Category Archives: Education

Eroding Excellence in Education

How did we get here? Why the attack on gifted education funding at both the federal and state(s) level simultaneously? The focus on excellence always seems to sharpen when state and federal budget proposals are released, but this year has seemed daunting with cuts proposed at all levels; affecting research and education initiatives. The framing of the discussion to fund gifted education inevitably turns on informing the public about current funding or the lack thereof. Gifted education has strong public support and their voice needs to be heard.

‘Anti-intellectualism’ may play a role in eroding excellence in education. It seems counter-intuitive that anyone would oppose excellence in education; but, here we are. Confusing equality with equity muddies the waters. Eliminating programs to level the playing field doesn’t make sense. Equating intellectualism with elitism is a false equivalence. Providing all children with what they need to succeed should be the goal of education.

Standardized testing brought with it ‘standards’ … and a race to mediocrity. As a majority of resources are focused on ensuring all students reach proficiency; the potential of advanced students remains stagnant or is slipping away. The amount of time devoted to test prep in the school year directly affects instructional time and reduces the quality of education across the board.

How do we extend the search for excellence in minority and low income populations? Identification that is sensitive to cultural and linguistic needs of specific populations and applied school-wide is a first step to providing appropriate educational opportunities for GT students. Cultural sensitivity in the search, availability of programs, professional development to counter bias, and community engagement are all ways to extend equitable solutions in gifted education.

‘Educational excellence’ can have a profound effect on our economy. The advantages of having a well-educated work force go without question. Employers who do not have to provide additional training or even remedial training will have lower costs and be able to devote resources to research and development. Countries who place importance on striving for excellence in the education of their children are our competitors of the future. Well educated citizens spark innovation and technological advances which drive our economy.

Where do we go from here? Is there a path forward for bridging the excellence gap in education? Academic and tech competitions are good at identifying and motivating talented youth. We must find a way to institutionalize the effects of these efforts; to incorporate them in our educational systems. Federal funding of research dedicated to gifted and talented education potentially creates educational environments that nurture creativity, encourage academic excellence, and prepare students to meet the challenges of the future. 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/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:

What I’m Reading: ‘A Nation at Risk’

Addressing Excellence Gaps in K-12 Education

Talent on the Sidelines: Excellence Gaps and America’s Persistent Talent Underclass

Trends in Education Excellence Gaps: A 12-Year International Perspective via the Multilevel Model for Change (Abstract Only)

Dumbing Down America: The War on Our Nation’s Brightest Young Minds (And What We Can Do to Fight Back) (Amazon)

Failing Our Brightest Kids: The Global Challenge of Educating High-Ability Students (Educational Innovations Series) (Amazon)

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds (Amazon)

Bridging the Excellence Gap

Closing the Excellence Gap

Are high-IQ students more at risk of school failure?

National Security and Educational Excellence (2005)

AU: How education system is failing our smartest children

FR: Are French schools failing their brightest children?

29 Ways American Schools Fail Students

Is Boston Failing Its Brightest Students: The Valedictorians Project

Stop Politicizing Our Schools

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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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.

 

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