Category Archives: Identification

What You Should Know about Talent Searches

The Talent Search model can determine the level of content a student needs to be challenged & pace of instruction – was originated by Dr. Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins in the 70s. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC) Talent Search begins with above level testing, assesses abilities as compared to intellectual peers, and finally offers educational opportunities to students beyond what they may have at their local schools. They are research-based assessments that provide an early indication of intellectual ability of students with exceptional mathematical &/or verbal reasoning abilities that can aid in the determination of educational placement.

Talent Search centers are located around the U.S. (as well as in Europe and other countries with slightly different requirements) including Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University, Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) at Duke University, Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University, Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search at the University of Iowa, and the Center for Bright Kids, Western Academic Talent Search at the University of Denver. Centers offer above level testing at various times throughout the year for grades 3 to 9 and most offer summer, weekend and online education programs for qualifying students.

Why test above grade-level? Above grade-level assessments compare students with their intellectual peers rather than age or grade peers. Talent Searches are able to provide schools (with permission) and families with information pertinent to individualized education plans. Although different centers use different tests (SAT, ACT, PSAT), the inclusion of sub-tests can help facilitate choosing coursework, college majors, and even career choice.

Talent Searches provide an overall view of a highly-able student’s abilities often missed by standardized testing which can inform educational decisions for both at school and out of school opportunities. Students who qualify are offered placement in prestigious programs offered through the sponsoring universities & gain access to scholarship opportunities. Top scoring participants are invited to regional Recognition Ceremonies. Participating in a Talent Search assessment also provides students the opportunity of experiencing above-level testing.

Talent Search assessments can provide schools (with parental permission) with pertinent data on a student’s abilities that many schools may not be able to obtain due to budgetary restrictions. Schools can determine the need for acceleration, placement in gifted programs, or match students to available programming. Since a Talent Search benchmarks student performance against other high-ability same age/grade peers, schools have context on student learning and growth. (Corwith, PHP 09/19, NAGC)

Each Talent Search center (U.S.) has a website and most cover a specific geographic area. Other universities have Talent Searches which are referenced below. A good source for information on Talent Searches is NAGC or your state gifted organization. In Europe, parents can find information on the European Talent Support Network  In Ireland, parents can go to CTY Ireland . 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 2PM NZDT/Noon 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:

Talent Search Opportunities

Future Career Path of Gifted Youth Can Be Predicted by Age 13

One Parent’s Journey through Talent Search

Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth (CTY): Talent Search

What We Know about Academically Talented Students (pdf)

Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS)

Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS)

Talent Search: A Driving Force in Gifted Education

What Is The Duke TIP 7th Grade Talent Search, and Why Do It?

Talent Search Programs at Universities

The Talent Search Model: Past, Present, and Future (pdf)

Opening New Doors for Your Top Students (pdf)

How to Keep Kids Excited about Learning: A Guide for Adults

Above-Level Testing

Talent Search (pdf)

Alternative Assessments with Gifted and Talented Students (affiliate link) via @prufrockpress

Handbook for Counselors Serving Students with Gifts and Talents: Development, Relationships, School Issues, and Counseling Needs/Interventions (affiliate link)

Center for Bright Kids Academic Talent Development

Disclaimer: Some resources contain affiliate links.

Images courtesy of Pixabay and Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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.

Role of Assessment and Curriculum Design

The first consideration in assessment is best practices in the identification of GT students. It’s important to use multiple criteria when assessing and identifying GT students. Various assessments should be used at varied times. Consideration should be given to multiple talent areas. When identifying students for a GT program, measures that are relevant to available programs should be considered. Equitable processes for selection, validation and placement are important in the identification process. Consideration of instruments (tests) and other approaches should be sensitive to the inclusion of minority, ELL, low-SES and disabled students. Out-of-level assessments may need to be used and different procedures should be considered for secondary students.

There are many considerations that must be taken into consideration when designing curriculum for identified GT students. Does the curriculum provide sufficient depth, complexity, and pacing? GT students should be provided opportunities for metacognition and reflection. Will they be taught content, process, and concepts? Three characteristics of GT students critical for curriculum design include complexity, precocity and intensity. (VanTassel-Baska 2011) Motivation, persistence, interests, and access to resources and support are also important. GT students are capable of providing high-quality feedback regarding the curriculum. Will they be given sufficient voice to provide such feedback?

Appropriate learning assessments for gifted students include performance-based assessments and off-level achievement tests. Portfolios and informal assessments such as one-on-one discussion or peer-group discussions and observations are also appropriate for GT students.

The NAGC has produced national standards which list expected student outcomes. Standard 3 deals specifically with curriculum planning and instruction. We have provided links to these resources. Student outcomes include students demonstrating growth commensurate with aptitude; developing talents in talent or interest areas; and becoming independent investigators. In addition, student outcomes include developing knowledge and skills to live in a multicultural, diverse and global society; and receive benefits from gifted education that provides high quality resources and materials.

GT curriculum should provide “a means to serve not only the internal characteristics of gifted students, but also develop talent traits that are instrumental for advanced achievement. These talent traits include intellectual engagement, openness to experience, perseverance and passion for attaining long-term goals, a need for Ascending Intellectual Demand & intense focus in areas of personal and professional interests.” (Housand, A)

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:

ASCD: Six Strategies for Challenging Gifted Learners

Standard 3: Curriculum Planning and Instruction

APA: What is Assessment?

SC – Gifted and Talented Best Practices Guidelines: Assessment (pdf 2018)

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

Alternative Assessments With Gifted and Talented Students (aff. link)

Introduction to Curriculum Design in Gifted Education (aff. link)

Assessment of Gifted and High-Ability Learners: Documenting Student Achievement in Gifted Education (aff. link)

Curriculum Planning and Instructional Design for Gifted Learners (3rd ed.) (aff. link)

Methods and Materials for Teaching the Gifted (4th ed.) (aff. link)

HK: Implementation of School-based Gifted Development Programmes

High Quality Curriculum for Gifted Learners

Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students (pdf)

Gifted Learners as Global Citizens: Global Education as a Framework for Gifted Education Curriculum (pdf)

UK: What works in gifted education? (pdf)

Eight Universal Truths of Identifying Students for Advanced Academic Interventions (pdf)

Texas Performance Standards Project

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay  Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Characteristics of Gifted Children

 

Characteristics need to go beyond simple checklists to determine the extent of a child’s giftedness. Observation is often the first step in deciding whether or not to begin the identification process. It’s important to know what you are looking for and why. Checklists aside, characteristics may include mastery of a particular discipline that begins much younger than in age-peers, more easily, and much faster. Gifted children may display ‘near obsessive’ interests which go well beyond those of age-mates. They may be drawn to others with similar approaches/interests.

Understanding what to look for when identifying a gifted child has implications for both teachers and parents. Teachers need to know how to modify learning environment and curriculum based on unique characteristics of their students. Parents need to understand characteristics of gifted children to inform parenting decisions that go beyond consideration of academic performance and also considers the importance of their child’s all around environment. They should understand that gifted children need to be nurtured with attention paid to their child’s gifted characteristics.

Incorrect diagnosis is often the result of professionals lacking information and experience about what it means to be gifted. It’s important for professionals to have foundational knowledge of gifted characteristics and parents should question anyone dealing with their child beforehand to determine if they are qualified to assess the child. Different abilities may mask each other making a diagnosis or determination more difficult; especially when identifying gifted children with learning differences.

How do Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities relate to characteristics of gifted children? Dąbrowski’s work did not originate in the area of giftedness, but has been subsequently recognized and applied to the study of gifted individuals. Although not originally posited for gifted individuals only, Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities were adopted by gifted advocates and academics as a way to explain many of the behaviors they saw in the gifted. Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities included Psychomotor, Sensual, Intellectual, Imaginational, and Emotional. Creative and gifted individuals appear to express OEs to a greater degree through increased intensity, awareness and sensitivity.

As a field, gifted education is often criticized for its lack of diversity in gifted programs; especially in public schools. What characteristics of GT children should we look for in underrepresented populations? Intelligence tests are notoriously biased both in fairness to diverse populations and the scope of which they test; in areas, such as, math or verbal reasoning. Skills and characteristics that can be overlooked in diverse populations (ethnicity, low SES) include a child’s ability to make intellectual connections far beyond age-peers or possessing a voracious curiosity.

Defining what it means to be gifted has evolved over the past few decades. Has this been reflected in what we look for as being gifted in the 21st century? Do preferred educational outcomes influence what is thought to be gifted characteristics? What one looks for influences the questions asked; take into consideration how assessments have changed to look beyond how quickly content/knowledge is acquired or remembered. In-demand skills such as the ability to think critically, creativity, collaboration, learning from failure, problem solve … these require rethinking how we see who is gifted. High achievers do not always meet the definition of gifted individuals. Today we look for a child who is able to assess their own strengths and weakness, determine their own learning goals, create learning objectives, and communicate what they know in novel ways.

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:

What is Gifted and Talented?

Closing the Gifted Gap: Recognizing Characteristics of Giftedness in Underrepresented Populations (Vimeo 45:44)

Gifted Children: What to Look For? Why You Should Know? (YouTube 16:11)

Cognitive Characteristics of the Gifted – Reconceptualized in the Context of Inquiry Learning and Teaching

What is “Gifted” or “High Ability?”

Characteristics of High Ability Learners

Characteristics of Gifted Students: Age and Gender. Findings from Three Decades

The Curse of Genius

Giftedness 101 (Silverman)

Common Traits and Characteristics of Gifted Children

Common Characteristics of Gifted Individuals

50 Common Characteristics of Gifted Children (Slideshare)

Characteristics and Signs of Giftedness

Recognizing Gifted Students: A Practical Guide for Teachers (pdf)

New Zealand: Characteristics of the gifted – Ngā pūmanawa kia manawa tītī

Characteristics of Giftedness

How to Spot a Gifted Student

Giftedness and the Gifted: What’s It All About?

Kazimierz Dąbrowski Interview 5 – University of Alberta (YouTube 1:00)

Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 30: Beneath the Surface of Giftedness

A New Window for Looking at Gifted Children (pdf)

Cybraryman’s Gifted Identification Page

Mind Matters Podcast Episode 21: Opening Doors To Diversity In Gifted Education

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

 

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