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Asynchronous Transitioning to Adulthood

This chat marked our return to two weekly chats on Twitter at Noon and 7PM EDT. The discussion centered around the topic of how to help gifted teens transition to adulthood especially when they are dealing with asynchronous development. Participants shared their personal stories of what it was like to make this transition when they were that age. The transcript for this chat may be found on this blog.

Several suggestions were made to help ease the transition in high school by using flexible ability grouping to allow students to interact with intellectual peers. Dual-enrollment when available is a good way for teens to experience the rigor of college courses before attending full time. Students who decide to go to a university at a younger age can find it easier to attend a school close to home to avoid residential issues. Mentoring by older students with similar experiences is another good option. Dating/sexuality issues need to be discussed in an open and frank manner.

Links:

Gifted Ex-Child

Intelligence Does Not Equal Maturity from @TxGifted

“‘Play Partner’ or ‘Sure Shelter’: What Gifted Children Look for in Friendship” from @SENG_Gifted

Exceptionally Gifted Children: Different Minds

Genetic Studies of Genius (Terman)

Creative But Insecure

Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It (book)

 An Introduction to Combined Classes

EQ Versus IQ

Transition from Gifted Child to Adult Producer

Psychological Factors in the Development of Adulthood Giftedness from Childhood Talent

The Transition from Childhood Giftedness to Adult Creative Productiveness: Psychological Characteristics and Social Supports

The Adolescent Gifted Child

When Gifted Children Grow Up

The Middle School Years ~ Tweens to Teens

In this chat, we discussed both school and home strategies for dealing with gifted middle school kids. We learned that Ireland and Australia utilize a primary/secondary model and the U.S. uses both a Jr. High model and Middle School model. The Middle School model was originally intended to address the social-emotional needs of early adolescents through heterogeneous groups. It was noted that this does not aid gifted students in middle school. Homeschoolers present at that chat cited this as a major reason for homeschooling.

The moderator noted that middle schools need to understand the limitations inherent in cooperative learning for gifted students. School districts need to support teachers by providing them professional development in differentiation and individual strategies. They need to be open to flexible grouping based on ability. Enriching all students in a regular classroom is not equal to providing gifted students with an appropriate education.

Turning to what parents can do in the home, it was suggested that parents need to recognize peer influence and provide opportunities for gifted kids to get together outside of school. Middle school is often a time for making new friends and testing boundaries. Firm, but flexible is a good strategy. We need to understand that gifted tweens are under more stress to achieve and to compete during the middle school years.

Links:

Meeting the Needs of High Ability Learners in the Middle Grades

Academic Diversity in the Middle School (1995)

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School (2005)  (Amazon)

Inspiring Middle School Minds (2009) (Amazon)

Young, Gifted and Neglected

Gifted Learners and the Middle School: Problem or Promise?

Responding to the Needs of Middle Level Gifted Learners (pdf)

“Gifted Students Are Seldom Given What They Need” from Dr. Deborah Ruf.

Embracing Introversion: Ways to Stimulate Reserved Students in the Classroom

Cluster Grouping

Living the Life Fantastic (Blog)

Differentiated Instruction (from Cybraryman)

 

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