Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross

Posted by: MumOfThree

Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/27/20 11:22 PM

I am making my way through this book at the moment and one of the questions on my mind is whether there is any research or literature on this population refuting Dr Gross's findings/conclusions? Or strongly opposing views in a reputable published form? I have tried searching but I am not having much success at finding anything, I am concerned that this might reflect my inexperience at finding answering/critiquing research rather than indicating that there is nothing to find.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/28/20 01:02 AM

I am not aware of research which counters this but will share a link to a summary found on the Davidson Database, for any who may be interested in a "Cliff's Notes" or "Spark Notes" quick overview for the work and conclusions of Miraca Gross: Exceptionally Gifted Children: Long-Term Outcomes of Academic Acceleration and Nonacceleration

A few brief excerpts
Surprisingly, given the wariness with which Australian teachers regard acceleration, 17 of the 60 young people were radically accelerated. None has regrets. Indeed, several say they would probably have preferred to accelerate still further or to have started earlier. Lubinski, Webb, Morelock, and Benbow (2001) report similar findings from a study of profoundly gifted SMPY accelerands.
...
In every case, the radical accelerands have been able to form warm, lasting, and deep friendships. They attribute this to the fact that their schools placed them, quite early, with older students to whom they tended to gravitate in any case. Those who experienced social isolation earlier say it disappeared after the first grade skip.
...
The five young people who accelerated by 2 years report as much, or almost as much, personal satisfaction with their education as do the radical accelerands although, like the radical accelerands, the majority say they would have liked to have been accelerated further.
...
However, those who were retained with age peers until fourth grade or later tend to find socializing difficult. Exceptionally and profoundly gifted students should have their first acceleration in the early years of school before they experience the social rejection that seems to be a significant risk for such students retained in mixed-ability classes. The skills of friendship building are first learned in the early years of school, and children who are rejected by their peers may miss out on these early and important lessons in forming relationships.
...
The five young people who were permitted a single grade advancement are not deeply satisfied with their education. Their school experience has not been happy, and they would have dearly loved to have been accelerated further. After the euphoria of having new, challenging work, school became just as boring as it had been before the acceleration.
...
The remaining 33 young people were retained, for the duration of their schooling, in a lockstep curriculum with age peers in what is euphemistically termed the “inclusion” classroom. The last thing they felt, as children or adolescents, was “included.” With few exceptions, they have very jaded views of their education. Two dropped out of high school and a number have dropped out of university. Several more have had ongoing difficulties at university, not because of lack of ability but because they have found it difficult to commit to undergraduate study that is less than stimulating. These young people had consoled themselves through the wilderness years of undemanding and repetitive school curriculum with the promise that university would be different—exciting, intellectually rigorous, vibrant—and when it was not, as the first year of university often is not, it seemed to be the last straw.

Some have begun to seriously doubt that they are, indeed, highly gifted. The impostor syndrome is readily validated with gifted students if they are given only work that does not require them to strive for success. It is difficult to maintain the belief that one can meet and overcome challenges if one never has the opportunity to test oneself.

Several of the nonaccelerands have serious and ongoing problems with social relationships. These young people find it very difficult to sustain friendships because having been, to a large extent, socially isolated at school, they have had much less practice in their formative years in developing and maintaining social relationships.

Possibly also of interest:
- Forum discussion threads on acceleration pros and cons
- Forum discussion thread on what children don't learn if not provided with appropriate academic challenge which requires effort
- Article excerpt: children need academic/intellectual peers
- book: Exceptionally Gifted Children 2nd Edition , Miraca Gross (2004), as seen on Amazon, which offers a "Look Inside" feature
Posted by: Alannc44

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/28/20 07:01 AM

Wonderful book. I'm currently finishing it up myself. It's too bad the Binet LM apparently has lost its integrity. (This was the test used on the Australian kids).

The argument that it being "ratio" based instead of "deviation" based as a reason it shouldn't be used kind of bothers me when I read about the advantages of grade acceleration.

The recent idea of "project-based" learning is cool and seems to be the latest fad in schools, but come on, when your seven year old does her best friends' homework for the fun of it, when those best friends are two grades ahead, then age/ratio scores should have a lot more weight than they currently do. We've thrown the baby out with the bath water.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/28/20 12:53 PM

Among the challenges with (age) ratio IQs is the non-linear nature of development, which not only takes place at different paces at different ages, but also isn't uniformly positive. What we know about aspects of cognitive development is that certain elements (e.g., working memory, fluid reasoning) increase in absolute terms until about age 23 (or so), and then begin to decline, with a particularly notable drop-off at about 30 and then again about 40, followed by more gradual decline tracking senescence. At the same time, other aspects of cognition (e.g., crystallized intelligence/acquired knowledge & skills, wisdom/ability to integrate multiple experiences over time into one's thinking and decision-making) continue increasing over the lifetime (absent disease processes, such as dementia).

The kind of cognition that both the SBLM and contemporary instruments assess is heavily weighted toward the aspects that begin to decline after early adulthood (since these instruments were all designed to align with academic planning of some sort). (Vocabulary and Information-type subtests do draw on crystallized intelligence.) So while there is certainly something to be said for a measure that gives a better idea of "cognitive age", the SBLM wasn't really that instrument (although admittedly better at that than most of what we currently use). This is why I typically suggest using academic placement tests in the actual curriculum being used by the school in question for academic acceleration decisions. Why use proxies or predictors for appropriate placement instead of the actual tasks designed for placement in that curriculum?
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/28/20 02:02 PM

Thank you all for your inputs. I realized, when re-reading, that my post perhaps seems like I was hoping that there was contradictory evidence. This is absolutely not the case, I am finding the book wonderful, particularly as we are in Australia. My concern was to make sure I did not find myself caught out, when talking to schools or professionals, by counter evidence I was not aware of.


Originally Posted By: Alannc44
The argument that it being "ratio" based instead of "deviation" based as a reason it shouldn't be used kind of bothers me when I read about the advantages of grade acceleration.


I don't think that there is any need for the SBLM to be used in order to ascertain the usefulness of acceleration. As AEH points out, there are far better ways of determining appropriate placement. There is only the same problem that the children in this book faced: most schools are very resistant and are not making evidence based decisions.

I personally know children who's schools have tested them up with nationally normed end of year tests up to 4yrs in advance of their grade, which they topped out. In one case the school called the parents in to tell them this, and then when the parents asked "Great! So what are we going to do?" the school said "Well nothing, we just thought you would like to know the outcome of testing..." The parents were of course already well aware that the child was learning nothing in school. And the school had just demonstrated that they knew this too, but did not consider this a cause to DO anything for the child. The problem is not lack of ways of assessing whether a child is advanced enough to be accelerated.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/28/20 03:04 PM

Originally Posted By: MumOfThree
The problem is not lack of ways of assessing whether a child is advanced enough to be accelerated.
Agreed.
The problem is also not a lack of funding, as acceleration is not costly, per the SMPY study.
I believe the problem is desire to create equal outcomes for all (which is as ludicrous as expecting all students to maintain uniform growth in height, and equal height outcomes).

post with article mentioning acceleration - SMPY study (2016):
Acceleration is common in SMPY's elite 1-in-10,000 cohort, whose intellectual diversity and rapid pace of learning make them among the most challenging to educate. Advancing these students costs little or nothing, and in some cases may save schools money, says Lubinski. “These kids often don't need anything innovative or novel,” he says, “they just need earlier access to what's already available to older kids.”
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/28/20 04:03 PM

Originally Posted By: indigo

I believe the problem is desire to create equal outcomes for all (which is as ludicrous as expecting all students to maintain uniform growth in height, and equal height outcomes).


I absolutely agree. One of the most interesting aspects of reading this book has been how directly Miraca addresses (Australian) resistance to intellectual excellence. That ”elite” is pejorative with respect to intellectual capabilities but completely acceptable with regard to supporting our “elite” athletes. I know this about Australia, I grew up being told that I could not possibly be allowed to work ahead or extended, because that would be elitist, bad and wrong... but to see our whole historical context so clearly pulled together and described with such clarity is quite profound. And it is interesting to read Miraca’s observations about egalitarianism and giftedness in the context of the articles currently abounding regarding gifted programming in the USA.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/28/20 04:31 PM

Also, height is a wonderful example. My husband is beyond the 99.9th percentile for height. This provides a wonderful example to explain the bell curve to our children and that the world can be a very poor “fit” for someone off the tails of the curve, without implying any value about ones worth as a person.

