BACKGROUND CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN OF HIGH VERBAL ABILITY
Thomas Kellaghan and Elizabeth Neuman
A representative sample (N 100) of eleven-year old Irish children of high verbal ability (the top ten per cent of scorers on a verbal reasoning test) was compared with a representative sample (N 461) of children of the same age of average verbal ability on a number of background variables. Bright children were more likely to come from an urban than a rural background. Significant differences between the groups were found on several family variables (social status, size of family, and the interest of both parents in the edu cation of their children). The differences between the groups was not significant for ordinal position in family. Neither was there any significant difference in sex representation in the two groups.
OBJECTIVES IN EDUCATION
A number of controversial issues in education which highlight different objectives are reviewed. Next, reference is made to some investigations in which the perception of educational objectives among teachers, pupils, ex-pupils and parents were studied explicitly. Differences of opinion between teachers, pupils and parents make it difficult to see how any objectives can be pursued effectively under the present circumstances. In spite of differences, however, there are substantial areas of agreement, in particular concerning many non cognitive aspects of education, which do not seem to receive as much attention as many would like in the current scheme of things. Finally, it is suggested that appropriate aids to deciding on various orders of priority among educational objectives would be socio technical analyses of the life-styles of various sections of the population.
A GROUP APPROACH TO DEFINING ELUSIVE INSTRUCTIONAL OBJECTIVES
T Joseph Sheehan
Lack of precise and acceptable statements of instructional goals may account for the uniform lack of success in evaluating clinical performancer across the health professions. Instructional goals, whether they are stated as performance characteristics, behavioural objectives, or criterion behaviours, represent the blueprints for building the teaching programme and designing the evaluation instruments. A card-sort technique was used to focus faculty attention and discussion on statements which described important dimensions of clinical performance. Although other methods might work so long as they actively involve the core of faculty responsible for the major portions of the teaching and evaluation programme, the card sorting techniques did tend to minimize interpersonal and interdepartmental differences and forced a search for common understandings.
INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMMING AS A MODEL FOR CLASSROOM TEACHING
Donald W Felker, Adrian P Van Mondfrans and Parker Blount
The reasons why teachers commonly adopt an intuitive approach to classroom events and problems are examined. The dependence upon a model which has its roots in the ‘teaching as an art’ approach is specified as one major reason. The scientific approach advocated by McDonald is suggested as a viable alternative and programmed instructional procedures presented as a concise model which incorporates McDonald’s approach. The strengths of this model and its usefulness to the classroom teacher in approachmg classroom events lend support to its use as a basis for teacher behaviour.
SOME PROFESSIONAL PROBLEMS IN EDUCATION
Ralph F Berdie
Some of the problems facing professions are outlined recruitment, selection, training, certification, specialization and job evaluation. Some of the principles provided by psychology which are relevant to a consideration of these problems are then considered. These principles pertain to individual differences in behaviour, the possibility of measuring these differences, the relationships between personality characteristics and occupational performance, the predictability of behaviour and its modifiability.
ISSUES IN THE MEASUREMENT OF INTELLIGENCE
William M Bart
A variety of problems arising out of current practices in the measurement of intelligence are considered. These include the gross imprecision of definitions of intelligence and the norm referred basis of intelligence-test construction. It is argued, primarily from a Piagetian framework, that the precise measurement of intelligence requires the construction of custom-made structurally parallel intelligence tests. If such tests are also criterion referenced, the information provided to teachers and counselors regarding the intelligent behaviours of students will be much more useful than the information available on the basis of performance on tests currently in use.
THE EFFECTS OF STANDARDIZED TESTING
George Madaus, Peter Airasian and Thomas Kellaghan
Many arguments for and against the use of standardized tests have been advanced. The present paper reviews studies of the effects of testing on examinees, teachers, organizations sponsoring tests, and parents. Almost without exception, these studies have failed to distinguish between evaluation derived from test results and evaluation based on other information. Thus, the effects of information based on standardized tests must still be considered an open question.
BACKGROUND AND EXPECTATIONS OF MIGRANT SCIENTISTS IN NORTH AMERICA
James A Wilson and Jerry Gaston
The institutional sources and academic qualifications of 553 scientists (mostly physicists and chemists) who had emigrated from Great Britain and Ireland to North America were ascertained by means of questionnaire. A large proportion (34 per cent) had taken first class honours degrees. Sixty eight per cent of the scientists indicated they would remain permanently in North America, thirty two per cent saw themselves as temporary migrants. The permanent migrant, as compared to the temporary one, was more likely to have come to the idea of emigrating on a previous visit to North America, he tended to be older, to have married a North American, to hold a permanent position in industry and to see himself as economically better off in America than in Europe.
RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND CHURCH ATTENDANCE OF SIXTH FORM PUPILS AND THEIR PARENTS
J E Greer
The results of an investigation into the religious beliefs and practices of Northern Ireland sixth form pupils and their parents suggest that in general the degree of certainty of belief in God and the frequency of Church attendance of parents and children are related. However, in several cases, a marked difference was observed between the degree of certainty of belief in God of parents and of their children, and a small but significant difference was found between the frequency of Church attendance of parents and boys. About half of the pupils who were uncertain of God’s existence and about a quarter of the pupils who were fairly sure that God did not exist attended Church regularly.
TECHINQUES FOR ASSESSING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CAMPUS ENVIRONMENTS
Charles M Stanton
In recent years educators have become increasingly aware that many factors beyond the classroom greatly affect the quality of a student’s learning experiences at the college level. This paper reviews recent attempts to measure and understand factors in the environment which could affect a student’s ability to learn. It also points out uses for such information in the administration of an institution of higher learning.