Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT

Gifted Identification

Why is gifted identification important? Gifted identification not only provides a basis for school services but also helps a child understand his or her self. It can explain behaviors that are not universal to all children. As pointed out during the chat, it may help parents modify how they parent their gifted child and help teachers to teach them appropriately.

Our next question focused on who should be responsible for identification. Designated school personnel should be trained in gifted education and have a solid understanding of giftedness. Clinical Psychologist, Gail Post, of Gifted Challenges recommended that a psychologist or school psychologist preferably be involved in the process. Gifted Coordinator, Angie French, added, “School personnel need an understanding that not all gifted learners look the same.”

During the remainder of the chat, we also discussed what attributes should be considered when seeking to identify a gifted child; assessments to be used beyond IQ testing; how poor identification methods adversely affect low-income, minority and ELL students; and how to identify twice-exceptional learners. A full transcript may be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Special thanks to Leslie Graves (President, World Council for Gifted and Talented Children) and Jerry Blumengarten (aka Cybraryman) for providing us with additional links during this chat.

Links:

Dumbing Down America (Amazon) Delisle

Ohio Dept of Ed – Gifted Screening and Identification

Identification of Gifted Children @HoagiesGifted

A Response to “All Children Are Gifted” by Michael C. Thompson (pdf) via @RFWPcom

Assessing Gifted Children by Julia Osburn via @HoagiesGifted

Use of the WISC-IV for Gifted Identification (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

Identifying & Serving Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

The Role of Assessments in the Identification of Gifted Students (pdf) via @NAGCGIFTED

The Identification of Students Who Are Gifted by Ruth Mary Coleman At LDOnline

High Achiever, Gifted Learner, Creative Thinker from Bertie Kingore

Identifying Gifted Students: A Practical Guide by Susan Johnsen (Amazon)

The Ongoing Dilemma of Effective Identification Practices in Gifted Education (pdf)

Teacher Bias in Identifying Gifted & Talented Students

Identifying Gifted Children Victoria (AUS) Dept of Ed

Identifying Gifted & Talented Students from London Gifted & Talented

Who is Currently Identified as Gifted in the U.S.? by Scott Barry Kaufman in Psychology Today

5 Issues with Gifted Education That I Have

Best Practices for Identifying Gifted Students (pdf)

Common Questions about Gifted Identification and Services (OR)

Critical Issues in the Identification of Gifted Students with Co-Existing Disabilities

Ethical Considerations for Gifted Assessment & Identification of Diverse Students (pdf)

Identification of Gifted Students Using The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Tests (pdf)

Legal Issues in Identifying & Serving Twice-Exceptional Gifted Learners (pdf)

Additional Links (from chat participants):

Identification of Gifted and Talented Students Poudre School District

Gifted and Talented Program JeffCo Public Schools

Gifted Children Online Assessment Tool Now Available

Things My Child Likes to Do (pdf)

Use of Brief Intelligence Tests in the Identification of Giftedness (pdf) via Scott Barry Kaufman

Children Who Are Gifted, Talented, and Creative

Identification of Culturally Diverse Gifted Students (Livebinder)

Cybraryman’s 360 Degree Feedback Page

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification Page

How to Identify the Gifted Student

Let Me Tell You About …Why Gifted Identification Matters by Jen Merrill

 

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay.

Gifted Parent Group

 

There are a multitude of reasons for starting a parent support group; not the least of which is advocating for an appropriate gifted education program as well as for peer support. The benefits are numerous … realizing you aren’t alone; strength in numbers; and providing a peer network for your children. As teacher Justin Schwamm said, “It can be VERY isolating to be parent of gifted child, especially in a smaller community.” Tracy Fisher, Board Member from TAGT, reminded us that parent groups can “partner with your school district and improve services.”

By starting an advocacy/support group, parents are modeling how to advocate; an important life skill for gifted children. Support groups are often a parent’s first source of information on giftedness and about programs at local schools. Parent groups can also provide activities for gifted children to bond with their intellectual peers outside school.

What is the difference between an advocacy group and a support group? We tend to think of advocacy when speaking of education and support for general parenting of gifted kids. Krissy Venosdale framed her response like this ~ “Advocacy is ‘I want you to understand.’ Support is ‘we understand each other’.”  Amy Harrington, SENG Board member, said, “Advocacy groups teach and guide while support groups foster discussion and relationship building.'” And this from Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia, “Some parent groups fill both roles – advocacy groups would lobby politicians, education, etc; support groups would care for members.” A full transcript can be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Special thanks to Leslie Graves, President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children; Margaret Keane of GiftedKids.ie; and Rose Sero from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented for providing us with many of our links!