It’s true that people do have different ideas about whether it is more unfortunate to be tall or short (and there is gender bias in that too) and people make inappropriate comments and questions at both ends of the curve. But they don’t tend to believe you are more or less valuable as a person even if they do think your height is notable. And which ever end of the curve you are on, if you are unusual enough you still have trouble buying clothes, shoes and hats, and using cars/kitchens/doorways which are designed to the middle of the curve. The world isn’t very accommodating for people at the extremes of any trait.

Interestingly there IS a history of trying to restrict height outcomes for women, which has mercifully ceased. Multiple women in my husband’s family were either medically treated to restrict their height, or tried dietary modification to restrict their own growth due to familial ingrained ideas about the appropriateness of women being that tall. Times have changed and culturally we now rightfully see this as outrageous. My own daughters are somewhat resentful that my genes have ruined their chances of being as tall as they could be (the ones that are fully grown, or almost grown are still 99th+).
Posted by: Alannc44

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 05:36 AM

Originally Posted By: aeh
sthe SBLM wasn't really that instrument (although admittedly better at that than most of what we currently use). This is why I typically suggest using academic placement tests in the actual curriculum being used by the school in question for academic acceleration decisions. Why use proxies or predictors for appropriate placement instead of the actual tasks designed for placement in that curriculum?


Aren't "academic placement tests in the actual curriculum" just achievement tests? My dd has a lot of potential, especially in the category of "fluid reasoning", but her school refuses to accelerate her. They're basing their opinion not to accelerate because "she's doing fine and up to level in her grade" based on their "curriculum". Never mind the fact that she's basically 1/10,000 in potential with the LM. You might deduce I'm in a current emotional tussle with this issue.

I personally taught her last year how to add and subtract fractions because she loves to work out complex problems and WANTS to do this stuff before bedtime. This year, she won't even touch her homework because it's "baby stuff". And, it's true. In second grade they barely learn what a fraction is by the end of the year.

If we're talking about potential versus achievement then how does a parent rage against the machine when something like fluid reasoning, or potential, isn't considered or weighed very heavily?
Posted by: cricket3

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 06:51 AM

On this site, you will see (our used to see) lots of references to least-worst options. This is what people mean. For each kid and family it will be different, and will be a fluid process as well.

For some, they opt to leave the system altogether, and some work out compromises of various sorts. Our kids stayed in the system, one that like yours, refuses any acceleration or effective differentiation (with a few great exceptions). They had some good peers, or near-peers at any rate, and found some relief through some extracurricular activities that were much more engaging than anything offered or available through the curriculum. It was a compromise, for sure, but one we made with awareness and thought, based on many factors. And I still have regrets and second thoughts, and probably always will. Because there is no perfect path, you do the best you can with what you have.

Given all that, we are remarkably lucky overall. My DD is thriving in college, with a couple of wildly divergent career/life pathways ahead of her, and my DS is finishing his senior year of HS, with some exciting decisions and opportunities ahead of him. Education is a lifelong process, and they are ready to take over and continue the journey.

Best wishes to you, and all the posters here- the struggle is real, but may you and your kids find their way. I hope it helps to know there are others who hear your frustrations and understand.
Posted by: pinewood1

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 08:45 AM

Originally Posted By: Alannc44
Never mind the fact that she's basically 1/10,000 in potential with the LM.


Ratio IQs aren't normally distributed. The gifted literature based on them seems to both know and not know that at the same time; the sources will give rarity tables based on the normal curve to talk about how rare and special HG+ people are, and then in the same breath say there are a lot more HG+ people in the population than anyone expects. (And this is why no one outside the gifted field takes this literature seriously, IMO.)

The bright side of this is that the situation (for finding like-minded peers) is not anywhere near as dire as that literature makes it seem. We're outliers, but not that level of outliers. I've run into several PG people without looking for them.
Posted by: indigo

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 09:12 AM

Originally Posted By: Alannc44
I personally taught her last year how to add and subtract fractions because she loves to work out complex problems and WANTS to do this stuff before bedtime.
Your child is not alone in wanting to think about some interesting math before bedtime! Bedtime Math
smile
Posted by: indigo

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 09:16 AM

Originally Posted By: cricket3
Education is a lifelong process, and they are ready to take over and continue the journey.

smile smile smile

When formal education is complete, or one may be taking a pause to work in a field and earn additional tuition dollars, there are often professional organizations one can join and certifications one can earn.

