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When Full Inclusion Fails Gifted Students

Full inclusion was first used in regards to special education; a situation in which parents pushed for and sought legal solutions to compel schools to not place their children in separate classrooms. Full inclusion for gifted education means that GT students are kept in the regular classroom and the classroom teacher is responsible for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students.

Most reasons for insisting on full inclusion of GT students are based on myths which claim  these students will be fine on their own. School personnel often cite personal biased reasoning for why students should be kept in the regular classroom; that these students already possess intellectual advantage and no further accommodation should be needed.

What are some of negative impacts of full inclusion for GT students? It doesn’t take long to see the negative impact of mixed ability classrooms on GT students. Teasing and outright bullying can lead to being socially ostracized by age-peers. In classrooms where teachers are expected to meet the needs of wide-ranging abilities, GT students are generally a low priority. When these students are not challenged, they are unprepared to face challenges when they do come.

Curriculum differentiation has the potential to work for high ability students, but few educators receive adequate training to provide quality differentiation that meets these students’ needs. The academic needs of high ability students go well beyond curriculum. GT students learn best when educated with intellectual peers and by teachers trained to work with them.

What are some alternatives to full inclusion that work? Some of the best alternatives are multi-age, standalone programs where GT students are challenged by ability. Many forms of acceleration are excellent alternatives for GT students and cost-effective for schools with tight budgets. Some options include early entrance, dual-enrollment, subject and whole grade acceleration.

What approach can parents take to seek real solutions when inclusion isn’t working? Parents must engage in well-informed advocacy; know school district policy and finances, learn about possible alternatives, attend school board meetings, and know who the decision makers are at the state level. Most parents soon learn that there is power in numbers when trying to influence school policy decisions, availability of programs for GT learners, and potential extra-curricular activities. Parent advocacy groups are essential. 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 NZST/11 AM AEST/Midnight 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:

Highly Gifted Children in Full Inclusion Classrooms

Gifted Programs: Is Inclusion the Answer?

Educating Gifted Students in Regular Classroom: Efficacy, Attitudes and Differentiation of Instruction (pdf)

The Gifted Child and the Inclusive Classroom (pdf)

Teaching Gifted Students in Full-Inclusion Classrooms

The Purpose of a Self-Contained Classroom

Threat or Challenge? Teacher Beliefs about Gifted Students and their Relationship to Teacher Motivation

Teacher Perspective on Differentiation for Gifted Students in the General Education Classroom (pdf)

Teacher Attitudes towards Gifted Education in Rural School Districts (pdf)

Competing with Myths about the Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Students

The Development of the Educators’ Attitudes toward Gifted Education Scale (pdf)

Factors That Promote/Inhibit Teaching Gifted Students in a Regular Class: Results from a Professional Development Program for Chemistry Teachers

The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners, 2nd Edition via @ASCD

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

Future Trends in Gifted Education (TEMPO – pdf)

How and Why Teachers Need to Support Gifted Students

Ability and Performance Comparisons of Gifted Students in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Settings (pdf)

Practitioners’ Conceptions of Academic Talent and Giftedness: Essential Factors in Deciding Classroom and School Composition (pdf)

Celebrating Mediocrity? How Schools Shortchange Gifted Students

Inequitable Access to Gifted Education

Navigating the Education System: Empowering Parents for Effective Advocacy (pdf)

The Case for Gifted Education as an Equity Issue

Cybraryman’s Inclusion Page

Black-White Gap Widens Faster for High Achievers

Image courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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Resources for GT Educators

 

Virtually all national and state organizations provide resources via their websites and during conferences. Please note that 2e resources are generally listed under parent resources. We will include an extensive listing in our weekly blog post. In recent years, organizations that serve the gifted community and schools also provide both free resources and fee paid resources. We will also include these in our blog post.

There are several publishing companies which cater to the GT community and provide excellent curriculum resources. General education websites also include resources specific to gifted and talented; such as, edutopia. Also, universities which offer gifted education certification have resources available on their websites and for purchase.

The Legacy Book Awards from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a great resource for book recommendations. Modern Curriculum for Gifted & Advanced Academic Students from Todd Kettler is a good resource.

What are the best tech resources/online programs for GT teachers? We like Brian Housand – a former #gtchat Advisor, who has a great tech website for GT educators. A4 Of course, we like resources from our very own #gtchat Advisor Ginger Lewman and her website.

On our @gtchatmod Twitter account, we have a list for ‘Who to Follow’ on Twitter and a list of Texas GT educators on Twitter Also, on gtchatmod’s personal account @ljconrad – there are lists for U.S. gifted education on Twitter and Global gifted education on Twitter.

Where are the best places to network for GT educators? Conferences and conventions for gifted organizations are great places to network. TAGT Leadership Conference will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX. Edcamps are also good places to network as well as during professional development opportunities. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

TAGT Leadership Conference from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX.

