Speakers and Presenters

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Kevin McGrew

Dr. Kevin McGrew

Topic: The Report of Cognitive Testing’s Death in School Psychology is Premature

Some in school psychology are calling for the de-implementation (DI) of certain cognitive test interpretation practices in favor of an almost singular focus on psychometric g (the full scale IQ score). New research, methods, and theories suggest the announcement of the death (DI) of CHC broad composite score interpretation is premature. Recent non-g (emergent property) network science-based cognitive theories (e.g., process overlap theory; dynamic mutualism) have emerged as promising (and potentially paradigm shifting) models for understanding cognitive test data and human intelligence. The results of recent psychometric analysis of multiple large cognitive test data sets will be presented and discussed.

About the Speaker

Dr. Kevin McGrew is currently the owner and Director of the Institute for Applied Psychometrics (IAP).  He is also currently an Adjunct Research Professor at the Institute on Community Integration at the University of Minnesota and an external consultant to Instituto Ayrton Senna-eduLab21 (Brazil) for ASI’s SENNA SE and motivation projects.  He has been a practicing school psychologist (12 years), a Professor of Applied Psychology at St. Cloud State University (10 years), and a Visiting Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota (19 years).  He conducts research in the areas of human intelligence, intelligence testing, adaptive behavior, and applied psychometrics. His most recent research interests include a proposed Cognitive-Affective-Motivation Model of Learning (CAMML) and network theories of intelligence and psychometric network analysis research methods applied to intelligence tests.  He is a coauthor of the Woodcock-Johnson III and IV assessment batteries.  He has authored numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books in the areas of intelligence theories and assessment.  COI – McGrew has a royalty financial interest in the WJ IV.

He recently served as an intelligence theory and testing consultant to the Dharma Bermakna Foundation and Universatas Gadjah Mada (UGM) for the Indonesia AJT Cognitive Assessment Development Project (2014-2017) and the Instituto Ayrton Senna-eduLab21 (Brazil) for ASI’s large group assessment project (21st century cognitive SKILLS; 2016-2017).   Since 2009 McGrew has served as a consulting expert, via declarations or testimony, to the courts regarding the measurement of intelligence and psychometric issues relevant to intellectual assessment in Atkins (Atkins v Virginia, 2001) death penalty cases (capital punishment cases involving individuals with intellectual disabilities).

Visit Dr. McGrew's website for more information.


Dr. Peng Peng

Topic: The Role of Executive Function in Reading Development and Reading Intervention

Three studies were presented to investigate the role of executive function (EF) in reading development and reading intervention. The 1st study, based on the latent growth models with structured residuals, demonstrated longitudinal reciprocal relation between reading and EF from Grades 2 to 5 only for high-performing students, not for the general population sample or those with reading difficulties. The 2nd study, based on the meta-profiling analysis and meta-analytical structural equation modeling of 378 studies, showed unique contributions of EF to reading difficulties after controlling for language skills, and a reading difficulty-EF deficit vicious cycle with development. These findings, taken together, suggested a heterogeneous nature of mutualism between EF and reading during development. For strong readers, EF and reading may facilitate each other during development, whereas for poor readers, EF and reading may constrain each other during development. The 3rd study presented a perspective on the domain-specific approach of working memory training. The approach emphasized working memory training tasks should closely link the central executive (attentional control) with the use of long-term memory through retrieval practice in a specific academic domain, and training tasks should promote strategy use that can be effectively applied (i.e., transferred) to different academic tasks.

About the Speaker

Dr. Peng Peng's research aims to bridge cognitive psychology and special education. He is interested in embedding high-level cognitive skills training into academic instructions for children with severe learning difficulties. In particular, he has been working on projects to design instruction that can incorporate cognitive strategy, meta-cognition, and reading skills. Another line of his research is meta-analysis that examines reading and mathematics learning across cultures and languages. Currently, he is working on several meta projects to investigate the bidirectional relation (and mechanism) between general cognition and learning during development. Dr. Peng Peng's work has been published in journals including Psychological Bulletin, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Educational Psychology Review, Learning and Individual Differences, Exceptional Children, Scientific Studies of Reading, Child Development Perspectives, Journal of Special Education, Learning Disability Quarterly, and Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. He is the recipient of 2018 Early Career Award from International Dyslexia Association, the associate editor of Reading and Writing, and serves on the editorial board of Psychological Bulletin, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, and Annals of Dyslexia.

Dr. LaTasha Holden

Topic: Reconsidering The Role of Cognitive Assessment in Educational Equity

There’s a vast amount of scientific evidence demonstrating the power of higher test scores and the impact that they can have on the trajectory of students’ lives. Higher scores on many cognitive ability measures correlate with a variety of better physical, and mental health outcomes, in addition to better economic prospects—making them important for more than just entrance into higher education institutions. Recent debates puzzle over whether cognitive assessments can be applied in ways that promote fairness and educational equity. In this talk, I will discuss how cognitive assessments can be used to promote equity through the lens of the process overlap theory of intelligence and its implications for student achievement. As an example, I will present work highlighting the importance of working memory capacity both for test performance and mental resilience in psychologically threatening situations. Finally, I will provide a summary and present a series of critical questions to be carefully considered for researchers and practitioners.

3 learning objectives:

From this talk audience members will be able to:

  1. Define the process overlap theory of intelligence and discuss its application to cognitive assessment
  2. Understand the concepts of working memory capacity and stereotype threat and evaluate their roles in student learning and cognitive performance
  3. Consider an emergent process view of intelligence and analyze how it can be useful for promoting equity in assessment and education

About the Speaker

Dr. LaTasha Holden is an interdisciplinary scholar who conducts research on memory and learning, non-cognitive skills, stereotype threat, and test performance and achievement. She aims to consider a whole child approach to educational equity and is particularly interested in factors that support student resilience in the face of cognitive demands and identity threats in various testing and learning situations. Previously, she worked at the Educational Testing Service as a Research and Development Intern and a National Assessment of Educational Progress Postdoctoral Fellow. Following this, she was the Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology at Florida State University. Currently, Dr. Holden is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign affiliated with the Beckman Institute. Dr. Holden’s recent publication (with Dr. Sara Hart) on equity and intelligence testing was selected for the Editor’s Choice list by the Journal of Intelligence. She has served as an expert reviewer for several journals and is on the reviewer board of the Journal of Intelligence. Dr. Holden’s work has been published in Memory, Cognitive Science, Developmental Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, the Journal of Intelligence and New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development.