Links:

SENG Model Parent Groups

Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented “Parent Support Group Information

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented “Establishing a Parent Support Group

What Makes a Parent Group Successful? (pdf)

Supporting Gifted Education Through Advocacy (pdf)

Sample By-Laws for a Parent Advocacy Group (pdf)

NAGC Advocacy Toolkit (US)

NAGC “How to Start a Parent Support Group” brochure (pdf)

NAGC ‘Effective Advocates’ (pdf) Series of Articles

NAGC “Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards” (pdf)

NAGC Gifted Program Assessment Tool (pdf)

How Parent Advocacy Groups Can Make a Difference

A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children (Amazon)

Starting & Sustaining a Parent Group to Support Gifted Children (pdf – ebook)

Care & Feeding of Gifted Parent Groups: Guide for Gifted Coordinators, Teachers & Parents

Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth: Parent Support Groups

From IEA Gifted Gifted Child Parent Support Groups

Guidelines for Running a Support Group (pdf) via Giftedkids.ie

Gifted Ireland: Starting a Group

Good Practice Guidelines for Peer Led Family Support Groups (pdf)

Speak Ireland (monthly parent meet-ups)

Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Effective Advocacy

Working Effectively as a Parent Association (pdf)

Creating and Facilitating Peer Support Groups (pdf)

Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education Starting a P.A.G.E. Affiliate

Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education P.A.G.E. Affiliate Resources

New Zealand ~ Effective Parent Support Groups: The Magic Ingredients (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Gifted Advocacy Page

Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy & Successful Gifted Children (Amazon)

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers (Amazon)

Coppell Gifted Association (TX)

Additional State Resources:

Alabama Association for Gifted Children’s Parent Corner

Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented Parent Institute

Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education Affiliate Program

California Association for the Gifted Parents’ Page

Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Affiliates Page

Connecticut Association for the Gifted Parent Handbook

Florida Gifted Network Parent Group Links

Georgia Association for Gifted Children Local Chapters

Illinois Association for Gifted Children Parent Affiliates

Indiana Association for the Gifted Parent Center

Iowa Talented and Gifted Association Families

Kansas Association for the Gifted, Talented and Creative Parent Resources

Kentucky Association for Gifted Education Family Links

Massachusetts Association for Gifted Education Information

Michigan Association for Gifted Education Chapters

Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented Local Chapters and Parent Groups

Mississippi Association for Gifted Children Parent Affiliate Groups

Gifted Association of Missouri Parent Resources

Montana AGATE Parent Support Groups

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay.

Scolded

Discipline can be a delicate subject when it involves gifted children. This week at #gtchat we tackled this topic as it related to both parents and teachers. With regard to the difficulty faced by adults when considering discipline, it was agreed that it was more about perspective than how hard it was to accomplish. It should be considered behavior development rather than punishment. Trying to force or coerce a gifted child to do what you want, doesn’t work. Building a relationship built on respect does.

Emotional intensities paired with intellect play a large role when deciding about discipline. A gifted child seeks to deeply understand the world around them and this can lead to perceived misbehavior by others. Oftentimes, simply recognizing when a child shows restraint in displaying appropriate behavior in social settings can add perspective.

Asynchronous development also plays a role. The reasoning and verbal skills of very young gifted can lead to the need to incorporate patience with discipline. Being ‘many ages at once’ can influence behavior in gifted children that may be imperceptible to others.

Preventing discipline problems in the classroom was discussed as well. Problems fade in the classroom when students are placed with intellectual peers and challenged appropriately. Students placed with a teacher who enjoys teaching gifted & learning with them rarely develop discipline problems. (Delisle) When teachers understand how gifted students learn, they can develop a mutually beneficial relationship and respect grows. A full transcript may be found here.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

 

Links:

How (Not) to Argue with Gifted Children

Positive Discipline for Gifted Children

Positive Discipline: Flip Your Lid (YouTube)

Positive Discipline Guidelines (pdf)

Considerations and Strategies for Parenting the Gifted Child (pdf)

Disciplining Gifted Children

Four Ways to Reduce Behavior Problems from Byrdseed Gifted

Disciplining the Gifted Child Should Be All about Training & Teaching, Not Judging & Punishing

Discipline, A Must for Gifted Kids

Discipline and Your Intense Child

Disciplining the Sensitive Child from Dr. Dan Peters

Growing Up Gifted by Barbara Clark

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students by Christine Fonseca

 

Image courtesy of MorgueFile.

Exploring Existential Depression

 “Existential depression may be characterized by a unique sense of hopelessness in feeling that our lives may actually be meaningless.”

~ John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

It has been a solemn week in the gifted community after learning the news of Robin Williams’ passing. Without a definitive reason for this tragic loss, it was still a stark reminder of an issue – depression – on which many in the community have sought to shed light; but were often ignored. In an effort to raise awareness, gtchat followers chose to explore the reasons for existential depression, its effect on the gifted community and ways to deal with it.

Existential depression occurs when a person ends up questioning life, death or the meaning of life; and by doing so, lapses into depression. Characteristics of giftedness such as – idealism, intensity, sensitivity – predispose bright individuals to existential depression. Intensity paired with multipotentiality can equal frustration with existential limitations of time and  space. (Webb)

What are some sources of existential depression? Idealism that often leads to disillusionment can be one source. Bright children may develop metacognition before developing experiential tools to deal with emotional issues. As children with existential concerns grow up, they may find it hard to find others who share their concerns; they lack  interconnectedness. Perfectionism and one’s inability to live up to ideals can lead to existential depression. A full transcript may be found here.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Links:

Existential Depression in Gifted Children

An Examination of the Literature Base on the Suicidal Behaviors of Gifted Students (pdf)

Existential Depression in Gifted Individuals from SENG_Gifted

If I’m So Smart, Why Do I Need Psychotherapy?

Can You Hear the Flowers Sing? Issues for Gifted Adults

Coping through Awareness: A Transformational Tool for Coping with Being Highly Gifted

Self-Knowledge, Self-Esteem & the Gifted Adult by Stephanie Tolan

Through a Stronger Lens: The Days of Discontent

What is Existential Depression?

Change Your Story, Change Your Life by Stephanie Tolan

Robin Williams: Depression Alone Rarely Causes Suicide

Robin Williams’s Comedic Genius Was Not a Result of Mental Illness, but His Suicide Was by Scott Barry Kaufman

Robin Williams & Existential Depression by Dr. James T. Webb

 

Bibliography:

Searching for Meaning Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment & Hope

Searching for Meaning cover

Living with Intensity

Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy & Successful Children

Man’s Search for Meaning

The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want

Plato, Not Prozac! Applying Eternal Wisdom to Everyday Problems

The Discovery of Being: Writings in Existential Psychology

Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration

“Mellow Out”, They Say. If I Only Could

Mellow Out Book Cover

The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength & Overcoming Life’s Hurdles

Exploring Existential Meaning: Optimizing Human Development Across the Life Span

Helplessness: On Depression, Development, and Death

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness & Well-Being

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

Counseling the Gifted and Talented

Gifted Grownups: The Mixed Blessings of Extraordinary Potential

Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice

Original photo courtesy of Pixabay

ModelsGiftedEducationWordle2

Due to the sheer number of models in gifted education, it was decided that five models would be discussed during the course of our hour-long chat. Additional models will be briefly covered in this blog post. A full transcript of the chat may be found at Storify.

Models considered:

  • Renzulli’s School Wide Enrichment Model (SEM) ~ a widely used model which appeals to a broader definition of giftedness.
  • Betts’ Autonomous Learners Model (ALM) ~ a self-directed learning approach.
  • VanTassel-Baska’s Integrated Curriculum Model (ICM) ~ specifically high ability learners.
  • Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent ( DMGT) ~ distinguishes between natural ability & talent development.
  • Gentry’s Total School Cluster Grouping (TSCG) ~ employs differentiation within the framework of inclusion.

 

The first question was to ask, “Why there are so many different models in gifted education?” The consensus was that a wide variety of models allowed for greater choice to meet the needs of gifted students. It was also pointed out by several people that because there is no one definition of ‘giftedness’ that different models responded to particular definitions. Different models appeal to different school settings – rural, urban, suburban, region of the country. Each model’s perspective may be from different vantage points – intellectual, social-emotional, neurological (Gifted Challenges).

