Blog Archives

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

Advertisements

Building Intentional Leadership in Gifted Learners

gtchat 10042018 Leadership

 

This week, our guest at #gtchat was Dr. Mary Christopher, Professor of Educational Studies and Gifted Education at Hardin-Simmons University and Program Director: Doctorate in Leadership. Dr. Christopher is a Past-President of TAGT and also does consulting in gifted education and leadership. She is the co-author of Leadership for Kids: Curriculum for Building Intentional Leadership in Gifted Learners from Prufrock Press.

The definition of leadership has been evolving in recent years. It now includes the ability to expect the unexpected and adapt quickly to change. Leaders today are seen as innovators and producers rather than simply consumers of someone else’s information or product. According to Robert Sternberg, gifted leaders possess creativity, intelligence and wisdom.

“Since the Marland Report, experts included leadership in definitions of giftedness and viewed leadership as integral to giftedness, but leadership remains the least served domain of giftedness. Gifted leaders may not be served within the gifted program.” ~ Dr. Mary Christopher

It is important for GT students to learn about leadership. Depending on their personal interests and goals, GT students often become future leaders and the quality of their leadership depends on understanding what makes a great (intentional) leader even better. Today more than ever, it’s important for GT students to see the value in moral and ethical behavior, clear communication with those they are working, motivating others through personal positive actions and providing inspiration.

“Gifted kids will often be ahead of the pack in some regard throughout their lives. Learning to achieve goals through teamwork whether they have formal authority or not is going to be crucial for a sense of satisfaction.” ~ Kate Arms

What characteristics, skills, and perspective of leadership are needed to become intentional leaders? Intentional leaders should be able to develop ideas to be studies, provide new solutions to existing problems, persuade others to assist in solving problems, and ensure implementation of those solutions. (Sternberg) They are willing to work with a diverse group of colleagues engaged in problem solving and seek to involve all stakeholders.

“It’s important that we balance students cognitive abilities with skills that allow them to be successful people in the world. It’s about challenging Ss to tap into the affective domain that will grow their capacity to bring positive change to society.” ~ Matt Cheek 

Educators can use many different strategies to incorporate leadership training into their curriculum. Students should be presented with opportunities for critical thinking, analysis and creative problem solving. For young gifted students, teachers can include biographies of great leaders in their LA curriculum to read and discuss.

Where can students find opportunities to develop leadership skills outside of the classroom? Finding mentors who are leaders in their community can help develop leadership skills and allow skills to develop naturally. Volunteering exposes students to opportunities to practice and model leadership skills while helping others.  Extracurricular activities can provide avenues for developing skills necessary to lead within group and team activities.

Below find curated resources from the chat and additional ones that can be used in and out of the classroom when teaching students about leadership. A transcript 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 1 PM NZDT/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:

Leadership for Kids: Curriculum for Building Intentional Leadership in Gifted Learners (Prufrock Press)

Does Your Gifted Kid Have Leadership Characteristics?

Developing Leadership Goals for Gifted Learners (PP – pdf)

Eight Great Ways to Develop Youth Leaders

Developing Leadership Skills in Young Gifted Students (pdf)

Dare to Care: Teaching Leadership to Gifted Students (pdf)

Leadership Education for Gifted and Talented Youth: A Review of the Literature (pdf)

Intelligences Outside the Normal Curve: Co-Cognitive Factors that Contribute to the Creation of Social Capital and Leadership Skills in Young People (pdf)

Early Development and Leadership: Building the Next Generation of Leaders (CRC Press)

TEMPO: What the Research Says about Leadership Development of Gifted Students (pdf)

TEMPO: Understanding and Encouraging Leadership Giftedness (pdf)

The Most Important Leadership Competencies, According to Leaders around the World

The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness (bn)

How Great Leaders Think: The Art of Reframing (bn)

Leadership for Students: A Guide for Young Leaders (Prufrock Press)

The O Factor: Identifying and Developing Students Gifted in Leadership Ability (Google Books)

Leadership Lessons with Raina Penchansky

Boundless Leadership: Leadership Hacks by Scott Stein – Book Review

Boundless Leadership: Now is the perfect time to take on a personal quest

Building Everyday Leadership in All Kids (Free Spirit Publishing)

Changing Tomorrow 1: Leadership Curriculum for High-Ability Elementary Students (Prufrock)

The Leader in Me Program

Co-Active Leadership: Five Ways to Lead (bn)

Photo courtesy of Dr. Mary Christopher.

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Digital Citizenship for GT Students

gtchat 06282018 Digital

This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT we chatted about the need for gifted students to become not only good digital citizens, but digital leaders as well. We first discussed what digital literacy is and why it’s important.

Digital literacy involves a firm grasp on technology vocabulary, comprehending the impact of online collaboration, understanding the how to use cloud-based storage, and acknowledging the moral consequences of one’s actions. GT students must develop specific skill-sets based on authentic learning opportunities including creation of collaborative engagement involving discussion built on credible arguments, negating others’ opinions & effective presentations (Coiro, 2016.) It’s important to not assume a new generation – digital natives – are automatically highly qualified digital citizens; they require guidance too.

Students are encountering new technologies and choices at breakneck speeds; developing a moral construct is essential to providing them with a safe and responsible online presence. Educating students about the consequences of online behavior must start early. They must learn about the instantaneous nature of their actions; their right to privacy and how to protect it;  and the far reaching effects of cyberbullying.

