Extending Student Voice to Gifted Students

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Accepting input from students concerning their education has become an important part of moving education forward today. Student voice isn’t necessarily spontaneous, and may need to be nurtured in students. It can be nurtured by creating positive student-teacher relationships. Student voice ‘doesn’t need adults to agree with it, incite it, define it, or appreciate it’. (Soundout.org) Student voice acknowledges and values what students are saying. It can empower students to become engaged in their learning and life.

“Student voice is empowering students to take charge of their education. It is powerful self-reflection. It motivates learning.” ~ CW Gifted Teacher

The role played by ‘respect’ when implementing student voice can’t be underestimated. When teachers listen to students, they show that what the student says is important; it shows respect. Respect is, however, a two-way street and student voice encourages all parties to listen and to value each other.

“Students need to know that what they have to say doesn’t need to be moderated or edited. Acknowledge their voice and respect by letting it go out into the wild without moderating or criticizing.” ~ Kimberley Moran, Education Writer and GT Teacher

In what way can student voice be promoted and improved in the classroom and schools? It can be promoted by taking time to welcome feedback through surveys and  by allowing students a say in classroom routines which can encourage them to provide their voice in class. Schools can improve the richness of student voice by actively responding to student concerns and suggestions.

Each student is unique and their ability, once identified, can play a significant role in how they express themselves. Higher-order thinking and deeper understanding of their environment can enhance a gifted student’s voice.

Yet, the question remains; how much voice should gifted students have in their educational options? Gifted students often have more options to consider and their voice plays an implicit and necessary role. It may not be about how much, but rather enough voice that they understand their investment in the process.

Student voice is a valuable concept in education today and must be acknowledged by teachers and administrators. It can reap rewards both in the classroom and for the student’s personal development. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Sound Out

Activating Student Voice Empowers Learning (pdf)

Student-Centered Learning with a Learning Platform (pdf)

School Voice Report 2016 (pdf)

Successful Education Requires a Stronger Student Voice

Three Ways Student Voice Can Elevate Motivation and Engagement

Motivation, Engagement & Student Voice (pdf)

Motivation, Engagement & Student Voice Toolkit (pdf)

A Model for Student Voice

How to Use Student Voice to Improve Engagement

Student Engagement and Vision

Student Gets ‘Seat at the Table’ on School’s Decision-Making Council 

Do You Know Me? The Voice of a Disgruntled Student in a Boring Class

Student Voice: Inspiring and Empowering Students to Take Charge of their Education 

Cybraryman’s Student Voice Page

Cybraryman’s What Students Want Page

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

How Does Full Inclusion Affect Gifted Students?

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Full inclusion places all ability levels in one classroom. It expects a teacher to be responsible for all children; regardless of ability or behaviors. Todd Kettler, assistant professor at UNT, explained, “Full inclusion makes big assumptions about curriculum and instruction in order to be effective for all learners. I’m not a fan of full inclusion. I recommend flexible grouping based on ability and interest with a modified curriculum. Well designed curriculum, trained and qualified teachers, and grouping will lead to the highest achievement for GT students.”

Full inclusion is very popular in education generally today. It is a real boon for strained budgets. Many administrators believe inclusion is the only appropriate approach to equity in education for all students.

How does inclusion impact gifted kids? Do other students really see them as role models? Far too often, gifted kids are relegated to the back of the room reading while other students learn material new to them. Rather than being role models, gifted students become the subject of ridicule or bullying. It can create lasting scars. Dr. Gail Post expressed that inclusion’s impact on gifted kids is “rarely positive – they have to fit in, dumb down, wait for others to catch up, and manage boredom. [It’s a] huge myth that at-risk kids will see them as role models – if anything, the situation will evoke envy and possible bullying.”

Professional development for teachers may sometimes compensate for classroom attitudes toward gifted students. It can go a long way is shaping attitudes; but more may be needed to change preconceived notions about gifted students. The core of education should always be to create empathy for one’s subject matter; with learning comes understanding. Jonathan Bolding, a MS G/T educator and 2015-16 NAGC Javits-Frasier Scholar in TN, pointed out, “PD for teachers is only part of the equation. Follow-up on fidelity of implementation, leadership support, and whole school buy-in” are also necessary.

