Is FMS appropriate for students with Learning Differences?
“Find My Spark” is a questionnaire that I’ve designed for “regular” students (if any exist since they’re all pretty different) and it’s not meant to measure learning differences or learning disabilities, intelligence, maturity, “normalcy”, etc. etc. Students with learning disabilities can take it –as long as they understand the questions – and the consultant uses the questionnaire to get to know the student better. It would be better if you would give FMS to this student orally. This would enable you to open up a dialogue and use FMS as a vehicle to open up areas where the student may shine or experience difficulties.
Find My Spark (FMP) is not a diagnostic tool. It’s designed to help a student self-reflect on how he/she likes to learn – and in this regard, it does not matter if a student has learning disabilities or not – you would use the questions to figure out what study habits the student keeps, for example, and then discuss how well those habits serve the student. The consultant needs to use her experience as she advises the student. The results, the 4 adjectives (Intuitive or Sensing, Thinking or Feeling) are not exactly like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator preferences. FMS is not set in stone. FMS needs to be verified by consultants for optimum assessment of the student. Students may/may not understand how their personality preferences affect how they like to take in information – not in a cognitive sense like when measuring IQ – which FMS or MBTI or STRONG absolutely do not do – but how their personality preferences help in learning say, a subject like physics. The intuitive feeler prefers to learn it in a holistic, conceptual way that can help the world. An analytical student with a well-developed preference for Thinking will likely enjoy the formulaic, mathematical way in which Physics can be taught. The results on FMS need to be explained to the student, validated from hearing the student’s feedback and tempered by the consultant’s overall knowledge of who is the student. It would be a breach of protocol to assume that any assessment, especially FMS, could be used by everyone in the population. In conclusion, if you have students with learning disabilities (e.g. slow processing, difficulty in reading) as long as you can verify it in person so that you can make sure the student comprehends the questions. You will discover how they approach learning and you might be able to give them a different way to handle homework or advocate for themselves.
Hope this helps.