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.

 

Advertisements

Authentic Learning to Create 21st Century Learners

gtchat 11012018 Authentic

Authentic learning begins when a student engages because they can see relevance in what they are experiencing in the classroom and beyond. It is participating in meaningful, real-world learning that is in response to active student voice in the process of deciding what they need as an individual to succeed.

Our guest this week was Todd Stanley. Todd is the author (Prufrock Press) of many teacher-education books including Project-Based Learning for Gifted Students: A Handbook for the 21st Century Classroom, When Smart Kids Underachieve in the Classroom: Practical Solutions for Teachers, and his latest, Authentic Learning: Real World Experiences that Build 21st Century Skills. He served as a classroom teacher for 18 years and is currently the gifted services coordinator for Pickerington Local Schools (Ohio) where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

giftED 18 logo

Todd Stanley will also be a speaker at this year’s TAGT Wednesday Institutes prior to their annual conference, giftED18 in Fort Worth, TX, on November 28, 2018. He will present two sessions: Authentic Learning to Create 21st-Century Learners and Project-Based Learning (PBL): A How-To Workshop . Todd will also present three sessions on Thursday, November 29th: Let’s Talk: Project-Based Learning in STEM, The Myths of Gifted Children, and Tired of SMART Goals? Create DUMB Goals to Build 21st-Century Learners. You can register for the giftED18 here.

Authentic learning breaks through the decades of monotonous rote-learning to prepare students to become innovators, critical thinkers and leaders. It benefits all of society by providing future problem solvers who have learned the skills to think, assess, and imagine solutions unknown to us today.

What teaching strategies enable authentic learning? It does not lend itself to the old-time adage – ‘sage on the stage’. Authentic learning should be facilitated; not taught. Authentic learning strategies go by many names today … problem-based, cased-based, portfolio driven, etc. The goal should be to use the strategy most responsive to the student’s individual needs.

Authentic learning promotes critical thinking by pushing beyond content and striving to understand why things are the way they are and how they work. It encourages critical thinking by engaging a student’s curiosity because the learning is relevant to them. It gives them a reason to want to learn. It makes a difference in their lives.

Which 21st century skills have been missed by elevating ‘data and measurable goals’? A good friend of #gtchat once said, “Every time a data-driven decision is made, a fairy dies.” Many may disagree, but the point is that children are more than the data collected about them … and they know it! We should learn from them. Folks in the business community were first to realize that our test-obsessed, only by the numbers education system was missing things like creativity, working together for a common purpose, and being able to adapt to new situations.

Capstones are a good choice to show growth with gifted/high ability students. They are a reflection of growth not captured by standardized testing and an excellent choice for both gifted and high ability students. Capstones provide a vehicle to showcase the cumulative experience of students near the end of their educational experience. They are generally long-term in production and investigative in nature which result in a final product, presentation, or performance. 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 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/Midnight 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, check out 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:

Authentic Learning: Real-World Experiences That Build 21st-Century Skills (Prufrock)

Todd Stanley – The Gifted Guy (website)

Todd Stanley’s Books

Todd Stanley’s Blog https://goo.gl/MH1ecq

Higher Level Thinking with Gifted Students with Todd Stanley (YouTube 36:12)

Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview (pdf 2007)

9 Ways To Make Student Work Authentic

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences in the Literacy Classroom

AUS: “Authentic” Learning Experiences: What Does this Mean and Where is the Literacy Learning? (pdf 2009)

Why Authenticity Matters: 5 Ways Authenticity Impacts Student Learning

AUS: Authentic Learning

10 Ways Authentic Learning Is Disrupting Education

The Futures of Learning 3: What Kind of Pedagogies for the 21st Century (pdf 2015)

21st Century Learning: Research, Innovation and Policy (pdf)

CAN: Technologies that Aid Learning Partnerships on Real-World, Authentic Tasks (pdf 2015)

Deepening and Transferring Twenty-first Century Learning through a Lower Secondary Integrated Science Module (pdf)

