Blog Archives

Empowering Student Voice in Gifted Education

 

This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT on Twitter, we chatted about what a choice-driven classroom looks like and why is it important. A truly choice-driven classroom goes far being a choice of menu options – it’s empowering students to control their learning. Full stop. It values a student’s ability to choose while at the same time providing appropriate supports and guidance. Not all students … even GT … will adapt to this new way of learning easily. A choice-driven classroom gives voice to topics explored, grouping, scaffolding, assessment and final product expectations; and, it embodies the ideal that education is preparation for a life well lived and a civil right for all students; including GT.

“A choice driven classroom has students that are engaged because they are empowered to learn about what they like, how they like, and/or their input is valued in how they demonstrate knowledge and mastery.” ~ Amy RogersAdvanced Academics Coordinator for Willis ISD, TX

Gifted students need to be provided tangible ways to express their voice and have those sentiments respected if they are to take ownership of their own learning. They must have a viable option for submitting feedback on a regular basis and have it validated through time response in the classroom. Teachers need to be ready to relinquish control to some extent … motivation for GT students requires independence and developing leadership qualities in students with authenticity being the driver.

How do you incorporate student choice in the classroom? The Choose2Matter movement and Angela Maiers have great suggestions for incorporating student choice: good old-fashioned brainstorming, surveying student interests, debating topics, and voting as final affirmation. Outside the classroom resources can lend direction and authentic responses to student choice via conferences organized and led by students and positive participation on social media platforms. Teachers modeling the ‘process of choice’ can reduce the possibility of risk-aversion by making sure students understand choice works and affects their entire lives.

This topic begs the question, should students choose everything? Students do not control the classroom – they are participants and are subject to the same constraints there that are present in life … civility, available time, prior learning. Adapting to a choice-driven approach to learning still requires educators to provide guidance to their students. The idea of potentially limiting choices in a choice-driven classroom is not the antithesis of such but the validation that it is a ‘process’ and not a ‘result’. Guard rails as guide-rails suddenly makes sense.

How do you assess the learning if students are choosing to do such different things? Assessments must reflect the reality of choice-driven classrooms … students must have responsible influence in how their work is assessed. Authentic assessment includes self-reflection, peer assessment, response to personal inquiry. Choice-driven learning embodies personalized learning and this should include a modest level of one-on-one periodical engagement between teachers and students; again in validation of process. John Spencer suggests that switching to standards-based grading honors a mastery mindset, allows for mistakes and renewal – a good match for choice-driven classrooms.

Far too often, students become accustomed to being told what to do and what is expected of them. Providing choice is a risky undertaking for all stakeholders – gifted students know this and can assess the risk/benefit outcomes. Adults in the room can respect student voice and choice at the same time supporting those choices – ownership of learning increases engagement, critical thinking and ultimately student success. A transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

 

At the beginning of 2019, the team from Global #gtchat Powered by #TAGT welcomes you all to the New Year!

 

 

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:

5 Tips for Getting Started with Student Choice

Ten Ways to Leverage Student Choice in Your Classroom

What happens when kids struggle with student choice?

Taking Choice Menus to the Next Level for Student Ownership

Student Voice: Inspiring & Empowering Students to Take Charge of their Education

Motivation, Engagement & Student Voice (pdf)

Activating Student Voice Empowers Learning (pdf)

Eight Ways to Encourage Student Voice

Deepening Student Voice and Empowerment

Guiding Students to Drive Their Curriculum

8 Ways to Empower Student Voice in your Classroom

Listening to Student Voice: Toward a More Holistic Approach to School Leadership

How Student Voice Can Inform Assessment for Learning in Schools

Cybraryman’s Student Voice Page

Cybraryman’s What Students Want Page

Extending Student Voice to Gifted Students

Student Voice: Listening to Gifted Learners

Student Voice Menus

What is an Innovation Class…and Why Do You Need One?

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

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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

Overexcitabilities: Myth or Reality?