“Just like every gifted kid is different, every community, district, and school has its own needs and demands.” ~ Jeffrey Farley, Middle School Teacher in Beaumont, Texas

Certain models seemed better suited to either the elementary or secondary level. In fact, the moderator pointed out that several of the models had modules specific to each level. Some models of gifted education are geared toward self-contained classrooms more common in the lower grades K-3. Other models are been adapted for content specific areas of instruction.

Factors that might be considered to ensure the success of any chosen model included flexibility; availability of professional development so that all stakeholders fully understand the program is critical; sufficient budget to implement a new program; a mind-set that is supportive of gifted education in general; as well as parent and community support.

“We need more support and training for teachers in their higher education teacher prep programs!” ~ Toby Brown, PhD candidate teaching at Oklahoma State 

Would it be better to simply consider acceleration or multi-age classrooms as opposed to implementing a specific model? Academically, acceleration is an excellent option; other considerations–maturity, siblings, sports–still play a role. In the final analysis, the most important factor voiced by most of our chat participants was CHOICE! Every child is different and every child should have options to choose from that best meet their individual needs.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

 

Individual Models and Links

 

School Wide Enrichment Model: “In the SEM, a talent pool of 15-20% of above average ability/high potential students is identified through a variety of measures including: achievement tests, teacher nominations, assessment of potential for creativity and task commitment, as well as alternative pathways of entrance (self-nomination, parent nomination, etc.). High achievement test and IQ test scores .automatically include a. student in the talent pool, enabling those students who are underachieving in their academic school work to be included.” ~  from the Executive Summary, Renzulli and Reis

Schoolwide Enrichment Model Book Cover

The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Executive Summary Renzulli/Reis

Research Supporting SEM & Extensions of Gifted Ed Pedagogy to Meet Needs of All Students

Preparing Students for Success by Helping Them Discover & Develop Their Passions

 

Autonomous Learners Model: ““The Autonomous Learner Model (ALM) was initially created to provide students with alternative learning environments. The main goal of the ALM is to create independent, self-directed learners. Ideally, students will become lifelong learners through the ALM. The philosophy of the ALM is “to do it with the gifted, and not to them.” This philosophy embodies the belief that teachers should become facilitators and students should become learners. Students will go through each of the five dimensions of the ALM and they will gradually gain more control over their own learning.” Models for the Gifted (website)

Autonomous Learners Model Book Cover

Independent Study in the Betts’ Autonomous Learner Model

Teach with Class ~ Using the Autonomous Learners Model

Autonomous Learners Model in the Shawnee Mission School District, KS

 

Integrated Curriculum Model: “ICM was specifically developed for high-ability learners based on current research evidence at the time of what worked with gifted learners. It has three dimensions: (a) advanced content, (b) high-level process and product work, and (c) intra-and interdisciplinary concept development and understanding.” Gifted Child Quarterly 2007 51: 342

Serving Our Gifted Children in a Normal Classroom (pdf) Margaret Hodgson

What Works in Curriculum for the Gifted (pdf) Joyce VanTassel-Baska

 

Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent: “Francois Gagné’s differentiated model of giftedness and talent considers behaviors that appear spontaneously easy different from those that require mastery through extensive training. According to Gagné, giftedness is a superior natural ability whereas a talent is an ability/skill that has been developed exceptionally well. From this perspective, a talent implies a gift, but a gift does not automatically imply a talent.” Duke TIP

A Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (pdf) Gagné

Gagné’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness & Talent from DukeTIP

 

Total School Cluster Grouping: “Cluster grouping model that takes into account the achievement levels of all students and places students in classrooms yearly in order to reduce the number of achievement levels in each classroom and facilitate teachers’ differentiation of curriculum and instruction for all students and thus increase student achievement.” ~ From Total School Cluster Grouping & Differentiation, by Marcia Gentry and Rebecca L. Mann, p. 9

Total School Clustering and Differentiation Book

Total School Cluster Grouping & Differentiation (Amazon) Marcia Gentry

Total School Cluster Grouping (pdf) via Iowa TAG Presentation Slides by Marcia Gentry

NRC G/T: Promoting Student Achievement & Exemplary Classroom Practices Through Cluster Grouping (pdf) Gentry

All Together Now?” in Education Next Winter 2011 by Mike Petrilli

 

 Additional Models

 

