Category Archives: Advocacy

Rethinking Underachievement and Potential

 

What constitutes underachievement and who determines when a child is underachieving? Does the definition change over time based on what society values? A simple definition of underachievement is ‘performing below expectations.’ This begs the question … who determines what is expected? In education, it may mean meeting/exceeding the standards. In society, are accomplishments enough? Regardless of how it is defined, underachievement must be dealt with in some manner due to the consequences often faced by students in the situation. The effects can be devastating for some and have a lifelong impact.

Potential is equally a term whose definition is up for debate. Whether in the eye of the beholder or determined by others, the expectation is that it must be fulfilled if one is to be seen as accomplished; a success. When a person fails to live up to their potential, it is generally a reason for calls to ‘fix’ the situation; even if the person in question doesn’t want fixed.

Underachievement has real life consequences that can extend well into adulthood. Gifted underachievers may have very different reasons for finding themselves dealing with those consequences. Causes of underachievement range from learning difficulties to lack of study skills or motivation to teacher mismatch or school policy.

Once underachievement envelops a student’s life; it can develop into apathy, disrespect, or a desire to conform to peers in an attempt to be popular. It may eventually cause social-emotional issues when a student’s ‘gifted’ identity is challenged.

What can schools do to counteract underachievement in gifted students? Gifted underachievers can benefit from incorporating depth and complexity in their learning, accelerating the pace of learning, allowing the free expression of creativity, and grouping with intellectual peers. Schools can reduce boredom and increase engagement of gifted underachievers by allowing students to experience “control, choice, challenge, complexity and caring teachers” (Kanevsky & Keighley, 2003). Research suggests that engagement can be encouraged by “enlisting gifted students’ social-emotional imagination, creativity, sense of purpose & empathy for others.” (Gottlieb, Hyde, Immordino-Yang & Kaufman, 2016).

Parents must advocate for the determination of the cause of the underachievement first so that schools provide appropriate interventions and then be willing to work with school personnel to address the causes. They may need to consider additional testing and counseling with a licensed mental health professional. Parents can nurture a love of learning by providing opportunities outside traditional schooling that appeal to their child’s interests and abilities. 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 1PM NZST/11 AM AEST/Midnight 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.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa 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

 

Resources:

Cleverness and Common Sense-Your True Potential: Human Gifts and Talents! (Podcast)

Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic (Amazon)

Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement (bn)

Gifted Underachievers (why it makes sense, and how to deal with it) (YouTube 8:32)

Solving the Riddle of Underachievement: Kenneth Christian at TEDxSacramento (YouTube 8:49)

In Defense of the High School Underachiever | Rachel Hawley | TEDxYouth@Wayland (YouTube 16:45)

Reversing Underachievement: Stories of Success

Who is the Gifted Underachiever? Four Types of Underachievement in Gifted Children

What causes gifted underachievement?

Factors That Differentiate Underachieving Gifted Students From High-Achieving Gifted Students

Underachievers Under-the-radar: How Seemingly Successful Gifted Students Fall Short of their Potential

How to Help your Underachieving Gifted Child

8 Ideas for Building Intrinsic Motivation to Learn in Students

Underachievement in Exceptionally Gifted Adolescents and Young Adults: A Psychiatrist’s View (pdf)

Gifted Underachievers: A Contrarian Position or Two

Beware of Underachievement in Successful Students

Underachievement: A Story in Process

When You Don’t Live up to Your Potential

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Advertisements

What to Do When School’s Gifted Program is Cut or Curtailed

Why is gifted education funding consistently targeted and to whom should advocates reach out to reinstate funding for gifted programs? There is a stigma attached to funding gifted education that gifted learners do not need additional support. This diminishes the entire idea of an appropriate education; that an entire population of students does not need to be taught. When advocating for gifted education, reach out to local decision makers first. Determine the source of funding and engage with lawmakers at the appropriate level with reasoned arguments in a respectful tone.

“Gifted education is often misunderstood as a luxury for privileged kids. ALL kids have needs, and gifted kids may have needs as complex as any other kids do. True education advocates are there for all kids.”~ Jeremy Bond 

Gifted organizations are a source of information useful in conversations with decision makers. Most make this information available through their websites. Many gifted organizations provide resources for local and state members that include lists of available advocates and speakers in their area as well as contracted liaisons to governmental bodies who update lawmakers.

Local schools and communities benefit from recognizing the needs of gifted students as school districts are pushed to create high-quality curriculum resources and develop well trained teachers to provide them. Local businesses are the recipients of a highly qualified workforce which dissuades them from having to outsource jobs.

