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Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 13

post #241 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I don't have research data on it, but I agree wholeheartedly. I was an "elem. ed" major (well, that wasn't a major as such, but I was in the program) The education program I was in was ranked one of the very best in the state at the time I was in it. There might have been one other teacher that I graduated with to whom I would trust my child's education and emotional well being in a classroom. MAYBE one. And she went into special ed.

-Angela
Your experience parallels mine. I'm not the genius of the world, BTW, but I was genuinely horrified at what I perceived to be the astounding ignorance not only of many professors (a long tale in and of itself) but of many would-be teachers. I'm not talking "ignorance" as in "Didn't understand that Fibonacci wasn't an Italian chef," but as in "Couldn't make subjects and verbs agree."

Yes, surely there were intelligent people, but unfortunately, they didn't seem to be the norm, at least not in my (well-regarded) program.
post #242 of 927
See, CB, I disagree that one can infer giftedness from SAT scores. I think the whole testing crapshoot is nothing but a scam created by big educational curriculum developers to test on...their curriculum. What if people don't test well, are they stupid? Or, sorry - "average?" No, they don't test well. I didn't test well for my GREs, but I really don't think that shows some sort of internal deficiency. It shows that I didn't pay out the nose for GRE prep classes or care all that much.

I've taken plenty of Master's-level education courses as well, and while I wouldn't say that the teachers-to-be aren't "gifted," I would definitely say I didn't see a lot of creativity or thinking-outside-the-box going on. I think teachers are frequently drawn to the profession because THEY had a positive experience in school and would like to recreate that experience, right down to the gold stars. But then, I guess I don't divide the world of people I meet into intelligent and not-intelligent.

And as usual, I must say that I couldn't agree more with Dar, the Superstar.
post #243 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
See, CB, I disagree that one can infer giftedness from SAT scores. I think the whole testing crapshoot is nothing but a scam created by big educational curriculum developers to test on...their curriculum.
Well, the thing is, I don't think you can necessarily infer giftedness either (especially about one person), but when you have a very large group of people who are consistently placing in the lowest quartile in several different tests (including the Praxis test, which -- at least for teachers -- is one of the most absurdly easy tests in the world. It tests on really fundamental knowledge...like addition) then I think you can make the reasonable inference that you're not, as a whole, dealing with the most academically advanced or intellectually able.

And to be honest, the large majority of people who are intellectually able and academically advanced would be wasted as teachers because, like I said before, it isn't rocket science.

However, I think one vast improvement would be to eliminate "education" as an undergraduate major altogether. Have prospective teachers actually major in a core subject: English, science, history, mathematics, and then have them take the fundamental coursework they'll need to do well teaching. I think that would help tremendously.


Quote:
What if people don't test well, are they stupid? Or, sorry - "average?" No, they don't test well. I didn't test well for my GREs, but I really don't think that shows some sort of internal deficiency. It shows that I didn't pay out the nose for GRE prep classes or care all that much.
I did deal with that in my post above, or I thought I did: "Naturally, some gifted people don't present well on tests. However, I'm speaking of the general population, not a few exceptions. Also, there may be gifted teachers who perform excellently on standardized tests, but again, they are the exception and not the rule."
post #244 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
And to be honest, the large majority of people who are intellectually able and academically advanced would be wasted as teachers because, like I said before, it isn't rocket science.

I have to disagree with this, at least personally. I scored high on most tests (29 on the ACT, for example.) I've been a teacher for over a decade, and it's not a "wasted" career choice for me. Yes, I know some bad teachers, but I also know a lot of really good, smart, dedicated ones.

I haven't been impressed with most of my dd's elementary teachers, though. The one teacher who impressed me the most was actually the teacher's assistant.
post #245 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
I know of no program where gifted kids get more and better field trips and extras than the regular kids.
My dd's middle school certainly does. She has at least twice monthly trips that are not offered to the other students.

This included a trip to New York to museums and theater.
post #246 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
I have to disagree with this, at least personally. I scored high on most tests (29 on the ACT, for example.) I've been a teacher for over a decade, and it's not a "wasted" career choice for me. Yes, I know some bad teachers, but I also know a lot of really good, smart, dedicated ones.

