UBC Theses and Dissertations
Relationships between teacher ratings and the Gordon diagnostic system in the early identification of academically at-risk kindergarten children Bergant, Lydia Bernadette
This exploratory study investigated the similarities and differences between two assessment measures — the Kindergarten School Learning Profile teacher ratings and the Gordon Diagnostic System — in identifying children who would likely be at-risk for experiencing school failure as a result of attentional/impulse control deficits displayed in kindergarten. As attentional skills are believed to influence memory, visual memory was also investigated in relation to attention and impulse control. Twenty-eight teacher-nominated "high risk" kindergarten students were identified as functioning within the lowest 10% for overall school readiness. Computerized systematic random selection procedures were used to identify 30 control students. Teacher ratings of attentional and impulse control abilities manifested both within and outside of the classroom were obtained for all children and compared to their vigilant and impulse control performances on the Gordon Diagnostic System (GDS). Visual memory abilities were examined through use of the Bead Memory subtest of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fourth Edition. The results obtained reveal that normally achieving students were assigned higher qualitative ratings of attention and impulse control by their teachers than were the "high risk" students. Significant relationships between impulsivity (as measured by the GDS) and teacher ratings were unsubstantiated by the data obtained. Only the "high risk" group displayed few significant correlations between teachers' ratings of attentional skills and students' vigilant performances on the GDS. Normally achieving students were found to display significantly better vigilant and impulse control skills on the GDS compared to the poorly achieving "high risk" group. Significant performance deterioration over time was evident on the Vigilance Task but not on the Delay Task of the GDS. Few significant differences between boys and girls in both impulse control and sustained attentional skills were displayed.