Why screen kids in P1?

Academic support for Primary 1

Why screen kids in P1?

Postby alng » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:30 pm

From ST Forum on 7 Sep 2012. My P1 ds also confirmed that he has done this IQ test recently.


ON JULY 30, my son, who is in Primary 1, came home from school to say that an external teacher had given his class a test that consisted of patterns. This teacher had not mentioned the word "test" or "IQ" and the pupils were given 30 minutes to fill their answer sheets.

I did an online search of IQ tests and found one where my son was able to recognise 46 out of the 60 questions. Based on this, I deduced that the test given was the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices test.

When my daughter, a Primary 3 pupil in another school, saw the patterns, she said she had taken the same test when she was in P1.

I was concerned as to why the school had conducted such a test, what the results would be used for, and who would have access to them. I also wanted to know why the test was given without my knowledge as even the Gifted Education Programme screening test requires my consent.

I wrote to both the school and Ministry of Education (MOE) reflecting my concerns. On Aug 2, the school's learning support teacher called and said the test was given to determine which pupils have the potential to do better and it measures numeracy and literacy skills.

I pointed out that the test contains only patterns and so has little to do with maths or language ability. The teacher then said she did not actually see the test, and forwarded my questions to MOE.

On Aug 22, MOE replied. It said the "screening exercise" is used to "identify pupils who require additional help early" and to "obtain a more holistic picture of the pupils' needs". It would be following up with parents to explain the findings and discuss intervention programmes.

I wrote back the same day asking for a clearer response and have not got a reply to date.

MOE should let parents know when or why "screening" is done on our children.

Parents have a right to consent to an IQ test and know how the results are being used. In the light of the new approach to education with more focus on learning through play in the early years, are we still sticking to the conventional idea of what makes a kid smart?

Is it even necessary to screen children at Primary 1 when reasoning and cognitive skills are just emerging?

David Chin

alng
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2185
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:27 pm
Total Likes: 36


Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby iRabbit » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:16 pm

Frankly, I'm not sure what the big fuss is all about. If every time sch conducts test also must ring me to seek my approval, then I would be a terribly busy parent. That's only me as an individual. What about the resources required from the sch's perpective.
Last edited by iRabbit on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

iRabbit
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 4781
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:21 pm
Total Likes: 119


Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby Guest » Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:19 pm

FQW wrote:Frankly, I'm not sure what the big fuss is all about. If every time sch conducts test also must ring me to seek my approval, then I would be a terribly busy parent.


I think so too. :shrug:
Guest
 

Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby schweppes » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:43 am

FQW wrote:Frankly, I'm not sure what the big fuss is all about. If every time sch conducts test also must ring me to seek my approval, then I would be a terribly busy parent. That's only me as an individual. What about the resources required from the sch's perpective.


If all parents like that, no wonder teachers got no time to teach properly. :roll: :skeptical:

schweppes
Councillor
Councillor
 
Posts: 5811
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:56 pm
Total Likes: 66


Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby sleepy » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:56 am

I think it's to identify children for LSP - learning support?

When dd1 was in p1, she told me about some simple test. I asked her form teacher during parent teacher session & her form teacher told us that was the purpose of that test.

When dd2 was in p1, she didn't even know she sat for any test :laugh:

sleepy
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 9066
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 6:21 pm
Total Likes: 34



Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby Chenonceau » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:29 am

sleepy wrote:I think it's to identify children for LSP - learning support?

When dd1 was in p1, she told me about some simple test. I asked her form teacher during parent teacher session & her form teacher told us that was the purpose of that test.

When dd2 was in p1, she didn't even know she sat for any test :laugh:


It is not to identify for LSP. If they're testing patterns... and not literacy and numeracy... they're testing for IQ. They're trying to identify the high IQ. The focus is not so much on what the kids have LEARNT in preschool nor to find the gap between what kids HAVE NOT LEARNT and need to know in P1.

They're testing for the raw quality of the children's brains. Why do they do so?

(1) Certainly, with the school incentive system as it is, schools have every interest to try to maximize the high IQ brains. These will be the future PSLE top scorers.

(2) They may try to devise ways to work with low IQ brains.

(3) They may be collecting data for a longitudinal study of some sort. If that is so, research ethics protocols in many other countries require parent consent. This is not an academic test. It's an IQ test. It may or may not be used to make decisions germane to the way the child will be treated in future.

I would myself be most upset if I found out that my child was given an IQ test to decide his future treatment WITHOUT my permission... and without full disclosure of what the test results will be used for. To me, such tests are on par with genetic testing.

If people took your child's DNA for testing and then used the results about predisposition to heart disease, breast cancer and cervical cancer to potential employers... who may deny you a job based on the data...WITHOUT telling you anything... you would be fine?
Last edited by Chenonceau on Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

Chenonceau
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:57 pm
Total Likes: 19


Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby AceTutors123 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:30 am

The concern I guess of some parents would be that their children may be given an "average" or "laggard" label and be treated accordingly.

AceTutors123
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:34 pm
Total Likes: 2


Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby PhoBIA » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:30 am

sleepy wrote:
When dd2 was in p1, she didn't even know she sat for any test :laugh:


:laugh: that's good. Your dd2 should be able to perform well as she does not feel pressurised. In her opinion, it is just class work.

Sometimes parents are the ones who pass the stress to the children. If they treat the mini test as a consolidation for teachers to identify who needs help, then children will be able to learn and thrive happily.

Active learning is not about sitting for tests/examinations...... How many of us can enforce this? :?

PhoBIA
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:28 am
Total Likes: 0


Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby PhoBIA » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:35 am

AceTutors123 wrote:The concern I guess of some parents would be that their children may be given an "average" or "laggard" label and be treated accordingly.


There is no need for a test to give children an "average" or "laggard" label. A successful educator should not label any children and give all children equal chance. Some children are late boomers. If labelled too early, it destroys their chance to blossom totally.....

PhoBIA
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:28 am
Total Likes: 0


Re: Why screen kids in P1?

Postby Chenonceau » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:42 am

PhoBIA wrote:
AceTutors123 wrote:The concern I guess of some parents would be that their children may be given an "average" or "laggard" label and be treated accordingly.


There is no need for a test to give children an "average" or "laggard" label. A successful educator should not label any children and give all children equal chance. Some children are late boomers. If labelled too early, it destroys their chance to blossom totally.....


Yes... based on the results of a single test... some important decisions relevant to the child's capability are likely to be made. Psychometric tests are not completely failsafe. This is a very Orwellian practice and it makes me VERY VERY uncomfortable.

Chenonceau
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:57 pm
Total Likes: 19


Next

Return to Primary 1