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Quick Opinion Question... - Page 2

post #21 of 23
Originally Posted by hergrace View Post
I was hoping this thread would bring out somebody with a citation to the study that was done which suggested that gifted kids are the only kids who don't benefit from inclusion. I guess I'll have to find it myself.
Students w/disabilities have done well.

Gifted students, not so much.

Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
I think "differentiated instruction" is a pretty broad term. There are lots of instructional approaches and methods that could be called "differentiated instruction". Some are great value for gifted students and others not. Generally, giving out extra worksheets (i.e. more of the same) to the students who finish the regular assignment in 5 minutes instead of 30 minutes is pretty useless. Providing a mentor who exposes the student to enriching activities is pretty useful.

There are probably good examples of differentiated instruction in the regular classroom. Quite honestly, I haven't seen many, but my dc have been in congregated classrooms for much of their schooling.

As a former public school teacher of gifted kids, I can tell you that inclusion does not support gifted learning. The vast majority of teachers have no idea how to differentiate (although they throw the term around); generally, as mentioned above, "differentiation" means more work, go read a book or be a teacher's helper (go make copies and have free rein in the hall to run errands). I don't know that gifted kids should be isolated completely, but academically, especially in areas in which they are gifted, they need to be with other gifted students. There is a lot more research, but I don't have it on this computer; I taught teachers in a gifted endorsement program, and we did a lot of reading on successful models.
post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by Suzannah View Post
Thank you for posting those articles. Great reading. And I agree with much of the rest of your post.
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
Well, it would probably look a lot like my dream school for any child. I too would borrow a lot of Montessori elements, if not the entire method, lol!

Multi-age classrooms and self-directed learning make acceleration a less pressing issue. If a classroom includes children from a flexible age-range of 3 or so years, they will be able to work up or down several levels with little extra effort on the part of the teacher.


I'd add in lots of experiential learning, problem-based learning, and individual and team projects that develop research and critical thinking skills. I'd use a cross-disciplinary approach, so that academics aren't segregated into single subject areas.

I'd create bridges to the community to foster mentors in the school and learning/work opportunities outside, including co-op work/study programs and volunteer/service programs. I think this is especially important in the middle school and high school years.

Most importantly, there would be daily music/art/physical activity instruction/opportunities.

There's probably a lot more I could write, but I hope that gives you a picture.
ITA. this is the sort of stuff we were looking for when looking at schools for DS. He is going to be going to a gifted school... but that was not what we started out looking for. Instead, I think b/c this school is small, private, new, and serves high-performing kids, they are able to be more relaxed and creative in their pedagogical approach. I hope its as good as it seemed anyway! None of these things seem important specifically or only for gifted kids. If school was like this, maybe only the PG would need special services...

ITA w/ physmom on the different styles of play when doing cross-age. Its been a great benefit to my son to be around older AND younger kids. Its so neat to see him take on that caregiving role with his younger friends as he gets older. And now that he's an older brother too. One thing I had a hard time finding (and gave up on) was anything mixed-age outside montessori. DS has been in a mixed-age Waldorf kindy for 2 years and its been great. That said, there are no formal academics at all (what I wanted for his age!) so differentiation in that sense isn't an issue.
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