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Gifted Education Program Options

Often overlooked, teacher training can affect the availability and quality of gifted program options. Lack of knowledge about special populations in the classroom often leads to lack of understanding of their needs. When teachers and administrators become aware of their gifted and 2e students, they often are their greatest advocates. Teacher training in gifted education needs to begin at the undergraduate level and continue throughout their careers. State mandated PD can go a long way in making this a reality. This can lead to the availability of high quality programs. Extending PD to all faculty and staff can increase the number of options available as well as educate the wider community of the benefits of meeting the needs of GT and 2E students. This can result in increased funding and opportunities.

COVID-19 and the Pandemic had a profound effect on gifted education – both positive and negative. Already existing anti-intellectualism gained ground as education in general was affected by uneven school closures & political influences. Far too often, the Pandemic was used as an excuse to shut down gifted programs in schools where districts had a negative view of providing it at all. However, when parents and supportive educators pushed back, it was a different scenario. Positive implications include the availability of tech, increased distance learning opportunities and a vision of what is possible. Also, greater awareness of educational needs of GT and 2E by parents and caregivers thrusted into homeschooling.

What are the best delivery options available in gifted education? Delivery options have evolved over the past several decades. Pull-out elementary programs are still the most common. Self-contained gifted classrooms offer exceptional opportunities for GT students to learn with intellectual peers. Out of school options include after-school programs, academic competitions, weekend programs, summer classes, and distance learning. Delivery options differ at the secondary level and involve accelerated options such as dual enrollment, early out options, magnet schools, AP/IB, and credit by examination. Alternatives to public education include private schools, micro schools, and homeschooling. Each family needs to determine which is best for their student and family finances.

What curriculum and instructional modifications best benefit gifted students? Curriculum and instruction involve content, process, product & learning environment. The NAGC’s Pre-K to 12 Programming Standards provide a comprehensive outline of evidence-based options. Differentiation is a widely used option when servicing GT students in the regular classroom. Curriculum compacting and tiered assignments have historically also been used. More recent options include Genius Hour, design thinking, VR and experiential learning opportunities.

Online learning is a program option which can be used in gifted education. It can be used in a variety of ways for GT students including in-class enrichment, extensions to outside opportunities (mentoring, linking to experts) or for distance learning (rural ed, dual enrollment). Issues which need to be addressed in online learning for gifted students include student accountability, etiquette, collaboration, and communicating with parents (Phelps, 2020).

Homeschooling has long been a viable option for students whose needs aren’t being at their local school due to lack of programs or for #2ekids or PG students whose needs may be better met in a home setting. It requires dedication, financial resources, provision of appropriate educational resources and learning environment, and someone to teach (parent/caregiver/other).

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 1PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/1AM 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 Meta Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community.

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:

Twelve Cost Effective Educational Options for Serving Gifted Students | Davidson Gifted

Gifted Services | Hempfield School District (PA)

Gifted Education: School Work Make-Up Guidelines | North Allegheny School District (PA)

K-12 Gifted Education Handbook 2021-2022 (pdf) | Bexley City Schools (OH)

Gifted Education 5 Year Comprehensive Program Plan (CPP) (pdf) | Colorado Department of Education

What Makes for a “Gifted” Education? Exploring How Participation in Gifted Programs Affects Students’ Learning Environments (pdf) | National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research

Six Ways Schools can Serve Gifted Students after the Pandemic

Applying the Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards: Guiding Questions (pdf) | NAGC

Five Ways to Support Gifted Students in Your Classroom

Best Practices in Gifted Programming (pdf) | Arlington VA Public Schools

Standard 5: Ensuring Student Outcomes for Programming with Evidence-based Practices | NAGC

Introduction to Gifted Education (book)

Gifted Education and Support Options | Davidson Gifted

Educational Options for Gifted Learners | Davidson Gifted

Considering Homeschooling: A Guidebook for Investigating an Alternative Path to Education (pdf) | Davidson Gifted