This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT our guest was Dr. Chris Wells, the director of qualitative research  at the Institute for the Study of Advanced Development  of the Gifted Development Center in Westminster, CO. Chris has been studying OE and the Theory of Positive Disintegration with Michael M. Piechowski for the past 2 years. Her archive of Piechowski’s works (and other works related to TPD) can be found here. She is also the Executive Editor of Third Factor Magazine, a webzine for intense divergent thinkers striving to live up to their ideals of both critical thinking and compassion.

Dabrowski (1972) wrote: “One could say that one who manifests a given form of overexcitability, and especially one who manifests several forms of overexcitability, sees reality in a different, stronger and more multi sided manner.” ~ Dr. Chris Wells

What is overexcitability and what are some positive descriptors?  Dąbrowski identified 5 areas of OEs: psychomotor, sensual, imaginational, intellectual and emotional. “It is the zing you experience when you are with certain people who seem to radiate excitement.” OEs represent intellectual curiosity, profound empathy, abundant physical energy, capacity for fantasy & deep aesthetic appreciation. (Silverman, 2016)

Dabrowski and Piechowski at the 1973 APA conference in Montreal.

OEs, most famously researched by Kazimierz Dąbrowski, became associated with giftedness through his work with Michael Piechowski. After Dąbrowski’s death, Piechowski continued his work through to the present time. OEs are often misunderstood and misrepresented by enthusiasts who fail to consider the possibility of co-morbid conditions such as ADHD, SPDs, ASD, etc.

Dabrowski studied the relationship between OE and eminence from his earliest work and he also studied gifted children in Poland. A few of his books mentioned this connection. His colleague, Michael Piechowski, brought the OEs to gifted education. Piechowski’s original OEQ research was conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison at the Laboratory for Superior Students. A 1979 book by Nick Colangelo and Ron Zaffrann included a chapter on “Developmental Potential” by Michael ~ Dr. Chris Wells

Why is the concept of overexcitabilities so controversial? Controversy lies on the fault lines between those who see innate abilities and those who see GT as achievement only. There are researchers who only accept findings that can be measured with control groups; otherwise, it doesn’t exist. There are numerous studies involving OEs which differentiate between gifted/non-gifted. Studies have validated the existence of OEs; i.e., Gallagher 2013 and Silverman, Falk & Miller 2015.

For many years there were attempts to connect OE with gifted identification. Research has NOT supported OE as useful in GT identification. Misunderstandings about OE arise when it is removed from the context of positive disintegration.It is possible to study and measure OE without bringing in the entire theory of positive disintegration. But without the theory as a lens, there seems to be increased potential for misinterpretation.  OE has been measured almost exclusively with self-report instruments, including Piechowski’s open-ended Overexcitability Questionnaire (OEQ) and later, the OEQ-II. There have been some criticisms of the OEQ-II that are currently being considered and addressed. We’re working on an update to the manual and the instrument itself.  ~ Dr. Chris Wells

OEs should not be used as an excuse for bad behavior. Far too often OEs are portrayed in a negative light. They shouldn’t be used to excuse bad behavior, but recognize exceptional behavior. Behavior should be viewed in relation to a full-range of potential causes which may coexist with OEs.

Michael [Piechowski} says that “Being intense is an ineradicable part of the gifted self.” Patience and compassion are both essential for responding to OEs. The support of caring adults is critical. ~ Dr. Chris Wells

How should parents and teachers respond to overexcitabilities? Parents should embrace their child’s OEs and provide a supportive environment where their child can express their feelings and abilities in a positive way. Teachers can support a student’s OEs by providing a responsive and challenging curriculum, quiet time when necessary and opportunity for movement if needed.

