or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 38

post #741 of 927
here is one of my biggest issue. being HG, MG or whatever doesnt make them good teachers does it?!!! why does one assume that just because you can figure something out that you would be able to explain it to others.
post #742 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee
here is one of my biggest issue. being HG, MG or whatever doesnt make them good teachers does it?!!! why does one assume that just because you can figure something out that you would be able to explain it to others.
Based on my experience and observations, I think HG kids would be lousy teachers at best. But I also think peer mentoring/tutoring and group work is all garbage.
post #743 of 927
Sorry, CB. It was this post I was referring to…

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
post #744 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Ah. So what I'm actually hearing is this. Please correct me if I am wrong. If I were the parent of Hypothetical Johnny here, you would have HJ do the following:

1. Play by himself
2. Teach other kids
3. Not bother you while you're teaching the struggling ones.
This is unfair. You set up the scenario with a social child who interacts well with others. I based my response on that information assuming the child was agreeable to the situation. I totally agree that many children are not interested in peer tutoring and I would never ask a child to “teach” on my behalf if they were not already chomping at the bit to do so. That was the easiest response considering I have limited time right now and wanted to be sure to answer your questions. Many kids enjoy the opportunity and are good at it. It was just a suggestion…
post #745 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I have a particular problem with edspeak -- and a related problem with the various shibboleths used in a variety of professions -- because the primary goal of any "terminology," for want of a better word, is not to communicate, but to obfuscate; not to clarify, but to obscure.

I'm very fond of concrete specifics and clear communication for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that I feel no need to dress up what I do as a profession to make it sound more impressive or technical than it is. I do not teach "communication in a variety of language arts processes." I teach reading and writing.
I see what you are saying about “edspeak” becoming a barrier between parents and teachers, but the vast majority of “edspeak” is made up of acronyms and catch phrases that best describe the scenario at hand. I’m sure anyone new to this board would be boggled by the abbreviations and terms used here to succinctly describe commonly used phrases. Once you spend a little time reading up and asking questions you can join in. I think it’s the same thing in educational circles. Imagine a doctor coming out to you and telling you your loved one was “very sick” but refused to indulge you in the details for fear of making you feel inferior or overwhelmed. You would demand a proper diagnosis, even if you didn’t understand the true meaning of what the doctor was saying at the time, and then would read your heart out to know everything about it.

I think there is certainly a time and a place for “edspeak” and communication with other teachers is at the top of my list of appropriate contexts.
post #746 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Well, if Hypothetical Johnny were with other kids whose reading level was comparable, I think it would be great because then the teacher could conduct a group discussion with "meaningful written and oral dialogue" and constant reference to the actual text, e.g., "Why does Jack go up the beanstalk a third time?" "Because he's greedy." "What in the text makes you think so?"
Scary...you've been lurking somewhere inside my classroom recently!
post #747 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmom22
This is unfair. You set up the scenario with a social child who interacts well with others. I based my response on that information assuming the child was agreeable to the situation.
But interacting well with others and enjoying or liking to teach them are not the same thing, especially since right away, that establishes a hierarchical relationship based on intellect that few children are comfortable with on either end.

Secondly, haven't we all heard how class time isn't for socialization? I'm only being slightly facetious here; I don't think class time is primarily for socialization at all, though that might occur. I think it's primarily for learning and practicing new knowledge and skills. A child may be "agreeable" to the prospect of being an unpaid, nonunion, untrained teacher's aide who's not learning anything new while performing a free peer tutorial service, but that doesn't make it professionally or ethically right.

Quote:
I totally agree that many children are not interested in peer tutoring and I would never ask a child to “teach” on my behalf if they were not already chomping at the bit to do so. That was the easiest response considering I have limited time right now and wanted to be sure to answer your questions. Many kids enjoy the opportunity and are good at it. It was just a suggestion…
Whether chomping at the bit or no, the research is very clear that HG kid tutor paired with struggling learner is a dreadful combination and it doesn't help either one. Moreover, like I said earlier, it doesn't make it ethically or professionally right. Finally, you're hearing several posters offer their anecdotal evidence as students in this situation, and in all frankness, it parallels mine.