I haven't been impressed with most of my dd's elementary teachers, though. The one teacher who impressed me the most was actually the teacher's assistant.
But that's why I said "most." Almost nothing is "all." FWIW, I have quite good academic credentials and scores myself and I don't consider teaching a "wasted" career for me either -- but on the other hand, I've really sought to teach courses which actually used my knowledge base (I'm a HS teacher). I think teaching ES would be a completely different ballgame using a completely different set of skills...not necessarily the ones I majored in. I wish all teachers were smart and dedicated. Life would be good.
post #247 of 927
I thought that elem ed classwork was a total waste of time. It was 100% common sense to me. HOWEVER, sadly I believe that it is needed for many teachers. They really do need all that time learning how kids learn and how to manage a classroom. Because even after all that, they still weren't very good at it. But honestly, this is part of throwing out the whole system and starting over I think.

ah and the ignorance of those who teach teachers.... : The prof. who taught how to teach math and science.... my oh my. He was quite convinced that if one did not memorize all the basic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) that one could NEVER be successful in higher math.... I kindly informed him that he was sadly mistaken and sorely uneducated on mathematics theory. : (yes, in front of the rest of the class...)

-Angela
post #248 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004
But the label and common usage of "gifted" in the education system reeks of elitism and superiority that serves only to segregate children and disserve all of them in the process.
I can see the point about the label of gifted being elitist, but I disagree that it serves a disservice to all children. Can you please clarify how you believe this to be so?
From what the majority of "gifted" people and parents of "gifted" children have said here, the G&T school programs do not meet the unique learning needs of this population. The programs are more geared to "really bright" kids but not necessarily "gifted" in the clinical sense of the word, and serve in large part to satisfy parents that Johnnie and Sally really are a cut above the great unwashed.

So, it would seem that in large part (allowing for exceptions of course) the money being diverted away from the average kids' (that big chunk of the bell curve in the center) programs not only 1) detracts from the quality of the average kids' education, but 2) doesn't even serve the "gifted" population as it needs to be served. It's like a reverse panacea, in other words, a remedy for NO ills. I see G&T programs in large part as window dressing so school districts can trot out their little programs and we can all pat ourselves on the back at what brilliant (and therefore valued and worthwhile) these kids are that we created. All kids are disserved in the process.

The first time I hear a parent say that they wish their child was not "gifted" or that they are glad their child isn't (given the accompanying burdens many have described here) will be the first time I entertain the notion that G&T programs aren't primarily parental ego-stroking devices. And ego-stroke all day if that's indicated, but not at the expense of diverting limited funds away from the average kids (the majority, which includes my own child) into programs that don't properly serve the target population.
post #249 of 927
Well, here the g/t programs aren't really using any more money than the regular classrooms get. There aren't any more field trips paid for by the district. There aren't pull-out programs with extra teachers. They don't get special facilities.

-Angela
post #250 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
The prof. who taught how to teach math and science.... my oh my. He was quite convinced that if one did not memorize all the basic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) that one could NEVER be successful in higher math....
My DH, the prototypical math nerd, who leaves papers covered with abstruse equations EVERYWHERE, would find that highly amusing. He can't do arithmetic for crap. It's not the same kind of thought process as that used for higher math (which I can't do for crap, although I can do arithmetic pretty well in my head).

IMO the perfect teacher training would start with Master's-level knowledge of an academic subject and proceed to child development (including the study of asynchronous, delayed, and accelerated development) and cognitive science. Pedagogical theory would be a serious inquiry into the conditions that facilitate learning for different types of children, including questioning the institutional model of public schooling. A thorough history of formal education from the Roman Empire onwards would be taught, so that teachers can situate their task historically and culturally. As someone else said (boongirl?), I can dream... (I know, I'm a )

So when are we scheduled to throw the whole system out and start over?