Does removing gifted students from a classroom negatively impact the rest of the class? More often, the removal of gifted students from a classroom may have a positive effect. Removing them can allow teachers more time to work with other students who need their assistance.

Can differentiation of the curriculum really meet the academic needs of gifted students? It is dependent on the quality of professional development provided to classroom teachers. Differentiation may meet the needs of some students, but rarely the needs of highly-abled students. Jo Freitag, coordinator of Gifted Resources and author at Sprite’s Site in Australia, told us, “Differentiation is only effective if each student receives their required level of depth and pace; however extreme.” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Educating Gifted Ss in Regular Classroom: Efficacy, Attitudes & Differentiation of Instruction (pdf)

Gifted Students and Inclusion

Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom (pdf)

Teaching Young Gifted Children in the Regular Classroom (Amazon)

Toward More Research on Effective Practices w/Gifted Students in Gen-Ed Settings (pdf)

Highly Gifted Children in Full Inclusion Classrooms

Maximizing Gifted Students’ Potential In The 21st Century

Gifted Programs: Is Inclusion the Answer?

Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners

Differentiation in Key Learning Areas for Gifted Students in Regular Classes (pdf)

The Gifted Child and the Inclusive Classroom (pdf)

What the Research Says about Gifted Learners

Cybraryman’s Inclusion Page

Sprite’s Site: De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes 9: One Size Shoe Cover System

Photo courtesy of Pixabay    CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Inspiring Self-Efficacy in Gifted Kids

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Self-efficacy is a psychological construct attributed to Dr. Albert Bandura and is considered one of the most important developments in psychology as it encompasses motivation, learning, self-regulation, and human accomplishment. It is broadly defined as one’s internal belief about how their ability impacts events affecting their life.

Self-efficacy beliefs form through mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasions, and physiological cues. The most influential source of self-efficacy is considering one’s own performance. Confidence follows past performance and influences future behavior in developing one’s self-efficacy.

The idea of educating gifted children with academic peers may be one way to develop self-efficacy beliefs. Children are always comparing themselves to other children. Easy comparisons can make for overestimating one’s own ability. Peer comparisons resulting from ability grouping can be detrimental to self-efficacy of less-able age-mates.

Mastery-based learning can have a strong influence in the development self-efficacy as well. Mastery experience is the prime factor in developing self-efficacy and necessary to positive outcomes when viewing ‘self’. Mastery-based learning is how children determine what they’re good at and how they define potential personal success.

Self-efficacy beliefs can have motivational consequences. Belief in what one has accomplished influences future choices and provides inspiration for future success. A sense of competence can motivate a student to attempt more difficult tasks and consider them as challenges. The existence of high self-efficacy is usually accompanied by feelings of calm when faced with tough tasks.

What are the implications for teachers in teaching self-efficacy in schools? Teachers need to take seriously the importance of nurturing self-efficacy and how it can have beneficial or destructive influence in a student’s life. Teachers are often first academic role model for students and can empower self-assurance or diminish a student’s self-efficacy. Young students need guidance on self-appraisal as they rely on adult assessment to create judgement of their own capabilities. Teachers can ensure robust self-efficacy for students by providing appropriately challenging and meaningful work. For more from this chat, a  transcript may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Links:

An Introduction to Self-Efficacy

What Influences Self-Efficacy?

Self-Efficacy Theory: Sources of Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents (Adolescence and Education) (Amazon)

Self-efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change (pdf)

4 Ways to Develop Self-Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy During Childhood & Adolescence: Implications for Teachers & Parents (pdf)

Self-Efficacy Development in Adolescences (pdf)

Sources of Science Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Middle School Students (pdf)

Peer Group as Context for Development of Young Adolescent Motivation & Achievement (pdf)

The Peer Network as a Context for the Socialization of Academic Engagement (pdf)

Using Self-Efficacy Theory as a Guide for Instructional Practice (pdf)

Self-Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters

Bandura’s Self-Efficacy Theory (YouTube 3:05)

Classroom Strategies to Improve Student Self-efficacy and Learning Outcomes 

Albert Bandura: Self-Efficacy for Agentic Positive Psychology

The Strengths Self-Efficacy Scale: Assessing Strengths in Action

Cybraryman’s You Matter Page

Struggling with a Solution? Make it a Design Challenge

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

The Value of Challenging Gifted Students in Elementary School

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Most educators and parents of gifted children spend a majority of their time during the elementary years endeavoring to provide or advocate for challenging work. As adults, they know the value of challenge and conversely the consequences of not experiencing it early in life.

