Category Archives: Bullying

How Does School Culture Affect Gifted Students?

gtchat 04182017 Culture

A school’s culture – particularly how it views gifted education – can have a profound effect on a gifted student. It is a concern for parents who are looking for an environment where their child will thrive academically as well as socially.

Before choosing a school (if they are fortunate to have a choice), there are a few things parents can do to assess the school’s culture. Of course, they should visit the school to meet with administrators and teachers. They can ask questions about gifted programming K-12 and school policy on identification of gifted students. Parents should try to attend after-school activities, athletic events, and parent group meetings to talk to other parents. Also, don’t forget to visit the school’s website and social media sites.

School culture most often reflects the values and interests of the community in which it is located. Rural, suburban and urban areas may exhibit different cultures while being in the same part of the country. A school’s location may benefit from nearby colleges and universities – opportunities for gifted students.

What affect does teacher’ attitude toward gifted programs have on a school’s culture? Gifted students are often highly perceptive of other’s attitudes – this can affect their self-esteem. An atmosphere where gifted programs aren’t valued can diminish gifted programs.

Conversely, gifted students can have a positive effect on school culture. Gifted students can model excellence in learning; exhibiting the benefits of academic success. They often serve in leadership roles in school groups/clubs/competitive academic challenges.

Socio-economic factors can have a major effect on a school’s culture and how its gifted programs are crafted. The effects of low-ses factors must be recognized and all should strive for equitable identification.

School culture can have a significant impact on a student’s mental health. Parents should be on the lookout if a school’s culture is having a negative impact on their student. Gifted students can slip under the radar; become underachievers;  or even drop out. It is important to be vigilant when considering a school’s culture. 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/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 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:

Using Student Feedback to Improve School Culture

How A Happy School Can Help Students Succeed

Get the Culture Right: The Most Important New School Factor

What Do Students Say About School Culture

Why Good Schools Are Happy Places

High-Potential Students Thrive when School Districts Develop Sustainable Gifted Services

Building a School Culture of High Standards

Teacher Perspectives Regarding Gifted Diverse Students (pdf)

AUS: Teachers’ Attitudes towards Gifted: Importance of Professional Development & School Culture (pdf)

CO Dept. of Ed: Gifted Students Implementation Recommendations & Key Messages

Serving Montana’s High Ability/High Potential Students Planning Guide & Strategies (pdf)

Germany: Giving the Gifted a Chance to Flourish

5 Reasons Gifted Students Decide to Leave School

Gifted and talented kids: How do you nurture a curious mind? 

Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives

Jo Freitag: Personas, Profiles and Portraits The Country Kids

The Search for Shangri-La: Finding the Appropriate Educational Environment for Gifted and Twice-Exceptional Children, A Parent’s Guide by Mike Postma, Executive Director, SENG

Introverts tend to be better CEOs — and other surprising traits of top-performing executives

Gifted and talented kids: How do you nurture a curious mind?

SENG’s 34th Annual Conference

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Does Changing the ‘Gifted’ Label Change Anything?

gtchat 03082016 Gifted Label

 

“We need the word until we, as a culture, can see the distinct and varied permutations of human intellectual difference without feeling fear, threat, or envy for those whom the word “gifted” fits.” ~ Pamela Price

 

In education, labels are used as the basis for requesting appropriate programs, challenges, enrichment, and accommodations. Without labels, services may not be offered. According to Jo Freitag of Gifted Resources in Australia, “Labels help to determine the educational, counselling and parenting provisions that are needed.” Alex Clough, a school counselor, added, “Labels are protective, allowing school staff to plan appropriately for students.” Gail Post, a clinical psychologist, explained, “A label, term, diagnosis, etc. can be tested, validated, or disproven.” Kathleen Eveleigh, a K-5 gifted specialist in Chapel Hill, N.C., also told us ” Gifted students have special social and emotional needs that regular education teachers may not know about. The label helps us advocate.”

 

gtchat Notion Better Than

 

Unfortunately, the ‘gifted’ label has become divisive. Sarah Smith, a gifted education teacher said, “I struggle with the label because some think it to be a synonym for perfectly behaved or high achieving or motivated,etc.” Gifted advocates need to do a better job at educating the general public about the true nature of giftedness. Different areas of the U.S. and other countries use terms such as high ability, AIG (Academically and Intellectually), or high potential. Alternatives exist to make the idea of ‘ability’ more palatable to the general public.

 

gtchat Gifted Feel Different

In the end, will it make any difference if we change the label? Leslie Graves, President of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, made an important point, “Once you’ve stopped labeling something, it’s easy to pretend it doesn’t exist.” Carolyn of Hoagies Gifted added, “changing label will change little, but confuse many. Not worthwhile.” A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

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  2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT/1 AM (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 atStorify. 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:

Why We Need the Gifted Label

Giftedness as a Social Construct Does Giftedness Really Exist?