All students deserve to learn new content in a classroom, not just be left largely on their own to play at centers for a large part of the day or to tutor their peers and not learn anything new. It's simply unfair. Just to be clear here, I think you might have thought (and maybe still think) that this method appropriately meets the needs of a hypothetical highly gifted child, but I'm trying to show you that it really doesn't, despite what I honestly believe is a sincere desire to have a class in which all different types of students are accomodated.
post #748 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmom22
I think it’s the same thing in educational circles. Imagine a doctor coming out to you and telling you your loved one was “very sick” but refused to indulge you in the details for fear of making you feel inferior or overwhelmed. You would demand a proper diagnosis, even if you didn’t understand the true meaning of what the doctor was saying at the time, and then would read your heart out to know everything about it.

I think there is certainly a time and a place for “edspeak” and communication with other teachers is at the top of my list of appropriate contexts.
But it's not quite like that -- using edspeak is more like a doctor explaining that they've discovered a benign lipoma on C3 that needs excision due to cellular dysplasia and not explaining what the heck she just said: you have a fatty tumor on your neck and they need to cut it out before it gets all out of whack.
post #749 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Secondly, haven't we all heard how class time isn't for socialization? I'm only being slightly facetious here; I don't think class time is primarily for socialization at all, though that might occur. I think it's primarily for learning and practicing new knowledge and skills.

All students deserve to learn new content in a classroom, not just be left largely on their own to play at centers for a large part of the day or to tutor their peers and not learn anything new. It's simply unfair. Just to be clear here, I think you might have thought (and maybe still think) that this method appropriately meets the needs of a hypothetical highly gifted child, but I'm trying to show you that it really doesn't, despite what I honestly believe is a sincere desire to have a class in which all different types of students are accomodated.
We are not talking about your high school English class here. You gave me a scenario in which a highly gifted child was in a regular Kindergarten classroom. I’m not sure I’d want to see what a Kindergarten that offered no socialization or play time looked like. Definitely not something I’d want to be involved in.

I think we disagree on what it looks like IRL to have a cooperative learning environment in a Primary classroom. Frankly, if you have not seen it in action it would be hard to describe the beauty and rhythm of the children all working and playing together. We all learn from one another. It is no different with children. They observe, listen and copy one another all the time. (With good and bad results!) Some children seek out opportunities to teach their peers and others shy away for various reasons. I think peer tutoring works wonderfully if everyone involved is agreeable and willing. Remember we are talking about a Kindergarten class here, these kids are not teaching their peers abstract or difficult concepts. They often simply seek to clarify what may not have been understood the first time.

I know that this is just a conversation about a topic that has no definitive answers, but it distresses me how pessimistic everyone seems to be. I know many, many teachers who work day and night to ensure their students needs are being met. (And yes, I’m aware that not all needs can be met all the time…) Perhaps the situation is much worse in America, but I’ve (thankfully) always worked in schools with terrific parental support. I can’t imagine how disheartening it would be to be constantly bombarded with negative stereotypes about your chosen profession.
post #750 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachma
Scary...you've been lurking somewhere inside my classroom recently!
How I wish your discussion style were the norm...
post #751 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
But it's not quite like that -- using edspeak is more like a doctor explaining that they've discovered a benign lipoma on C3 that needs excision due to cellular dysplasia and not explaining what the heck she just said: you have a fatty tumor on your neck and they need to cut it out before it gets all out of whack.
I agree. But can you imagine a Doctor actually speaking to you like that? I’m sure many would appreciate such candor, but others would be taken aback and the Doctor reprimanded for having an unprofessional bedside manner. Dr. House anyone?
post #752 of 927
Anecdotal personal experience:

As someone who was a student somewhere on the G spectrum (probably not HG or PG I think), I loved volunteering to tutor kids because I always saw a lot of progress in the kids I worked with. At times I actually "student taught" some classes. Teachers had me grading their papers as punishment for talking in class (funny that's not the same punishment other kids received). If I was absent teachers would tell me I didn’t have to make up work because they knew that I knew the material and that it was a waste of their time and mine to grade papers that we both knew that I knew the answers. I often graded my own class’s homework and tests (other than my own).