Please check out the links below for more resources and find more insights from Dr. Wells in the transcript of this chat 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:

Interview With Prof. Kazimierz Dabrowski (YouTube 22:38)

Overexcitability: Where It Came From, Where It’s Going

Conceptual Evolution of Overexcitability: Descriptions and Examples from the Work of Kazimierz Dąbrowski (pdf)

How Exactly Overexcitability Relates to Giftedness: A Fine-Grained Look via Findings of a New Meta-analysis

Discovering Dabrowski’s Theory

Openness to Experience rather Than Overexcitabilities: Call It Like It Is

Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities in Gifted Children

Overexcitability and the Gifted

Overexcitabilities: Gifted Students Unexpected Intensities (YouTube 1:01)

The Intensities of Giftedness

The Truth about Overexcitabilities (Silverman)

Five Unexpected Traits of Gifted Students

Off the Charts: Asynchrony and the Gifted Child

Young Minds, Grown-Up Worries: 5 Resources for Parents and Educators

Overexcitabilities (pdf) Piechowski 1999 in Encyclopedia of Creativity Vol. 2

Overexcitabilities — Can’t Live With Them, Can’t Live Without Them

Overexcitabilities (pdf Piechowski 1999)

Therapy for the Highly Gifted and Highly Excitable

Excitable Reads: Mellow Out by Michael M. Piechowski

Dąbrowski’s Overexcitabilities

Gifted Personality from 3 Perspectives (pdf)

Sprite’s Site: Stories of the OEs

Personality Development through Positive Disintegration: The Work of Kazimierz Dabrowski (Amazon)

Michael Piechowski (Research Gate)

Photos courtesy of Chris Wells. Image courtesy of Unsplash

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Performance-Based Assessments

 

Performance-based assessments provide a more realistic way of assessing skills which reflect real world lived experiences. Students need to be prepared for workplace environments that don’t rely on standardized evaluations. Employers seek out those who can demonstrate the ability to apply their skills and utilize their knowledge-base to identify and solve problems. Students need to be prepared to meet these challenges. Performance-based assessments showcase or measure a student’s use of higher order thinking and their ability to create products and complete processes.

Performance-based assessments provide a way for students to be able to apply knowledge across multiple disciplines and increase their worth as productive and valuable employees. Students learn to be contributing members to group work and able to develop viable action plans in new situations on a timely basis. Performance-based assessments make students more responsible for demonstrating what they have learned.

What are some drawbacks of performance-based assessments? These types of assessments can be difficult to conduct in larger classes as compared to standardized testing. They are more costly and time consuming which can be problematic in tight budget environments.

We know that standardized testing can affect outcomes for marginalized groups of students, but that doesn’t necessarily imply that performance-based assessments are a superior alternative. In order to better meet the needs of diverse learners, how project-based assessments are designed and implemented is a better indication that greater equity will be achieved. Performance-based assessments can benefit diverse learners when paired with technology, customization, teacher collaboration and professional development for teachers and staff.

How can teachers create performance-based assessments for their students? They must first have a clear and definable understanding of their subject matter and then be able to identify goals they intend to assess. Teachers should set course standards, be prepared to identify students’ learning gaps, design the course, provide materials and implement educational learning plans.

Performance-based assessments become authentic when they are considered meaningful and students are engaged. Consideration should be taken that the product created or final activity provides a way for students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter. Authentic assessments such as presentations, portfolios, performances or projects must be open-ended and open to multiple potential outcomes. A transcript of this chat is available 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:

Performance-Based Assessment for 21st-Century Skills (Prufrock)

Performance-Based Assessment: Reviewing the Basics

Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment Practices (pdf)

Stanford: What is Performance-Based Assessment? (pdf)

What is Performance-Based Learning and Assessment and Why is it Important?

Developing Assessments of Deeper Learning: The Costs and Benefits of Using Tests that Help Students Learn (pdf)

Authentic Ways to Develop Performance-Based Activities

Performance Based Assessment

Does Performance Based Assessment Produce Better Students?

Performance Assessment and Authentic Assessment: A Conceptual Analysis of the Literature (pdf)

Connecting Performance Assessment to Instruction: A Comparison of Behavioral Assessment, Mastery Learning, Curriculum-Based Measurement, and Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Fairness in Performance Assessment (ERIC)

Guidelines for the Development and Management of Performance Assessments (ERIC)

Developing and Implementing an Assessment Plan

Program-Based Review and Assessment (pdf)

Basic Steps of Program Assessment

Performance Based Assessment & Learning (YouTube 3:08)

Performance-Based Assessment: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

Performance Assessment: A Deeper Look at Practice and Research

Cybraryman’s Assessments Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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