Edition (WJ-III COG) and one subtest from the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement--Third Edition (WJ-III ACH) were then individually administered to each participant. Additional analyses examined which abilities teachers were best able to predict as well as which of the five CHC abilities best predicted the oral reading score. Results from the 47 participants (26 girls and 21 boys) found that only the teachers' concurrent predictions of their students' crystallized ability and oral reading scores significantly correlated with their actual scores. The students' short-term memory and crystallized ability scores were the only CHC abilities associated with the students' oral reading scores. Together, these two abilities explained 50.5% of the variance in the students' scores. While further replication is warranted with larger, more diverse samples, this teacher survey has the potential to be an important source of information to school psychologists, particularly in the pre-referral process.
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