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Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 36

post #701 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Please define "unilinear." Did you mean "unilateral"?

Anyway, Gardner's theory is hooey for a number of reasons:

1. Several of his "intelligences" are unverifiable and unmeasurable. How do you quantify or compare "intrapersonal intelligence," for example? How do you even tell that it's a particular intelligence -- "I know myself better than you know yourself!"? And in what way does one measure, say, environmental intelligence? This is nothing more than shoddy scholarship.

2. He blurs the distinction between intelligence and talent.

3. Anything can be an intelligence because his theory is so porous.

The other reason I genuinely dislike this theory, FSM, is that it's been used and over-used by schools to theoretically accomodate for all learners and to effectively prevent gifted students from receiving accomodations they actually need. It's blurred the understanding of what intelligence is to the point where people can basically say that there is no such thing, and now we're in happy Harrison Bergeron territory.

I'm absolutely willing to acknowledge that some quality of perception, retention, synthesis, and application of knowledge is a form of intelligence, but like many other people, I actually have to have, you know, data.
CB, did you read the links that I found? It describes unilinear or psychometric intelligence (which is the type most in the gifted community believe in). Even the APA agrees that there is no agreement on what intelligence "is," in their report (which you can find via google - it's called Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns Report of a Task Force established by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association, Released August 7, 1995) and describes issues surrounding the many different hypotheses on the constitution of intelligence. It's called the psychometric approach because it's easiest to measure via test-taking instruments. But, unless you define "intelligence" as simply "those who are most likely to do best in school," as IQ and most tests do, then we have a rather limited working of intelligence, and are providing special services already most likely to succeed in society. Not that there's anything wrong with that, if we're providing them all equally.

That's interesting that you mention synthesis, because that is one of the abilities most easily measured by current IQ tests - the ability to synthesize disparate pieces of information into a whole (the comparisons section, for example, of the WISC).

I also find it interesting that so many make a distinction between Volvo Vigilantes (those parents) and Truly Gifted (my people). Who's deciding who is that kind of parent vs. this kind of parent, that kind of Poseur Gifted vs this kind of Truly Gifted? I imagine it's a very subjective assessment. I highly doubt that any of Those Parents would agree with the assessment and would plead for support also.
post #702 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
I also find it interesting that so many make a distinction between Volvo Vigilantes (those parents) and Truly Gifted (my people). Who's deciding who is that kind of parent vs. this kind of parent, that kind of Poseur Gifted vs this kind of Truly Gifted? I imagine it's a very subjective assessment. I highly doubt that any of Those Parents would agree with the assessment and would plead for support also.
Well, unlike the VV, I have yet to see a parent on this board argue that grades and whatnot are important to making sure "our" kids come out on top.

Its a bummer these issues are being confused, because I loathe schooling based on performance, grades, and comparison. According to Kohn, these are the things "gifted parents" are pushing for. Kohn's gifted parents/VV sabotage attempt to reform schools to the benefit of all.

I don't see that here. At all. Which is not to say that I accept your tongue-in-cheek division of the world into us vs. them. I simply do not buy, for a second, that anyone has been arguing for a preservation of her child's status at the expense of other children.

Now, I know some will make the arguement that it is impossible to retain the status of gifted without it coming at the expense of others. Fine, ditch the term. Ditch grades, ditch class ranking, and for the love of all things holy please ditch those nausea-inducing bumper stickers. The only thing I'd ask we not ditch is a variety of learning environments for children with different needs.

I grew up poor, in a school full of poor kids. The district was kind enough to fix the boundaries so that 99% of the white (and middle class) students got to be bussed to a better school. I was the only non-hispanic girl in the 6th grade. There were at least 3 students in my year that stood out as the-term-whose-name-I-will-not-speak, and frankly our school did not serve us in the slightest. We taught ourselves, and the administrators smiled and took credit for our test scores. While I'm white, I've been in the group of people the VV's were happy to keep down. I have no love and no respect for people who give poor and minority students the shaft. FTR, the other two students were a boy of Mexican descent and a boy from a family of Polish immigrants who still spoke Polish at home.

The fact that the school system screws over the socially unpriviledged is not a reason to be bitter about kids who need accomodation due to their "giftedness." (Darn, I said that word. Hate the word.) The kids? They don't give a rat's behind that affluent America thinks they have special standing. They just want an education that means something.

- being called, need to run -
post #703 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I don't know if you've had the patience to read through all the replies, but this issue has come around before.

I don't think there's a parent on this board that thinks the schools are doing a bang-up job meeting the needs of all students, or even most students. I think, speaking as a teacher, that they're doing an adequate job meeting the needs of most average students.
Yep, I've read the whole thing, and it certainly does seem that if there's one thing everyone agrees on, it's that the public school system could benefit from some drastic changes. But one of the big sources of dissension seems to be this idea that schools are generally adequate for most average students and inadequate for most gifted students. I guess if you believe that every gifted student, by definition, needs something beyond a "regular" curriculum to get what you would consider an adequate education, then if at least some "non-gifted" students are being served adequately by the regular curriculum, you could justify a claim that gifted kids, on average, have greater needs. But I think the reality is that many gifted kids are also able to get an adequate education in regular classes. Not an education that unlocks their full potential - but no kid is really likely to get that in a typical classroom. I suspect the average "average" kid doesn't really get any closer to reaching her full potential in the classroom than the average gifted kid.

I certainly wouldn't argue that gifted kids don't have special needs - I'm just not sure they're really being shortchanged more than the "average" kids. But then I'm not a teacher and don't even have kids in school, and never had the experience of being an "average" kid in school, so maybe I don't know what it's really like - maybe the education those "average" kids are getting is a lot better than I imagine.
post #704 of 927
I’m on holidays and have been sporadically reading this thread with no time to respond meaningfully. However, I am surprised that Vygotsky and his Zone of Proximal development have not yet surfaced in the conversation. As a teacher, I think it is a critical philosophy that must be understood before engaging in any kind of classroom instruction. It would be particularly relevant for a homeschooling family as well since the theory depends so heavily on interaction with a significant adult.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Vygotsky

His theory allows for all children (regardless of IQ) to succeed in a classroom when the teacher is aware of each child’s proximal zone. It is a mini IEP, if you like…

I disagree that Gardiner’s theory is hooey. It is a valuable tool for young learners to define and embrace their own style of learning. In every grade I’ve ever taught I spend time at the beginning of the year helping students recognize where their strengths are and then develop goal setting through the portfolio process to strengthen their identified weaknesses. Intelligence can not be measured by academic standards alone and, in my experience, students find it comforting to have their individual strengths acknowledged and equally valued in an inclusive classroom.
post #705 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
CB, did you read the links that I found? It describes unilinear or psychometric intelligence (which is the type most in the gifted community believe in).
To my best understanding of the term, and I'm not claiming expertise here, all that "psychometric" means in this context is intelligence that can be objectively measured. That's partly why I distrust Gardnerian theory: it can't be measured, it can't be compared, and it can't be independently assessed. As science, it stinks.
Quote:

Even the APA agrees that there is no agreement on what intelligence "is," in their report (which you can find via google - it's called Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns Report of a Task Force established by the Board of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association, Released August 7, 1995) and describes issues surrounding the many different hypotheses on the constitution of intelligence.
But there's also some idea of what it may be and what it is not. In that respect, these discussions remind me of the famous statement by (I believe) Edwin Meese on pornography: that he can't define it, but he knows it when he sees it.
Quote:
It's called the psychometric approach because it's easiest to measure via test-taking instruments. But, unless you define "intelligence" as simply "those who are most likely to do best in school," as IQ and most tests do,
I'm sorry, but I strongly believe this is factually inaccurate. Most IQ tests test verbal, spatial, logical, and mathematical skills, and those tend to be skills schools theoretically value, if that's what you mean. However, I don't define intelligence that way, and to be honest, I don't think IQ tests do either. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say they generally define intelligence as the abilityto learn quickly, retain information, process information, synthesize it, and apply it -- often uniquely or creatively, and do these things at a more rapid rate than the norm for one's age. That's not a perfect definition of intelligence by any means, but I think it works decently well.

Quote:
then we have a rather limited working of intelligence, and are providing special services already most likely to succeed in society. Not that there's anything wrong with that, if we're providing them all equally.
But my points are these:

1. It's not equal, and
2. It's not special, and
3. They're not succeeding in society, and
4. Should #3 be the point anyway?