Giftedness: The Word That Dare Not Speak Its Name?

Again With the “All Children Are Gifted” Talk

Time to Ditch ‘Gifted’ Label? Every Child Should Be Challenged in School

Sprite’s Site ~ GT Chat: Labels: Good, Bad, or Simply Wrong

Why Do We Need To Define Giftedness?

Let Me Tell You about…Why Gifted Identification Matters

Why the Word “Gifted” Still Matters

Why Having a “Gifted” Label Matters to Me

Why Identifying High Intelligence Might Change Everything

Sprite’s Site ~ Giftedness: Why Does It Matter?

Giftedness: Why does it Matter?

Giftedness: Why it Matters

My Kid is Gifted (YES, I’m that Mom)

Hoagies’ Blog Hop May 2014: The “G” Word “Gifted”

The Gift of Giftedness? A Closer Look at How Labeling Influences Social and Academic Self-Concept in Highly Capable Learners (pdf)

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop – Giftedness: Why It Matters

Sprite’s Site: The G Word

Graphics courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Holiday Survival Tactics for the Gifted Family

gtchat 12182015 Holiday Survival Tactics

 

The holidays are stressful for many people, but they can be especially difficult for the gifted family. It was explained in simplest terms during this week’s chat by Tracy Fisher, school board member and new grandmother,  “Everyone is INTENSE!”

As we were reminded by Jerry Blumengarten, aka Cybraryman, it is a season celebrated by many cultures.

Cybraryman Holiday 2015

The disruption in their daily routine and the high expectations of others can wreak havoc in gifted families. Marianne Kuzujanakis, pediatrician and homeschooler, also pointed out, “Stress points for GT families: Routines lost. OE’s. Anxiety. 2E issues. Developmental asynchrony. Introversion. Food allergies!!” Empathy for the less fortunate and concerns for world peace often contribute to anxiety in the way gifted children feel. Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, added, “I’d also note that this time of year can be incredibly stressful for gt folks who *don’t* celebrate Xmas.”

There are ways to reduce the stress that have proved successful. Pre-plan activities and remember to include ‘down time’ to reduce potentially stressful situations from occurring. Do not overextend yourself. It’s better to say “no” than to disappoint others. Schedules should be kept as normal as possible.

Dealing with relatives who don’t ‘get’ gifted can be an everyday struggle that becomes worse during the holidays. If possible, ignore behavior in the moment; but resolve the issue later in a more relaxed setting. Explanations, however, may need to be made if comments are made directly to your child.

How do differing abilities shape family dynamics; PG/2e/gifted? Parents need to understand that all gifted children do not react to stress in the same way. Many gifted kids had an affinity for one another at family gatherings; however, differences can influence behavior. Age plays a role, too; dynamics change as kids got older.

When unforeseen situations arise, a plan needs to be in place. Gifted children need to be given ‘space’ and ‘time’ to de-escalate when overwhelmed. Try to remove your child from frustrating situations if possible; understand that overexcitabilities are real. As hosts, we should also provide these ‘safe’ havens for our guests as well.

Finally, we asked the question, “How can we help our children thrive during the holidays?” Creating new family traditions can help. Answer any questions that arise openly and honestly. Share your beliefs, but value your children’s opinion as well. Exposure to holiday traditions of different cultures can help children to appreciate the season. A transcript of this week’s chat can be found at Storify.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 13.00 NZDT/11.00 AEDT 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:

Parenting Gifted Children through the Holidays

Have a Happy [not exasperating] Holiday

Activities for Gifted Children during the Holidays

Holiday stress: What Parents of Gifted Children Need to Know

Holiday Stress & Gifted Families with Jade Rivera

Surviving the Holidays with a House Full of Gifted Folks

Hoagies’ Blog Hop: Surviving the Holidays

How to Strip Your Holidays Naked

Surviving the Holidays

4 Ideas to Engage Your Child during Holidays

GHF Blog Hop: Surviving & Thriving at the Holidays with a Gifted/2E Kid

Dear Parents: Here’s How to Survive & Thrive at the Holidays via @redwhiteandgrew 

Sprite’s Site: Sprite’s 2010 Christmas List

Sprite’s Site: When Extended Family Don’t Get Giftedness

Sprite’s Site: I love Christmas BUT…

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

How Stereotypes Affect Gifted Children

gtchat 09182015 Stereotypes

 

Most parents of gifted children have a story to tell ‘about the time they mentioned one of their child’s achievements’ in a group of parents and it’s usually not a happy one. It doesn’t take long for these parents to stop sharing anything about their kids. They’ll be the first to tell you that stereotypes do indeed affect gifted children. This week at #gtchat, we decided to dive deeper into the topic of stereotypes.

In a poignant response to the blog post, “I hate hearing about your gifted child”, Catharine Alvarez PhD, explains why envy can play a role in stereotyping gifted children. Envy is a powerful emotion that is often directed toward outliers – those who possess traits not shared by everyone else.