Parallel Curriculum Model (PCM) ~ Tomlinson: “The Parallel Curriculum Model is a set of four interrelated designs that can be used singly, or in combination, to create or revise existing curriculum units, lessons, or tasks. Each of the four parallels offers a unique approach for organizing content, teaching, and learning that is closely aligned to the special purpose of each parallel.” ~ Parallel Curriculum Model Powerpoint Presentation, New Zealand Ministry of Education

Parallel Curriculum Model Book Cover

Presently Gifted (website): Parallel Curriculum Model

Introduction to the Parallel Curriculum Model (pdf)

Introducing the Parallel Curriculum Model (pdf)

The Parallel Curriculum: A Design to Develop Learner Potential and Challenge Advanced Learners (Amazon) Tomlinson and Kaplan et al

 

Talents Unlimited (TU) ~ Schlichter: “Talents Unlimited (TU) is an empirically based staff development model structured to help educators develop the creative and critical thinking skills, or talents, of their students.  This model embraces the philosophy that traditional academic success is not the only indicator of somebody’s ability to think and solve problems, and that a person can express his or her intellectual potential in a variety of forms.  The model categorizes six talent areas– Productive Thinking, Decision Making, Planning, Forecasting, Communication, and Academic– and outlines a staff development program to help teachers nurture each of these talents in the classroom.” ~ from Models for the Gifted (website)

Talents Unlimited. A Critical and Creative Thinking Skills Model. Awareness Packet (pdf)

Talents Unlimited, Inc. Prezi by Jennefer Lowke 9/30/2013

Talents Unlimited (website)

 

Purdue Three-Stage Enrichment Model for Elementary Gifted Learners (PACE) ~ Feldhusen: “Regardless of age or content area, the core goal of this model is to move the student from novice toward practitioner. This model can be implemented as a wide-reaching program, or as a smaller curriculum. Through three distinct stages, this model begins with covering basic levels of knowledge, continues with the application of that knowledge and skills, and finishes with students solving real-life problems. Because of its simple steps, this model is not difficult to implement, needing only a variety of resources for students to interact with at the second and third stages. This model is both flexible and adaptable to many different settings and is low cost.” ~ from Models for the Gifted

International Handbook of Giftedness and Talent P. 352

Encyclopedia of Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent P. 323

 

Multiple Intelligences (MI) ~ Howard Gardner: “According to this theory, “we are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. Where individuals differ is in the strength of these intelligences – the so-called profile of intelligences -and in the ways in which such intelligences are invoked and combined to carry out different tasks, solve diverse problems, and progress in various domains.” ~ from “The Distance Learning Technology Resource Guide,” by Carla Lane at Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (pdf)

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences – Emory (pdf)

Big Thinkers: Howard Gardner on Multiple Intelligences at Edutopia (video)

 

 

More Models (All links from Models for the Gifted (Google Site):

Multiple Menu Model

Levels of Service Approach

Catalyst Model

 

General Links on Models in Gifted Education:

Models for the Gifted (Google Site)

Systems & Models for Developing Programs for Gifted & Talented, 2E (Amazon) Renzulli & Gubbins

Tough Choices: Ten Curriculum Models (Prezi)

Introduction to Definitions and Conceptions of Giftedness (pdf) Robert J. Sternberg

Curriculum for Highly Able Learners That Conforms to General Education and Gifted Education Quality Indicators http://goo.gl/r12q9

 

Links from chat participants:

Cybraryman’s Design Thinking Page

Cybraryman’s Understanding by Design Page

Cybraryman’s IEP Individualized Education Programs

Young, Gifted, and Black: What I’ve Learned While Raising a Gifted Child

Ten Commandments for Academic Talent Development by Françoys Gagné

This week’s chat was based on a blog post by Dr. Jim Delisle at the Free Spirit Publishing Blog, “Snappy Answers to Stupid Excuses“.  Although Dr. Delisle could not be with us at the chat, he sent this reminder for parents and advocates. “When it comes to their g/t kids, just exhale now and again.”

delisle_jim_fsp-author

                                                      Dr. Jim Delisle

 

In his post, Dr. Delisle listed The Top 5 Offending Statements:

 

  • “You know, every child is gifted in some way …”
  • “We don’t need a separate gifted program, because all of our teachers differentiate.”
  • “It’s not fair to the less capable children to remove gifted children from their classrooms. Who will be their role models?”
  • “It’s not possible to be both gifted and have a disability. It’s either one or the other.”
  • “Your child can’t possibly be gifted – have you looked at her grades?”