It's not equal because the education is not appropriate or adequate to meet their needs. I don't think anyone is asking for "special" on this board -- just appropriate, for God's sakes!

Sorry to be so frustrated, FSM, but kee-rist, when it's your kid whose needs would completely not be met by the school system -- and when you'd be excoriated or ignored even for trying, it's really frustrating to argue about the issue of whether giftedness (or whatever you want to call it) exists or not.
Quote:
That's interesting that you mention synthesis, because that is one of the abilities most easily measured by current IQ tests - the ability to synthesize disparate pieces of information into a whole (the comparisons section, for example, of the WISC).

I also find it interesting that so many make a distinction between Volvo Vigilantes (those parents) and Truly Gifted (my people). Who's deciding who is that kind of parent vs. this kind of parent, that kind of Poseur Gifted vs this kind of Truly Gifted? I imagine it's a very subjective assessment. I highly doubt that any of Those Parents would agree with the assessment and would plead for support also.
Well, subjectively enough, I'm deciding for the students in my experience, not that my decision has any kind of value or changes anything. All I know is this: that every single parent who's told me their child is gifted has failed to provide evidence of this from an outside source, and I've failed to see demonstration of their giftedness in English, though I certainly and readily admit they may be gifted in another area. OTOH, I've had many gifted students who didn't need anyone to tell me they were gifted because it was screamingly apparent (sometimes literally, in the case of at least one dude I taught my first year out).

Unfortunately, the "My child is gifted" parents did in fact meet the Volvo Vigilante stereotype: snotty suburb SUV-driving soccer moms. The actual gifted kids' parents were a mixed bag -- single moms (in the case of the Screamer and one talented --but addicted -- drama student I'll call METHod Actor), single dads (friend of METHod Actor), lower-SES parents, computer-dweeb parents, and far more than one POC. Those were parents that basically knew their kid was truly gifted and by that point, had given up on school as much as their kids: they knew their kids weren't actually getting much of an education and by that point, they didn't care. They also knew that their kid had a great deal of potential, but knew that school had largely warped and twisted that potential in a variety of ways.

I don't have a magic solution here, but if I were in charge of determining who's going to receive an appropriate education as a gifted kid, I'd look for objective data (e.g., I.Q. or ability assessment, demonstration of their area of giftedness such as evidence they can do math, English, etc., on a markedly higher level than is normal for their age. I'd also ask for parents' feedback because despite the VVs, parents know their children and are more accurate at determining their child's giftedness, not surprisingly, than a teacher. I'd also ask the teachers for their opinion). The overall focus would be on subject-level acceleration, NOT pullouts. For instance, if Billy's specialty was math, Billy could be with Mrs. Jones' fifth-grade math class during math time and in Mrs. Smith's first-grade regular class for the other stuff. I realize that's not a perfect solution either, but within the existing context of the school system as it stands, that's about the best I can think of.

Anyway, hope that helps clarify.
post #706 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil
I guess if you believe that every gifted student, by definition, needs something beyond a "regular" curriculum to get what you would consider an adequate education,
Not precisely. Gifted runs along a spectrum, and I think those closest to the norm generally do well -- they're the ones getting As, who are challenged (but not challenged beyond what they're able to do), and because they find school a positive experience, are able to thrive in it. Highly and profoundly gifted students? Whole 'nother story. They're the ones who find school boring as hell and act out about it -- or tune out. They criticize their teachers or blow them off and are viewed as troublemakers. They're the ones who are genuinely in need of services and aren't getting any "special" attention unless you count suspensions.