How does cutting gifted education disproportionally affect students in rural school districts? Rural school districts begin with a more modest budget for funding education in general. When special needs populations are taken into consideration, gifted education is rarely seen as a priority. If available funds for gifted education are small to begin with, GT students in rural areas may run the risk of not having programs at all regardless of need.

Teachers who recognize the needs of their GT students often work to provide these students with additional opportunities by creating after-school programs, mentoring students, and acting as coaches for academic competitions. Within the classroom, many teachers will differentiate curriculum and instruction to meet the needs of their GT students and seek out professional development in gifted education.

What can parents do to counter budget cuts for gifted education in their child’s school? Parents are integral to the entire budgetary process. As voters, they are important to lawmakers who decide education budgets. Their voice can make a difference in how their representatives view gifted education. Parents should remain vigilant about gifted education funding for their child’s school. They can engage with lawmakers by letting them know the importance of GT funding and joining state gifted organizations’ advocacy efforts. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

This week we celebrated the wonderful support we have received from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented for the past 7 years! We look forward to the next 7 years!

 

 

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 1PM NZST/11 AM AEST/Midnight 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.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa 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

Resources:

OH: Hamilton City Schools Cut Full-time Gifted Programs Due to Budget Concerns

Gifted In Arizona

NZ: Restored Funding and Hope for Gifted Education

Massachusetts’ State Gifted Board Member Speaks before Governor’s Budget Committee

Cluster Grouping of Gifted Students: How to Provide Full-Time Services on a Part-Time Budget

The Forgotten Rural Gifted Child

TAGT: From a Nation Deceived to a Nation Empowered A Never-Ending Story (pdf – p. 6)

NAGC Statement on Administration’s FY2020 Budget: Supporting All Gifted and Talented Children is an Equity Issue

First-Ever Poll of Voters about Gifted Learners Finds Strong Bipartisan Support for Increasing Funding and Resources for High-Potentials Students

NAGC 2019 Leadership & Advocacy Conference

This is Us … Too: The Need for Gifted Education

Gifted and Talented Education: A Review of Relevant Literature (pdf)

What to Look for in a Good Gifted Program

Cybraryman’s Gifted Advocacy Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

When Full Inclusion Fails Gifted Students

Full inclusion was first used in regards to special education; a situation in which parents pushed for and sought legal solutions to compel schools to not place their children in separate classrooms. Full inclusion for gifted education means that GT students are kept in the regular classroom and the classroom teacher is responsible for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students.

Most reasons for insisting on full inclusion of GT students are based on myths which claim  these students will be fine on their own. School personnel often cite personal biased reasoning for why students should be kept in the regular classroom; that these students already possess intellectual advantage and no further accommodation should be needed.

What are some of negative impacts of full inclusion for GT students? It doesn’t take long to see the negative impact of mixed ability classrooms on GT students. Teasing and outright bullying can lead to being socially ostracized by age-peers. In classrooms where teachers are expected to meet the needs of wide-ranging abilities, GT students are generally a low priority. When these students are not challenged, they are unprepared to face challenges when they do come.

Curriculum differentiation has the potential to work for high ability students, but few educators receive adequate training to provide quality differentiation that meets these students’ needs. The academic needs of high ability students go well beyond curriculum. GT students learn best when educated with intellectual peers and by teachers trained to work with them.

What are some alternatives to full inclusion that work? Some of the best alternatives are multi-age, standalone programs where GT students are challenged by ability. Many forms of acceleration are excellent alternatives for GT students and cost-effective for schools with tight budgets. Some options include early entrance, dual-enrollment, subject and whole grade acceleration.

What approach can parents take to seek real solutions when inclusion isn’t working? Parents must engage in well-informed advocacy; know school district policy and finances, learn about possible alternatives, attend school board meetings, and know who the decision makers are at the state level. Most parents soon learn that there is power in numbers when trying to influence school policy decisions, availability of programs for GT learners, and potential extra-curricular activities. Parent advocacy groups are essential. 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 1PM NZST/11 AM AEST/Midnight 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.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa 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

Resources:

Highly Gifted Children in Full Inclusion Classrooms

Gifted Programs: Is Inclusion the Answer?

