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Low IQ but high learning potential: Why Zeyneb and Moussa do not belong in special education

Published in Educational and Child Psychology. 1997, vol. 14, no. 4, p. 121-136
Abstract Children from ethnic minority groups generally show lower levels of school success than indigenous children and often appear over-represented in special education. A factor that may contribute to this latter situation is the use of intelligence tests. In this contribution it is shown that intelligence tests may indeed underestimate the level of cognitive functioning of minority children. When employing a Learning Potential procedure, many Turkish and Moroccan children, as well as Dutch children, who score low on an intelligence test, show higher levels of attainment, i.e., a low IQ score is often accompanied by an average or even above average LP score. Furthermore, the progress in learning which Turkish and Moroccan children show over a period of six months in school subjects such as mechanical reading, reading comprehension, spelling and arithmetic, shows a stronger relationship with their LP estimate than with their IQ. Therefore, it is concluded that learning potential assessment is a more valid means of assessment of minority children and may prevent children from being referred to special education inappropriately.
Keywords learning potentialassessmentethnic minoritieslearning difficulties
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HESSELS, Marco G.P. Low IQ but high learning potential: Why Zeyneb and Moussa do not belong in special education. In: Educational and Child Psychology, 1997, vol. 14, n° 4, p. 121-136.

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Deposited on : 2011-02-14

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