Those who envy the parent of the gifted child tend to immediately attribute their negative feelings (actually generated by the envy) to some social transgression on the part of the envied parent. In this case, the charge is “bragging”. This makes sense, because any discussion of the gifted child’s abilities makes their envy salient, and they naturally want to avoid that emotional discomfort. Parents are not only defending their own self-concepts as good parents and intelligent people, but even more vitally, they are defending their own good opinion of their offspring. ~ Alvarez

As the gifted child gets older and their abilities become more obvious to others, the more negative responses they may encounter; often reacting by hiding their abilities to avoid unpleasant situations. Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis pointed out, “Envy involves what cannot be easily obtained by all people. Stereotypes imply GT have unearned benefits.”

Another point raised by teacher and blogger, Celi Trépanier, concerned how the perception of gifted programs in schools can also affect stereotypes about gifted children and the issue of fairness. How these programs are implemented can perpetuate negative stereotyping. Entrance into a gifted program is seen as a ‘prize’ for good grades and behavior. Equality replaces equity in the minds of many. This raises the need for better and more extensive identification of gifted children.

Stereotyping is far too often an issue with teachers and how they respond to children identified as gifted. Research found here (pdf), here (pdf) and here (pdf) shows that preconceived and often incorrect information can influence a teacher’s approach to gifted children. Andrea of GiftedandTalented.com reminded us, “Often times teachers provide recommendations for GT programs, it’s important that stereotypes don’t bias the selection.”This implies an urgent need for introduction of gifted education courses at the undergraduate level.

The number one stereotype mentioned during the chat was: gifted equals achievement.  This stereotype can be exacerbated by asynchronous development when teachers believe that a child’s emotional level should equal their intellectual level. Stereotypes extend to race, gender, ethnicity, physical appearance, and disabilities coupled with giftedness; to name a few.

Do stereotypes affect intellectual identity and performance? Many times gifted kids moderate their behavior and performance to conform to social standards. As Carla Walk in Texas told us, “Beware: The gifted underachiever can surface when stereotypes turn into peer pressure.” Dr. Marianne Kuzujanakis said, “YES! The GT child can doubt GT status when work becomes challenging or under-perform if [it appears that it’s] uncool to be smart. A twice-exceptional child may sadly never believe they are gifted. ” Adolescent gifted girls, in particular, choose to ‘dumb down’ in order to fit into social circles. Nikki Linn commented, “The gifted perfectionist can face depression,  anxiety, etc. when adults think gifted equal highest achievers.” Dr. Jennifer Marten added, “Stereotypes affect all students but when you combine with impostor syndrome, perfectionist tendencies, and over-excitabilities; it’s exacerbated.”

“There is evidence to show that the gifted are influenced by their peers’, parents’ and teachers’ feelings about their abilities. If they are seen as mental freaks, unhealthy personalities, or eccentric simply because they are brainy or creative, many of them will avoid the stigma through conformity. Some would rather underachieve and be popular than achieve honor status and receive ostracism.” ~ Tannenbaum

Stereotypes can also have an effect on the availability of services for gifted children in schools as well. They can influence the perception of administrators regarding existing or proposed gifted programs. Twice-exceptional students fare the worst when schools can’t see past what they feel is a disability; ignore abilities. Cindy Kruse, educational consultant in Pennsylvania, suggested that administrators “need to practice “WIN” in education..everyone gets “What I Need”. A transcript of the chat can be found at Storify.

 

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented and sponsored by GiftedandTalented.com is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 11 AM NZST/9 AM AEST 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:

Envy & Giftedness: Are We Underestimating the Effects of Envy?

Nerds & Geeks: Society’s Evolving Stereotypes of Our Students with Gifts &Talents (pdf)

I hate hearing about your gifted child

Teachers’ Perceptions of the Socio-emotional Development of Intellectually Gifted Primary Aged Students (pdf p. 11)

AUS: Teachers’ Attitudes towards the Gifted: Importance of PD & School Culture (pdf)

Student and Teacher Attitudes toward Giftedness in 2 Laboratory School Environments (pdf)

What Predicts Teachers’ Attitudes Toward the Gifted? (pdf)

Teachers’ Negative Affect toward Academically Gifted Students (pdf)

A Threat in the Air How Stereotypes Shape Intellectual Identity and Performance (pdf)

The Social and Emotional Lives of Gifted Kids (PPT) (pdf)

Coping with the Stigma of Giftedness (pdf)

Social Adjustment and Peer Pressures for Gifted Children

When Gifted Kids Don’t Have All the Answers (Free Spirit Publishing)

Harrison Bergeron (pdf) by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Gifted Resources Film Discussion Series from Jo Freitag

GHF Blog Hop: Gifted in Reel Life

Gifted Children: About that Stereotype

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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