Inteview with Psychologist
Essay title: Inteview with Psychologist
Steven Pfeiffer is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in 1977, with a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology. He is Professor and Director of Clinical Training in the Ph.D. program in combined counseling and school psychology, offered by the department of Educational Psychology and learning systems at Florida State University. He is a licensed psychologist, Fellow of the APA and a diplomat of the American Board of Professional Psychology.
Dr. Pfeiffer can be reached at:
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 3230
Tracy Baker (“TB”): Dr. Pfeiffer, I have done research on the Gifted Rating scale that you published, and I understand that the New York City Public School system will be using your rating scale to identify gifted kids. How exactly did this come about?
Dr. Steven Pfeiffer (“DP”): Almost a year ago, New York City was not satisfied with the identification process that they were using, and was looking for a new and creative way to fairly and accurately identify gifted students. Working with Harcourt Assessment, we designed the Gifted Rating Scale with an eye toward the gifted identification process being cost-effective, scientifically defensible, and user friendly. The New York City Board of Education adopted our scale, and the Harcourt team was fortunate in being awarded a 5-year contract to oversee all gifted identification in the city.
TB: What does your scale measure?
DP: The Gifted Rating Scales is a teacher rating scale designed to help identify gifted students. By design, the GRS minimizes observational bias and increases measurement accuracy. There are two forms: the GRS-P (for preschool/kindergarten level, ages 4:0-6:11) and the GRS-S (designed specifically for students in grades 1-8, ages 6:0-13:11). The two forms are rather different, with less than 30% overlap of items. The GRS measures students abilities in six areas: intellectual ability, academic ability, creativity, artistic talent, leadership, and motivation.
TB: What steps have you undertaken to determine the scale’s overall effectiveness?
DP: I am working closely with New York City to assist the schools in their transition to the citywide use of the GRS. In the coming month, over twenty-two thousand kindergarten, first and second graders are scheduled to participate in the first wave of gifted identifications. The gifted identification battery consists of each student administered select subtests of the OLSAT and one-or-two teachers completing a GRS on each student.
TB: What are the big advantages of your rating scale? How long has it been in use?
DP: The GRS was published in 2003. Presently, approximately 400 school districts nationwide are using the GRS. Test development began with an extensive review and critique of existing gifted rating scales. Standardization of the GRS was intentionally co-linked with standardization of the new WISC-IV and WPPSI-III. We saw this