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This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT we explored the relationship between humor and gifted kids. Our guest was Jo Freitag, #gtchat Advisor and founder/coordinator of Gifted Resources in Victoria, Australia. She also blogs at the Gifted Resources Blog and Sprite’s Site. Jo wrote a great post at Sprite’s Site about this week’s chat, The Punch Line!
Gifted children with advanced abilities well beyond their years can manipulate and play with words in demonstrating verbal ability. They enjoy puns and word games which lead to seeing everyday situations in a comedic light.
Recognition and appreciation of adult humor is often part of an extensive native knowledge base possessed by intellectually gifted children. They may enjoy absurd types of humor such as Monty Python. Higher levels of intelligence permit the gifted child to be more quick witted and display a sense of humor that belies their ability to interpret everyday experiences in a different light than age-peers or even older children.
What are some of the downsides of verbal ability for gifted children? Language abilities tend to shine a light on gifted children making them a target of age-peers who don’t understand them. This can lead to teasing and verbal bullying. When bored in the classroom, gifted children may be prone to express thoughts and feelings conceived as being a ‘class clown’; considered an annoyance by teachers and even other high achievers in the classroom.
Teachers and professionals can use ‘sense of humor’ as an indicator of giftedness. Recognizing a mature sense of humor is an easy way to begin the identification process. Expressions of humor deemed beyond that of age-peers may reveal a gifted child in hiding. Teachers and professionals can provide opportunities for gifted students to express humor in settings such as school talent shows.
What can teachers do to develop humor potential in gifted children? They may use satire in Greek drama, political cartooning, or investigate bathos (anticlimax; especially in literature) and pathos (pity, sadness; in rhetoric, film, or literature) to develop humor potential in gifted children. Teachers can encourage using humor appropriately and at appropriate times; using humor for positive purposes; and give students time to explore different types of humor. They should model appropriate forms of humor that show students the need to be considerate of others’ feelings; emphasizing the importance of developing positive relationships with age-peers.
Humor can also help gifted children deal with stress. At work and school, it can increase creative output and thus reduce negativity associated with stress. Humor is a natural way to reduce stress; to recognize social injustice and work to seek a way forward involving fairness and equality in society. Humor and laughter can enhance enjoyable leisure activities. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
Photos courtesy of Jo Freitag and Natasha Bertrand.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
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.
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.
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
This week, #gtchat celebrated 4 years of support from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. Pictured below is the staff of TAGT and our Advisory Board. I am so thankful for the support they give me each and every week. #gtchat simply would not be possible without it. They are always a phone call or email away.
During the TAGT 2015 in December, the question came up in one of my sessions, “How can we use Twitter to advocate for gifted education?” This led to the topic for this week’s #gtchat. Although I am admittedly biased, I believe Twitter is the best form of social media to use for advocacy. It is concise; to the point; and without the ‘drama’ of other platforms. As pointed out by #gtchat Advisor, Lisa Van Gemert, “Twitter is less susceptible to the echo chamber that you get in Facebook.” Twitter encourages and facilitates creation of communities with shared interests, desires, end goals. (Putnam) Twitter chats with a recognizable and unique hashtag promote a continuing conversation over time. Using appropriate hashtags wisely allows advocates to reach beyond the ‘choir’; outside the box.
“Twitter is less susceptible to the echo chamber that you get in Facebook.”
~ Lisa Van Gemert, the Gifted Guru
Advocacy via Twitter can be accomplished by retweeting, hashtagging and liking tweets. One can use Twitter to identify gifted education advocates or organizations and build relationships by ‘following’; using DMs; and adding to lists. The strategic success of advocacy via Twitter requires a fluid and an evolving approach to using social media. Over time, other forms of social media may be used to supplement the reach of Twitter by tapping audience preferences.
“Twitter brings a much wider conversation; other social media can become silos.” ~ Dr. Brian Housand
How can gifted organizations use Twitter to advocate for gifted education/children & benefit their members? As the quote below reminds us, on Twitter organizations can simultaneously provide information, foster involvement and promote advocacy. (Lovejoy and Saxton) must commit to a
long-term presence on social media; specifically Twitter and eschew ‘quick result’ strategies. Twitter provides conduit to reaching existing supporters and potential audiences; i.e., educators needing gifted classroom strategies. The ‘community’ paradigm can extend to fostering interaction between organizations for the greater good. Twitter can be used to forge an authentic voice; replicate print and web communications; and as a conversational tool. Organizations can also use Twitter to share information on upcoming conferences, webinars, and chats; always using hashtags to widen reach.
Parents, too, can use Twitter to advocate for gifted children and their education. Parents meeting on Twitter can facilitate in real life meetings for kids and their peers. By Participating in Twitter chats related to gifted education and gifted students, they are able to affirm positive messages about these kids. In several states, parents along with advocates have combined forces to use Twitter to effectively appeal to politicians considering gifted education legislation. Tracy Fisher, #gtchat Advisor, told us, “Part of advocating is LEARNING! They can lurk, ask experts for info, etc.”
“It is easy to share with several groups of people by using multiple hashtags.” ~ Tyler Clark, Executive Assistant of the World Council for Gifted & Talented Children
Twitter is often used at gifted conferences as a backchannel for attendees as well as presenters. It is used to initially promote and raise awareness about upcoming conferences. Then, Conference attendees can use conference-specific hashtags to tweet from sessions. Presenters use Twitter to connect with their audience and get immediate feedback during sessions. It’s even a great way to plan Tweet-ups at the conferences!
“Commentary tweets and special twitter sessions from conferences can give people a vicarious feeling of attending.” ~ Jo Freitag, Gifted Resources & Sprite’s Site
“A conference can encourage social media participation before and during the conference; including all!” Carolyn K., Hoagies Gifted
Finally, we discussed how to use Twitter to connect with peers and colleagues to advocate for gifted issues. Gifted advocates can connect with leaders in the field in real-time to tweet issues important to all. It can be used to acknowledge accomplishments within the gifted community; announce new books; and link to relevant blog posts. Users can encourage followers to connect by tagging them in tweets and graphics. It’s an excellent way to build communities of like-minded advocates. A transcript of the 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 Noon NZST/110.00 AEST/1.00 UK (Subject to change due to Daylight Savings Time). 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.
Dialogic Connections (Shaw) (pdf)
Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.