Assessment of Children: Cognitive Foundations and Applications, Sixth Edition, along with the Resource Guide to Accompany Assessment of Children, Sixth Edition, is designed as both a teaching text and a reference source for students and professionals. It is a major revision. Every chapter has been rewritten to make the text more comprehensive, relevant, readable, up to date, and informative. The text contains new material on the Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ IV COG), issues related to intelligence, and ethical guidelines related to assessment. The text also incorporates all of the chapters contained in Assessment of Children: WISC–V and WPPSI–IV. The Resource Guide to Accompany Assessment of Children, Sixth Edition provides extensive tables to help in interpreting the WISC–V, WPPSI–IV, SB5, DAS–II, and WJ IV COG. It also contains appendixes focusing on laws pertaining to children with special needs (IDEA, Section 504, and ADA), testifying as an expert witness, and test reviews.
Other useful features of the text include the following:
1. Extensive coverage of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales–Fifth Edition (SB5) and the Differential Ability Scales–Second Edition (DAS–II)
2. Brief reviews of 13 specialized measures of intelligence, 17 measures of academic achievement, and 20 measures of receptive and expressive language
3. Tables showing the estimated WISC–V Full Scale IQs associated with 47 short-form combinations and one 10-subtest combination
4. Tables showing the estimated WPPSI–IV Full Scale IQs associated with 41 short-form combinations and one 6-subtest combination for children between the ages of 2-6 and 3-11 years and 53 short-form combinations and one 10-subtest combination for children between the ages of 4-0 and 7-7 years
5. Tables showing the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) abilities associated with each subtest and index score on the WISC–V, WPPSI–IV, SB5, DAS–II, and WJ IV COG
6. A chapter on statistics and psychometric concepts
7. A chapter discussing the important principles of report writing
8. A checklist for recording psychological and physical difficulties observed during test administration and a parallel table explaining each psychological and physical difficulty that appears in the checklist
9. A checklist for evaluating Gardner’s multiple intelligences
This edition contains several useful learning aids. These include
• A list of major headings (with page numbers), together with goals and objectives, at the beginning of each chapter
• A “Thinking Through the Issues” section; a summary of each major topic; a list of key terms, each linked to the page on which it appears; and a series of study questions at the end of each chapter
• Checklists for evaluating a student’s competency in administering the WISC–V, WPPSI–IV, SB5, and DAS–II
• Exercises on report writing
• Report writing principles
The text also includes an extensive collection of cartoons touching on assessment, psychology, and education. The cartoons provide comic relief and serve as a teaching and learning tool.
The assessment process does not begin and end with administering and interpreting tests. Effective evaluators need to know not only about assessment instruments, but also about (a) children who are normal, as well as those with special needs, (b) the ethical and legal guidelines of the profession, (c) the institutions in which they work, (d) how to communicate both orally and in writing with children, their parents, their teachers, and other interested parties, (e) how culture and ethnicity affect the children assessed, and (f) how to help children.
The field of assessment is not free of controversy. Some question the entire assessment enterprise, claiming that assessment is not related to how children learn and that assessment fails to provide intervention guidelines. Many of these critics maintain that current assessment practices should be abandoned. Certainly current assessment practices do not provide all that we might want or need, but assessments are useful. They provide information helpful to children, their parents, their teachers, and other interested parties. When you have completed your study of Assessment of Children: Cognitive Foundations and Applications, Sixth Edition, you will be in a better position to understand the controversies surrounding assessment and to form your own opinion about the merits of assessment.
As psychologists, we must be mindful of the prominent place that litigation occupies in American society. Assessment results, and the decisions reached on the basis of assessment results, may be questioned by others, who may seek legal recourse to change a diagnosis or a proposed intervention. Therefore, I strongly urge you to assume that everything you do has potential legal consequences. The best strategy is to be prepared. You can do this by following standard assessment procedures scrupulously, maintaining accurate and complete records, observing the ethical standards of your profession, and keeping up with relevant research and clinical literature.
Underlying all assessments are a respect for children and their families and a desire to help children. A thorough assessment teaches us something about the child that we could not learn from simply talking to others about the child, observing the child, or reviewing the child’s records. Assessment makes a difference in the lives of children and their families, as well as in the lives of the professionals, including educators, who work with children and their families.
Early in my career as a psychologist, I learned that clinicians must have a “tolerance for ambiguity.” We need that tolerance today just as we did when the fields of school and clinical psychology were just beginning. Much remains to be learned about the nature of intelligence and how best to nurture and assess it, and much remains to be learned about children with special needs.
A companion text, Foundations of Behavioral, Social, and Clinical Assessment of Children, Sixth Edition, is available that covers interviewing, observation, functional behavioral assessment, personality tests, and adaptive behavior rating scales. Our website, www.sattlerpublisher.com, contains a full table of contents and reviews of the companion text.
Note to instructors: An Instructor’s Manual accompanies Assessment of Children: Cognitive Foundations and Applications, Sixth Edition. For each chapter, the Instructor’s Manual contains multiple-choice questions useful for objective examinations. PowerPoint presentations highlighting the main points of each chapter, prepared by Sal Massa and Margaret A. Frenzel, are also available.