 

Interestingly, the chat was populated mostly by educators as well as several homeschoolers. Most all had encountered some of the offending statements in their lives while advocating for gifted students. The discussion turned to personal experiences that they had in their own childhoods and remembrances of how their parents responded to situations involving these types of comments.

What advice did folks have for parents preparing to meet with teachers and school officials to discuss their child?

  • “Learn the language of gifted education. Any conversation will go better if you’re speaking the same language.” ~ Moderator
  • “With school leaders, it is not always what you say but how you phrase it that will either get them to dig in or listen.” ~ Diane Heacox, Ed.D., author (with Richard Cash) of Differentiation for Gifted Learner: Going Beyond the Basics
  • “Even teachers are willing to be taught if it’s done with tact. Bring resources you’ve found helpful to your kid’s teacher’s attention.” ~ Jeffrey Farley, middle school teacher in Beaumont, Texas
  • “Gather all your information, have references ready to quote, don’t allow conversation to get sidetracked and make appointment for next meeting.” ~ Jo Freitag, Coordinator of Gifted Resources and author of Sprite’s Site Blog, Australia
  • “Share anecdotes about child’s interests, behaviour, etc. Not all [teachers] know it affects sleep, self esteem.” ~ Barbara Larochelle, GT teacher for 15 years, Edmonton, Canada

What do you say when a school administrator tells you there is no need for a gifted and talented program because all students needs are being met in the regular classroom through differentiation of the curriculum?  Dr. Delisle suggests that you ask for specific examples of how differentiation is being done in your child’s classroom. Be prepared to show examples of your child’s work at levels well beyond current grade-level placement. Amy Harrington, Esq. and Board Director at SENG, told us “Many gifted kids don’t need teaching, but rather mentoring. Curriculum is also a waste of time. Modifying it is like a band aid.” Dr. Diane Heacox reminded us that, “Differentiated instruction for ALL is not the same as differentiated instruction for GT.” Drew Frank, principal of Davis Academy in Atlanta, made the astute observation that, “Asynchronous development, divergent thinking, hypermotor overexcitability…etc – In class DIn (differentiated instruction) is not enough to meet all needs of [GT]!”

“You don’t have the moral right to hold one child back to make another child feel better.” ~ Stephanie Tolan

Question #5 dealt with – What would you say to: “It’s not fair to the other students to remove gifted children from classes as they are role models.”? This elicited many divergent responses!

  • “Removing gifted and talented students can be the best thing for a class. When bored we’re…disruptive, rebellious, and BAD role models.” ~ Susanne Thomas, Director of Online Education at Gifted Homeschoolers Forum
  • “You don’t have the moral right to hold one child back to make another child feel better.” ~ Stephanie Tolan (quoted by the moderator)
  • “Teachers who say that are usually defining “gifted” as “sweet little high achiever who does what I say.” ~ Justin Schwamm, Latin instructor at Tres Columnae
  • “There is research around students modeling after those who they perceive to be more similar to them; not the superstar.” ~ Dr. Diane Heacox
  • In his blog post, Dr. Delisle suggested, “Ask for research-based evidence supporting statement that gifted students serve as role models in general education classes.”

The question as to whether or not a student can be gifted with an accompanying disability, twice exceptional, was discussed at length. It seemed to be a prevalent attitude among administrators who did not have experience with gifted education. However, the existence of twice-exceptional students is well documented. In fact, Dr. Delisle advises parents to say to administrators, “Suggest the possibility of other 2e [twice-exceptional] students and ask what steps the school has taken to identify them.” A full transcript of the chat may be found here.

Thank you to Dr. Jim Delisle and Free Spirit Publishing for permission to reference their topic on this week’s #gtchat.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S. and Saturdays 11 AM NZ/9 AM AEST  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field.

Links:

Snappy Answers to Stupid Excuses

10 Lessons from Benjamin Franklin That Might Help Advocates of Gifted Learners via TAGT

Differentiation at Evernote

Using Design Process for Problem Solving and Education

Gifted Unschooling

Cybraryman’s Differentiation Page

Susan Brookhart ASCD Author

Dr. Diane Heacox (website)

Free Spirit Publishing

 

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