The importance of cognitive ability in teacher selection processes

There is considerable evidence that cognitive ability is a predictor of job performance and is a significant factor influencing teachers' performance in the classroom. Moreover, a teacher's cognitive ability coupled with aspects of their personality can enhance commitment and responsibility towards the students. In addition, several studies have confirmed that cognitive ability is among the most significant factors in selection of graduates and is highly predictive of their future success in a teaching career. It also provides valuable information about the pre-service teacher candidate relevant for completion of the program and for key learning outcome, such as grades.
Research findings in organizational psychology provide strong support for the idea that individual differences in both cognitive abilities and non-cognitive traits importantly influence skill development and job performance.
To complement and validate academic performance, a measure of general cognitive ability is required. Previous research has presented a conceptualisation of cognitive ability that defines three major content areas including verbal, numerical and spatial abilities. Verbal and numerical ability measures are typically used for academic selection, though spatial ability is seen as a valid measure of cognitive ability. In psychology, content measures of cognitive abilities have also been used to predict career success.
In this presentation we aim to address the most significant types of cognitive ability tests (e.g. verbal, spatial, and numerical) and argue the relevance of such tests for teacher candidate selection.