Challenging young minds, especially at the elementary level, must be considered a fundamental right for all students. Each and every one should learn something new every day; no exceptions. According to Lubinski [Who Rises to the Top? Early Indicators, .pdf], children who are challenged throughout their school years are more successful as adults. Challenge can stimulate a child to meet and exceed personal goals while developing their passions. It can inspire and nurture talent that may be otherwise lost.

Some of the greatest disparity in ability we see is in the early elementary grades. We ignore that at our peril.Lisa Van Gemert, Co-founder, The Gifted Guild

According to parents and advocates, there are times when some schools don’t seem to care if kids are bored and the question becomes, “Why?” Myths about gifted children still abound and too many educators believe gifted kids will be fine on their own. There are those who do care about all their students, but may be overwhelmed with the demands of so many different needs in one classroom. As Michelle Weber of Gifted Family Travel pointed out, “Since some schools don’t do above-grade-level assessments, they don’t understand the extent of boredom.” Heather Gatlin, 8th grade science teacher in Lubbock, TX, remarked, “standardized testing “forces” many teachers to focus on low performing or “bubble kids” often leaving behind higher achievers.”

“If our young GT aren’t challenged and never have to struggle early, they will not be equipped to succeed when it really matters.” Angie French, GT Specialist, North Houston, TX

What issues can arise when kids aren’t challenged? Young children who aren’t challenged, don’t learn the value of hard work (in most cases) to succeed. Unchallenged children may find coursework difficult in later years and give up too easily. It can also lead to depression, underachievement, distrust of teachers, acting out in class, complacency, perfectionism, social withdrawal; among many other issues.

There are ways gifted kids can be challenged at the elementary level. Elementary students can be challenged by being place with like ability students who share similar interests and goals. Allowing students to go deeper into areas of personal expertise earlier than age-mates, compacting curriculum to allow gifted students to sprint through material, and independent student can provide challenge. It can also be accomplished by simply accelerating students either whole grades or in individual subjects. Ruth Lyons, Adjunct Professor and GT District Coordinator in Maine, suggested challenging students through “Purposeful products! Service learning…opportunities for students to see that their work can make a difference.:

Parents can advocate for a more challenging curriculum. When it’s determined your child needs more challenge, start to put a portfolio together of their work. Portfolios should include samples of work, lists of books read and activities, graded tests.

What strategies can secondary teachers use to help gifted students who weren’t challenged in the early years? Depending on personal needs, classes for study skills may need to be introduced. Students’ voice should be acknowledged to determine level of intervention necessary. Counseling may also be appropriate. Carolyn K of Hoagies Gifted had these suggestions, “pretest and SKIP the material the child tests out of! Integrate kids into advocacy starting in middle school, so that they learn to self-advocate.  Convince high school that kids who get 95-100% on tests don’t NEED to do homework to get A. Take advantage of state dual enrollment programs when available.” You can read the transcript of this chat at Storify.

Happy Birthday to #gtchat! This week marked the beginning of our 8th year on Twitter!

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Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

What Should I Do If My Child Isn’t Sufficiently Challenged at School?

What to Do if Your Child Isn’t Challenged Enough at School

By Not Challenging Gifted Kids, What Do We Risk Losing?

What To Do When Your Child Is Ahead of the Classroom

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use (Amazon)

Sneak Learning into Everyday Life

When Your Child Is Bored at School

Smart and Bored – Are We Failing Are High Achievers?

Dear Teacher, My Gifted Child is in Your Class

Ridiculous Things I Heard Today

7 Signs Your Child Isn’t Being Challenged In School, Not Acting Out

When Schools Don’t Meet Your Gifted Child’s Needs

Cybraryman’s Challenged Based Learning Page

Cybraryman’s Critical Thinking Page

How Squid Got Skipped: The Book of Squid

Academic Acceleration

Advocating for a Grade Skip: A Portfolio of Research

Gifted Advocacy

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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