Quote:
then if at least some "non-gifted" students are being served adequately by the regular curriculum, you could justify a claim that gifted kids, on average, have greater needs. But I think the reality is that many gifted kids are also able to get an adequate education in regular classes.
Not an education that unlocks their full potential - but no kid is really likely to get that in a typical classroom. I suspect the average "average" kid doesn't really get any closer to reaching her full potential in the classroom than the average gifted kid.
Some are, sure, like I said -- but some really, really aren't, and aren't to a degree that I think intervention is really necessary.
post #707 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmom22
I’m on holidays and have been sporadically reading this thread with no time to respond meaningfully. However, I am surprised that Vygotsky and his Zone of Proximal development have not yet surfaced in the conversation. As a teacher, I think it is a critical philosophy that must be understood before engaging in any kind of classroom instruction. It would be particularly relevant for a homeschooling family as well since the theory depends so heavily on interaction with a significant adult.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Vygotsky
But that's precisely what we've been talking about -- that for many HG and PG gifted students, the teachers don't give a rat's caboose about their ZPD. Oh, in an ideal world, if every teacher actually calibrated their ZPD and taught right in that zone for every student, it would be great -- and in fact, it's one of the super strengths of homeschooling, as you're implying, particularly since the parent can definitely adjust and fine-tune as needed. In a class of thirty, this is far less possible. However, most teachers really don't do that. They teach to the middle, and I certainly understand how come -- but what I find exasperating is that schools, administrators, and teachers are bitterly resistant to the idea of early admission and acceleration -- which would at least get closer to putting the kid in a class that adequately addresses that delicate balance between "too easy" and "too hard" that Vygotsky was talking about.

Quote:
I disagree that Gardiner’s theory is hooey. It is a valuable tool for young learners to define and embrace their own style of learning.
Please don't take what I am saying as a personal attack or as snark, because it's not -- I don't know you, and I am assuming you meant what you said with sincerity. What I will say (and this is directed at the discourse you're using, not you personally) is that these very edspeak-inspired statements, whereas they mean to sound lovely on paper and in parent conferences, don't actually mean anything concrete. I find it about as useful as getting children to define and embrace their zodiac signs or the numerological significances of their names (e.g., "I am a Scorpio with a life value number of 3, so I need more time in math"?)

Seriously, in terms of actual practice, multiple intelligence theory doesn't matter much at all to gifted children, and in terms of non-gifted children, the Gardner-based teaching methods have not been demonstrated by research to improve the learning of the students for whom they are used. Good teachers -- good professional anyones, actually -- have to base their methodology not on what sounds good or what the latest ed-fad happens to be, but on what actually works as demonstrated by research, and I'm afraid that Gardner really does not meet that test.
Quote:
In every grade I’ve ever taught I spend time at the beginning of the year helping students recognize where their strengths are and then develop goal setting through the portfolio process to strengthen their identified weaknesses. Intelligence can not be measured by academic standards alone and, in my experience, students find it comforting to have their individual strengths acknowledged and equally valued in an inclusive classroom.
Again, I'm sure you really mean that and I'm not leveling my criticism at you or your sincerity, but I am distressed by the edspeak and its lack of relevance to reality. In my experience -- and not just mine -- the issue with gifted students, particularly with those who are HG and PG, is that their "individual strengths" are not just not acknowledged and not just not valued in an inclusive classroom, but that they are actively squelched.

Seriously, I have sympathy for teachers who get an extremely gifted kid because they're really not prepared to deal with one and it's not fair to either the teacher or the student to make it fit when it simply won't. I don't know what grade you teach, but let's take a test case: in your classroom -- let's say it's a kindergarten class -- just precisely and exactly (please, no edspeak, I beg you...please) what would you do with a kid like this:

1. At five, reads at an eighth-grade level. Recently finished the entire Tolkien Lord of the Rings trilogy on his or her own.

2. Mathematically, this kid is doing long division, addition and subtraction of fractions, and negative numbers. Overall, math skills are at a mid-third grade range.

3. In terms of socialization, the child is happy and works well with others.

4. In terms of composition and handwriting, the child is used to writing one- to two-page compositions on a given topic with minimal scaffolding and all handwriting is clear and neatly legible.

5. On a typical spelling list chosen from the Scripps National Spelling Bee Championship list of words (including words such as staphylococci, vivisepulture, and propitiatory), the child normally gets a grade of 80%-100% on a regular basis.

Really, I would be very curious to find if a child such as Hypothetical Kid here would really be ZPD'd in your classroom or whether this child's abilities would basically mean that you were having to do an entirely separate prep just for them, which (as I think we'll all agree) is a giant pain in the butt.

