Friday, August 19, 2011

Beyond IQ Series # 4. What do NCLB, Forrest Gump and the Model of Academic Competence (MACM) have in common?

Background comment regarding this series

Interest in social-emotional learning and resiliency training (click here and here for just two examples) in education has shown a recent uptick on activity. Given this activity, IQs Corner is starting a series to explain the previously articulated Model of Academic Competence and Motivation (MACM), which was a model ahead of it's time (IMHO). The imporance of non-cognitive (conative) characteristics in learning have been articulated since the days of Spearman, the father of the construct of general intelligence. Richard Snow's work on the concept of "aptitude," which integrates cognitive and conative individual difference variables, is the foundation of the Beyond IQ MACM. Non-cognitive (cognitive) characteristics of learners are important for learning and are more manipulable (more likely to be modified via intervention) than intelligence. Thus, the MACM components make sense as potential levers for improving school learning and pursuing more well rounded life-long learners. This material comes a larger set of materials on the web (click here).

Current MACM Series Installment

This fourth installment in the Beyond IQ series provides the history for the impetus for the development of the MACM framework [All installments in this series (and other related posts and research) can be found by clicking here].


Back during the early days of NCLB policy making I was a consultant to the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO; for students with disabilities). I was asked to write a paper regarding appropriate expectations for students with limited cognitive abilities. The result is probably my most read publication in any form (click here for download of report PDF), and is typically referred to as the Forrest Gump report. I attended a number of meetings with the then Office of Special Education (OSEP), where individuals from various state of federal agencies attended. I presented the gist of the report and it was clear it had an impact on those in attendance, be those pushing for higher expectations for kids with disabilities or those of the philosophy that kids with disabilities needed different expectations/standards under NCLB. It stirred the pot.

That report eventually lead to a working paper that resulted in the development of the Model of Academic Competence and Motivation (MACM), the topic of this series.

Also, the gist of the report was eventually posted at as an on-line PPT show at IQs Corner SlideShare account. It has been my most viewed on-line presentation with over 19,400 views to date.

And now you know the rest of the story.....

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