Blog Archives

The G Word Film


This week, Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT welcomed Director/Producer Marc Smolowitz, Producer Ron Turiello and Danielle Holke to discuss their new film The G Word which seeks to answer the question, “Who gets to be ‘Gifted’ in America and why?”

The factors used to decide who is ‘gifted’ in America today are much the same as they have been for decades; factors shrouded in myths and prejudices that need to be exposed and corrected. In recent years, new research on neurodiversity and intelligence are expanding our perceptions on what giftedness entails. This information needs to inform policy decisions.

Where are some of the unlikely places ‘gifted’ people can be found? As our friends at the National Association for Gifted Children have said – there are no boundaries to giftedness. It crosses all economic, cultural, & gender identity sectors of our society. Gifted people are found at Ivy League schools as well as in prisons. They can be the superintendent or janitor at your child’s school.

“Failure for gifted people to thrive can come from a life of feeling out of sync, feeling like a misfit, and knowing one is an outlier. When one’s giftedness, quirks and all, are embraced and nurtured, giftedness thrives.” ~ Celi Trepanier, M.Ed.

Some ‘gifted’ people thrive while others don’t. Lack of early identification and misdiagnosis can place a child on the wrong path at the very beginning of their school careers. Perhaps surprising to some, where they live can affect availability of services. Rural schools with few identified GT students do not see gifted education as a priority when resources are limited.

“GT students often are singled out, ostracized, endure bullying because they learn, speak, focus, etc. differently than the norm in the general ed classroom. That may originate from peers, but it also may originate from teachers. It’s a painful experience kids can’t escape.” ~ Margaret Thomas

Many special education programs are unequipped to teach twice-exceptional students. In the past, too many decision/policy makers saw the disability before ability and the child as someone who needed to be fixed rather than support abilities. Lack of professional development in the area of twice-exceptionality has allowed myths to flourish that hinder the exceptional.

“I truly believe that twice-exceptional is the savior of gifted in the 2020s. Our nation is so focused on deficits this has allowed gifted to have a seat of the table again in ways it hasn’t in many years” ~ Marc Smolowitz

What are the risks of maintaining the status quo in gifted education for our society? If society continues to settle for the status quo, we fail our brightest children … their ability to succeed in life. Status quo is just that … stagnation … and society as a whole also loses the opportunity to progress. GT kids aren’t obligated to help society at large, but their contributions can make a difference.

There are many challenges which face gifted education in the next decade. Only 6 states in the U.S. actively support gifted education. Advocacy must be at the forefront. Including coursework in gifted education at the undergraduate level is imperative to cultivating new leadership, high quality research, and maintaining funding. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.

We at #gtchat offer our congratulations to The G Word film, Marc Smolowitz, Ron Turiello and their entire crew for the completion of a successful Kickstarter in support of production of the film!

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.

 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:


Mind Matters Podcast: The G Word Film with guest, Marc Smolowitz (39:04)

Meet the Experts | Who Gets to be Gifted in America and Why? (Vimeo 12:13)

EXCEPTIONAL MINDS | A Story from the Forthcoming Documentary THE G WORD (Vimeo 8:31)

THE G WORD | 1st Promo (Vimeo 6:01)

Colin Seale On Being An Exception To The Rule (Vimeo 1:14)

Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Discusses The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (Vimeo 1:00)

Producer Ron Turiello Explains What’s So Important About THE G WORD (Vimeo 2:04)

Thoughtleaders and Experts Featured in THE G WORD (Vimeo :59)

ZIP CODE 85349 (San Luis, Arizona) (Vimeo 8:00)

My Family Still Calls Me Gabby (Vimeo 6:49)

Gifted Support Group: Hidden Challenges for Gifted and 2E Students (YouTube 26:22)

What is the Excellence Gap?

Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities: A Report Card on State Support for Academically Talented Low-Income Students

Black Intelligence (Vimeo 8:36)

Filmmaker Explores Giftedness at FDL Ojibwe School

NAGC: Giftedness Knows No Boundaries

An Independent Filmmaker Highlights Gifted Students of San Luis

Bill to End Ban on Pell Grants for Prisoners Gains Traction

Rural Communities Test Ways to Hook Gifted Students

Why Egalitarian Societies Need Gifted Education (YouTube 59:17)

The G Word Highlights NSD HiCap Program

Gifted Children and Adults: Neglected Areas of Practice (pdf)

Image courtesy of The G Word film

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

The Relationship between Creativity and Intelligence

gtchat 10232015 Creativity Intelligence

This week’s topic, The Relationship between Creativity and Intelligence was a bit ‘deeper’ than usual. It became quickly apparent that there were many divergent opinions on the subject. It proved to be an interesting conversation. We welcomed many new people to the chat as well!

In order to consider this relationship, we first defined what intelligence and creativity meant to our participants. According to Gautam, intelligence is a domain-general ability to solve complex adaptive problems. In its pure form, intelligence is complex and multidimensional. Defining intelligence has gotten a lot of press in recent years; many new ideas!

Creativity is the ability to come up with original, surprising and useful ideas. (Gautam) Tamara Fisher, education specialist, described it as, “the capacity to generate and innovate in new ways, whether by sudden instinct or through long, hard work.” Creativity emerged as an adaptive cognitive mechanism; improvisational reasoning could lead to novel solutions. (Jung) Christensen defined creativity as the “ability to go beyond intelligence an capitalize on seemingly random connections of concepts.”

Currently, there is no scientific consensus on how these constructs [creativity and intelligence] are related. Some believe intelligence may increase creative potential up to a certain degree. (Jauk, Benedek, Dunst, Neubauer 2013) Some say they are opposite ends of a spectrum; other the same thing.

What are some things that characterize highly creative people? Highly creative people are passionate, sensitive, imaginative, intuitive, and often solitary. They are open to experience, mindful, think differently, daydreamers, turn adversity into advantage. 

We then discussed why it is important to understand the creative process as it affects gifted kids & adults. The more we know about neuroscience and creativity, the better we can meet the needs of gifted children. Using outdated information can diminish best practices for empowering gifted kids to fulfill their potential. Understanding how the brain works and networks will benefit all gifted and twice-exceptional children. A transcript may 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 Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays Noon NZDT/10 AM AEDT 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 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:


The Relationship between Creativity and Intelligence

The Relationship between Intelligence & Creativity: New Support for the Threshold Hypothesis

Intelligence and Creativity of Polish Middle-school Students: Looking for the Threshold Hypothesis (pdf)

Genius, Creativity and Breakthrough Innovations

Interview with Dean Keith Simonton on Intelligence and Creativity

The Study of Effects of Socio Demographic Factors of Senior Secondary School Students on Creativity and Intelligence

Creativity & Intelligence Leading to Psychosis and Autism (Sandeep Gautam)

Creativity and Intelligence: a Tripartite Structure? (Sandeep Gautam)

The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence (Amazon)

From Madness to Genius: The Openness/Intellect Trait Domain as a Paradoxical Simplex (abstract)

Intelligence, Creativity and Mania

Evolution, Creativity, Intelligence, and Madness: “Here Be Dragons”

Must One Risk Madness to Achieve Genius?

Wired to Create Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (December 2015)

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

Neuroscience of Creativity (Amazon)

Another Look at Creativity and Intelligence: Exploring Higher-Order Models and Probable Confounds

Intelligence and Creativity


Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad. Photo courtesy of Pixabay  CC0 Public Domain 

How Has Neuroscience Changed the Way We View Giftedness?

Neuroscience giftedness

It was evident even before this discussion began that the topic of neuroscience and giftedness could not be covered in a single hour chat. However, it proved to be interesting to at least scratch the surface.

The role of IQ testing in the identification process used by many schools to determine entrance into gifted programs was seen as just a small part of what should be a comprehensive assessment. The nature of IQ test results enhances the need for appropriate challenge in the classroom at the earliest years.

Researchers believe a more nuanced approach to giftedness must go beyond reliance on domain-specific abilities. Mary Cay Ricci, an educational consultant from Maryland, reminded us that it is “important to remember that cognitive assessment only measures developed ability.” However, Margo Flower, an elementary teacher from British Columbia, also pointed out, “IQ testing provides a mindful approach to our interventions [and] without it, potential may not be recognized; [but] squashed, squandered.” According to Corin Goodwin, “IQ testing is problematic because [it’s] so badly misused and results misunderstood.”

When the question concerning how environment influences the development of giftedness was raised, it was quickly noted by many that giftedness and ability were not the same thing;  many participants voiced the belief that giftedness was based on neurology. Also, to simply assert that giftedness is not fixed at birth or any other developmental stage, does not imply that all children are gifted. Environment was seen as an important aspect of nurturing a gifted child across their lifespan beginning in early childhood.

Learning styles were also discussed and comments may be found in the transcript. Educators who felt pressured to try to accommodate many different learning styles, but found it nearly impossible in a diverse ability classroom. What was found effective in supporting learning was presenting information in multiple sensory modes. Also, Corin Goodwin related a concern, “Often, learning styles are confused with mild learning disabilities. For example, I’m not an auditory learner because I’m hearing impaired. [Then] learning disabilities are overlooked.”

Neuroscience has refined our approach to ADHD in individuals with high IQs. ADHD in gifted children should not be written off as boredom. When executive function issues exist, we must deal with them. Neuroscientists reject an ADHD diagnosis based solely on observable behaviors and believe there is a need for further research to track brain functions. Misdiagnosis of ADHD in highly gifted children can be mitigated when the clinical focus is on impairment rather than overexcitability.

Finally, the issue of what educators and policymakers can learn from neuroscience about giftedness was discussed. There is a glaring disconnect between the two fields due in large part to lack of access to scientific research and misinterpretation of the research when it is available. Widespread dissemination of neuromyths at the undergraduate level in education programs exacerbates the problem.

What has been learned and recently understood is that:

  • More intelligent children exhibit earlier acceleration & prolonged time for rapid learning in early adolescence (Shaw 2006, Nature);
  • Motivation and inspiration can propel a person to achieve at higher levels than predicted by standardized tests;
  • Neuroscience of creativity – right/left brain distinction is not the full picture of how creativity is implemented in the brain (Kaufman); and
  • Creatively gifted children and polymaths need to be given freedom to learn their own way – they think differently (Andreasen).

To see more on what was said at this chat, a full transcript may be found on our Storify Page.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7/6 C & 4 PT in the U.S., midnight in the UK and Saturdays 1 PM NZ/11 AM AEDT 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 Pageprovides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community.

Head Shot 2014-07-14About 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:


Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined (Kaufman)

Neuroscience and Education: Myths and Messages

Secrets of the Creative Brain (Andreasen)

Grounding Creative Giftedness in the Body

Finding Creative Potential on Intelligence Tests

Intelligence is Differentially Related to Neural Effort in Task-positive/Task-negative Brain Network

The Real Neuroscience of Creativity

Does Early Academic Prowess Predict Later Success?

Models of Working Memory Mechanisms of Active Maintenance & Executive Control

New Directions in Intelligence Research: Avoiding the Mistakes of the Past

Brain Research for Teachers & Other Curious Souls, 2013 update (Sheard)

Intelligent Testing (Kaufman 2009)

Brain-Based Learning, Myth versus Reality: Testing Learning Styles and Dual Coding

4 Common Dyslexia Myths Debunked Using Neuroscience

The Myths of Learning Styles

Howard Gardner: ‘Multiple intelligences’ Are Not ‘Learning Styles’

Cybraryman’s The Brain and Brain Games Page

Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence

Neuromyths in education: Prevalence and Predictors of Misconceptions Among Teachers

Deconstructing the Myth of Learning Styles

Think Your Child is a Visual or Auditory Learner? Think Again. From Duke TIP

Global #gtchat ~ The Year Ahead

On Friday, January 4th, #gtchat had their first chat of 2013. The purpose of this chat was to crowd-source ideas for what people wanted to talk about in the new year. A transcript of the chat can be found here.

Questions posed during the chat included whether or not chat participants utilized the weekly poll on possible topics. The results were mixed with most people stating that they generally liked all the topics which made it difficult to vote. Additional questions asked what people want to chat about, who they would like to see as guests and did they think ‘adult giftedness’ was an appropriate subject for discussion. There appeared to be strong support for this last question.

A sampling of requested topics:

Twice-exceptional (2e) issues, book lists for gifted learners, emotional intensity, support for parents, curriculum and teaching strategies, building a gifted PLN, work/family/ personal balance, creativity, how to support gt in regular classroom, parents connecting, gifted marriage, neuroscience in education, asynchronous development, preteen/teens, homeschooling, misdiagnosis, global approaches to gifted education, gifted kids and dating, and relationships between gifted and non-gifted.

A sampling of requested guests:

Dr. Linda Silverman, Patty Gatto-Walden, Dan Peters, Susan Daniels, Lisa Van Gemert, Lisa Erickson, Joyce Juntune, Arne Duncan, Mika Gustavson, Pamela Price, Joy Davis, Rosina Gallagher, Jonathan L Wai, Scott Barry Kaufman, Carolyn Kottmeyer of Hoagies Gifted, Marcia Gentry and Edith Johnston.

It was announced that upcoming guests include Rebecca McMillan, Director of Online Education for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum; Ben Curran and Neil Wetherbee, authors of the upcoming book, Learning in the 21st Century: How to Connect, Collaborate, and Create (GHF Press); Dr. Joy Lawson Davis, author of Bright, Talented & Black ; and Dr. George Betts, developer of the Autonomous Learners Model.

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