I'm a strong believer in lifelong learning.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 01:07 PM

Yes. They are achievement measures, but since what one is often advocating for is access to further academic tasks, they do have relevance. And since every school acceleration involves a curriculum, measuring how one performs in the actual curriculum to be used is likely the most straightforward way of predicting whether one will perform well in the same curriculum. Also, unlike the norm-referenced achievement measures we usually discuss here, they are not transformations of age- or grade-based z-scores. They are actually what we call criterion-referenced measures, where the intent is not to determine one's ordinal standing in the population, but to determine if a specified set of learning standards has been mastered. This has direct relevance for instructional placement decisions, as schools can say with confidence that a student demonstrates mastery of the (say) grade two math curriculum, which is the prerequisite for advancing to the grade three math curriculum. On standard score-based achievement tests, the design is typically to sample skills sufficient to determine one's rank order in the norm population, without necessarily indicating which skills are mastered, and which are gaps. That's why they are not recommended for progress monitoring.

I understand your frustration regarding high fluid reasoning and how that applies to academic placement, but one also needs to consider that the tasks for which one advocates may or may not be well-aligned with fluid reasoning strengths. Honestly, moving up to third or fourth grade math is not going to result in much of a fluid reasoning bump. What you are describing is more like advocating for math advancement based on math ability. The school is countering based on grade-level achievement (which is, of course, directly and likely causally related to lack of above-grade-level math instruction). But since you've introduced her to some of the concepts that she wouldn't necessarily have been able to derive vocabulary for, and the remaining math skills in elementary are essentially all variations and extensions of the four basic arithmetic functions, working her way through math placement tests would, in fact, be a way of demonstrating to the school, in their language, that she has above-grade level math achievement, and thus above-grade-level math instructional needs.

If, instead, they do recognize her above-grade-level math skills, and the issue is that they feel no obligation to instruct any child above the top of the grade level curriculum, then you have a thornier philosophical and advocacy obstacle before you.

And, as a technical note, PP's comments regarding not using interpretations like top 1 in 10,000 with the SBLM are correct. You can only use ordinal descriptors (standing in the population) of performance with deviation IQs. Not ratio IQs like the SBLM.
Posted by: Alannc44

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 01:42 PM

Thanks for the well-though out, and reasoned comment. I appreciate it.

Does Dr. Gross' book not provide somewhat of empirical evidence to the benefits of acceleration based on the LM? After all, this seems to be the only test she cites for these children whom she follows longitudinally.

As far as placement, my DD did place a couple of grade levels above on the Woodcock, but as you say, I do have an advocacy obstacle ahead of me. They're not open to advancement period. We'll probably just changes schools yet again. It's pretty frustrating. We used the LM as back up, but they insist their "project sharing" curriculum is enough.

One comment to something you say regarding mastering grade levels. To me, that sounds like linear progression. I don't mean this in any sort of snide way, but if a kid has a desire to learn algebra (is intrigued by variables and symbols, etc) and is sick and tired of having to do number lines to show addition and subtraction, why hold her back? Can't she go back and learn the number lines later?

Thanks again. I love reading your insight.
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 01:42 PM

I don't expect any IQ test to produce a 'normal' or Gaussian curve because many factors influence or impact intellectual function. If a measurable outcome is affected by multiple factors, I'd expect a log Gaussian curve. If the magnitude of the effects of these factors on the measurable outcome are very different and there is genetic clustering, I'd expect a nonparametric curve. I suspect that the actual distribution of intellectual function in the general population would predominantly resemble a log Gaussian curve with non parametric waves which would be more evident in the long right tail of the log Gaussian curve. Both of these would explain why there are far more HG, EG & PG individuals than predicted by a test which assumes the population is normally distributed.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 02:16 PM

Originally Posted By: cricket3
On this site, you will see (our used to see) lots of references to least-worst options. This is what people mean. For each kid and family it will be different, and will be a fluid process as well.


When I first found this website 9 years ago I was looking to support a different child. "Least Worst" resonated profoundly with me back then. And was actually quite a useful tool in negotiating a single skip for that child...

When school staff would ask variations on the theme of "Do you think that is a good idea?.. What if..?"

I would say "Well no, I am not sure it's a good idea, but in this situation that we are talking about, there are not good choices, only the least worst option, and this seems to be it."

Usually this would lead to blinking and mumbling and a complete inability to respond. It was never clear whether this meant that they agreed or were simply unable to devise a counter offer of what else might be the least worst thing.

Part of their problem would have been that I had just aligned myself with the school in agreeing with them that my proposal was not necessarily appealing, certain to succeed, or a marvelous idea, and yet I was still firmly proposing it. I had also effectively framed the current situation as WORSE than this "least worst" proposal. Acceleration was not "good" it was "the least worst thing" I could think of and the ball was in their court to come up with some other solution that was less bad than the current situation OR acceleration. I would then follow this up with all the ways I had already devised to reverse the skip later, should that be needed.

I have also used this phrase years down the track to shut down unhelpful reflections by school staff on that past grade skip and it's possible down sides. "Least Worst" has immediately refocused them on the reality that nothing is perfect and we would have been sitting there, but discussing WORSE problems without the acceleration.

I had never stopped and considered how useful this phrase has been to me, it wasn't a consciously executed plan to manipulate school staff. Rather, I had a rather sudden realization when reading Cricket3's post, as all of our more successful moments from meetings related to acceleration have coalesced in my mind.


Originally Posted By: cricket3

...found some relief through some extracurricular activities that were much more engaging than anything offered or available through the curriculum. It was a compromise, for sure, but one we made with awareness and thought, based on many factors. And I still have regrets and second thoughts, and probably always will. Because there is no perfect path, you do the best you can with what you have.

Given all that, we are remarkably lucky overall. My DD is thriving in college, with a couple of wildly divergent career/life pathways ahead of her, and my DS is finishing his senior year of HS, with some exciting decisions and opportunities ahead of him. Education is a lifelong process, and they are ready to take over and continue the journey.


I too now have one at uni, and I can't really look back and see that we could have done anything differently. It was a long hard road of negotiating and advocating that really only proved to have been successful/worthwhile in the final year of schooling and subsequent progression to an undergraduate degree that is exactly right fit for them.

I have one in highschool, with a single acceleration, and regrets that we didn't do things differently. Extra curricular activities "saved" this child, possibly quite literally, they were so shut down and closed off. Their extracurricular strength has lead first to becoming more themselves again, then a scholarship at an elite private school, and most recently to entrance to a highly selective specialist high school in their area of interest, their currently placement fairly much guarantees a tertiary placement in that area (unless they massively screw up). This is a good thing, not only because they love the path they are on, but also because I am not sure that academics will ever fully recover from our not finding them a better solution through the first 6-7 years of schooling. If academics do recover it is only like to be post secondary schooling, if some new opportunity provides the interest and motivation. In many ways this child, who we have regrets about not doing more for academically, who is significantly underachieving academically, is our only child where we can say their current educational situation is the best possible placement we can imagine for them. It's NOT the least worst thing we could do, it's the very best path they could forge for themselves. Sometimes the path forward is utterly unexpected.

And then there is the child that has brought me back to this group more recently, they are currently homeschooled, recovering from 5.5 yrs of schooling that we have deep, deep regrets about. This was our child we thought would be "easy" to school, would fly through school and be socially and academically successful, and instead has been so harmed by the system and our failure to do enough (soon enough). Of all of our children we feel this one "needs" all the things that people use as arguments about why schools are better than homeschooling... by homeschooling we helping them heal and get what they need academically, but we are currently in the "least worst" scenario for this one too.

Posted by: Wren

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 03:05 PM

Thanks for the post mumofthree. It really made me think also. DD is now in 10th grade and I started on this forum in preschool. As a domineering helicopter parent, I thought I could control, even with least worst options. And now things are not as I planned. I should have done the grade skip but it coincided with a lot of home upheaval. Moving from NYC and the death of her father. So that didn't happen, but everything worked out eventually, despite my best efforts to control, DD is very strong and controlling her own outcomes. Making choices I never saw coming. But are turning out to be better strategic options for her long term goals. So despite my efforts to make sure she had the better options, she sometimes found the best options that were not even on my radar. It feels weird to spend years trying to make sure they get what they need, that now it is time to step back and let them make choices and control the process and they will find what they need.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 03:34 PM

Originally Posted By: Alannc44
Does Dr. Gross' book not provide somewhat of empirical evidence to the benefits of acceleration based on the LM? After all, this seems to be the only test she cites for these children whom she follows longitudinally.


I am sure that AEH will have a better response, but what I would say is that Dr. Gross clearly outlines is that for measurably exceptional or profoundly gifted children there is clear empirical evidence for the benefits of acceleration, academically AND socially, evidence of the difficulty in dealing with educators AND (importantly) evidence for the risks of NOT accelerating (or otherwise providing adequate education).

Her argument is that measurably exceptional or profoundly gifted children are not "spurters" and do not "level out" - unless you willfully suppress their development. Their chances of growing up to be socially well adjusted are inherently tied to their successful intellectual development (relative to their personal potential, specifically not their adequate intellectual development relative to their age peers).

The SBLM is the tool that she had available to her at the time with which to measure... The SBLM is no longer an acceptable tool with which to measure (30 years later). Newer tests have not been designed with gifted children in mind, they are frustrating for experts and parents of gifted children (especially at the tails). But they are the only tools we have that will hold any sway with schools in terms of IQ / "potential" or "ability", the gift vs. the talent, as Gagne would say. Despite the frustrations with newer tests, there ARE children who are scoring at the extreme tails of the WISC-V, extended norms have been made available. That said, it seems that most organisations serving the "profoundly gifted" will simply accept an IQ score of 145+ on a modern measure, as there is no SBLM replacement today.

One of the issues in how differently the SBLM and modern tests work for gifted children seems to be, from my inexpert reading, that the SBLM did not really weight processing speed or working memory the way modern tests do, AND did not penalise a child with a specific strength. From what I understand a globally gifted child could do very well, but a less globally gifted child with a massive verbal or math spike could also do very well. And there was only one final number to describe that outcome, regardless of what their personal strength was, or how "even" they were. On more modern measures children who can score 160+ on FSIQ will be extraordinarily rare, as so few are uniformly gifted in all areas of modern test (including WM and PS). But the WISC-V does provide multiple ways of describing a child with a significant strength in a particular domain and many (most?) relevant program are using these options as acceptable measures of giftedness (VECI, NVI, EFI, GAI, EGAI, QRI, etc)

Tests of achievement are many and varied. Gross used multiple forms of achievement testing in her book too. She repeatedly references school's utter unwillingness to acknowledge children's strengths even in light of both IQ AND achievement measures such as the SAT. Though, from what I understand, not being American, the SAT was also a proxy for IQ 30 years ago, much more so than it is today.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 02/29/20 08:36 PM

To be clear, I am, in many if not most cases, an advocate for acceleration for learners of high cognitive ability. (Not surprisingly, when the life outcomes related to acceleration for myself, many members of my family in my generation, and in my children's generation have been notably positive on balance.)

However, advocacy should be based on sound evidence, and also tends to be most effective when it communicates in a language comprehensible to the decision-makers. So while Gross' case studies (as well as Benbow's similar studies using the out-of-level SAT as a proxy for cognition) provide evidentiary support for acceleration based on cognition as a general approach, they don't necessarily work when attempting to convince current decision-makers that cognitive assessments based on a completely different design establish a need for acceleration to a specific academic level. I am not saying that this is necessarily a justifiable response, simply that it is a frequent and not unnatural response.

For my own part, I think the data are clear that acceleration as a strategy is more effective than not for HG+ learners (at the group level; obviously, individual outcomes will vary), but I do not think the data are nearly as clear that specific academic placement decisions (e.g., math or reading level) can be made based purely on cognition. Many factors besides cognition affect academic achievement and classroom performance, including the presence/absence of other exceptionalities, executive functions, social skills, other soft skills. In a more-or-less traditional school setting, these factors have to be considered in placement decisions. If, of course, an educational setting allows for fully scaffolding the other factors, then one can advance more purely based on what turns out to be cognition. (Viz, homeschooling.)

And another technical note: although it became extensively associated with GT research through Terman himself and subsequent researchers, the SBLM was not designed for GT populations either (consider that Terman designed the scale with the assumption that cognitive development tops out at age sixteen, and Binet, of course, originally designed it for the other tail, to demonstrate that intellectually impaired children were educable). It's not really superior to contemporary instruments in design--just different.

And yet another note: the SBLM specifically may, for some educators, trigger some negative impressions, due to Terman's views on eugenics, gender identification, and gender roles, which generally conformed to those of the era in which he lived.
Posted by: Alannc44

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 03/01/20 04:25 AM

Thanks again. Yes, the SBLM apparently does trigger some negative impressions. I can see why.

The more I think about the Binet 5, which my DD had done well on prior to trying the LM, the more I think I should've demanded our local psychologist do the extended parts. She topped out a subtest (19), and hit 17-18 on a few more. The psychologist who gave her that test looked like she was going to chop my head off when I inquired. Would it have been worth it?
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 03/01/20 10:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Alannc44
She topped out a subtest (19), and hit 17-18 on a few more. The psychologist who gave her that test looked like she was going to chop my head off when I inquired. Would it have been worth it?


I don't actually know how the extend part of the SBV works, but it seems extraordinarily rare to be “worth” running them. I think it’s quite different from extended norms on the WiSCV, or adding some extra sub tests on the WISC in order to form some of the specialized factors.

I have two children with FSIQ 145/146 on the SBV, both have 6 sub tests 18/19. I was told the extended portion was not worth running. I have a friend with a child with FSIQ 150+ on the SBV, also told no. I’ve never actually heard of anyone having them used. I suggest that you not feel like you did something wrong here.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 03/01/20 11:10 AM

A quick google found a number of links back to this forum discussing the extended sbv:

http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B....html#Post57100

http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...cores_ceil.html

There were others I didn’t read.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 03/01/20 12:49 PM

I would agree that there is no need to sweat not having pursued the ExNorms more on the SB5. As on the WISC, they are most likely to add information when learners obtain multiple 19 scaled scores.

I should note, though, that not all evaluators have access to the ExNorms, as they are in a sold-separately interpretive supplement, with which not all schools will have resourced their psychologists. Private psychs may also choose not to expend the resources on it, since the ExNorms are probably the most concretely useful aspect of the supplement, but are only going to be referenced with regard to a tiny percentage of clients. The WISC, in contrast, has freely-downloadable reference tables for the extended norms, which makes it a bit more user-friendly in that regard.

As to what would have been necessary for the ExNorms: as long as the examiner was following standard basal/ceiling/discontinue rules, all of the raw score data should have been obtained. It's the transformation to scaled/standard scores that would be different. The issue typically is that some examiners discontinue as soon as the student has reached the maximum scaled score, even if they have not either triggered discontinue rules or completed the last available item on the subtest. (In some cases, very young children may have been administered the Early Years edition of the SB5, which lacks the highest-level items, and is specifically not recommended for GT. Obviously, not only would ExNorms be not obtainable using the EY, but even good general scaled/standard scores would not.)

Unless one of the caveat situations listed above pertains to your DC's case, it is unlikely that the ExNorms would have made a substantial difference in the composite scores.
Posted by: pinewood1

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 03/22/20 02:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum
I don't expect any IQ test to produce a 'normal' or Gaussian curve because many factors influence or impact intellectual function. If a measurable outcome is affected by multiple factors, I'd expect a log Gaussian curve. If the magnitude of the effects of these factors on the measurable outcome are very different and there is genetic clustering, I'd expect a nonparametric curve. I suspect that the actual distribution of intellectual function in the general population would predominantly resemble a log Gaussian curve with non parametric waves which would be more evident in the long right tail of the log Gaussian curve. Both of these would explain why there are far more HG, EG & PG individuals than predicted by a test which assumes the population is normally distributed.


As far as I know, deviation-based tests are designed to make the distribution they produce be a Gaussian curve, no matter what the actual distribution of whatever they're trying to measure is. I'm not sure how successful that actually is at the tails, but that's the goal.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Exceptionally gifted children by Miraca Gross - 03/22/20 04:41 PM

The tails are usually represented by a very tiny number of actual persons in the standardization sample (typically about 100 samples go into each age bracket). So yes, the real number at an extreme right-hand tail position may be quite different from the theoretical distribution.

The left hand tail is also overrepresented, likely owing to the many ways that cognitive development can be disrupted. And both tails appear to be especially overrepresented among males.