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.

 

“Reclaiming the Freedom to Learn” with Nikhil Goyal

Nikhil Goyal Twitter Head Shot

 

Nikhil Goyal, Keynote at this year’s TAGT Conference in Fort Worth in December, was our guest this week to chat about Reclaiming the Freedom to Learn. At age 19, Nikhil’s list of honors and accomplishments are long and impressive. (See links below.)

There is much talk these days about school reform by those in the education field. It was interesting to hear the perspective of a student on the issue. Nikhil doubts that schools as they now exist can be reformed, but is “much more interested in transforming and revolutionizing education, rather than just making tweaks and reforms.”

How to begin? In Nikhil’s words, “I think it starts with educating the public that there are wonderful humane alternatives to traditional schools. We have to stand up and not be afraid to say that conventional schooling is harmful and oppressive to many children.” And what is at issue when discussing today’s educational system? According to Nikhil, “The features of schools are man-made: grades, tests, grade levels, periods, and bells. They are not grounded in science. The notion that “you go to school to learn” is distorted. The fact that our society is filled with so few lifelong learners is an indictment of our education system.” A transcript of this chat may be found here.

Nikhil’s new book The End of Creativity: How Schools Fail Children (tentative title) will be published by Doubleday/Random House in 2015.

 

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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Links:

“Why Kids Hate School? : Nikhil Goyal at TEDxYouth@BFS” (YouTube)

How Students Lead the Learning Experience at Democratic Schools

One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School (Amazon) by Nikhil Goyal

Nikhil Goyal on Forbes 30 Under 30 2013

Nikhil Goyal’s Website

Nikhil Goyal on MSNBC on the Student Loan Debt Crisis

“Can This 17-Year-Old Save America’s Education System?” (2012)

“He Passed on College to Change the World”

4 Radical Ideas for Reinventing College, Drawn from Stanford Research

Democratic Schools

UK: The School with No Rules that Teaches the Unteachable

Student Voice: Listening to Gifted Learners

“Research shows that dropout rates, student achievement, and workforce readiness will improve by integrating student voices in the classroom and in society.” StudentVoice.org

This week at Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT, we chatted about involving students in their own learning. The Student Voice movement, founded by Zak Malamed, is an important initiative to foster student participation in the educational process and now includes a Twitter chat #stuvoice on Mondays at 8:30 PM ET.

Zak Malamed Head ShotZak Malamed

Nikhal Goyal, an outspoken proponent of listening to students, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s TAGT 2014 Conference in Fort Worth in December. Nikhal is the author of One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School.

Nikhil Goyal PicNikhal Goyal

Chat participants considered what students would like educators to know. Comments included that students want to be challenged in the classroom, to be able to try it their way without being worried if the fail at first and to have their passions respected. A full transcript may be found at Storify.

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 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 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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

Links:

Student Voice (website)

One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School by Nikhil Goyal

Nikhil Goyal one size book

3 Ways We Stifle Student Voice(s)

Listen to Your Students You Will Learn Alot!

Connected Learning: Tying Student Passions to School Subjects

Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design

Cybraryman’s Self-Determined Learning Genius Hour Page

3 Ways of Getting Student Feedback to Improve Your Teaching from Edutopia

Cybraryman’s Exit Slips Page

What Students Want from Teachers 

Cybraryman’s What Students Want Page

Cybraryman’s Student Tech Help Page

Students Want More Say in District Accountability Plan Process 

Newark Students Vow More Action

Ultimate Learning Environment Encouraging Student Voice in Classroom Design

Four Meaningful Ways Students Can Contribute

The Scary Thought of Letting Students Lead a Discussion

New Ways We Share the Narratives of Our Lives

 

%d bloggers like this: