Category Archives: gifted education

Gender Issues and Achievement

For decades, females have been outperforming males academically by all measures – participation in GT/AP classes, high school and college graduation rates, and better grades. Females are more self-regulated, less distracted or prone to procrastination, more organized and better at setting goals and strategizing. Although many women suffer from Impostor Syndrome, many others do not. However, societal perceptions still hinder their success.

Males are perceived to be more difficult by their teachers and receive harsher discipline. Males are over-represented in special education programs and more likely to be identified with learning disabilities such as ASD, dyslexia, and ADHD. All this leads to reduced rates of academic success.

There are many studies regarding the role played by teacher gender in student achievement, but the findings are mixed and don’t indicate a direct correlation. Rather, other factors such as teacher expertise are more important. It has been seen that female teachers in STEM subjects in the middle school years have influence on female students, but rather as a role model. Male student achievement may be affected by the gender of their teacher in elementary school, but more from how teacher’s viewed behaviors and not specifically academics.

How does one’s gender affect academic-related mindsets? Many mindsets that are based on male dominance or risky behaviors lead to thinking academic pursuits are not so important. This increases disciplinary actions or suspensions. Society influences lead boys to think of maleness as being tougher, rebellious, and as someone who prefers to play sports.

School structure is often based on conforming behaviors, following the rules, completing assignments regardless of student interest. This often runs contrary to male prerogatives. More attention needs to be given to student voice and choice, changing disciplinary policies that remove students from the classroom, and consideration of cultural approaches to learning. Many of these issues can be minimized by providing an academic mentor.

How do women translate gains in education into gains in the workplace? Much has been written about a confidence gap for women, regardless of their academic achievements. Stereotypes must be recognized for what they are, and rejected. Male and female teachers can recognize female student academic performance beginning in the middle school years. This is especially important in math where females begin to question their abilities at this critical time. 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 NZDT/10 AM AEDT/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.

Resources:

Girls Get Smart, Boys Get Smug: Historical Changes in Gender Differences in Math, Literacy, and Academic Social Comparison and Achievement (pdf)

Sex and Genius

Why a Post about Women Downplaying Their Awesomeness Went Viral

The Confidence Gap In Men And Women: Why It Matters and How To Overcome It

Women are “Bossy” and Men are “Decisive”: What Gender Stereotypes Really Mean in the Workplace and How to Overcome Them

Gender and Genius (pdf) (Kerr)

Exploring Gender Differences in Achievement through Student Voice: Critical Insights and Analyses

Boys’ Underachievement: Male versus Female Teachers

Gender and Educational Achievement

Influences of Gender on Academic Achievement

Beyond the Schoolyard: The Contributions of Parenting Logics, Financial Resources, and Social Institutions to the Social Class Gap in Structured Activity Participation

Gender Achievement Gaps in U.S. School Districts (pdf)

Troubling Gender Gaps in Education

A Priori Model of Students’ Academic Achievement: The Effect of Gender as Moderator

Education and Gender Equality (UNESCO)

Defining Female Achievement: Gender, Class, and Work in Contemporary Korea (pdf)

The Longitudinal Effects of STEM Identity and Gender on Flourishing and Achievement in College Physics

Academic Achievement and the Gender Composition of Preschool Staff (pdf)

The Effect of Teacher Gender on Student Achievement in Primary School: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment (pdf)

Persistent Effects of Teacher-Student Gender Matches (pdf)

Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement (pdf)

The Effect of Teacher Gender on Students’ Academic and Noncognitive Outcomes (pdf)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Enrichment Beyond the Classroom

Enrichment is focused on student voice and choice. It is responsive to a student’s individual needs and the availability of services. For GT students, it should increase depth and complexity; include both group and individual options; and advance higher-level thinking. Enrichment is not busy work; more worksheets; extra homework; or games and puzzles unrelated to student interests. It is not unstructured free time; assignments given without instruction or support; or an end in itself disassociated from academic goals.

Enrichment often offers GT students the opportunity to socialize with others. It is important to build social skills while pursuing academic interests with like-minded peers. It is a way to keep GT students engaged in areas of their strengths. For it to succeed, enrichment should be focused and purposeful. It affords GT students ways to boost self-esteem and confidence in their abilities in areas they choose.

Enrichment, whether during the school year or in the summertime, should always take into consideration student choice. It is as simple as asking them how they want to spend their summer. Summer enrichment programs require a commitment on the part of parents as well as their child – both in time and money. Parents need to decide if they can allocate both before making a decision.

Many schools participate in academic competitions, chess clubs, book clubs, and theater productions. STEM activities such as science fairs and robotics competitions can also be incorporated into extracurricular activities.

State gifted organizations often provide a treasure trove of online and local resources to help parents locate enrichment opportunities. Local universities, libraries, and museums can also provide nearby programs to meet the interests of GT students.

Although enrichment may be incorporated into the general curriculum, teachers can also preview and assess opportunities that match student interests outside of chess. Opportunities can include mentoring with scholars and experts online or in the local community, internships at local businesses or universities, and independent studies. 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 NZDT/11 AM AEDT/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.

Resources:

A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Enrichment Programs on Gifted Students (pdf)

Types of Enrichment Activities for Gifted Children

Developing Talents Among High-Potential Students From Low Income Families in an Out-of-School Enrichment Program (pdf)

What is Enrichment?

Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners

Enrichment (pdf)

Acceleration or Enrichment?

Making the Most of Summer School: A Meta-Analytic and Narrative Review

The Learning Season: The Untapped Power of Summer to Advance Student Achievement (pdf)

Searching for Evidence-Based Practice: A Review of the Research on Educational Interventions for Intellectually Gifted Children in the Early Childhood Years

Evaluating Interventions for Young Gifted Children Using Single-Subject Methodology: A Preliminary Study

Psycho-Pedagogical and Educational Aspects of Gifted Students, Starting from the Preschool Age; How Can Their Needs Be Best Met? (pdf)

Why Getting 100% on Everything is Setting Gifted Students Up to Fail

Enrichment vs Extension in the Regular Classroom

Image courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Access and Equity in Gifted Programs

Gifted students, unfortunately, too often face obstacles put in place by their own schools when trying to access gifted services and programs. These may include a mismatch between assessments and services offered. School administrators, faculty and staff may express a narrow view of exactly what constitutes giftedness and an individual student’s needs having had little exposure to PD regarding gifted education. Due to budgetary constraints, schools may not have challenging coursework or materials available for GT students.

Cultural and community mindsets can also present barriers for students who are identified as gifted, but then choose not to participate in the programs fearing repercussions from friends and family. Students become aware of negative stereotypes of what it means to be ‘smart’ at a very early age. Bullying by classmates can be a real hindrance when considering whether to avail themselves of gifted services.

Arguments based on ‘anti-intellectualism’ can result in stealth discrimination. Elimination of gifted programs can actually reduce potentially beneficial services for low-income and minority students. There’s no denying the dark history of using gifted education to segregate students. However, equity can’t be achieved by denying access to students who lack the resources to access opportunities outside of traditional schools. ‘Anti-intellectualism’ often relies on false assumptions such as eliminating gifted programs will allow more resources to be given to all students or that flexible ability grouping is the same as the archaic practice of tracking; it is not.

There are many ways the educational community as a whole can increase participation of underserved GT students by investing in quality gifted and talent development programs and providing PD for teachers and staff. Schools can provide multiple avenues for students to participate in and benefit from a variety of gifted services. They can reach out to parents through the creation of support groups and by providing information about available programs.

Teachers can seek PD opportunities in gifted education and obtain gifted certification which in turn raises awareness about the existence of giftedness across all cultures and economic groups. They must consider their own cultural biases and work to eliminate those which might interfere with how they see their students and their potential abilities.

Equity in gifted education cannot be achieved without addressing gaps in the performance and opportunities for underserved students. It begins with universal screening using tests that are culturally sensitive. Schools need to be proactive when working with underserved students by reaching out to families of color and low-SES and explaining to them what services are available and for whom. All classrooms should provide culturally responsive teaching (CRT) across all disciplines and use culturally authentic and responsive materials to encourage students to identify their strengths and interests.

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.

 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:

Academic Talent Lost to Racism and Poverty Hurts North Carolina, Speakers Say

Socioeconomic Status Dictates which Children Get into Gifted Programs

Culturally Responsive and Relevant Curriculum

Access and Equity in Gifted Programs

Effect of Local Norms on Racial and Ethnic Representation in Gifted Education

Mind Matters Podcast – Episode 21: Opening Doors to Diversity in Gifted Education

Discrimination in Gifted Education Must End

Inequities and Discrimination in Gifted Education: Why Hispanic and Black Students are Under-Represented and the Case of District U-46 (Ford) (pdf)

Addressing the ‘Gifted Gap’: Three Strategies

Equity Does Not Mean Everyone Gets Nothing: There’s a Better Way to Address New York City’s Gifted Gap

The Case for Gifted Education as an Equity Issue

Not All Gifted Children Are from Affluent Families

Recognizing, Supporting, and Nurturing Underserved Gifted Students: A Moral Imperative

Anti-Excellence Dog Whistles in the Education Media

How to Increase Access to Gifted Programs for Low-Income and Black and Latino Children

Anti-intellectualism (Wikipedia)

Gifted Education for Educators

Gifted Intervention Specialists Need to be a Visible Resource

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Nurturing Brilliance at School and at Home

Brilliance (to me) is being exceptional at whatever you do. It can pertain to a specific talent or intelligence; highly-abled. It is that ‘spark’ you see in a child when they ‘get it’, but others may not. When we fail to nurture young brilliance, there’s the chance that the spark may dim over time or even fail to ignite at all. Nurturing brilliance can affect the direction a life takes; toward success or mediocrity. It’s important to ignite a child’s passion which is a great motivator. Failing to nurture brilliance unfortunately can lead to problematic behavior which can be a hindrance to success at best or debilitating at worst.

Nurturing brilliance is the essence of good teaching. Students should be encouraged to engage in intellectual risk-taking and to consider learning from mistakes rather than succumbing to failure. It’s important that one never assume a gifted student will ‘make it on their own’. They are in need of as much support and guidance as all students.

Parents and teachers can share strategies through home-school communication which encourage students to try their best and not be deterred by failure. They can identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses and then look for ways to use both to achieve academic goals. Parents and teachers can partner to develop a plan to provide early access to more challenging work and availability of extra support through intellectual peer networks and mentors.

Parents can support their child’s emotional and academic needs while taking into consideration their stress levels by encouraging participation in activities in which they delight; i.e., having fun together! It’s important for parents of gifted children to be reasonable with their expectations of their child’s abilities, not overschedule activities, and not view academic success as a competition with other parents.

Parents can nurture their gifted child at home by building thinking skills through the encouragement of observation, description, sequencing, classification, how things are alike and different, and analogy. Nurturing giftedness at home should encourage metacognition, flexible thinking, persistence, managing impulsivity, and finding ways to spark imagination. Parents should encourage their child to try things at which they aren’t necessarily good, avoid comparing them to siblings and age-peers, and provide the tools needed for success such as mentors and access to academic resources.

A transcript of this chat can 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.

 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:

Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Your Child’s Gifts (book)

Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Gifts of Every Child (webinar)

8 Ways to Support Your Gifted Child

How to Nurture Your Gifted Child

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives (book)

Want Your Child to Be a High Achiever? This 47-Year Study Reveals 7 Things You Can Do

The Joys and Challenges of Raising a Gifted Child

For gifted kids, better to be hands-on or -off?

Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives and Lessons of American Child Prodigies (book)

School Counselors and Gifted Kids: Respecting Both Cognitive and Affective

Counseling for Gifted Students: Implication for a Differentiated Approach

Shame and the Gifted: The Squandering of Potential

How do You Raise a Genius? Researchers Say They’ve Found the Secret to Successful Parenting

Gifted Children: Nurturing Genius

Nurturing Genius

Training Teachers to Nurture Gifted Students

Identification and Nurturing the Gifted from an International Perspective

APA: Opening New Vistas for Talented Kids – Psychologists are Working to Nurture Gifted and Talented Children

Nurturing Giftedness Among Highly Gifted Youth (pdf)

Nurturing Social Emotional Development of Gifted Children (Webb)

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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