(Moreover, a bit OT here, the research into gifted education suggests very strongly that inclusion in a heterogeneous classroom for the way-beyond-normal gifted students simply doesn't work. It works decently well with mildly gifted students, absolutely, but just like in quantum theory, the rules change the further out you go. )
post #708 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire

I'm sorry, but I strongly believe this is factually inaccurate. Most IQ tests test verbal, spatial, logical, and mathematical skills, and those tend to be skills schools theoretically value, if that's what you mean. However, I don't define intelligence that way, and to be honest, I don't think IQ tests do either. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say they generally define intelligence as the abilityto learn quickly, retain information, process information, synthesize it, and apply it -- often uniquely or creatively, and do these things at a more rapid rate than the norm for one's age. That's not a perfect definition of intelligence by any means, but I think it works decently well.
Er, no, most psychologists agree that IQ tests, ultimately, predict who will do well in our schools and in our society. They are so culturally loaded that one cannot say that they are an ultimate assessment tool for much else. Did you read the article speaking about Raven's Matrices? Even the supposedly non-loaded tests are so culturally relevant that they are among the MOST loaded. It's the one thing psychologists do agree upon. It's no accident that most of the gifted classrooms are filled with white, upper-middle class children. Creativity is not part of the package for WISC or CoGAT or S-B, nor uniqueness. There is usually one right answer for every question.

Quote:
IQ scores only give the information about one specific facet of intelligence as displayed in children who excel in verbal and logical thinking in the most traditional sense. This type of ability is often called general intellectual ability. Of the 49 states that have policies on gifted education, every one includes general intelligence ability as one type of giftedness to be identified. IQ is the best overall predictor of school achievement and educational success; hence intelligence tests are often one of the assessments used to identify exceptional general intellectual ability in children.
http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=960

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Sorry to be so frustrated, FSM, but kee-rist, when it's your kid whose needs would completely not be met by the school system -- and when you'd be excoriated or ignored even for trying, it's really frustrating to argue about the issue of whether giftedness (or whatever you want to call it) exists or not.
See, I don't assume my child's needs would be met. But I also don't think that it meets anyone else's needs either. And I do think giftedness exists - but I feel it exists for everyone else's child as well, in whatever form that may take, which may not be of a sort that can be psychometrically assessed. If you have a parent who believes and trusts in their child, and allow the child to follow and pursue their passions - how lucky we would all be. I think asynchronicity exists for every child as well, if one buys into grade-based levels of cognition and learning outcomes.

And I suppose I am finished with my part in this conversation. I feel it's such a personal matter for some of us (who have been through the labelling/education as children, or want it for our kids, or don't want it for our kids) that we'll just go round and round about 1) whether giftedness exists as defined by the government/institutions/parental observations; 2) what constitutes giftedness; 3) what constitutes intelligence; 4) socio-economic and cultural influences confounding definitions of the above; and 5) what appropriate services should result from the definitions. Or at least, that's how I see it.

It's been lovely (with a few exceptions) and I do think that children are lucky who have parents who care so much for their overall health, happiness, and personal curiosity, in whatever form that takes.
post #709 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
But there's also some idea of what it may be and what it is not. In that respect, these discussions remind me of the famous statement by (I believe) Edwin Meese on pornography: that he can't define it, but he knows it when he sees it.
It wasn't Meese, it was a 1970s-era Supreme Court Justice, but I've forgotten which one. I remember a vivid description from The Brethren of court clerks having viewing sessions of porn videos from obscenity cases, and yelling out "I see it! I see it!" when something particularly interesting popped up on the screen.

Also, : to pretty much everything you've been saying on this thread.
post #710 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Er, no, most psychologists agree that IQ tests, ultimately, predict who will do well in our schools and in our society.
Quite honestly, I haven't seen that. I'm not doubting you have, but I haven't. I would think that would be a very irresponsible claim on their part, especially as regards very high-IQ people, who don't tend to "do well" in either one. I read your link quote below, and I'm more convinced that this is true for people closer to the center than it is true for people at the extremes.
Quote:

They are so culturally loaded that one cannot say that they are an ultimate assessment tool for much else. Did you read the article speaking about Raven's Matrices? Even the supposedly non-loaded tests are so culturally relevant that they are among the MOST loaded. It's the one thing psychologists do agree upon. It's no accident that most of the gifted classrooms are filled with white, upper-middle class children. Creativity is not part of the package for WISC or CoGAT or S-B, nor uniqueness. There is usually one right answer for every question.
I agree there's been a problem with cultural bias, definitely, but there's also been aggressive research to try to minimize this as much as possible. The Ravens, while not a perfect instrument, was at least a step toward that goal. There need to be more steps.