Educating Gifted Students in Regular Classroom: Efficacy, Attitudes and Differentiation of Instruction (pdf)

The Gifted Child and the Inclusive Classroom (pdf)

Teaching Gifted Students in Full-Inclusion Classrooms

The Purpose of a Self-Contained Classroom

Threat or Challenge? Teacher Beliefs about Gifted Students and their Relationship to Teacher Motivation

Teacher Perspective on Differentiation for Gifted Students in the General Education Classroom (pdf)

Teacher Attitudes towards Gifted Education in Rural School Districts (pdf)

Competing with Myths about the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Students

The Development of the Educators’ Attitudes toward Gifted Education Scale (pdf)

Factors That Promote/Inhibit Teaching Gifted Students in a Regular Class: Results from a Professional Development Program for Chemistry Teachers

The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, 2nd Edition via @ASCD

Developing Exemplary Gifted Programs: Programs: What does the research say? What does the research say? (pdf)

Future Trends in Gifted Education (TEMPO – pdf)

How and Why Teachers Need to Support Gifted Students

Ability and Performance Comparisons of Gifted Students in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Settings (pdf)

Practitioners’ Conceptions of Academic Talent and Giftedness: Essential Factors in Deciding Classroom and School Composition (pdf)

Celebrating Mediocrity? How Schools Shortchange Gifted Students

Inequitable Access to Gifted Education

Navigating the Education System: Empowering Parents for Effective Advocacy (pdf)

The Case for Gifted Education as an Equity Issue

Cybraryman’s Inclusion Page

Black-White Gap Widens Faster for High Achievers

Image courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Personal Goal Setting and Self-Regulation for Gifted Children

 

The first and most important step in setting goals is to identify the goals. Strategies to help gifted students should consider timing, time management, pacing and ways to accomplish their goals. Students can identify personal strengths and weaknesses; begin record keeping of progress or portfolios; and take charge of their own learning goals as they mature.

GT students need to learn the art of forethought – thinking ahead with purpose. They should consider a well thought out plan, a starting point and realistic expectations. Once the process begins, GT students can develop specific strategies to monitor personal progress and be aware of any issues preventing them from accomplishing their goals. They need a basic understanding of what ‘self-reflection’ means and its role in evaluating success or failure.

Good self-regulation involves progress monitoring by keeping good records, looking at one’s own performance, and considering if things could have been done better. GT students who master self-regulation skills are known to have specific learning goals and strategies to achieve them, self-monitor more often, and are good at adapting strategies when necessary.

Self-regulating of motivation, its control, and the changing of attitude about it can impact student achievement.  Students who gain self-regulation of emotions can improve their learning. Controlling cognitive strategies through self-regulation can improve learning and performance.

Effective instructional practices when teaching self-regulation include helping students see new information in a positive light, promote ‘thinking aloud’, and ‘self-talk’. Additional effective self-regulation instructional strategies include helping students identify relevant information and materials, and utilize prior learning to inform experiential learning.

Parents can model persistence in the face of challenge and good learning strategies. They can talk to their children about potential distractions, the best possible environment to accomplish goals, and time management. Parents are their child’s biggest supporter – they can be there when it is time to assess how they did in meeting their goals and what could have been done differently if necessary. 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 2PM NZST/Noon 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.

 Lisa Conrad About the authorLisa 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

Resources:

SMART Goals for Gifted Students

Self-Regulated Learning and Academically Talented Students

Promoting a Positive Achievement Attitude with Gifted and Talented Students

Using Self-Regulated Learning to Reverse Underachievement in Talented Students

Can Personal Goal Setting Tap the Potential of the Gifted Underachiever?

A Comparison of Gifted and Non-Gifted Students` Self-regulation Skills for Science Learning

Social-Emotional Learning and the Gifted Child

The Role of Self-regulated Learning in Enhancing Learning Performance (pdf)

Assessing Self-Regulation as a Cyclical, Context-Specific Phenomenon: Overview and Analysis of SRL Microanalytic Protocols

On the Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Children

The Influence of Instrumentality Beliefs on Achievement Motivation: A Study of High Achieving Adolescents (pdf)

Emotional Experience during Participation in a Program of Self-Regulated Learning

Self-Regulation in the Classroom Helping Students Learn How to Learn (book)

The Relation of Self-Efficacy and Grade Goals to Academic Performance

Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning: Theory, Research, and Applications (book)

Cybraryman’s Goals Page

Cybraryman’s Resolutions and Reflection Page

Calming the Emotional Storm: Using Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills to Manage Your Emotions and Balance Your Life (Amazon)

The Inner Game for Twice-Exceptional Kids (Class)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

%d bloggers like this: