Category Archives: Identification

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

 

The Purple Goldfish Theory: What Your Child Already Knows about Being Gifted

gtchat 08232018 Goldfish

Jamie Uphold, Gifted Youth Programs Manager for American Mensa, joined us at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT to chat about her “The Purple Goldfish Theory: What Your Child Already Knows about Being Gifted.” She described her role at American Mensa, “I’m a (recovering) educator with a passion for gifted youth. Now, I create programs, curate resources, and perform outreach for gifted youth.”

Jamie wrote an excellent follow-up blog post describing the theory on Mensa’s blog. In the post, Jaime writes, “Gifted kids are like purple goldfish. They spend all day swimming along in school with all the other goldfish. But unlike the other fish, they are purple — and they swim backward! They know they’re different from the other kids. No one has to tell them; they realize it on their own. And while purple goldfish know they are different, they don’t necessarily know they are gifted.”

Gifted children learn what it means to be gifted in many different ways. Many do not question the concept until they are identified at school and enter their school’s gifted program. They know they are different from other students around them. How knowledgeable their parent is about what it means to be ‘gifted’ and how they share what they know can have a powerful impact on their child.

Parents sometimes wonder if they should even tell their child they are gifted. Dr. Gail Post, Clinical Psychologist, stated emphatically, “Yes – it validates, provides clarity and perspective on what they already suspect and don’t understand. [Parents] need to explain it carefully, ensuring they [the child] don’t assume they are better than others, or take on undue burdens.” Jamie explained, “The value is in understanding how their brain is wired differently; not in an assessment received from a test. Information, for them, is received and perceived differently than their peers.” Telling a child they are gifted and/or talented should be accompanied by the ‘perspective’ as related by Dr. Jim Delisle that they at ‘better at’ rather than ‘better than’ their age-peers . Jamie believes that “early and honest communication about giftedness can mean the difference between arrogance and understanding.”

How should information about a child’s giftedness be shared with their educational team? If a gifted IEP is mandated, a formal process for sharing information through formal regular meetings with the team and a general understanding of who to contact will already be in place. The sharing of information is highly dependent on the personnel with whom you were sharing the information. Some teachers are more receptive and knowledgeable; making the whole process smoother. Jamie implored parents, “Don’t assume that teachers know what your child needs. They often don’t get the information necessary to make those assessments until later in the year. Simple outreach sparks dialogue.There’s no one-size-fits all approach. Every gifted child is different and has different needs. Giftedness doesn’t fit into neat check-boxes.”

What are the challenges of being ‘purple’ (gifted)? Jamie stated, “It’s hard to be the smartest kid in the room. Kids want to fit in, and GT kids often don’t — they think deeper, react stronger, and don’t transition as quickly. None of these traits are preferable in traditional school settings.” Being gifted is too often about simply being viewed as ‘smart’ when it’s usually much more complicated;  it’s a ‘marching to the beat of a different drummer’ scenario. GT kids can be teased and bullied by other kids and adults to the point of wanting to hide their abilities or ignore them. This can lead to emotional challenges as they get older.

Justine Hughes, educator in Auckland, New Zealand,  warned, “the quote that “All kids are gifted they just unwrap their gifts at different times” has become a dangerous mantra leading to needs not being met. Jamie added, “How many of those kids would return that gift if they could, just to be ‘normal’?”

There are many resources to help children learn about being gifted and for parents on raising a gifted child. Great organizations include American Mensa, Mensa for Kids, Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT), NAGC, SENG, Davidson Gifted, Hoagies Gifted, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, the Institute for Educational Advancement, the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education, and WCGTC.

Gifted children need to associate with intellectual peers whether at school or socially regardless of what anyone else says. This doesn’t mean exclusively; but it must be a major consideration. They need to be challenged in the early years academically. Without it; they will have difficulty later on and it can result in innumerable problems.

“Purple goldfish have extra challenges. Often people assume that a gifted kid, and by extension their parents, have it easy when it’s often the exact opposite. Gifted children can struggle with social norming and are sometimes in stages of development and emotional maturity that make it harder to bond with their peers. Statistically, gifted individuals are 1 out of 100; this means that 99 percent of their peers are different from them. And this is before we add any additional diagnoses. It’s hard to be a purple goldfish! And these kids nevertheless want to find other purple goldfish – their people.” ~ Jamie Uphold, American Mensa 

Check out the transcript of this chat at Wakelet to see what else chat participants said parents need to remember most about having a purple goldfish. Then, refer to the resources below which were shared during the chat!

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.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  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:

Mensa for Kids (website)

American Mensa (website)

Inspiring Self-Efficacy in Gifted Kids

Coloring Outside the Lines – Growing Up Gifted

Jim Delisle Presentation – Parenting Gifted Kids: Tips for Raising Happy and Successful Children

Identity Development in Intellectually Gifted Students

How to Create a Gifted Individualized Education Plan

Gifted Advocacy: What’s the Point?

Improving GT Parent-Teacher Communications

Unexpected Challenges of Being a Gifted Kid

Social Emotional Needs of Gifted Students

Growing Resilient Gifted Kids

Cybraryman’s Growth Mindset Page

Should we tell them they’re gifted? Should we tell them how gifted?

Resources from Jamie’s blog post:

Pros and Cons of Telling Children They Are Gifted

Is My Child Gifted?

What to say to your gifted child…about being gifted 

Is your kid really gifted? Probably not

Should we tell them they’re gifted? Should we tell them how gifted?

Talking about Giftedness: The Elephant in the Room

Your Kids Are Gifted. Should You Tell Them?

Image and graphics courtesy of American Mensa.

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