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What Benefits Do National Gifted Organizations Bring to the Table?

There are many different national gifted organizations, but not all have the same purpose. Some are primarily dedicated to education; others exist to meet social-emotional; and several are hybrid models addressing the needs of educators, parents, and students. The best known is the NAGC in the US. PPUK is its counterpart in the UK. The Council for Exceptional Children has a TAG division. The AAGC is another organization located at Duke University. GHF Learners assists gifted homeschoolers. SENG is an organization dedicated to the social-emotional needs of gifted individuals. The Acceleration Institute is located at the Univ. of IA’s Belin-Blank Center. Davidson Institute houses a Young Scholars program. See links in our weekly blog post.

Joining a national organization can provide many benefits to both educators and parents. Many serve as advocates at the national level seeking funding for research and programs such as the Javits’s fund. Being a member at this level can help individuals gain a national perspective and access to niche groups such as 2E, PG, LGBTQ, and homeschoolers. There are many exceptional networking opportunities as well. Membership at the national level provides discounts on educational materials, conferences, and webinars. Most also have regular communications regarding the latest news in gifted education.

Many national organizations have state and regional affiliates which work together sharing resources. State organizations generally work with nationals when conferences are held in their state. National and state organizations often offer dual memberships or discounts on each other’s memberships. The NAGC has an annual conference specifically for leaders in state organizations culminating in advocacy efforts with members of Congress.

National conferences are rich sources of high-quality professional development through sessions and keynotes with leaders in the field as well as access to the latest research in gifted education. All national conferences have areas where books, curriculum, and other materials can be viewed and purchased. Vendors are often present for demonstrations and to answer questions. Networking sessions during the day and in the evening provide ample opportunities for both educators and parents to meet and discuss topics of interest.

National organizations can offer teachers research-based curriculum and teaching strategies through their websites, webinars, and conferences. The NAGC has a dedicated publication, Teaching for High Potential, specifically for educators. Through national organizations, teachers can connect with individuals providing PD for their school districts and speaker bureaus for district-wide events. The NAGC also provides K12 National Standards for GT teachers. Via membership, several national organizations offer professional journals for educators and academics.

National organizations dedicate resources for parents such as parent liaisons, parent specific periodicals and information about mental health resources and professionals. SENG offers SENG Model Parent Groups to guide parents on raising gifted children. GHF also provides online sessions for parents interested in homeschooling. The CEC has dedicated resources for parents of twice-exceptional students.

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 Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/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:

NAGC: National Association for Gifted Children

SENG: Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted

IEA: Institute for Educational Advancement

Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development

Davidson Institute

GHF Learners

NAGC Member Engagement and Resource Guide

SENG – Why Become a Member

GHF Membership

NAGC State Affiliate Resources

NAGC Expert Speakers Bureau

SENG State Liaisons

NAGC Annual Conference

2022 SENG Online Annual Conference

GHF Gifted Home Education Conference

NAGC Educators

Belin-Blank Educator Programs

Davidson Institute: The Educators Guild

SMPG: SENG Model Parent Groups

NAGC Resources for Parents

Davidson Institute: Free Gifted Resources and Guides

Talking Points

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

Saving Gifted Education: The Importance of Advocacy

This week marked the 10th Anniversary of support from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented for Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT on Twitter. We are grateful for all of their support over the last 10 years, and look forward to many more.

Gifted education done correctly is integral to equitable opportunities based on individual needs allowing GT students to progress at their own speed and not languish in classes where they know most of material going into the school year. Providing quality gifted programming benefits the local community’s economy by providing an educated workforce and enhancing neighborhood schools with high quality education. As Dr. James Delisle so aptly explains, “gifted kids have the same needs for understanding, love, equity, and advocacy as any other child with a learning difference.” (TEMPO, September 2020)

How has the Pandemic affected gifted advocacy? Despite early predictions, a NC study found a negative impact of COVID-19 on gifted students too; especially for in 6th, 7th & 8 grade reading, & 8th grade math. It’s a mistake to think advocacy isn’t still needed. Even prior to Covid, GT students were often the least likely to make AYP. Lack of access to gifted programs and association with intellectual peers has inevitably taken a toll on these students. Advocacy efforts have been hampered by lack of access to decision makers, re-allotment of funding away from gifted programs, and fewer opportunities for advocates to meet in person.

Who advocates for the twice-exceptional child? The question is not only who advocates for 2E kids, but also who ‘should’ be advocating for these kids. Twice-exceptional students have both academic and talent potential while also experiencing learning differences and challenges. Parents are usually the first to advocate for their 2E child, but astute classroom teachers also have the opportunity to recognize their abilities and needs. Advocates for gifted education have long known about #2E kids and the need to seek interventions addressing their strengths first and foremost. Participation in gifted programs can be supplemented by special education support teachers.

There are several factors affecting gifted advocacy due to a school district’s lack of economic resources or its affluence and whether it is located in an urban or rural area. Schools in high poverty and rural areas often lack necessary funding. Schools in affluent areas often see a relatively greater divide in opportunity for GT students between public and private school options. Urban school districts seem in a constant struggle to equitably identify students for gifted programs. An unfortunate reality is the existence of bias among decision makers regarding who can and cannot be considered for gifted programs. Reducing opportunity widens economic disparity and promotes myths about talent and ability.

What should be done when districts simply eliminate gifted programs? Gifted programming is often the first to be cut when school districts seek to trim budgets. Smart tactics to counter the cuts should first promote options which involve little to no cost. This involves raising awareness of the need for gifted education. Advocates need to organize and seek buy-in from parents and educators of GT students. The local community should be educated through public forums on the benefits of a strong gifted program. Advocacy should be based on data and well research-based information regarding the needs of GT students at the local level which can be shared with all stakeholders.

How can parents best make their voices heard? Parents often don’t realize just how important their voices are in education. Involvement such as attending school board meetings, educating themselves about state laws governing gifted education, and persistence are key. They can start an advocacy group with the help of their state gifted organization and demand greater transparency from their local schools regarding gifted education programs.

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 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:

Eliminating Gifted Programs Won’t Make Education Fair

Every American School has Talented Students. It’s Time to Start Acting like We Believe That.

NYC: Parents in Top District Forced Into Admissions Roller-Coaster

WI: Altoona Student Speaks at State Capitol in Support of Gifted and Talented Programs Bill

NJ: Changes to Montclair’s Gifted and Talented Program Air for Equity

Reimagining Gifted Education and Special Education | Psychology Today

The Impact of ‘lost instructional time’ on Students during COVID-19

New Study of NC Test Scores Shows more Remote Learning Translated to Bigger Academic Loss

House Bill would Establish Gifted Programs in Missouri Schools that Lack Them

NYC Schools Chancellor David Banks Outlines Fixes for ‘broken’ Education Department

‘We’ve Broken the Trust:’ NYC Chancellor Drops Bombshell on Public School Exodus, Shares Vision

Advocate for Gifted Children | NAGC

Establish a Parent Support Group | TAGT

Parent Support Group: Quick Start Guide (pdf) | TAGT

#whyGT: Read Their Stories | TAGT

Gifted Education Advocacy, Networking, & Professional Development … 21st Century Style (pdf)

Stop Eliminating Gifted Programs and Calling It ‘Equity’ | Teach for America

Advocating for your Gifted Child: Advice from NAGC President Jonathan Plucker

Gifted Advocacy is an Education

Resources to Help with Advocating for Your Gifted Learner

Neurodiversity Podcast: A Guide to Self-Advocacy (YouTube 31:59)

It’s Time to Speak Up for Gifted Education: How to Advocate for our Kids (YouTube 7:46)

Gifted Support Group: Education Rights Advocacy for 2E Students (YouTube 25:31) | IEA

Resources for Twice-Exceptionality | PAGE

Potential Plus UK: Gifted Advocacy

Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students (book)