Quote:

[


See, I don't assume my child's needs would be met. But I also don't think that it meets anyone else's needs either. And I do think giftedness exists - but I feel it exists for everyone else's child as well, in whatever form that may take, which may not be of a sort that can be psychometrically assessed.
I disagree -- I think, like I said above, that school is adequate for most people most of the time and that not every child is gifted, although all children are unique and should be valued and respected. Many have talents; talents aren't the same as acute intellectual difference from the norm. That's not a value judgment; I think talents are valuable and should be nurtured, but I think we'd all acknowledge that schools can only do that with certain talents and not others, and no, that's not fair. They're theoretically supposed to teach academic subjects, so I think it's more appropriate for schools to provide appropriate education for intellectually different children.
post #711 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by pookel
It wasn't Meese, it was a 1970s-era Supreme Court Justice, but I've forgotten which one. I remember a vivid description from The Brethren of court clerks having viewing sessions of porn videos from obscenity cases, and yelling out "I see it! I see it!" when something particularly interesting popped up on the screen.
.
BOOOIINNNG!
post #712 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Please don't take what I am saying as a personal attack or as snark, because it's not -- I don't know you, and I am assuming you meant what you said with sincerity. What I will say (and this is directed at the discourse you're using, not you personally) is that these very edspeak-inspired statements, whereas they mean to sound lovely on paper and in parent conferences, don't actually mean anything concrete. I find it about as useful as getting children to define and embrace their zodiac signs or the numerological significances of their names (e.g., "I am a Scorpio with a life value number of 3, so I need more time in math"?)
I agree. Gardner has a tiny bit of usefulness as I see it- remind teachers that they need to do DIFFERENT types of activities- sometimes get kids up and moving, talk, show, demonstrate, encourage practice, let them talk and teach. Beyond that, like so much education theory, 'tis crap IMO.

-Angela
post #713 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
Er, no, most psychologists agree that IQ tests, ultimately, predict who will do well in our schools and in our society.
Just here to "yeah, that" this. I have no links, just what I remember from introductory psych. Up until then, I thought that IQ tests were a nearly infalliable measure of how smart someone was (and since I scored well on the test that got me labeled "gifted" in elementary school, who was I to question that? ), but then I found out that they were originally developed to predict who would do well in school. And then there's the cultural bias to factor in. From the way it was taught in that class, I thought it was generally accepted today that IQ tests only serve to test how well you perform on an IQ test, and that no one really relied on them any more.
post #714 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
I agree. Gardner has a tiny bit of usefulness as I see it- remind teachers that they need to do DIFFERENT types of activities- sometimes get kids up and moving, talk, show, demonstrate, encourage practice, let them talk and teach. Beyond that, like so much education theory, 'tis crap IMO.

-Angela
I even thought of saying that in order to be generous, and I couldn't even do that. In practice, I've seen teachers waste an infinite amount of time doing different types of activities to appeal to multiple intelligences, but I haven't seen a corresponding improvement in student learning, which (for me) is where the feces hits the air current generator.

To be honest, I've seen actually less learning since the multiple intelligences fad (and it IS a fad) took hold of the ed. system, specifically less analysis and less ability to plan and execute a sustained writing project, because (after all), writing isn't appealing to people with visual and auditory and kinesthetic intelligence. Consequently, they get to me in senior English and find that they can't write an essay -- which, of course, will ensure their placement in English 98 (i.e., Dumnutz English) and waste both money and time in college.
post #715 of 927
Yeah, I was being generous- what I really wanted to say was it's been a tiny help for really stupid or really bad teachers.... IMO any teacher worth anything already teaches in a way to render that advice silly....

