A comparative study of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III) test performance: Northern Cheyenne and Blackfeet reservation Indian children with the standardization sample
Intelligence testing of school children began in the early 1900s after Lewis Terman initiated changes in the original 1905 Binet-Simon Scale. However, at that time, testing instruments largely focused on substantiating differences among people, suggesting that difference was equivalent to deficiency. Ethnic minorities were thus perceived as less capable and less intelligent than those of majority culture. Early reservation boarding schools reflected this philosophy in removing Native American children from the “negative” influences of their homes in an attempt to provide appropriate education. While great strides have since been made in the recognition and appreciation of cultural contributions and diversity, school placement decisions often remain based on results of psychoeducational assessment instruments which primarily reflect the values and achievement goals of majority society. Despite this and the high proportion of Native American children in learning disabled and mentally handicapped placements today, a culturally specific instrument with which to assess the intellectual functioning of American Indian children has yet to be developed. The acceptable alternative to date has been the creation of local norms which allows comparison with like peers. This study has provided a comparison of scores of the Wechsler Intelligence scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III), the nationwide test of choice for intellectual assessment of children, for the Northern Plains American Indian children of the Northern Cheyenne and Blackfeet Indian Reservations in Montana. Research of this kind has never been attempted for this specific population, making this study significant in serving as a baseline for further investigations of the cognitive abilities of these two tribes. This investigation has demonstrated consistency with results of earlier studies of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children-Revised (WISC-R) performance among American Indian children, indicating significantly lower Full Scale IQ and Verbal IQ scores to that of the national norm. while an analysis of mean Performance IQ scores was not found to be statistically significant above that of the standardization sample, tasks of visual-perceptual and visual-spatial-motoric ability were observed as strengths. Two Performance subtests (Picture Completion and mazes) were found to be notably higher at the .001 level of significance for American Indian children when compared to the national norm. A predominance of simultaneous to sequential reasoning skills was further identified based upon a comparison of subtest performance correlations. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Psychological tests|Educational psychology|Educational evaluation
Salois, Karen A. Nielson, "A comparative study of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition (WISC-III) test performance: Northern Cheyenne and Blackfeet reservation Indian children with the standardization sample" (1999). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9925492.
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