Gifted and Talented Programs: What Parents Should Know

Les Links – Gifted Advocacy (Live Binder)

Gifted Advocacy | Hoagies Gifted

The War on Gifted Education https://bit.ly/3iKp25a

Achieving Equity in Gifted Programming: Dismantling Barriers and Tapping Potential 1st Edition (book)

Sprite’s Site: Asking for Help – A Guest Expert Panel Q & A Session

Power in Numbers: How Gifted Advocacy Parent Groups can Help You and Your Kids

Image courtesy of Pixabay   Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Challenging Myths about Gifted Children

gtchat 12212017 Myths

During our last Twitter chat of the year, #gtchat tackled the subject of myths about gifted children and what can be done to challenge them. Myths can have wide-ranging effects on these children; some of which can last a lifetime.

Exactly what are some of these damaging effects? Myths can prevent children from receiving the services they require at school and this can leave them vulnerable, feeling neglected and discouraged, or worse. Myths can also cause unrealistic expectations. Gifted children are usually not gifted in all areas. When adults repeat the myths, young gifted children can believe them and begin to question their own abilities.

Myths can affect teacher’ perception of students labeled ‘gifted’ in the regular classroom. Due to little or no undergraduate classes in gifted education, many teachers lack knowledge about gifted students. Myths too often become perception and this influences interactions with these students. A gifted student may not always be a ‘straight A’ student. Asynchronous development – many ages at once – can complicate their academic life as well. As Justin Sulsky, GT teacher in New York, pointed out, “Myths cause teachers to think that the “wrong” kids are in GT programs and that the “right” kids are not being served. ”

Why does the ‘all children are gifted’ myth still persist? It is particularly disturbing and misleading. Failure to adequately define what ‘gifted’ is and is not perpetuates this myth. The ‘all children are gifted’ myth is often used as an excuse to deny services to this special population of students. A misunderstanding of gifted as meaning ‘better than’ rather than ‘better at’ cause some to view gifted children as elitist. Lisa Aguilar, special education teacher, explained, “I think we want to see the best in all children, that we overdo it and confuse giftedness with strengths. All students have strengths that can be built on, but giftedness is a different way of thinking.”

“The myth that all children are gifted is an attempt to justify whole group instruction. All children may be blessed, unique, and valuable, but their academic, social and emotional needs vary by their ability.” ~ Ellen Williams, Ed.D, consultant and author

Many educators are resistant to accelerating students – what myths cloud their thinking? Not all children will successfully accelerate – many times for reasons that have little or nothing to do with the child’s abilities; but one misstep should not obscure the benefits for students who need it. Acceleration is one of the most researched strategies used for challenging gifted students. Myths persist when decision makers fail to read the research.

“Educators don’t accelerate because: 1. “it’s just not done that way”; 2. It will complicate a child’s trajectory down the road. (e.g. What will they do in 11th grade of HS if they already took the whole math sequences?); and 3. They wrongly worry about student’s social development.” ~ Justin Sulsky

The myth that twice-exceptional students’ disability be addressed before their giftedness is a myth often faced by parents of 2E kids who are required to ‘prove’ their child be seen as gifted first. Currently, researchers are providing exceptional research reported in papers and books. Parents need to share this information with their child’s teachers. (Please see links below.) They need to be vigilant in documenting their child’s progress when challenged and then share it with school officials.

Finally, we discussed the myth that AP classes constitute a gifted program for secondary gifted students. Recently, a few states in the U.S. have recognized that AP classes can be ‘part’ of a rigorous program, but simply do not address all the needs of gifted students and are attempting to change direction. AP classes may address academic needs, but gifted students are a diverse population expressing many different abilities and talents.

For more information, a transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.

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 2 PM 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 Storify. 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:

TAGT: 5 Myths about Giftedness (pdf – p. 25)

10 Myths about Gifted Students (YouTube 5:13)

Myths about Gifted Students

Gifted Isn’t Good

The Unique Challenges of Raising a Highly Gifted Child

The Value of Challenging Gifted Students in Elementary School

Differences, Disregarded (Michael Clay Thompson) *response to “all children are gifted”

(AUS) Gifted Education: What is it? Do We Even Need it?

