Page: 54-69 Author: PÁCHOVÁ, A.; RENDL, M. Key words: zone of the proximal development, mediated learning, dynamic assessment, Roma children, progressive matrices
Differences in the results of intelligence tests have been the subject of many studies. They show that some groups do less well in the tests than others. The aim of our work is to help to clarify the nature of the tendency of Roma children to fail in the tasks set by intelligence tests.
For this purpose a pre-test and re-test set of matrices were selected from the sets of Raven progressive matrices and three sets of learning matrices were created. It was confirmed that the level of understanding of the principles of progressive matrices may be developed using medially carried out cognitive stimulation. We consider this a proof that the results in the Raven matrix exercises, which are often considered the most reliable tool for the identification of general intelligence (the so-called g-factor), are very substantially affected by the stimuli from the sociocultural environment in which a child is growing up.
In both test sets (in the pretest and in the retest), the Czech children’s results were statistically significantly better than the Roma children’s results (but in the retest the results were only just on the border of statistical significance). The degree of improvement on the other hand was higher among the Roma children. Thanks to the phase of cognitive stimulation, then, the results of the Roma and Czech children became closer. The worse results of the Roma children should not therefore be attributed to some kind of unchanging cognitive deficit, but instead to the generally less stimulating socio-cultural environment, associated with the absence of mediated learning, which results in Roma children realising less of the potential of the zone of proximal development.
Mgr. Anna Páchová, Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Education, Department of Psychology, M. D. Rettigové 4, 116 39 Praha 1, Czech Republic, e-mail: email@example.com
PhDr. Miroslav Rendl, Csc., Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Education, Department of Psychology, M. D. Rettigové 4, 116 39 Praha 1, Czech Republic, e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org