IDAT Character Test Review and Updates

IDAT Character Test Review and Updates

This past year, the IDAT Character test has been under review and quality consultation with Rebecca Carnochan (BA, ECE, RT) who is a registered Psychotherapist in Ontario, Canada, with a specialty in helping early learners.    Having worked in clinical settings, with police & family counselling, and young learners with learning difficulties, emotional trauma or from disadvantaged background, Carnochan can view the character test with the lens of students who may have language, learning or other challenges when reading or doing this type of assessment. 

The review this year saw small changes to the character test including clarified questions, more precise images and simplified wording.  

Feedback from schools using the IDAT indicated that the character test was also lengthy and tiresome for young students at the end of the test.  To better get students warmed up for the test and to get fresh responses, from May 2024, the character test will be the first section of the test for younger students.   The test has also been condensed.

The importance of the character test lies in schools knowing students’ better from their first day of class.  Carnochan references Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and that “attachment and belonging are important for their ongoing strife for self-actualization.”[i]

As people grow and learn new experiences that develop who they are, having an optimized learning environment encourages and protects the individual from many factors. It can increase protective factors such as higher self-esteem, clearer communication skills and critical thinking abilities for the world of today. Feeling like you “belong” allows for this growth.”  You are able to take risks with learning and continue to define your understanding of the world with excellent guidance. Having a tool like IDAT allows for this possible placement and the potential cascading results for students entering their ongoing educational journey.   

Rebecca Carnochan, Registered Psychotherapist

[i] Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review,  50(4), 370-96.


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