Allowing Authentic Discovery in the Middle School Classroom

How to Develop an Authentic Enrichment Cluster

Authentic Learning: A Practical Introduction and Guide for Implementation

The Global Achievement Gap: Why Our Kids Don’t Have the Skills They Need for College, Careers, and Citizenship–and What We Can Do About It (bn)

Image courtesy of Flickr  CC BY 2.0

Photo courtesy of Todd Stanley.   Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

 

When Gifted Students Own Their Learning

gtchat 01042018 Own Learning

Student ownership of learning is when a student becomes invested in his own learning; the realization that learning is of personal value to oneself. A student’s active involvement in their own education resulting from a desire to learn connotes student ownership of learning. At the beginning of the new year, #gtchat began the discussion of what it looks like for gifted students to own their learning.

Gifted students may or may not be motivated to take ownership of their own learning contrary to popular belief. If their strengths are not academic, they may have little interest in school. Motivation to take ownership of their learning may require educators to allow #stuvoice and choice; Socratic instruction; self-reflection; less dependence on planned lessons; less testing, more requests for feedback.

One of the best examples of students owning their learning can be found in Project-based Learning – learning proposed, directed and executed by the student. A personalized approach to PBL is especially appealing to gifted students. Another example of student owned learning is the creation of digital portfolios which can showcase their work. Portfolios may take the form of blogs, videos, or displaying art/music projects. Students can take ownership of their learning by building presentation skills either something as simple as PP to participating in a performance-based environment such as a recital.

How does technology impact student ownership of learning? Technology must enhance authentic learning; not just replication of learning. Gifted students may find building a computer or robot much more valuable than simply sitting and staring at a computer screen. It can play a vital role in the ownership of learning when used as a problem-solving tool rather than ‘the’ answer. Objectives and goals need to be personalized via technology. It enhances how students collect and share information. Technology can provide a sense of community with like-minded, intellectual peers who can work together; an oft-missed opportunity for gifted students in the past.

Virtually all work does not become valuable until it is presented/showcased. Students need to learn how to best present their ideas and projects in a meaningful way. This is a precursor for professional success in life as an adult. By learning presentation skills, it takes their learning to another level – kicks it up a notch! It also hopefully provides an authentic audience for their work. This in turn amplifies their motivation factor.

Changes need to be made to curriculum and instruction to ensure students have the skills to succeed. Instruction needs to evolve into facilitation. Meaningful learning and ownership of that learning will be enhanced by teacher led deep-level, thought provoking questioning and then thoughtful listening to provide feedback. Students should be provided with an environment that encourages imagination, student choice, freedom and time to explore interests, and finally a way to showcase their learning. A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

As we enter the 7th year of #gtchat, we would like to acknowledge those people behind the scene who make it all possible!

Thank you to the TAGT staff ~

Budget TAGT Staff

And to our Advisory Board ~

Own Learning Advisory Board

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:

Can Students Learn Entirely on their Own?

New Experiments in Self-Teaching (TEDTalks 17:25)

School in the Cloud

The 5 Core Components of K-12 Entrepreneurship Education

World Peace Game Foundation

The Digital Transformation of Learning: Social, Informal, Self-Service, and Enjoyable

What Is Self-Directed Education?

10 Ways to Motivate Students to Take Responsibility for Their Learning

50 Ways to Empower Students in a Connected World

Getting Students to Take Responsibility for Learning

Creating Pupils Who take Responsibility for their Own Learning

5 Ways to Increase Student Ownership in Your Classroom

When Students Drive Learning, They Can Do So Much More

Cybraryman’s Student-Centered Classrooms Page

Self-Directed Learning: Documentation and Life Stories (GHF Press)

What Makes an ‘Extreme Learner’?

Cybraryman’s Presentation Tools Page

Cybraryman’s Games in Education Page

Genius Hour: Passion Projects that Ignite Innovation and Student Inquiry (Amazon)

Meet the #SinglePointRubric

New Tech Network’s Revised Oral Communication and Collaboration Rubrics

Ginger Lewman’s LifePractice PBL

Genius Hour/20% Time Livebinder

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences (Amazon)

Stop Telling your Kids that School Will Prepare them for Life

Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

%d bloggers like this: