Naglieri Nonverbal Abilities Test (NNAT) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My local school district uses the NNAT to identify gifted children. The official line is that it is the only method they use, though I don't know if this is true in practice (ds1 is old enough for kindergarten next fall).

So, anyway, I was talking to my neighbor recently and found out that 60% of her daughter's Kindy class tested as "gifted".

WHAT?

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience/insights regarding this test.

Based on the demographics of our local elementary, it sounds to me like it's just identifying the upper-middle class portion of the students. And isn't it sorta weird to use only a non-verbal test when giftedness often shows up as early verbal abilities?

Thanks for any info!

Lara
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#2 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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hmm... typically this test doesn't use words and is considered culturally neutral. So it is designed to avoid ID-ing the upper socio-economic class kids... If you look at the test it is just some pictures and symbol-type sequences, it doesn't use words or math or anything...

If there is one criticism I've heard of this test it is that it tends to be too narrow (kids who have been reading for awhile are kind of confused by it, if they don't listen carefully to the directions). And it tends to favor visual spacial minds... and then the usual complaints about a group test not being the best way to find g-kids... So usually the concern is that there are *more gifted kids that are not id-ed by the test.*

But I wonder how your neighbor would know that 60 per cent of the class was id-ed as gifted? How would she get that information?

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#3 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The teacher told her.

Yeah, my concern when researching this test and looking at sample questions was that it would underidentify and basically miss a whole portion of gifted kids. Then I heard this and was really surprised.

ETA: I also know that the result of using this test is that the local gifted elementary has a high proportion of ELL students.
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#4 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 01:22 PM
 
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I think schools give this test to find the kids who don't have anyone to advocate for them. If you think your child is gifted then you can probably nominate them yourself and submit work samples, private iq test results, etc.

A lot of kids don't have anyone to do this for them.

I think having a lot if English Language Learners is a good thing, if you've ever picked up and moved to a new country with a new language and culture, it takes a lot of smarts to navigate all of that. What is wrong with having a gifted program with a lot of diversity? It seems inconsistent with your original post about being only rich kids... am I missing something?

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#5 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't say it was a bad thing to have ELL learners.
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#6 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lara1828 View Post
I didn't say it was a bad thing to have ELL learners.
Ah, I see. It just didn't all jive. But I see you just sort of like "what" and trying to feel it out.

I wouldn't worry about it until after the test. If you want I know there are sample tests you can purchase to introduce the type of test to your child, if you are worried about test anxiety. But this might possibly produce more anxiety, depending on the child...

I think it is possible that, depending on where you live, 15 kids out of 25 could be gifted to some degree. If you live in Silicon Valley or a University town, there could be a lot of smarties running around.

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#7 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the comments! Yes, I do live in an area where there are a lot of "smarties" running around (professors & professionals). I guess 60% just seems awful high to me, even so. It also makes me skeptical that they are providing good quality gifted services if they consider 60% of any given class to be gifted. In my imagination: "Oh, everyones's gifted here, he'll do fine with the regular curriculum. But he needs to stop asking so many questions."

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#8 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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It really depends on the school and the state and the program. In some places I could see that the more gifted kids the better all around--the school receives more money for gifted services, the teachers get g-kids because they have to in order to be good teachers.

I would look into what your school's policy for gifted students is; when does the program start, what does it entail. You may be pleasantly surprised, or scared, but at least you know what you are dealing with... :

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#9 of 11 Old 09-25-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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Is that teacher's class a cluster classroom? If so, there will be more gifted students.
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#10 of 11 Old 09-26-2008, 01:06 AM
 
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I personally would be worried, not knowing the test at all, but just by the name, because my kid technically qualifies as having a Nonverbal Learning Disorder. So I wonder how he would test on a test like this. He was much higher on the verbal section, as much much much higher on achievement tests.
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#11 of 11 Old 09-26-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by heythere heather View Post
I personally would be worried, not knowing the test at all, but just by the name, because my kid technically qualifies as having a Nonverbal Learning Disorder. So I wonder how he would test on a test like this. He was much higher on the verbal section, as much much much higher on achievement tests.
It does use the same decoding and pattern recognition skills that one uses with language, though. The 'nonverbal' part refers to the fact that it is not based on any one language (English, Spanish, etc.)... But rather uses geometric shapes and such. So it isn't not verbal as in 'other human traits that aren't language based' but rather nonverbal in that it is culturally neutral--there aren't pictures of cars or white people eating sandwiches or paragraphs about Sally... but it is language-like, if that makes sense?

It is the same skills that one uses to identify that the letter S is different then an N and that CAT is a different pattern then DOG. There is even an analogy section.

I would rather have my child take this test then the cogAT based on basic principal.

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