I RESENTED group projects with a passion. All the other kids got so excited to have me in their group because they knew I'd do all the work if they refused to do it and it would get a top grade.

In my dh’s grad school classes he’s sometimes required to do group projects, but the students also give each other grades on how they did in the group, so it helps. But I don’t think that could work well with younger kids – the peer pressure to not tell if they got dumped on.

Question:

What do those who prefer inclusion feel can be done about peer pressure to not be seen excelling? Even in some of the more 'pro-education' classrooms that I was involved in, it was never 'cool' to be the smartest kid in the room and I ALWAYS played dumb a good portion of the time so other kids could participate. Teachers asked me to not raise my hand so much so other kids could 'have a chance'. Does the inclusive classroom not promote self-'dumbing-down'?
post #753 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmom22
We are not talking about your high school English class here.
No, we're talking about a FAR more important grade than the one I teach, one that sets the tone for a child's school experience to follow.
Quote:

You gave me a scenario in which a highly gifted child was in a regular Kindergarten classroom. I’m not sure I’d want to see what a Kindergarten that offered no socialization or play time looked like. Definitely not something I’d want to be involved in.
Nope, nope , I'm crying foul because this is out of bounds. You're engaging in a straw man fallacy, specifically where you accuse me of an extreme position (e.g., "no socialization") and attack me for having this extreme position. Nope, dirty pool and I'm callin' you on it.

Here's what I actually said: "I don't think class time is primarily for socialization at all, though that might occur. I think it's primarily for learning and practicing new knowledge and skills. "

A few things:

1. Notice how I did not say "no" socialization.
2. The primary job of a school is to educate: that is, to impart and practice new knowledge and skills. It is not to socialize.
3. The agents of socialization are not the government. They are the child's parents and family, friends and relatives, associates, co-worshipers, and others whom the family includes and with whom the child interacts. It is not the job of a hired government employee to socialize a child.
Quote:
I think we disagree on what it looks like IRL to have a cooperative learning environment in a Primary classroom.
Sorry, but the "You don't know what you're talking about, so my argument is unassailable" method won't work here either, because despite the fact that I do teach high school, my mother, brother, SIL, and others are primary-school teachers and therefore I'm more than merely passingly familiar with cooperative grouping at the primary level and how and why it works and why it doesn't.

Quote:
Frankly, if you have not seen it in action it would be hard to describe the beauty and rhythm of the children all working and playing together. We all learn from one another. It is no different with children. They observe, listen and copy one another all the time. (With good and bad results!) Some children seek out opportunities to teach their peers and others shy away for various reasons. I think peer tutoring works wonderfully if everyone involved is agreeable and willing.
But it is unethical to do it as a substitute for learning and as a way of keeping a highly gifted child occupied. Moreover, it is unprofessional for one good reason: it doesn't work.

I regret that I am apparently calling into question a dearly-held part of your teaching philosophy, specifically the idea that children of all ability ranges can be successfully accomodated in a heterogeneous classroom, specifically yours. I am absolutely sure that the techniques of collaborative learning and peer tutoring have worked well almost all of the time with few if any exceptions during the entirety of your career, and that makes perfect sense: for the kids in the center of the bell curve and to a little left and right, it does work pretty well if it's well-managed, and I'm assuming yours are.

However, kids like Hypothetical Johnny change the rules. It's like quantum physics: the ideas we held to be immutable truths in the macroworld don't work at the quantum level, and it's the same with highly gifted kids. Techniques that always worked with other kids fail bitterly with them; grouping ideas that always worked don't work, and so on. I don't blame you for thinking inclusion will work, like I said, because statistically speaking, a teacher might teach for an entire career and never even once have a child at the level of a Hypothetical Johnny in her class, ever. I can't blame you for thinking that what works with every other kid will work with him. Unfortunately, though, it won't.
Quote:
Remember we are talking about a Kindergarten class here, these kids are not teaching their peers abstract or difficult concepts. They often simply seek to clarify what may not have been understood the first time.

