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Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 14

post #261 of 927
Okay, I didn't read the replies (naughty me) but I thought I'd give my quick two cents.

As a child who was deemed gifted, I always felt like I had to live up to that expectation. Just like when you always tell a girl how pretty she is she grows up feeling like she always has to be pretty. Just like when you describe a little boy as mean he will live up to that. I can't say it's positive or negative, only that it's important to make sure gifted children know it's okay to be wrong sometimes. I grew up very defensive, and I always *had* to be right. Labels can be stronger than we realize.
post #262 of 927
I will say that the magnet school program here is a move in the right direction. It's a nice idea. Does it work as well as it should? Of course not. But it does allow special programs in a number of areas of interest.

-Angela
post #263 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
Profoundly Gifted 180+ Fewer than 1:1 million

This is what I generally used in my teaching as a guide. It was helpful to point out to parents. I can probably come up with, at best, a half a dozen profoundly gifted people that I have met in my lifetime. And, they have all had major communication and social problems.
So, for those who have been saying that their remarks are really only true of "profoundly gifted" children... according to this ratio, there are fewer than 300 profoundly gifted people in the United States. According to the latest census, about 70 million US residents are under age 17, which would mean fewer than 70 profoundly gifted children. Sixty or so kids, total. So if most of what people are saying here truly only applies to these 60 or so kids, then is it really worth 20-odd pages? Would we have a 23-page thread about achalasia, for example? It's incidence in children is about the same as the incidence of profound giftedness, if not slightly higher, and it certainly affects every aspect of a child's life. How many kids with achalasia do you know?

Dar
post #264 of 927
I don't think that all issues and needs that apply to gifted students only apply to the profoundly gifted at all.

The profoundly gifted are a horse of a different color, yes. But I think that many "gifted" children need the label to be successful in school.

-Angela
post #265 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVC
. Because of my school, I had A LOT of advantages over the kids at disctrict schools. I had opportunities that they couldn't even dream of. And some of them were quite literally life changing
Yes, this was the case, too, when I was in school. And, it was unfair. But, what I meant is that I know of no program in the Seattle area TODAY that has more field trips and better experiences than the regular programs, unless you count the pullout programs and their nifty projects. But, in those programs, kids have to make up the work they miss in their regular class so it kind of balances out.
post #266 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I don't think that all issues and needs that apply to gifted students only apply to the profoundly gifted at all.
Hmm.. a lot of what was said earlier in the thread seemed to imply that the less-gifted kids would be fine with the current system, and excel... it was just those profoundly gifted ones who had all sorts of problems. Here's one by CB, from post 62:
Quote:
Mild giftedness really does get those positive accolades and shiny predictions because a child with mild giftedness generally does well in school -- she's challenged, but not too much, and finds school interesting and rewarding, because to her, it is. That child will be rewarded by teachers because she's so smart (and tends to be well-behaved, because she's found that those two qualities are mutually reinforcing), and will indeed tend to get bright predictions of future glory.

That's not profound giftedness. Not at all.
dar
post #267 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I would like to second this, and to say that another problem -- and I'm sorry if this sounds élitist here or snotty -- is that quite often, especially in elementary school, the teachers tend not to be gifted and often tend not to be deeply educated in the subjects they teach. This isn't just random snark, BTW -- I'll be happy to back up my assertions with data if anyone is interested.

Exacerbating the problem is when a student points these things [errors, illogical statements, etc] out and the teacher gets defensive or angry -- something that the student simply doesn't understand at all, because why wouldn't a teacher (or anyone) want to know the truth? The right answer?

For many gifted students, school is a frustrating and contradictory Alice-in-Wonderland world where things should function one way and actually function another. Teachers should know all the answers -- or at least admit when they don't. Teachers should want to know the truth, should want to be precise, should want to be exact -- but they don't always. And so on. That daily frustration can lead to the exact "shutdown" to which Boongirl referred earlier.
I, too, can give statements as to the veracity of this remark, and I also would do it not to be snarky or offend anyone but to make a point. Witness a previous post herein by me where I stated that I nearly failed middle school math because the teacher would not accept the methodology in my homework assignments, even though the answers were correct and I aced the (only answers counted) tests. There is nothing more frustrating for an intelligent child than to be hampered by an ignorant adult.
post #268 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire

That leads me to conclude that teachers are not, as a general rule, gifted. 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.
I don't have any actual data, just anecdotal evidence from 10 years as a teacher. I only knew one teacher in all those years who had gone to any kind of college that would be considered difficult to get into (and admissions rates is the way colleges and universities are judged as popular or not - ie Duke and Harvard turn away the most applicants this last year therefore they are the most presitigious this year. ) That one teacher had a BA and a JD from Columbia where she as an honor student and then went on to prestigious career at the top law firm in Seattle. After a few years, she realized she really wanted to teach and switched careers. Most elementary teachers have a degree in elementary ed or something in the social sciences and did not attend a major university for their elementary ed preparation. I know many who have gotten their masters degree at for-profit colleges that cater to teachers and are not known for the rigor of their coursework.

I went to the University of California, Irvine for my undergraduate education and was a bit appalled by how easy my masters of education coursework as at a state university here in WA state. I was able to work full time and take a full course load and still get all As, something I would never have been able to do at UCI. As a teaching assistant in the Ed dept., I taught some undergraduate education courses at the same university and was even more appalled that students would challenge me to pass them when they writing was abysmal. Their argument was that they are in school to become a teacher, not a writer, and therefore should not have to be held to the writing standards of an English major. I kid you not. I also attended many college staff meetings where the idea of requiring ed majors to be proficient at the basic college level in math and english was hotly debated. It was a hot debate because it was widely known that many of the current (at that time)ed students, all either in their 5th year to get certified or in the masters program, would not be able to pass basic math and english proficiency tests. That would mean that the college would have to require them to take the basic coursework until they passed, something that many students could not afford to do. The fear was that this would mean a lot of people would drop out of the program.:

So, basically, in a nutshell, the staff in the ed department knew that the students were not up to snuff in math and english but did not want to force them to drop out so they let them slide through with poor math and english skills. This is a bit appalling, imo.
post #269 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Yes, surely there were intelligent people, but unfortunately, they didn't seem to be the norm, at least not in my (well-regarded) program.
ditto
post #270 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. 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.
Well, that is mostly a good point. Except that, in my experience, gifted programs don't take a lot of money away from the general fund. Gifted programs are usually pretty cheap, especially if they are a gifted, all day, every day classroom - that costs the district nothing since the kids would be in a class with a teacher all day if they were in the regular program. Pullout programs cost a bit, but they are often the first to go in budget cuts. In Seattle, a lot of pullout programs have merged into the regular classroom under the guise of "differentiated learning" which they should have been doing anyway. So, basically, there are fewer services for gifted kids in Seattle now that there are budget woes. I am sure this is seen in other districts nationwide, now that we are all supposed to be focused on not leaving any child behind (in other words, all children should be focused on the tests).
post #271 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Essentially, people who major in education tend to come from the lowest-quartile group of students as measured on standardized tests such as the SAT, the ACT, and Praxis tests -- lower than phys. ed. majors. Those are the same people who become not only professors of education (a true case of the blind leading the blind) but teachers of our children.

Again, like I said before, in most cases it simply doesn't matter. Teaching is definitely not rocket science, and there is far more to it than subject-area mastery anyway -- and one could make a very effective argument that an ES teacher who did have an undergraduate (or worse, a graduate) degree in a core subject would be completely overeducated for her job and would likely be unhappy and unfulfilled and not as effective as someone who'd basically trained to teach the crucial fundamentals.

.
I have a Canadian perspective on this, but I think this issue is two fold. For one, teachers are not paid a salary that is comparable to one that they would receive in the corporate sector when the actual amount of daily effort, time spent on classroom related work (outside the classroom) and post secondary education is factored in. This drives away the candidates who may be excellent teachers, but demand a prestigious salary. Secondly, the daily grind of teaching, especially in the primary years, is monotonous and repetitious by nature. I suspect that the high rate of teacher drop out in the first five years may be due to those “go getters” who could not find satisfaction at the end of the day. However, there are still many of us in this profession who are dedicated, highly educated and humble enough to admit we don’t know all the answers!

It might be a great new thread to talk about what would make a teacher’s education worthwhile…
post #272 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
these types of programs help parents to feel that their children are at least having some of their needs met. But, they also help the children to feel a sense of belonging. I used to get that all the time from children who were new to the program. All of a sudden, they are among like-minded peers. It can be a very uplifting experience for them and often an experience that makes a huge difference in their attitude towards education.

I would only add to the discussion that our board has several “gifted” schools where students who are tested in Grade three and identified as such are bussed to their closest school to receive instruction for their Junior years in a core gifted program, regardless of the family’s economic status (but that’s Canada for you…) The school I spent the past two years at before my maternity leave also has a small program for the “local” kids, but by far the school is made up entirely of gifted children.

The only problem at this school was the inherent watering down of the program by parents who insist their child is gifted and refuse to accept the school boards testing. These parents seek out private assessment for a substantial fee and voila! Guess who just tested as gifted?
post #273 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
which would mean fewer than 70 profoundly gifted children. Sixty or so kids, total. So if most of what people are saying here truly only applies to these 60 or so kids, then is it really worth 20-odd pages?
'

I guess you are correct but that does not meant that the rest of us aren't enjoying this thread. And, it also means that there are thousands of kids who are inching up to that level, intellectually, and can share some of the same descriptors. But, yes, as I stated previously, I would have to say that I have most likely known maybe 6 people in my 40 years who would qualify as somewhere near profoundly gifted. But, that is a guess since I do not know there actual IQ. In my years of teaching gifted kids, I have maybe known 1 or 2 profoundly gifted kids and about 10-20 in the next rung down. This is my best guess. But, just because there are few of these kids does not mean that the kids in the next rung or two down don't share some of their characteristics and needs. And, like I said, this is a pretty enjoyable discussion for most of us.
post #274 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
But, they are still children and their experience of the world is still limited and they still have much in the way of maturing to do, both physically and socially. And, they often have well-definied bs detectors and hate forced social interaction. Especially as they approach the tween and teen years, they use their bs radar all the time and question the logic, or lack of, in everything. "Why do we have to do it that way? or Why don't we do it this way." are common types of question in classroom full of gifted kids. They look at the rules, analyze them, see the arbitrariness of them, and either refuse to follow them or offer alternative. This is very common. Sometimes, they just shut down and refuse to follow the rules. It is difficult to be a teacher of a class full of kids like this because you spend a lot of time talking about the rules, particularly if you practice GD and don't punish. It can be frustrating.
post #275 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
And then I found I had developed NO perserverance, NO skills for breaking things up and making them manageable, to help me. So I stalled, panicked, crashed and burned. And felt like a fraud.

So why didn't I just ask my piano teacher for help? Well, because she expected me to be as brilliant at the piano as my earlier successes would indicate, and couldn't help but express annoyance and disbelief that I seemed to hit a wall at some point..



This deserves to be quoted in case anyone missed it. This is such an important point!
post #276 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
Hmm.. a lot of what was said earlier in the thread seemed to imply that the less-gifted kids would be fine with the current system, and excel... it was just those profoundly gifted ones who had all sorts of problems.

dar
Dar, these are the levels of giftedness that are generally recognized in current literature:

Level IQ Range Prevalence
Mildly (or basically) Gifted 115 - 129 1:6 - 1:44
Moderately Gifted 130 - 144 1:44 - 1:1,000
Highly Gifted 145 - 159 1:1,000 - 1:10,000
Exceptionally Gifted 160 - 179 1:10,000 - 1:1 million
Profoundly Gifted 180+ Fewer than 1:1 million