Basic Educational Options for Gifted Students in Schools (pdf) | Center for Gifted Education College of William and Mary

Accelerated Programs and Gifted Education

4 Ways You Can Encourage Your Gifted Child’s Progress Outside of School

Successful Online Learning with Gifted Students: Designing Online and Blended Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grades 5–8

Image courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Raising and Teaching Gifted Siblings

Parenting is not easy. Parenting a gifted child is not easy. Parenting multiple gifted children is hard. Parenting in a family of mixed abilities is really hard. Getting it right requires hard work and fortitude. All families with more than one child will deal with sibling rivalry at one point or another. It’s important, however, to make every attempt to promote healthy relationships; healthy competition; and positive interactions. Family discussions centered on what the gifted label entails at school, what is means to be gifted, and affirming each child is unique with their own gifts and talents, are all necessary ones to have.

How can parents best approach their children when mixed abilities are present? Mixed abilities can exist in a family in many different ways. One child may be identified for the school’s gifted program and another child is not. One child may be a talented musician, a good athlete, or a computer whiz while another is twice-exceptional. Labels are best left at school. It’s never appropriate for parents to express favoritism or a preference for one child’s ability over another child. Parents should show appreciation and support for each child. It can take a lot of bandwidth when dealing with a gifted child and a 2E child in the same family. Both generally require excessive time working with school personnel and advocating for appropriate accommodations and interventions.

There are a multitude of circumstances which can affect gifted siblings beginning with their parents. If one parent is identified as HG and the other is not, it may influence a cohesive approach to parenting. Having multiple gifted children in one family can take a toll on finances when trying to provide for extracurricular activities, additional academic opportunities, or even early entrance to college for one or more child. Support from extended family may be strained when misinformation or lack of information about a child’s needs influence how children are treated during social interactions.  

What should teachers know about the presence of 2E & gifted in the same family? It should never be assumed that if one child is identified for a school’s gifted program that all children in the family will necessarily be identified. Both will need academic support; but, in different ways. Once assessments are completed and results acknowledged, the 2E student’s strengths should be addressed first and then remediation for any deficits. Twice-exceptional children can thrive in a challenging environment, but may need patient mentoring to explore their potential.

What best practices can teachers use to approach gifted siblings within the same school? Best practice begins with not comparing siblings. Each will have strengths and weaknesses; and like any other student, will be good at some things, but not necessarily good at all things. Being identified as a GT student does not convey ‘identity’, but rather what they may have potential to do. They may be far advanced academically than their age peers and can benefit from challenge; not ‘extra’ work. Asynchronous development of siblings can greatly affect their social-emotional abilities and they should have access to school counselors as needed. Services should involve parents and caregivers when appropriate.

How can acceleration decisions be affected by the presence of siblings in a family? The decision to accelerate a student to a higher grade level needs to consider the presence of siblings. It must be decided with the best interest of all family members in mind. The timing of when to accelerate siblings may be dependent on access to or location of services. If siblings of different ages work well together or live in areas with limited resources, acceleration might be considered for both.

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/1AM 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 Meta Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community.

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:

Sibling Relationships in Families with Gifted Children (pdf) | Gifted Education International

AU: Family Life with Gifted and Talented Children

What To Do When One Child is Identified as Gifted, and Another is Not

Siblings, Giftedness, and Disparities – oh my! | SENG

Gifted and Nongifted Siblings | Gifted Today

How to Help the Gifted Child With Sibling Rivalry

Family Dynamics | NAGC

A Family of Geniuses Lives in Keller, but more than Good Genes are at Work

Sibling Relationships | Hoagies Gifted

Psychological Framework for Gifted Children’s Cognitive & Socio-Emotional Development: A Review of the Research Literature & Implications (pdf) | Journal for the Education of Gifted Young Scientists

How Gifted Children Impact the Family | Davidson Institute

A Case Study Approach to Understanding the Gifted Experience: Children’s and Parents’ Perceptions of Labeling and Placement (pdf – thesis) | University of Toronto

What Do Parents Really Want? Parent Perspectives on Gifted Education (pdf – thesis) | Gardner- Webb University

Parenting the Gifted and Talented Child: A Qualitative Inquiry of the Perceptions of Mothers Regarding their Unique Experiences in Raising Gifted and Talented Children (pdf – thesis) | Louisiana State University

Siblings of Elementary Gifted Students: The Sibling Relationship, Self-concept, and Classroom Behavior (pdf – thesis) | College of William and Mary School of Education

Gifted and Talented Children In (and out of) the Classroom (pdf) | Council of Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Keeping the Family Balance | SENG

Challenges Faced by “Gifted Learners” in School and Beyond

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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.

Accelerating GT Students

 

Academic acceleration is a cost-effective way to meet many of the needs of gifted students across the spectrum which is hampered only by myths debunked long ago. It is, however, only as good as its implementation. A well-researched educational plan that is responsive to individual student needs can make all the difference in success or failure for the student.

With all the research in existence, why do some educators/admins still balk at acceleration? It only takes one poorly executed attempt at acceleration for a single student to influence school administrations for decades thereafter in a school district. Unfortunately, too often decision makers do not take the time to review the research involving academic acceleration. Outdated information propagated at the undergraduate level is rarely challenged.

Pertinent information that should be included in consideration of acceleration is test scores, psychological evaluations, and teacher and parent observations. An often forgotten part of acceleration is taking into consideration how the student feels about acceleration and the possible effects on the family. If a child does not want to be accelerated, it probably won’t work.

Every school district should have a policy on acceleration. This will ensure that the process is equally applied to all students; everyone is aware of the option to accelerate; and provides guidelines for the process. Administrators should take a deep dive into all the avenues of acceleration and make the information available to their faculty and parents to aid in the decision-making process and to provide adequate resources.

For most GT students, the earlier the acceleration; the easier it is to minimize knowledge gaps. Most students being considered for acceleration are generally identified as to having above-grade level abilities. For older GT students, knowledge gaps can be addressed by such avenues as summer school, tutoring, online classes, the use of mentors, or independent study.

Parents who want to support the acceleration process need to keep open lines of communication with school administrators and those teachers who will be directly involved with their child’s program. They should take the time to talk to their GT child about all the facets of acceleration as well as other family members who may be affected by the child’s acceleration. It’s always better to work through the issues beforehand. 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:

Developing Academic Acceleration Policies: Whole Grade, Early Entrance & Single Subject (pdf)

Dual Enrollment: Participation and Characteristics (pdf 2019)

Understanding Acceleration Implementing Research-Based Practices for GATE (pdf)

Life in the Fast Lane: Effects of Early Grade Acceleration on High School and College Outcomes

Subject Acceleration: Who, What, How?

Developing Academic Acceleration Policies: Whole Grade, Early Entrance & Single Subject

Mathematically Gifted Accelerated Students Participating in an Ability Group: A Qualitative Interview Study

Acceleration or Enrichment? Which one is better for gifted kids?

A Nation Empowered Vols. 1 & 2 (Free Download)

What One Hundred Years of Research Says About Ability Grouping and Acceleration for Students K-12

Why is Academic Acceleration (Still) So Controversial?

Why Am I an Advocate for Academic Acceleration?

Possible Economic Benefits of Full-Grade Acceleration

Academic Acceleration: Is It Right for My Child?

NAGC TIP Sheet: Acceleration (pdf)

LesLinks: Acceleration (LiveBinders)

Cybraryman’s Acceleration Page

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 6

Sprite’s Site: Belonging – A Place of Sanctuary

Acceleration Institute

Hoagies: Academic Acceleration

Duke TIP: Academic Acceleration and Ability Grouping Work

Davidson Young Scholars – How We Can Help

College Versus Kindergarten and Radical Acceleration

Image courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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