I know that this is just a conversation about a topic that has no definitive answers, but it distresses me how pessimistic everyone seems to be. I know many, many teachers who work day and night to ensure their students needs are being met. (And yes, I’m aware that not all needs can be met all the time…) Perhaps the situation is much worse in America, but I’ve (thankfully) always worked in schools with terrific parental support. I can’t imagine how disheartening it would be to be constantly bombarded with negative stereotypes about your chosen profession.
Regrettably, the reason negative stereotypes become stereotypes at all is because they tend to be true for people more often than not. With sincere regret, I say that one of my negative stereotypes has been abundantly confirmed, specifically that teachers with a HG kid in their classroom basically turn them into peer tutors or have them work on their own while the teachers aid the struggling learners. In the meantime, the HG kid learns almost nothing.

This is unethical, plain and simple. Every child, regardless of ability, deserves to learn new content and skills in a classroom, but from the data you've presented, that's really not what would happen to a HG kid in your classroom. Unfortunately, this stereotype is one very strong reason why many parents of HG kids I know both IRL and OL are homeschooling their children: they want their children to learn new stuff.

Listen, you may never have a kid like that. Probably not. I'd lay money on your never having a kid like that even if you keep teaching full-time for the next forty years. However, if you ever do, what I am sincerely hoping with all my heart is even if you never remember this conversation at all, that you say to yourself, "So, what new skills and knowledge can I teach this child?" and seek to address that very ZPD you began this conversation by invoking.

Best of luck. I mean that.
post #754 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmom22
I agree. But can you imagine a Doctor actually speaking to you like that? I’m sure many would appreciate such candor, but others would be taken aback and the Doctor reprimanded for having an unprofessional bedside manner. Dr. House anyone?
If that's what is needed to communicate the truth of the situation, they ARE being professional. When my father was in the pharmaceutical business, they learned various slang terms for conditions or diseases in order to communicate with a variety of patients, including the fact that many of them referred to "alzheimer's disease" as "Al's Hammer disease," and so on. The point was, whether you refer to it as "sickle cell anemia" or "sick as hell anemia," you need to communicate. Doctors are being unprofessional if they use various Latinate words and phrases to communicate their social and intellectual superiority to their patients at the expense of clarity -- not that anyone who's ever had a baby in a hospital in this country would know what that's like. Snort.
post #755 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
What do those who prefer inclusion feel can be done about peer pressure to not be seen excelling? Even in some of the more 'pro-education' classrooms that I was involved in, it was never 'cool' to be the smartest kid in the room and I ALWAYS played dumb a good portion of the time so other kids could participate. Teachers asked me to not raise my hand so much so other kids could 'have a chance'. Does the inclusive classroom not promote self-'dumbing-down'?

I don't know where you grew up or live, but where I live, an upper middle class Jewish suburb, being smart is very important. Everyone wants to excell. Going to an Ivy League university is considered the goal.

Being smart does not make you "cool" by itself, but most of the the "cool" kids are smart and many are gifted or hg. It's considered a good thing in a town filled with doctors/scientists and computer "geek" multi-millionaires!