-Angela
post #716 of 927
[But that's precisely what we've been talking about -- that for many HG and PG gifted students, the teachers don't give a rat's caboose about their ZPD. Oh, in an ideal world, if every teacher actually calibrated their ZPD and taught right in that zone for every student, it would be great -- and in fact, it's one of the super strengths of homeschooling, as you're implying, particularly since the parent can definitely adjust and fine-tune as needed. In a class of thirty, this is far less possible. However, most teachers really don't do that. They teach to the middle, and I certainly understand how come -- but what I find exasperating is that schools, administrators, and teachers are bitterly resistant to the idea of early admission and acceleration -- which would at least get closer to putting the kid in a class that adequately addresses that delicate balance between "too easy" and "too hard" that Vygotsky was talking about]


I think the problem goes back to teacher education programs. Too few teachers graduate with this knowledge. I’ve never had a student teacher who had any sense of educational philosophy when they arrived in my classroom.

Telling teachers that educational theory or philosophy is “crap” is like telling parents that parenting philosophy is nonsense. How can you parent without a philosophy?
post #717 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Really, I would be very curious to find if a child such as Hypothetical Kid here would really be ZPD'd in your classroom or whether this child's abilities would basically mean that you were having to do an entirely separate prep just for them, which (as I think we'll all agree) is a giant pain in the butt.
CB are you asking me to role play?

To answer your question I have to first say that your “case study” is incomplete and difficult to respond to, but I will do my best to play along. And let’s remember that your reality is not mine. So while I appreciate your perspective, as a high school teacher in America your job description is vastly different then my elementary teaching position in Canada.

In short, yes! I would absolutely ensure I knew everything I could about that child’s ZPD and if it took every prep to sort it out…so be it. That is my job and I find these sorts of children a fascinating challenge, not a pain in the butt. However, I sense I am preaching to the proverbial choir here as we are both quite obviously interested in the complexities of this profession and the students we teach, which is not the norm for many teachers today.
post #718 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire

Please don't take what I am saying as a personal attack or as snark, because it's not -- I don't know you, and I am assuming you meant what you said with sincerity. What I will say (and this is directed at the discourse you're using, not you personally) is that these very edspeak-inspired statements, whereas they mean to sound lovely on paper and in parent conferences, don't actually mean anything concrete.

I don't know what grade you teach, but let's take a test case: in your classroom -- let's say it's a kindergarten class -- just precisely and exactly (please, no edspeak, I beg you...please) what would you do with a kid like this:
In order to do so, however, I will have to use some “edspeak” as it is the vernacular of our profession and is necessary to some extent in order to speak coherently about these issues. I’m not sure why you take issue with “edspeak” in proper context since all professionals have their own terminology for dialogue within the parameters of their “job”.
post #719 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire

Seriously, I have sympathy for teachers who get an extremely gifted kid because they're really not prepared to deal with one and it's not fair to either the teacher or the student to make it fit when it simply won't. I don't know what grade you teach, but let's take a test case: in your classroom -- let's say it's a kindergarten class -- just precisely and exactly (please, no edspeak, I beg you...please) what would you do with a kid like this:
A Kindergarten scenario? Geez, I haven’t taught primary in years, but here goes…

Generally speaking...Since said student is socially amiable, I would likely ensure that centers were an integral part of the day. They create an environment that permits students to work cooperatively or alone, according to individual preference. Also, it frees me up to work one on one with individual students throughout the day, as need be. I am also interested in Dr. William Glasser’s finding that:

We learn
10 percent of what we read,
20 percent of what we hear,
30 percent of what we see,
50 percent of what we both see and hear,
70 percent of what is discussed with others,
80 percent of what we experience personally, and
95 percent of what we TEACH to someone else.

We must understand something in order to teach it and gifted students often struggle with explanations of their understanding. Centres allow these students an opportunity to solidify and make sense of their knowledge while socializing at the same time. Two valuable skills.
post #720 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
1. At five, reads at an eighth-grade level. Recently finished the entire Tolkien Lord of the Rings trilogy on his or her own.
If the child was reading advanced text then let him continue to read advanced texts. The foundational skills of literacy still must be taught and it is unlikely that this child knows the conventions of print in the context of what s/he is reading. So instead of discussing the characters that are in whichever text “average kid” is reading, we would look at the protagonists/antagonists and their relationships within the story “HG” kid is reading. Really, I don’t think it is all that complicated. Take a skill and scaffold it for whatever level the learner is at. The individual attention and time spent with that learner is the most critical part of the equation.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children?