Blog Archives

Radical Acceleration and Early College Entrance

AccelerationRadical Acceleration*

Talk about a hot topic! This week’s chat was already in full swing before the moderator even arrived! Radical Acceleration and Early College Entrance elicited strong emotions from both teachers and parents. This week’s guest, Madeline Goodwin (see blog post below) was quite articulate in her portrayal of experiences she had in college … beginning at the age of 13. Now a recent grad, Madeline has her sights set on graduate school in the fall.

Madeline was joined at the chat by her mother, Corin Barsily Goodwin, Executive Director of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, to share the experience from a parent’s point of view. Many of her comments help put concerns of other parents in perspective and were well received by those at the chat. A full transcript may be found here.

GHF logoGifted Homeschoolers Forum

We learned that Madeline was entirely homeschooled prior to entering college. This allowed her to progress at her own speed without concern from schools about her social development. It also made it easier to access and connect with experts in areas of study in which she was interested. It afforded her the opportunity to associate with people on her intellectual level who had shared interests.

What curriculum did the Goodwin’s use to homeschool? Corin summed it up with this comment,

“We were pretty eclectic. I brought out the workbooks and I faced a mutiny, so we did other stuff. Like visiting 56 National Parks!”

lake-340375_640Yosemite National Park*

It was interesting to note that college wasn’t smooth sailing all the time; but not for the reasons one might expect. Even at the collegiate level, Madeline did not always feel challenged. At times, her young age made it difficult to socialize with older students and of course … she couldn’t even drive yet!

Regrets? None so far according to Madeline. “Academically, college was exactly what I needed, no regrets. Learned a lot, including about work ethic & study habits. College had clubs that I joined and I went to an alternative prom earlier this year!” She credited her family for helping to make the experience a positive one, ” Definitely had lots of support,guidance, and scaffolding from my mother, and patience from my brother who got dragged along!

In the final analysis, it was agreed that the decision to accelerate is a very personal one that needs to be made by the student in consultation with their parents.  It certainly is not for everyone; but it was the right one for Madeline!


gtchat thumbnail logoGlobal #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 NZDT/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 byTAGT 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:


Livebinder from Leslie Graves

Academic Acceleration at Hoagies Gifted Education Page

Madeline Goodwin’s Bio

Madeline Goodwin: A Homeschooling Success Story

Large-scale Action Needed to Fight Climate Change

Climate Change Linked to Lifestyle Choices, Faith

Radical Acceleration and Early Entry to College: A Review of the Research

Radical Acceleration of Highly Gifted Children (pdf)

A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students Vol. 2 (pdf)

Nation Deceived

Lived Experience of Highly Gifted Adolescent Girls in a Radically Accelerated High School Program (pdf)

All Rivers Lead to the Sea: A Follow-up Study of Gifted Young Adults (pdf)

College @ 13 Young, Gifted, and Purposeful” from Great Potential Press

I Need a Place Where I Belong: The Highly Gifted Child (pdf)

Out-of-level Achievement: Case for Acceleration in New Zealand Secondary Schools (pdf)

Academic Acceleration: A Policy Advocacy Document

Cal State Early Entrance Program

Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up in Math & Science, The Best Fend for Themselves

AUS: Policy & Implementation Strategies for Education of GT Students Acceleration Support Package (pdf)

Radical Possibilities for the Profoundly Gifted

Early Entrance to College as an Option for Highly Gifted Adolescents (Amazon)

Acceleration and Early College Resources for Gifted Children

Cybraryman’s Genius Hour Page

* Photo courtesy of Pixabay

All Kinds of Gifted

New Years Eve

For the last chat of the year, our topic  was All Kinds of Gifted. This included gifted, highly gifted, profoundly gifted, twice-exceptional,  minority and low-ses. Throughout the chat, it was emphasized that educators need to recognize and understand that giftedness comes in many different forms. A full transcript may be found here.

The difference between gifted and high-achievers was discussed. A common misconception is that these terms are inter-changeable which greatly affects the approach many teachers take to gifted education to the detriment of all gifted students.

I’d like to take a moment to thank all our readers here at #gtchat’s blog. I encourage you to join us on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 7 PM ET/6 PM CT. Our topic will be, “2014 The Year Ahead” and I plan to use crowd-sourcing to determine the future of #gtchat. This will be your opportunity to tell me what you like and what you would like to see changed.

Until then, may you all enjoy a joyous holiday season and very Happy New Year!


Many Kinds of “Gifted”

Exceptionally Gifted Children: Different Minds from @SENG_Gifted

Profiles of the Gifted and Talented from @DavidsonGifted

High Achievers, Gifted Learners, and Creative Thinkers

Gifted Children and the Overachievement Fallacy

Educators’ Guide to Gifted Children from @GiftedHF

Why Are Gifted Students Different & What Does That Mean For Us As Educators?

Cultivating a Gifted Mind from @giftedbooks

What We Have Learned About Gifted Children from @GiftedDevCenter

Gifted, and Different

12 Lists of Characteristics of Gifted Students from @ByrdseedGifted

Different than the Rest: Social Challenges of Gifted Adolescents

The “Problem” with Gifted Kids

How Being Gifted Means Being Different

Exquisite Minds

#gtchat at TAGT Annual Conference 2012


Global #gtchat was live at this year’s TAGT Annual Conference in Dallas on November 30th. Our topic was “Building Connections with #gtchat”. Moderator, Lisa Conrad, presented two sessions on Twitter and a pre-chat for conference attendees. Following chat, we enjoyed a Tweet-Up with longtime friends of #gtchat and new followers.

IMG_20121130_093700 (1)Twitterwall in the Social Connections Area

Special thanks goes to Executive Director, J.J. Colburn; Assistant Executive Director, Tracy Weinberg; Executive Assistant/Meetings Coordinator, Lisa Varner; Business Development Manager, Keri Kelley;  Member Services Coordinator, Casey Martinez; and Past-President of TAGT, Dr. Lynette Breedlove for all their long hours spent bringing together an incredible conference.

TAGT Conf 2012 JJ Lynette

Dr. Lynette Breedlove and J.J. Colburn

Comments from the chat tell the story:

“I get the support I lack IRL (in real life) here (#gtchat).” @MamaChicks (WA)

“#gtchat provides me an outlet to the world on gifted issues.” @teachagiftedkid (TX)

“Am very impressed with all the learning and inspiration I do and get through Twitter.” @minka_dumont (Holland)

“It (#gtchat) allows me to continue my professional growth outside of the mandated PD that usually does not meet me needs.” @TheHeadKnuckle (TX)

“I love keeping up with other session at conferences via the Twitter feed. It maximizes the experience and I feel like I’m not missing anything.” @smswain (TX)

“I use Twitter to connect, to explore and it is more uplifting than fb (Facebook). I mine it for gold.” @gifted_guru (TX)

“Twitter is a filter for me, helping me see what articles & resources I need to check out what someone else recommends.” @atxteacher (TX)

“Thanks to #gtchat I opened my eyes to see who is whom in gifted education community worldwide.” @Begabungs (global)

“I love the ‘internationality’ of #gtchat.” @minka_dumont (Holland)

“My lessons how have a flavor from teachers all over the world. I have changed so much of my teaching by learning from #gtchat.” @TheHeadKnuckle (TX)

“It’s (#gtchat) made me question some of my preconceptions – and reinforced some others, including the diversity amongst gifted learners.” @GiftedPhoenix (UK)

“One day all Gifted Kids will remember us as pioneers on social media to support them globally.” @Begabungs (global)


Transcript from this chat

January 2010, In the beginning with @DeborahMersino

January 2012, @DeborahMersino bids farewell to #gtchat

March 2012, #TAGT becomes sole sponsor of Global #gtchat

From @HoagiesGifted ~ Hoagie’s Gifted Education Page

From @Begabungs ~ Global Virtual Meeting for #Gifted Education in Second Life

From @Begabungs ~ Global Center for Gifted & Talented Children

From @LesLinks ~ Innreach’s Blog

From @GiftedPhoenix ~ Gifted Phoenix’s Blog

From @TxParentingPG ~ A Meandering Journey Blog 

From @ktvee ~ Venspired Blog 

From @MaryStGeorge ~ Creating Curriculum Blog 

From @cybraryman1 ~ Cybraryman‘s portal site for education/gifted education

From @laughingatchaos ~ Laughing at Chaos Blog & her book, If This is a Gift

From @jofrei ~ Gifted Resources Website (Australia)

From @Susannewith5 ~ Building Wing Span Blog 

From @MamaChicks  ~ Life With Intensity Blog 

From @teachagiftedkid ~Teach a Gifted Kid Website  

From @ljconrad ~ Gifted Parenting Support Blog

From @bf4brainy ~ her FB group, The Brain Café  & Sr Editor at The Creativity Post

From @Create_Miracles ~ Artisan of Creative Miracles Blog 

From @GiftedHF ~ Gifted Homeschoolers Forum 

From @jenmartin ~ Teach from the Heart Blog 

From @TheHeadKnuckle ~ Creativity 2.0 Blog

Pics from the Conference:


Angie French, Stacia Taylor and Jen Martin


Ian Byrd from Byrdseed Gifted


Lisa Van Gemert, Youth Specialist for American Mensa

IMG_20121129_132508 (1)

Dr. Jim Webb, Great Potential Press


Michelle Swain, Past-President of TAGT and Dr. Lynette Breedlove. outgoing TAGT President

TAGT Awards Ceremony


Stacia Taylor, Parent of the Gifted Gulf Coast Area 2012

Founder, Texas Parents of the Profoundly Gifted


Tracy Fisher, TAGT State Parent of the Gifted 2012


Thanks to TAGT for a ‘Room With a View’ ~ Dallas, Texas

An Interview with Patricia Gatto-Walden

Recently, #gtchat had the opportunity to interview Dr. Patricia Gatto-Walden (via email); the upcoming Keynote Speaker at this year’s Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, November 28th to 30th.

Dr. Gatto-Walden is a nationally recognized licensed  psychologist who has worked with gifted and profoundly gifted children, adolescents and adults. Her work includes holistic health and well-being, staff and program development, educational consulting as well as a private practice in Colorado and Florida.

#gtchat Q1) What is your background in gifted education?

P G-W A1) I received my PhD from the University of Illinois in Counseling, Educational Psychology.  While a doctoral student, I was asked to become the Director of Guidance and Counseling for University High School.  This school is for the profoundly gifted adolescent and is affiliated with the College of Education.  It is  very academically advanced and a nationally recognized school.  I entered the school during my visit and “fell in love” the very first day with the kids.  Although they were brighter than me, we could relate immediately on a very deep, emotional level.  I accepted the position in 1977 and worked with faculty, parents and students as an administrator and counselor.  I absolutely loved my work with this population, and I have never looked back.  Those three years defined my career path and I have been working with highly and profoundly gifted children, adolescents and adults every year since.

#gtchat Q2) Can you share your philosophy of integrating various aspects of giftedness?

P G-W A2) I have been holistically oriented as a person my entire life, and as a professional since the mid-70s, long before it became popular.  There were many things I learned my first three years working with profoundly gifted youth, but at the foundation, it became very clear that giftedness did not just mean heightened academic ability.  Giftedness is innate and affects all five domains of a person: one’s mind, emotions, body, spirit/ethics/morals and social self.  An individual is born gifted and dies gifted; the educational system does not determine one’s giftedness.  My entire career I have focused on the complexity within the gifted person, one’s sensitivity and perceptivity, and the advanced morals, ethics and commitment to personal meaning and goals that guides gifted individual’s lives.  I  noted the various ages within the person (asynchronous development) decades before it was named in the literature.  And when “overexcitabilities” were finally delineated, it was the missing puzzle pieces to fully understanding a gifted individuals inner nature.

#gtchat Q3) What are your responsibilities at the NAGC?