No ONE "dumbs" themself down, not even the couple of pg kids. And having grown up here, I can say I never heard of a teacher telling anyone not to raise their hand "so much"
post #756 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
I don't know where you grew up or live, but where I live, an upper middle class Jewish suburb, being smart is very important. Being smart does not make you "cool" by itself, but most of the the "cool" kids are smart and many are gifted or hg. It's considered a good thing in a town filled with doctors/scientists and computer "geek" multi-millionaires!
Anti-intellectualism is rampant in many parts of America. I would love to have grown up somewhere where it wasn't. I've never actually been anywhere that it wasn't atleast mildly at play. (And I have been many places. I've lived in 7 states in a variety of cultural/economic situations.) Look at the things American culture is obsessed about - Pop stars, fads, ...
post #757 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
Anti-intellectualism is rampant in many parts of America. I would love to have grown up somewhere where it wasn't. I've never actually been anywhere that it wasn't atleast mildly at play. (And I have been many places.) Look at the things American culture is obsessed about - Pop stars, fads, ...
Maybe its a Jewish thing. Every place I have lived has a heavily Jewish population and a very Jewish culuture. Anti-intellectualism is an anathma to this culture. So you must not have been anywhere where this culture is the dominant one. I assure you, they exist!
post #758 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
Maybe its a Jewish thing. Every place I have lived has a heavily Jewish population and a very Jewish culuture. Anti-intellectualism is an anathma to this culture. So you must not have been anywhere where this culture is the dominant one. I assure you, they exist!
If more cultures valued the mind that way, I think life would be much better. I have only visited NYC once and it's the only place I know of in off the top of my head that is famous for its Jewish population. I do recall Jewish people I've known over my life have been more interesting to me overall. I live in a metropolitan area now, but even though the population here is composed of more highly educated people than anywhere else I've lived, many, many people, even those with Master's degrees, don't want to be seen as intelligent. It's considered 'snotty' in every place I've lived to show that you have a larger vocabulary or superior reasoning abilities that overshadow another's. You can drop a lengthy word or two here or there, but only with the right people. I married into a family of teachers and my dh is the only one who is passionate about his subject matter outside of the classroom. (Although to be fair they express care about their students often).

In many places in America, an ideal of humility is a central character trait ground into children from birth. That includes hiding your greatest abilities and being shamed by all you meet if you don't. Even as an adult, in many environments, I limit my speech to what is culturally acceptable for the audience. It is so rare to find people unabashed about using more thorough language and scientific arguments that I am surprised to discover them. I’m afraid I feel a bit silly when I have really engaging discussions like that because it’s so rare to encounter. I’m not that polished as that is not a cultural norm for many.

I wish I’d have grown up Jewish. :
post #759 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by sophmama
If more cultures valued the mind that way, I think life would be much better. I have only visited NYC once and it's the only place I know of in off the top of my head that is famous for its Jewish population. I do recall Jewish people I've known over my life have been more interesting to me overall. I live in a metropolitan area now, but even though the population here is composed of more highly educated people than anywhere else I've lived, many, many people, even those with Master's degrees, don't want to be seen as intelligent. It's considered 'snotty' in every place I've lived to show that you have a larger vocabulary or superior reasoning abilities that overshadow another's. You can drop a lengthy word or two here or there, but only with the right people. I married into a family of teachers and my dh is the only one who is passionate about his subject matter outside of the classroom. (Although to be fair they express care about their students often).

In many places in America, an ideal of humility is a central character trait ground into children from birth. That includes hiding your greatest abilities and being shamed by all you meet if you don't. Even as an adult, in many environments, I limit my speech to what is culturally acceptable for the audience. It is so rare to find people unabashed about using more thorough language and scientific arguments that I am surprised to discover them. I’m afraid I feel a bit silly when I have really engaging discussions like that because it’s so rare to encounter. I’m not that polished as that is not a cultural norm for many.

I wish I’d have grown up Jewish. :

It defintiely makes it easier to be living in a community where smarts are highly valued. Having grown up and worked in such an environment its easy to forget that most of the country isn't like this.
post #760 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44
Maybe its a Jewish thing. Every place I have lived has a heavily Jewish population and a very Jewish culuture. Anti-intellectualism is an anathma to this culture. So you must not have been anywhere where this culture is the dominant one. I assure you, they exist!
This makes sense to me. Although my family isn't that religious and I grew up in an area with very few Jews and never went to any kind of services, I found that Jewish youth group events were the only place I could go to other than academic summer camps where I wasn't seen as weird and geeky and too smart. It was almost cool in this culture to be extra geeky, like the Woody Allen stereotype. (And in my experience, we were all in awe and a little unnerved by the Israeli Jews, because *they* these tough, strong, badasses instead of being skinny little geeks like us. But that's neither here nor there. It's 4 a.m. and I'm sick and rambling.)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children?