Migrant kids disadvantaged by traditional intelligence tests
Migrant children in Austria are disadvantaged by traditional intelligence tests that often fail to reveal their real capabilities, according to an expert.
Letizia Gauck from Swiss capability diagnosis centre "Baff" said today (Fri) at the Salzburg Congress of the Austrian Centre for Talent Promotion and Research (özbf) that cultural differences in the evaluation of intelligence and capabilities were the reason for the situation.
She noted that language problems, little experience of testing, poverty and the inadequate appreciation of kids’ culture of origin often led to mistaken evaluation of their abilities.
Gauck called for examinations of migrant children in their native languages with the help of interpreters and for less reliance on intelligence tests.
Discussions with parents were especially important when examiners were ignorant of kids’ cultures of origin, she stressed.
Psychologist Wolfgang Schneider from Würzburg University noted that talent alone was no guarantee of future success since it needed to be developed and trained and such factors as will power, motivation, concentration and persistence also played important roles.