10 Facts You May Not Know about Gifted Children, But Should

Twice-Exceptional Newsletter: What Is Gifted and Why Does It Matter? 

7 Myths about Twice-Exceptional (2E) Students

Gifted Children: Myths and Realities (Amazon)

Gifted Children – So Intelligent, But They Struggle

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 2

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

Is it a cheetah? (Stephanie Tolan)

Top Ten Myths if Gifted Education (YouTube 8:10)

Personas, Profiles and Portraits: Facebook 52 Illustrations Challenge July

Gifted Homeschoolers Forum: Are All Children Gifted?

Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Creative Commons

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Starting a Gifted Parents’ Group

gtchat 02092016 Parent Support Groups

Forming a gifted parents group is one of the first steps in forming a community within a school district; one of support as well as advocacy. The needs of the students in the community will determine the type of group formed. Parent groups are a great way of networking and sharing information about the local school environment for gifted. They can lend support to other parents  or even teachers who may need help in finding resources. Parenting gifted children can be a lonely and challenging experience without this type of support.

Parent groups who choose to act as a support for parents can provide resources such as speakers, book studies, and educational resources. They may decide to offer enrichment for students outside of school such as sponsoring academic competitions or activities like Super Saturdays, family weekend retreats, or clubs for chess or robotics. Advocacy groups are needed when a school does not provide adequate services for gifted students; if any at all.

There are organizations who seek to support parents in various ways. Many state gifted organizations have local affiliates for parents. The NAGC (U.S.) provides online resources in the form of information on starting parent groups. SENG is perhaps best well known for supporting parents with their SENG Model Parent Groups. Links to these organizations have been provided below.

How can parents find other parents who might be interested in joining a group? Your child can be a great resource; they will know who is in the gifted program at school. Many school districts will send home flyers (provided by parents) or mass emails to parents of their gifted students. As a reminder, Psychologist Dr. Gail Post of Gifted Challenges pointed out, “Either type of group needs to have goals – otherwise [they] can turn into social group. Goals also help with group dynamics and reduce potential for conflict.” Social media is another way to meet parents and even form online groups.

In order to be recognized as a formal group by the local school district, parents need to know who and how to approach school officials. School administrators should be contacted first; then, gifted coordinators, principals, and special education directors depending on how gifted education is organized in the district or state. Having the support of an organization such as SENG can validate the existence of parent groups in some schools. It was also mentioned that PTA groups on occasion will form committees to serve the gifted population within a school. As with any communications between parents and schools, the conversation needs to be respectful and helpful to both parties. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

gtchat-logo-new bannner

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  2 PM (14.00) NZDT/Noon (12.00) AEDT/1 AM (1.00) UK. to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found atStorify. 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 author: Lisa 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:

Starting and Sustaining a Parent Group to Support Gifted Children (pdf)

SENG Model Parent Groups 

SENG Online Parent Support Groups

Gifted Parent Groups: The SENG Model (book)

The Care and Feeding of Gifted Parent Groups (pdf)

Parent Support Groups at Vanderbilt

Starting a Gifted Parent Group

How Parents Can Support Gifted Children

The Nuts and Bolts of Forming a Parent Group

How Parent Advocacy Groups Can Make a Difference

AUS: Gifted Families Support Group Inc.

The Oxygen Mask: Gifted and 2e Parenting

Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education: Parent Support Groups

TAGT Family Nights

Katy Parents of Gifted & Talented Students Wins Award

AUS: Support Groups Victoria

What Makes a Parent Group Successful?

MAGC: Starting & Sustaining a Parent Advocacy Group

Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People (pdf)

Supporting Gifted Education through Advocacy

Cybraryman’s Gifted Parenting Resources

“Lazy” is a Four Letter Word. Don’t Use It in Front of Children

The Tres Columnae Project

 

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad. Image courtesy of MorgueFile.

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