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 NZST/Noon 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:

Resources for Educators of Gifted Students (Elementary and Secondary)

High Quality Curriculum for Gifted Learners

Forming Flexible Learning Groups (pdf)

A Teacher’s Guide to Flexible Grouping and Collaborative Learning

Tips for Critically Evaluating Online Gifted Education Information

Fighting Fake News! Teaching Critical Thinking and Media Literacy in a Digital Age (B. Housand)

Common Core and America’s High-Achieving Students (J. Plucker) (pdf)

Common Core State Standards, National Science Standards and Gifted Education

Gifted Education Strategies

Gifted & Talented Enrichment Curriculum (pdf)

Challenging Highly Gifted Learners (The Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education)

Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners (SlideShare)

Texas Gateway for Online Resources

8 Essential Tips & Resources for Educators of Gifted Kids

Byrdseed

Tips for Teachers: Successful Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners

Chicken Soup for the Gifted? Differentiation in the Regular Classroom (Fiedler) (pdf)

Practical Recommendations and Interventions: Gifted Students (pdf)

GT Strategies and Resources (Corsicana ISD)

Teacher Resources from Todd Stanley

Gifted Resources: Curriculum

50 Resources for The Parents & Teachers of Gifted & Talented Students

Resources for Educators

Gifted Education Resources for Educators

TED Ed: How to Boost Student Access to Gifted & Talented Education Resources

You CAN Do The Rubik’s Cube Program

Bright & Quirky

Illustrative Mathematics

Khan Academy

Code Monkey

Flocabulary

Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry (Amazon)

When Math Happens

AUS: Hawker Brownlow Education

Boost: 12 Effective Ways to Lift Up Our Twice-Exceptional Children (Amazon)

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use (Amazon)

Successful Teaching in the Differentiated Classroom (bn)

Raisin’ Brains (GPP)

Cybraryman’s Gifted and Talented Page

Cybraryman’s Twice-Exceptional Children Page

Joy Kerr’s Genius Hour Livebinder

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

Reassessing the Need for Soft Skills for Gifted Students

 

Soft skills – aka non-cognitive skills or social-emotional learning skills – can be categorized in many ways. In school, we consider communication skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking and concise writing. They also involve resilience, resourcefulness, integrity, ambition … habits that improve learning. Soft skills revolve around the realization that mastery is an ongoing process and not based on hard and fast rules. Soft skills can be applied in any circumstance one chooses to use them.

Considering that soft skills need to be taught even though hard to measure; skills such as self-regulation, flexibility when faced with new situations and motivation to get things done can all help students succeed. Career success must embody the adoption of soft skills such as dependability, adaptability, working on a team while maintaining positive relationships with others. Other invaluable skills include stress management, facilitation and leadership.  Advanced soft skills are necessary for career advancement; skills often needed earlier in life for GT students and include networking skills, negotiating skills, savvy self-promotion, and the skill of persuasion.

Academic expectations for GT students are extremely high throughout the school day … expected to be leaders, independent learners, team leaders, great communicators … all of which can lead to burnout. GT students and their teachers are mainly focused on academics and achievement; easily measurable expectations. Soft skills may be overlooked, but necessary for these students just as they are for all students. Many GT students struggle with interpersonal relationships, dealing with failure and perfectionism, working in class with age-peers. They need to be taught perseverance, flexibility, regulating emotions.

How do soft skills help our 2e kids to be successful? The very nature of twice-exceptional students – having needs to be met, but often misdiagnosed or mis-judged … calls for nurturing of soft skills in their everyday life. When 2e kids are given the tools to succeed; they can live a more fulfilled life without the stresses associated with social and emotional setbacks.

Soft skills need to be taught and well-prepared teachers are essential for this task. The most simple soft skills – reading social cues, socializing with age-peers, respecting others – are the foundation of a successful life. They can aid in self-confidence and emotional regulation.

Best practice for teaching soft skills begins in the realization that these skills aid in learning. Teachers who model excellent soft skills such as self-regulation, patience, and empathy will be the most successful. In teaching social skills, best practices values students’ voice and attitude towards education, school attendance, and behaviors. Student outcomes are dependent on more than test scores and achievements. Soft skills can be integrated into the curriculum through project and problem based learning, 20% time, and genius hour which encourage time-management, self-control and self-reflection on the educational process.

Parents of gifted students can reinforce soft skills outside the classroom by modeling these skills in their everyday life. Character building based programs can have wide ranging positive influence on their children. They can seek to build a positive relationship with their child’s teacher and school personnel. They can model the use of patience and perseverance in difficult relationships; seeking additional support when necessary. Parents who place value on soft skills are uniquely positioned to teach them at home as well and to focus on the benefits of future outcomes for success in their child’s life.

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 2PM NZST/Noon 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:

Study: Teaching Noncognitive Skills can Spur Better Long-term Student Outcomes

Understanding a Teacher’s Long-Term Impact

What Do Test Scores Miss? The Importance of Teacher Effects on Non-Test Score Outcomes (pdf)

Teaching for High Potential: A Focus on the Soft Skills (pdf)

No Mind Left Behind: Understanding and Fostering Executive Control–The Eight Essential Brain Skills Every Child Needs to Thrive (book bn)

Empathy at Work for High-Potential Young Leaders

Why You Need to Focus on Soft Skills

Four-Dimensional Education: The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed (book)

Four-Dimensional Education – The Competencies Learners Need to Succeed (YouTube 1:18)

Helping Gifted Culturally Diverse Students Cope with Socio-Emotional Concerns

Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education (book bn)

Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights

Beyond the Test: How Teaching Soft Skills Helps Students Succeed

The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book (book)

Hannah’s Collections (book bn)

The Most Magnificent Thing (book bn)

Should Schools Teach ‘Soft Skills?’ Many Say ‘Yes’

The Soft Skills College Students Need to Succeed Now and in the Future

Soft Skills List – 28 Skills to Working Smart

What It’s Really Like to Transition into Self-Management

Why Being Smart is Not Enough — The Social Skills and Structures of Tackling Complexity

Six Ways to Teach Social and Emotional Skills All Day

Mind Matters Podcast: True Grit – Fostering Tenacity and Resilience (Audio)

Cybraryman’s Soft Skills Page

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Gifted Students in Secondary/Higher Education

At the high school level, there are many ‘options’ for GT students which may include AP, IB, magnet schools, honors classes, or dual enrollment. Additional ‘options’ are early entrance (plus other types of acceleration), talent searches, and distance education classes. Higher education programs include Honors Programs designed as cohorts, accelerated curriculum, study abroad, or mentorships.

Nothing wrong with AP, etc, or honors programs, but they tend to be focused on high achievers. An AP or honors class is only as good for a GT kid as the teacher or prof in charge. If they get GT, it’s great… if not… it can be a struggle ~ Clint Rodriguez, Secondary Gifted Specialist in Dallas, TX 

The impact of a challenging curriculum on GT secondary students can motivate students to become leaders and find success in gifted programs. Research has found a strong correlation between support for the whole student/environmental factors and student success,

Providing mentoring programs to secondary GT students have been found to be key to their identity development. Mentoring programs can provide secondary and college GT students with the opportunity to connect with their local communities and develop networks for future career prospects. Mentors of GT students in higher education are role models for success and hope for the future; especially important for at-risk students.

When GT students are challenged to produce authentic products, it has real-world implications; such as community activism. Society benefits from GT students who become well-rounded students, leaders, and those committed to work for lasting changes for good.

There needs to be a celebration of learning, encouragement to research and discover and persist when things become difficult. ~ Jo Freitag, Co-ordinator Gifted Resources, Australia

Environmental factors such as homogeneous grouping of GT students with others of like-ability and the availability of enrichment programs can foster a mindset of achievement. The presence of supportive parents and family or mentors who guide, support or share expertise can also foster an achievement mindset. Environmental factors can help GT students to navigate challenges and learn self-regulation.

Research has found that the introduction of curriculum that encourages creativity can enhance student success. University faculty should use open-ended assessments rather than written assignments and traditional testing. 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 2PM NZST/Noon 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:

Starting a High School Mentoring Program for the Gifted: Opportunities and Challenges (pdf)

Mentors’ Contributions to Gifted Adolescents’ Affective, Social, and Vocational Development (Roeper Review)

Effects of Service Learning on Young, Gifted Adolescents and Their Community

Gifted Secondary School Students: The Perceived Relationship Between Enrichment & Achievement Orientation (pdf)

Does Higher Education Foster Critical and Creative Learners? (pdf)

The Role of Creative Coursework in Skill Development for University Seniors (pdf)

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

‘Honors’ Should Mean a Challenge, Not an Upgrade to First Class

An Investigation of Student Psychological Wellbeing: Honors Versus Nonhonors Undergraduate Education (Journal of Advanced Academics)

Programs and Services for Gifted Secondary Students: A Guide to Recommended Practices (Prufrock Press)

Status of High School Gifted Programs (pdf)

Expanding the Conception of Giftedness to Include Co-cognitive Traits and Promote Social Capital (Renzulli)

Research on Giftedness and Gifted Education: Status of the Field and Considerations for the Future

What the Research Says: Gifted Education Works (pdf)

Who Are The ‘Gifted And Talented’ And What Do They Need?

The Efficacy of Advanced Placement Programs for Gifted Students

Research That Supports Need for & Benefits of Gifted Education The National Association for Gifted Children (pdf)

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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