I'd like to be there to help with the throwing out and also with the rebuilding.
post #251 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
...including the Praxis test, which -- at least for teachers -- is one of the most absurdly easy tests in the world. It tests on really fundamental knowledge...like addition) then I think you can make the reasonable inference that you're not, as a whole, dealing with the most academically advanced or intellectually able.
See, this is just my issue--standardized tests were meant to identify the lowest scores. The first IQ test was created to shuffle (French) kids into normal classes or special ed. NOT to determine a child's level of "giftedness."
post #252 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
IMO the perfect teacher training would start with Master's-level knowledge of an academic subject and proceed to child development (including the study of asynchronous, delayed, and accelerated development) and cognitive science. Pedagogical theory would be a serious inquiry into the conditions that facilitate learning for different types of children, including questioning the institutional model of public schooling. A thorough history of formal education from the Roman Empire onwards would be taught, so that teachers can situate their task historically and culturally. As someone else said (boongirl?), I can dream... (I know, I'm a )
Sounds good to me! But how many people will be willing to go through that and what would we have to pay them? Back to seriously redesigning the whole shebang.

-Angela
post #253 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
Well, here the g/t programs aren't really using any more money than the regular classrooms get. There aren't any more field trips paid for by the district. There aren't pull-out programs with extra teachers. They don't get special facilities.

-Angela
It depends on the district then, because our gifted school was entirely funded by taxpayers' money, so I can see why some people would be upset....Why should they pay to give kids privileges and a better education when their own kids aren't given the same? It is a very unequal situation and frankly, if I were the parent of a non-gifted child in the district, I would be quite angry.
post #254 of 927
This whole thread reminds me why I got into Montessori education...

I wholeheartedly believe we must aim to meet every child's individual needs and challenge every child's individual level of understanding. This is as much true for the most academically talented as the most academically challenged.

When you talk about overhauling the whole system, I think it's important to remember that there are already some well-established schools that could serve as models on how to do so...
post #255 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by griffin2004
The first time I hear a parent say that they wish their child was not "gifted" or that they are glad their child isn't (given the accompanying burdens many have described here) will be the first time I entertain the notion that G&T programs aren't primarily parental ego-stroking devices.
You got it. I wish my kid wasn't gifted. Why? Because with his gifted nature comes a whole host of other, related problems. Intensity, extreme sensitivity. He used to have panic attacks in preschool. And most, if not all, of it is related to giftedness.

I have a friend with a profoundly gifted son. He has pre-Turrette's (sp?) related to his giftedness. She wishes he wasn't gifted either. They are looking into a gifted school run by the school district near Sacramento so he can be with teachers and kids who understand his issues.

So be snarky all you want but there are valid needs in this group not always served by standard schooling.
post #256 of 927
Quote:
Well, here the g/t programs aren't really using any more money than the regular classrooms get. There aren't any more field trips paid for by the district. There aren't pull-out programs with extra teachers. They don't get special facilities.
Well, most of these are not gifted schools per se, but many do serve gifted kids. As I understand (by the article's title "The Public Elites"), they are all public schools funded through taxpayers' dollars, yet are selective in their admissions process. I think that is what most bugs people about the issue.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12551652/site/newsweek/

Quote:

Benjamin Franklin Senior H.S., NEW ORLEANS:
A rigorous high school with competitive admission.

Bergen County Academies, HACKENSACK, N.J.:
Seven subschools specializing in everything from finance to visual arts.

Bronx Science H.S. NEW YORK, NY:
Notable alumni include: William Safire, E.L. Doctorow and Jon Favreau

Gretchen Whitney H.S., CERRITOS, CALIF.:
A comprehensive school for high performers.

High Technology H.S., LINCROFT, N.J.:
A pre-engineering academy with topnotch humanities.

Hunter College H.S., NEW YORK, N.Y.:
Part of the City University of New York system.

Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, AURORA, ILL.:
A residential school near Chicago that enrolls 10th through 12th graders.

Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, NATCHITOCHES, LA.:
A residential high school with competitive admissions.

Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Govt. and Intl. Studies, RICHMOND, VA.:
Students selected on aptitude and interest in political science.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, DURHAM, N.C.:
Students selected from all counties, which mixes rural and urban kids.

Northside College Preparatory H.S., CHICAGO, ILL.:
Students picked by grades and test scores.

Northwood H.S., IRVINE, CALIF.:
A humanities core program that focuses on English and history.

Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, OKLAHOMA CITY:
Rigorous two-year boarding school that takes many rural kids.

Pacific Collegiate School, SANTA CRUZ, CALIF.:
Emphasizes college prep and fine arts.

Pine View School for the Gifted, OSPREY, FLA.:
Sarasota County's main school for gifted kids.

South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, HARTSVILLE, S.C.:
Very rigorous school where students do independent research.

Stuyvesant H.S., NEW YORK, N.Y.:
Takes students from all over the city; specializes in science.

Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, DENTON, TEXAS:
This highly selective two-year school offers a real college curriculum.

Thomas Jefferson H.S. for Science and Technology, ALEXANDRIA, VA.:
Draws high-performing students from northern Virginia.

Union County Magnet H.S., SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J.:
Focus is on science, math and technology.

Univ. H.S., TUCSON, ARIZ.:
A small, autonomous school located within Rincon High School.

Univ. Laboratory H.S., URBANA, ILL.:
A five-year high school partnered with the University of Illinois.
post #257 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
You got it. I wish my kid wasn't gifted. Why? Because with his gifted nature comes a whole host of other, related problems. Intensity, extreme sensitivity. He used to have panic attacks in preschool. And most, if not all, of it is related to giftedness.

I have a friend with a profoundly gifted son. He has pre-Turrette's (sp?) related to his giftedness. She wishes he wasn't gifted either. They are looking into a gifted school run by the school district near Sacramento so he can be with teachers and kids who understand his issues.
Thank you for your candor. It's refreshing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
So be snarky all you want but there are valid needs in this group not always served by standard schooling.
It was not my intent to be snarky; I apologize if I came across as such. I absolutely agree with what you say. Other than the opinions expressed here, I don't see a groundswell of parents of "gifted" children demanding that the G&T programs that are *supposed* to be addressing their needs actually do so. Maybe it's there; I could easily be wrong and am open to being corrected.

The point I'll make just one more time (I promise) is that G&T programs in their current incarnation (again, allowing for the rare exception) don't serve their target population and in the process disserve the "average" kids. For the "really bright" kids it's a badge, for the "gifted" kids it typically doesn't address their unique needs and learning styles (at least based on the frustrations expressed here), and for the "average" kids it creates a value-infused heirarchy, diverts precious resources, and creates a tiered educational system where "thems thats got shall get; them thats not shall lose."
post #258 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
Sounds good to me! But how many people will be willing to go through that and what would we have to pay them?
post #259 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC
Well, most of these are not gifted schools per se, but many do serve gifted kids. As I understand (by the article's title "The Public Elites"), they are all public schools funded through taxpayers' dollars, yet are selective in their admissions process. I think that is what most bugs people about the issue.
So should there be no special programs? What about arts high schools? What about other special interest schools? Here in Houston we have a HUGE magnet school program. There are magnets in just about anything you can think of. They all have entrance requirements of some sort (for example at the HS level the arts schools have auditions, at elem it might just be an indicated interest in the topic- computers, math etc) The "gifted" schools are actually a type of magnet school.

-Angela
post #260 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
So should there be no special programs? What about arts high schools? What about other special interest schools? Here in Houston we have a HUGE magnet school program. There are magnets in just about anything you can think of. They all have entrance requirements of some sort (for example at the HS level the arts schools have auditions, at elem it might just be an indicated interest in the topic- computers, math etc) The "gifted" schools are actually a type of magnet school.

-Angela
Honestly, I don't know what the answer is. I wish there were appropriate educational opportunities for children of all levels/abilities/talents/interests. I can't say that such schools shouldn't exist as that would make me a hypocrite (my school is on that list and I am very grateful for the opportunities I had). But I certainly understand people's frustration and even anger because it often comes off like "the rich get richer" at the expense of everyone else.
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