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Myths about Gifted Kids

 

This week at #gtchat, we welcomed Kathleen Humble, GHF Press author of Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional. Kathleen is a writer and homeschooling mum with ADHD in Australia to two wonderful twice-exceptional children. Previously, she was also a mathematician, computer programmer, and a children’s entertainer.

The first myth we discussed was – “All children are gifted” – How should we respond? The idea that ‘all children are gifted’ is tantamount to saying ‘everyone is the same’ and that is simply absurd. We wouldn’t say all children are athletic any more than all children are stupid. It’s wrong and consequential. As argued by Michael Clay Thompson, just substitute the word ‘gifted’ with any other descriptor; it becomes nonsensical. ‘All children are [fill in the blank] … No; no they are not. To say ‘all children are gifted’ is an effort to conflate educational and social meanings of the term ‘gifted’. Have a gift – such as being kind – is not the same as being gifted.

“High achievement = being gifted” – Does it? Motivation is a key aspect of achievement. Gifted children may be motivated, but others are not. Non-gifted students may respond to extrinsic motivation; whereas, gifted students may only be intrinsically motivated. High achievers can be identified as gifted and gifted students may not be high achievers. The terms are not synonymous. This poses a significant issue when providing services to those who need them. Underachievement – a discrepancy between ability and academic performance – is, in fact, a significant issue among gifted students which frustrates parents and is perplexing to educators.

“All children should have gifted education” – Should they? When critics of gifted education use this argument, how are they defining ‘gifted’ education? Most times, it is seen as providing ‘extras’ like field trips or extension opportunities not available to all students. This myth concludes that all children can ‘become’ gifted if they work hard enough or are exposed to higher level opportunities. Requiring students to attempt mastery of content they are unable to handle can have the opposite effect; increasing a feeling of failure and highlighting inabilities.

“Gifted education is elitist” – Why should schools be required to provide it? The charge of elitism in gifted education is usually an excuse used to deny services to GT students. It has no basis in reality. Stating that ‘gifted education is elitist’ is more often a response to a situation meant to evoke emotion; to elicit sympathy for all ‘other’ children. It sets up a false equivalence; an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ mindset. Advocates for gifted education seek educational accommodations based on need; not some sense of superiority. Gifted education should be provided to children with demonstrable need just as special education is provided to children based on their individual needs. Without it, these children become disadvantaged.

“Ability grouping hurts some students feelings” – Why is it necessary? “Grouping gifted children is one of the foundations of exemplary gifted education practice.” In educational terms, it is the ‘least restrictive environment’ for GT students (NAGC Position Statement). Ability grouping is essential to meeting the needs of gifted students. It is the basis for successful differentiation of the curriculum. To imply that other children will be academically or emotionally disadvantaged because of ability grouping is simply not supported by research.

“2E students don’t exist” – Who are they and why do they need accommodated? This is a myth that needs to be eliminated now – that a student recognized as gifted cannot also experience learning difficulties. They can and they do. For generations, education systems have failed to understand or identify twice-exceptional students because ability and disabilities often mask each other. Best practice dictates that ability should be accommodated before disability, but usually the opposite occurs. This severely limits these kids from even considering the fact that they have greater potential than is recognized.

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 2PM NZDT/Noon AEDT/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: gtchatmod@gmail.com

 

Resources:

Yellow Readis (Kathleen’s website)

Gifted Myths: An Easy-to-Read Guide to Myths on the Gifted and Twice-Exceptional (book)

GHF Press (website)

Twice-Exceptional Kids are Education’s Canary in the Coal Mine (pdf)

Neurocognitive Mechanisms of Mathematical Giftedness: A Literature Review (2016)

Optimized Gamma Synchronization Enhances Functional Binding of Fronto-parietal Cortices in Mathematically Gifted Adolescents during Deductive Reasoning

The Effects of Disability Labels on Special Education and General Education Teachers’ Referrals for Gifted Programs (pdf)

Worth the Effort Finding and Supporting Twice Exceptional Learners in Schools (YouTube 1:06)

Giftedness Is Not an Unwrapped Present

Differences Between Academic High Achievers and Gifted Students

The Truth about ‘Gifted’ Versus High-Achieving Students

Being Gifted is Often NOT the Same as Being High-Achieving

A Response to “Everyone is Gifted in Some Way”

How the Gifted Brain Learns: Chapter 1 – What is a Gifted Brain? (pdf)

NAGC Position Paper: Grouping (pdf)

Michael Clay Thompson: Is Everyone Gifted?

The Concept of Grouping in Gifted Education (Fiedler, Lange, & Winebrenner, 2002) (pdf)

Grouping and Acceleration Practices in Gifted Education (Essential Readings in Gifted Education Series) (book)

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

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 3

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 8

Sprite’s Site: Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 9

Sprite’s Site: Gifted Under Achievers

Sprite’s Site: 2E is

Sprite’s Site: What makes them 2E?

Grouping the Gifted and Talented: Questions and Answers

Meet the Female Entrepreneur who became an Artist Overnight after a Brain Injury

Graphic images courtesy of Kathleen Humble and GHF Learners.

Graphic created by Lisa Conrad.

Using Technology to Engage GT Students

gtchat 10102017 Ed Tech

Technology can be an excellent way to engage gifted students. They can use the Internet to link to more “knowledgeable peers and experts” and collaborate on projects. Online connections can assist GT students to locate mentors who can scaffold their learning.

Tech tools can help teachers differentiate for a wider range of abilities with increasingly sophisticated programs. Technology can provide platforms for students to advance at their own pace; utilize distance learning; and engage in independent study.

Research shows that gifted and talented students use tech to do creative and  social learning activities in the classroom. Teachers can look for small changes in student engagement; this will impact student achievement. If you notice attendance is up and students want to be in your classroom, it may be because they can use tech to demonstrate proficiency.

How can technology help 2E students (i.e., Asperger’s/EFD) be more engaged in school? Many twice-exceptional (2E) kids respond well to computer programming that eliminates emotion in instruction and provides patience in interactions. Also, they can use smartphones and tablets to organize schedules and assignments.

Parents can support the use of technology in their child’s school. A student’s  technology-rich life outside of the classroom can serve to support learning that goes on at school (Siegle, 2004). Students who do not have access to computers outside of school may fall behind academically (Neuman & Celano, 2006).

Check out the links below to see what technology was most liked by chat participants.  A transcript of this chat can be found at Storify.

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 1 PM NZST/11 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 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 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:

Technology and the Unseen World of Gifted Students (pdf 2004)

Using Technology in Gifted & Talented Education Classrooms: The Teachers’ Perspective (pdf)

High-Tech Teaching Success! A Guide to Using Innovative Tech in Your Classroom (Prufrock Press)

Giftedness and Technology

Help Gifted and Talented Students with Technology

Is classroom technology good for learning or wasting time?

Factors Affecting School Teachers’ Perceptions of Instructional Benefits of Digital Technology (pdf)

8 Ways to Use Technology to Engage Students Better 

Is Technology Helping or Harming My Students?

Handheld Technology in the Classroom: Respecting & Meeting the Needs of All Writers 

Helping Kids Get Organized Some Suggestions for Parents (pdf)

Learning in the 21st Century: How to Connect, Collaborate & Create (Amazon)

Personal Computers Help Gifted Students Work Smart (1990)

Strategies for the Tech-Savvy Classroom (Prufrock Press)

Explore the Garden (Edufest 2017)

Using the Schoolwide Enrichment Model with Technology (Amazon)

Tech Tools & Resources to Whet Your Appetite (Slideshare)

5 New Edtech tools for Teachers

Edmodo.com

Flipgrid.com

Cybraryman’s Tech Integration for the Gifted Page

Padlet.com

iPiccy: Leveraging Thought Bubbles to Differentiate Learning (YouTube 5:21)

Wonderopolis An excellent website to support reading, writing, and curiosity (YouTube 4:20)

Shazam: Writing techniques using technology (YouTube 1:05:03)

Using Word Clouds 21st Century Gifted Students (YouTube 55:45)

Vocaroo.com

QRCode Monkey

ClassDojo.com

Aurasam.com

RemindHQ.com

Let’s Recap

Kahoot!

Doink.com

Kahn Academy

Learning Ally (2E)

Breakout EDU

Photo courtesy of Flickr   CC BY-NC 2.0

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

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