P G-W A3) I have been chair of the Global Awareness Division for two terms, several years each term.  I was a co-chair with my dear friend, Betty Meckstroth from 1999-2001 and then again, a solo-chair 2010-2012.  Just this fall, I passed the rod to my successor and although I have loved expanding the Network; I am delighted with my new-found freedom.  I have been a member of NAGC since 1977.

#gtchat Q4) As a Senior Fellow for the Institute of Educational Advancement in Los Angeles, you are involved with Yunasa. Can you tell us about this camp?

P G-W A4)

Oh, this is one of my professional “babies”.  Thirteen years ago the Institute picked ten people in the gifted field to go on a retreat and talk about the possibility of creating a special camp for highly and profoundly gifted kids.  This time, instead of focusing on academic subjects, they wanted to sponsor a camp that would include spirituality.  Out of the ten guests, they picked three of us: Stephanie Tolan, Michael Piechowski and myself.  We met with the leadership of IEA for two years, creating and defining a holistic camp for gifted kids. We became the Senior Fellows at the Institute, and Betty Meckstroth joined us in the second year of preparation. Our intention was to develop a camp that would focus on the growth of the inner self and help these kids learn what it means and feels like to attain a sense of personal balance and meaning. We picked the name Yunasa, because in Lacota Sioux it means balance, and that is our goal for every camper and adult throughout the week. Last year was our tenth year of camp,  Each day we focus on and learn to respect our mind, heart, body, spirit and social self.  The camp has affected these campers lives way beyond what we ever imagined.  Yunasa kids come back year after year after year.  They have found a true home, a place of safety, stability and security, where they can genuinely be who they are, with kids their age of intellectual likeness.  It is revolutionary in their lives.  Parents are so shocked by the impact of Yunasa, hundreds have asked us, “What did you do?  He/she is not the same kid I brought to camp.  He is happy and grateful and contented.”  And then nearly all parents ask, “Can I come to camp too?”, acknowledging that they need so desperately the very same things their children have received.  There are so many special things about the camp it would take me too long to delineate them.  We have established traditions that the kids love and count on.  We are a “tribe” of elders (the Senior Fellows), IEA staff, (age in their 30s), Camp Counselors (in their 20s, in college and mostly all Yunasa camp and leadership camper graduates).  I cannot truly describe the magic that occurs at camp, for the kids and for us.  We simply dearly love each other, and we enfold new campers in our supportive circle.  Kids from different countries now come to camp.  We limit the number to 65 campers, which includes our leadership program (of emerging leaders and counselors in training).  This past summer we launched a second Yunasa camp in the Rockies, called Yunasa West.  It was a huge success, so now there are two options of attending Yunasa—midwest in Michigan, or west in the Rockies.

#gtchat Q5) At TAGT ’12, you will be the Keynote Speaker at both the Annual Conference and the Annual Parent Conference as well as speaking at a break-out session. Could you touch on the highlights of your presentations?

P G-W A5)

The Heart of the Matter: As educators, focusing on enhancing gifted kids’ talent development through academic enrichment is a noble goal, but are we providing what these children need to thrive? Specifically, how can we support who gifted children are, as well as what they can produce? Dr. Gatto-Walden incorporates over thirty years of responding to gifted children and adolescents’ needs, wants, and concerns — come listen to what they say inspires and motivates them at school. Learn what is at “the heart of the matter” to help our gifted children thrive.

Listening Within – The Call to Meaning and Service: Some intellectually gifted children have equally compassionate gifted hearts. Their intensity and sensitivity bring the outer world into their inner landscape. Within the complex matrix of the world, they may have the ability to simplify what is essential and what is truly needed. This session will define characteristics of their extraordinary consciousness, enumerate ways to activate their inner wisdom for direction, and facilitate answering their questions, “What do I have to offer?” and “How can I be of service?”

What Gifted Children Want You to Know:

1) My life is difficult for me.

2) I am not like everyone else. I am different.

3) Listen to me, even if you do not agree with me.

4) Think about what you are saying to me.

5) You are the most important person in my life.

Thank you Dr. Gatto-Walden for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us. We look forward to connecting with you in Dallas!

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