GT students are poised to use social media to their benefit by exploiting the positive aspects of its use – connecting classrooms, fostering cross-cultural interactions, and choosing it for advocating positive change in the world. They can benefit from social media via online mentorships, connecting with professionals in their chosen fields, and promoting critical thinking among intellectual peers.

Teachers should model digital etiquette from the very beginning of student interaction. Goals vertically aligned across the curriculum involving digital citizenship can increase learning and provide students with an enhanced online presence. Strategies for teaching digital citizenship include a robust curriculum, including student voice in developing acceptable use policies, and impressing on students that what they do and say online is forever. Additional strategies include making sure students know their rights online, providing guidance for online behavior, and including parents in the learning process; especially relating to new technologies.

GT students need to be digital producers; not just consumers. Digital leaders are those who integrate technology to make life better for all through facilitating communication and by being transformative change agents. As digital leaders, GT students are those who value collaboration, understand how to integrate technology into their lives to increase positive outcomes, and embrace change to harness the future. Those who become digital leaders are flexible in their thinking, adept at problem solving, and analytical in their approach to global problems.

Why should schools involve parents in teaching digital citizenship? Digital citizenship goes far beyond the classroom walls. It is an integral part of life and as such must be addressed at home as well as at school. Parents should be encouraged to be a part of the education process. Schools can involve parents in teaching digital citizenship by informing them about new technologies, online trends, and the latest social media. This can be done through parent-teacher communications or even workshops. 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.

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

Links:

Gifted Kids as Digital Citizens

Gifted Kids, Cyberbullying, and Digital Citizenship: Helpful Resources for Parents v

The Perceptions of Digital Citizenship in Middle School Learning 2017 (pdf)

Digital Natives: Citizens of a Changing World Fostering Digital Citizenship in the Classroom

It’s Lit: A Guide to What Teens Think is Cool (pdf)

Pedagogical Digital Competence—Between Values, Knowledge and Skills (pdf)

Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education: 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update (pdf)

ISTE Standards for Educators

Digital Citizenship in Schools 2nd Ed.: The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship (pdf)

Students Should Be Taught to Be Digital Leaders instead of Digital Citizens

Digital Citizenship in Action Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities

Technology in the Classroom: Growing Global Digital Citizens

Cybraryman’s Digital Literacy Page

NZ: Digital Technologies and the national curriculum – what’s it all about?

AUS: FUSE

Global Education Conference

Livebinder: Digital Citizenship Resources

Livebinder: Building Blocks for Digital Citizenship

Livebinder: Digital Citizenship

Livebinder: 7 Habits of Digital Citizenship

Livebinder: Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship (Google Slides)

On an e-Journey with Generation Y

Edublogs https://goo.gl/FK8Rtj

YouTube: Marshmallow Farming (2:34)

YouTube: BBC: Spaghetti Harvest in Tocino (2:28)

Be Internet Awesome

Commonsense.org: Digital Citizenship

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Educating Gifted Students for Global Competence

gtchat 08292017 Global

Global competence is not a subject often talked about in gifted circles, but it is widely discussed in the greater education community. Gifted and talented students need to be front and center in understanding the significance of becoming leaders on the global stage.

How exactly do we define global competence? It is the having the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. Global competence is the acknowledgment that the world is qualitatively different from the industrial age and our educational systems must change in response to new challenges.

Many problems in our world today would benefit from having globally competent students. Climate instability is driving migration and immigration necessitating the need for global environmental stewardship. The digital revolution is triggering new concerns about cyber-security which require a new kind of graduate. How global markets operate, transnational production and social interactions demand a new approach to education.

What characteristics of gifted students make them well-suited for success in a global age? They are often deep thinkers who can understand & solve emerging global problems. Many gifted students are empathic to diverse perspectives and act toward the common good. They often have the ability to thoughtfully and respectfully articulate their position.

There are obstacles to changing the focus of instruction in today’s schools. Policymakers are rarely prepared to seriously and effectively think about education for a truly global era. There is a deep distrust of education in many places that attempts to transcend borders. Few people seem prepared to take into consideration cultures, values or priorities of nations different from their own.

What does quality instruction for global competence look like? First, it identifies engaging topics of local and global significance. Quality instruction must use global competence-centered assessments and focus on outcomes.

In the future, globally competent students will be able to use big ideas, tools, methods and languages in any discipline to solve pressing issues. They can recognize multiple perspectives, communicate effectively & take action to improve conditions. A transcript of this week’s chat can be found at our Storify page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays 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 Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & 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

Links:

Educating for Global Competence: Learning Redefined for an Interconnected World (pdf)

Mastering Global Literacy Contemporary Perspectives on Literacy (Amazon)

Global Competence Aptitude Assessment

Connected Courses Active Co-Learning in Higher Ed

Skype in the Classroom

SENG Connect

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Twitter for Teachers

The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners (Amazon)

Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era (Amazon)

An Attainable Global Perspective (pdf 1976)

EU: European Strategy (Maastricht Global Education Declaration) (pdf)

Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World

Education for Global Leadership (pdf)

How Education Changes: Considerations of History, Science & Values (pdf Gardner)

Education for Citizenship in an Era of Global Connection (pdf)

Five Minds for the Future (Amazon)

Learning in the Global Era (pdf)

Veronica Boix Mansilla – Global Competence (YouTube 12:11)

The Global Classroom Project

Global Education Conference

Cure What Ails You: A Dose of Twitter for Every Day

Connecting Your Students with the World: Tools and Projects to Make Global Collaboration Come Alive, K-8 (Amazon)

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

%d bloggers like this: