Chapter 4

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McGill University
Ed Psych & Couns (Psychology)
EDPE 300
Camelia Birlean

4: INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP DIFFERENCES Keeping Individual and Group Differences in Perspective differences in how easily students learn/remember information/connect ideas, how easily/creatively they apply knowledge to new situations o heritage & sex factor in o girls are less assertive in whole class situations than boys observe students draw inferences that must not be set in stone creativity is domain (subject) specific individual variability in any group almost always overlap between 2 groups teachers preconceived notions about students may increase differences among students Intelligence intelligence: ability to modify/adjust behaviours to accomplish new tasks successfully; involves many different mental processes & its nature may vary depending on the culture in which one lives o adaptive, related to learning ability; uses prior knowledge to analyze & understand; involves complex interaction/coordination of many different mental processes; seen in different areas Measuring Intelligence intelligence test: general measure of current cognitive abilities, used to predict academic achievement over the short run & to assist in the assessment/diagnosis of various learning difficulties IQ scores o IQ score: intelligence quotient; a composite score on an intelligence test; determined by comparing ones performance on a test with the performance of others in the same age groups; for most tests it is a standard score with a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15 o IQ score only valid 2 years after date the test was taken IQ and school achievement o children with higher IQ scores do better on standardized achievement tests, have higher grades & complete more years of education o used frequently by school psychologists o realize: intelligence doesnt cause achievement, only correlated relationship between IQ scores & achievement not perfect IQ scores reflect students performance on particular test at particular time limitations of intelligence tests o different kinds of intelligence tests yield somewhat different scores o students performance inevitably affected by temporary factors of when test is taken o test items focus on limited set of skills important in Western culture & particular school settings dont look at skills valued in other contexts/societies o students may be unfamiliar with content/types of tasks & perform poorly as a result o students with limited English proficiency at a disadvantage o students may not be motivated to perform at their best How Theorists Conceptualize Intelligence some believe people behave more or less intelligently given different situations/tasks Spearmans concept of g o g: general factor in intelligence; the theoretical notion that intelligence includes a general factor that influences peoples ability to learn in a wide variety of content domains o some believe g = reflection of speed & efficiency with which people can process information/ learning tasks/problem situations Gardners Theory of Multiple Intelligences o suggests there are at least 8 different & relatively independent abilities/intelligences o students show promise in different areas o various intelligences manifest themselves differently in different cultures o some reject evidence supporting notion of 8 distinct abilities or that abilities in specific domains are really intelligence o many educators like it for its optimistic view of human potential Sternbergs Triarchic Theory o focuses on nature of intelligence o intelligent behaviour involves interplay of 3 factors: environmental context, way prior experiences are brought to bear particular tasks, cognitive processes required by task o research doesnt support or refute this theory vague so difficult to test o distributed intelligence: idea people more likely to act intelligently with physical/social support systems to assist them o people can distribute their thinking in at least 3 ways use physical objects to handle & manipulate large amounts of information work with others to explore ideas & solve problems represent/think about situations using various symbolic systems to simplify/summarize J.P. DAS and the PASS Model o cognitive assessment system examines cognitive processes of attention, simultaneous & successive processing & planning (PASS Model) o argued g tests have little diagnostic & prescriptive utility o PREP (remediation program based on PASS Model) intended to induce successive & simultaneous processing while involving training of planning/promoting selective attention Robbie Case and the Neo-Piagetian Theory of Cognitive Development o Robbie Case developed explanation of cognitive development in children o children progress through 4 cognitive stages: sensorimotor (0-1 years), interrelational (1 - 5 years), dimensional (5-11 years) & vectorial (11-19 years) that are tied to specific domains o progression largely dependent on working memory capacity & efficiency o capacity to hold/manipulate information in memory = increased myelination, practice to point of automatization, social/cultural experiences, acquisition of central conceptual structures Heredity, Environment and Group Differences in Intelligence intelligence is somewhat hereditary (about ) environment has effect (nutrition, alcohol during pregnancy, attending school, changing environments) slow but steady increase in peoples IQ scores worldwide (better nutrition, better schooling, increased daily stimulation) Socioeconomic Difference, Ability and Achievement socioeconomic differences relevant for differences between groups socioeconomic status: ones general social & economic standing in society, encompassing such variables as family income, occupation and level of education higher SES = higher academic achievement; lower SES = greater risk of dropping out Factors Interfering with School Success poor nutrition lower IQ, poorer attention & memory, impaired learning ability, lower school achievement emotional stress family violence occurs in 37% of households, live chronically anxious/stressful conditions, higher raters of depression, etc. traumatic experiences refugees, stress/anxiety disorders, trauma/guilt/worry/sadness about friends/ family back home parents acculturative stress immigrant/refugee students depend largely on parents ability to adapt, role reversal when kids translate for parents (confusion about dual roles) students acculturative stress new country/culture/school/curriculum/learning style, hard time relating to others fewer early experiences that foster school readiness low SES student lack basic knowledge/skills lower quality schoo
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