The Talent Search model can determine the level of content a student needs to be challenged & pace of instruction – was originated by Dr. Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins in the 70s. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC) Talent Search begins with above level testing, assesses abilities as compared to intellectual peers, and finally offers educational opportunities to students beyond what they may have at their local schools. They are research-based assessments that provide an early indication of intellectual ability of students with exceptional mathematical &/or verbal reasoning abilities that can aid in the determination of educational placement.
Talent Search centers are located around the U.S. (as well as in Europe and other countries with slightly different requirements) including Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University, Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) at Duke University, Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search at the University of Iowa, and the Center for Bright Kids, Western Academic Talent Search at the University of Denver. Centers offer above level testing at various times throughout the year for grades 3 to 9 and most offer summer, weekend and online education programs for qualifying students.
Why test above grade-level? Above grade-level assessments compare students with their intellectual peers rather than age or grade peers. Talent Searches are able to provide schools (with permission) and families with information pertinent to individualized education plans. Although different centers use different tests (SAT, ACT, PSAT), the inclusion of sub-tests can help facilitate choosing coursework, college majors, and even career choice.
Talent Searches provide an overall view of a highly-able student’s abilities often missed by standardized testing which can inform educational decisions for both at school and out of school opportunities. Students who qualify are offered placement in prestigious programs offered through the sponsoring universities & gain access to scholarship opportunities. Top scoring participants are invited to regional Recognition Ceremonies. Participating in a Talent Search assessment also provides students the opportunity of experiencing above-level testing.
Talent Search assessments can provide schools (with parental permission) with pertinent data on a student’s abilities that many schools may not be able to obtain due to budgetary restrictions. Schools can determine the need for acceleration, placement in gifted programs, or match students to available programming. Since a Talent Search benchmarks student performance against other high-ability same age/grade peers, schools have context on student learning and growth. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC)
Each Talent Search center (U.S.) has a website and most cover a specific geographic area. Other universities have Talent Searches which are referenced below. A good source for information on Talent Searches is NAGC or your state gifted organization. In Europe, parents can find information on the European Talent Support Network In Ireland, parents can go to CTY Ireland . A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.
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Talent Search (pdf)
Alternative Assessments with Gifted and Talented Students (affiliate link) via @prufrockpress
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Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.