Originally Posted by AllisonR
This. I am in Denmark and there are NO services for gifted. No grade skipping. No pull out classes. No enrichment, NOTHING. In fact the subject can often not even be brought up, because everyone here is equal. No one is gifted. No differentiation. Not saying I agree with the culture, just saying that to even broach the subject publicly can lead to animosity, aggressive comments, even mockery, and most often denial. When it was found out my 6yo DD could read well, it was almost a complaint, why had I taught her to read? I had not, she taught herself. What was I supposed to do, lock away all the books in the house, and if I caught her reading whack her over the head with a book and tell her how bad she is, because she is not allowed to read until she was 7. It's looney. I am so in the closet. There are two private schools for gifted children, that is for the entire country.
This. I live in a different European country, and things are certainly not as bad as Denmark, because high achievement is still valued - but never, ever refer to it as due to giftedness - after all, the concept might mean that there are differences not amenable to change by either excellent parenting or public policy (depending on your personal politics).
Regarding giftedness "animosity, aggressive comments, even mockery, and most often denial" in the public discourse is the norm. No standardized testing, no gifted identification, unless your child has already checked out and is acting up (which leads to massive overidentification of boys). There is no gifted provision in elementary school at all. Only lip service to differentiation. A grade skip is the best you can hope for, because it gets you one year closer to middle school and the beginning of tracking. Years and decades ago, by middle and high school gifted children were supposed to be served by tracking, and when college prep track served only about 20 % of the age cohort, this even sort of worked. Now that college prep track has been expanded to serve about 50%, it doesn't any more, so they have started "gifted" programs. There is one gifted classroom in the whole metropolitan area which actually requires gifted ID, and it is constantly under threat of closure. My DH is supposed to be the gifted coordinator for his school (after-school enrichment classes, open to all students from the distrivt) and he tried to advocate for some sort of ID as opposed to offering th classes to anyone who was interested and could obtain the consent of their school's principal. No way, they wanted it watered down.
Now tracking as such is under threat. I see the issues with tracking as it currently works, but if the only differentiation for fast learners in an inclusive classroom available is supposed to be tutoring the slow learners to gain a "deeper understanding" of the material
sorry, no idea why I never finished that sentence - probably because one or several kids yelling -
the way educators, pundits and politicians propagate, I'd rather want high achievement tracking back with all the attendant problems.
Edited by Tigerle - 4/14/13 at 8:44am