If one out of every 6 to 44 children is mildly gifted, then that means that most classroom teachers are not going to have any truly gifted kids in their classroom or 20-30 kids. There may be one or two in the whole school. Or, there may be as many as 20-30, depending on the range of giftedness you accept. But, most of these mildly gifted kids would probably do fine in a regular classroom with a sensitive and skilled teacher. The same argument can be made for mildly special ed kids. They do fine in a regular classroom with a good teacher. The more severe the special ed needs, the more likely that child is going to need assistance. The same goes for giftedness. The higher the IQ, the more likely that child is not going to do well in a regular program. Profoundly gifted people are rare indeed but there is generally at least a handful of exceptionally gifted kids in any given school system. It is these kids who can get lost. And, the rare profoundly gifted kid is really ned of special services. But, yes, that profoundly gifted child is a rarity.
post #277 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
So, for those who have been saying that their remarks are really only true of "profoundly gifted" children... according to this ratio, there are fewer than 300 profoundly gifted people in the United States.
It's actually higher than this. There has been no definitive study of which I'm aware, but there is evidence to suggest that the bell curve doesn't adequately describe at least the upper end because greater than expected gifted children are found. Males in particular have been shown to be represented disproportionately at the extreme ends of the curve.

Just to complicate things, modern IQ test aren't designed to differentiate at the highest end and many kids hit the ceilings. The 180 score referenced is true only for the old tests, and even then only for the Stanford-Binet L-M. Hoagie's has a good introductory page. Ruf's Levels combine some EG and PG for Level 5 and puts the number at 1:250,000.

EG (Ruf Level 4-5) kids are represented in a far greater number and are also not served well in the regular classroom. This is no fewer than 1:10,000.
post #278 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
Do you think that your experience would have been substantially different if you weren't labled? You still would have worked faster and more accurately than other students. Your teachers would have still held you up as an example. Was it BEING gifted or being LABLED gifted that was really the problem?

-Angela
Being gifted wasn't my problem. Having teachers telling me I was gifted was. Being treated as if I were special was my problem. And no, I don't think any good teacher would have held me up as an example to the class. All that did was create resentment from the other kids who were being told that I was better than them.

If I had been told I was different from other kids, that I learned differently - instead of being told I was special, gifted, and learned *better*, my whole perspective would have changed. Ideally my parents would have been able to afford to put me in Montessori schooling like they wanted, but it just wasn't feasible. So I plodded along in a school system that had no clue how to handle me, and I suffered for it.
post #279 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees
Since about 1.5, people DD1 one meets -- she goes out of her way to do so if they're doing something that looks interesting -- end up telling her she's "smart" after about a minute's conversation. Since she's big for her age, I thought it might happen less often over time, but instead the opposite has occurred. I wish it was otherwise, but there's nothing I can or should do to manage her innocuous interactions with people. We'd planned on homeschooling anyway, but this is one of the reasons we don't want her in school. I think grades are harmful. Likewise holding one child up as an example, either good or bad, is harmful. Pressure to be successful at school rather than to commit to deep thought and hard work. BTDT. DD1 knows she's "smart;" how could she not? Yet she doesn't hear that she's "better." I think that's a big difference. She can do some things better than others and this is an aspect of who she is, but that's not a reflection of her worth as a person.

I'm sorry you had such a bad experiece; it sounds like it was a bad school.
It wasn't that it was a bad school - they did try - but it just wasn't equipped to deal outside the norm. The school I was transferred to was better, but it wasn't enough for me. Looking back I wish I could have skipped elementary school and gone straight to high school - the teachers there were so much better overall.
post #280 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by boongirl
In Seattle, a lot of pullout programs have merged into the regular classroom under the guise of "differentiated learning" which they should have been doing anyway. So, basically, there are fewer services for gifted kids in Seattle now that there are budget woes. I am sure this is seen in other districts nationwide, now that we are all supposed to be focused on not leaving any child behind (in other words, all children should be focused on the tests).
Bwa ha, that's true. Now the gifted programs suck just as badly as the regular ed classes!

But lest anyone think that the gifted are underserved in Seattle - it's true that there is some differentiated instruction schools (which I support in theory, if the curriculum actually allowed differentiation instead of just piling on more homework, which is doesn't). But in our public school system, there are seven elementary all-day self-contained programs scattered through the city for all the sorta-gifted (87th-90th percentile and up on CoGAT) starting from 1st grade, and one whole school for the super-gifted (99th percentile and up on CoGAT). And on top of that, all the private schools that serve 97th percentile and up on the S-B and Weschlers. Nobody's hurting for options if one wants their child labelled as gifted and put them into a self-contained homogenous environment.
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