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'gifted' children an American trend? - Page 8

post #141 of 204
Okay not gonna touch the Waldorf thing except to say I agree that probably highly gifted children self-select out of it....'nuff said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdlover View Post

so, do you think it is the responsibility of those that do well, not just "gifted" and i do HATE that label, to sacrifice their own education so that others may benefit? i'm not wording this in a way that's unbiased because i'm scrambling to type it fast before my little ones attack my pc, but i mean it in asn unbiased way. are they sacrificing? if not, when do the ones at the top get to further themselves if always having to use their classroom or teacher time for those that take a little longer to learn? what does everyone in the class get out of mainstreaming? i'm looking for answers as i struggle to think about this.
I just think they whole idea that "gifted" children enjoy helping others in a classroom and have some responsibility to do so is....questionable. Like I mentioned in my other posts, those who were defined as gifted in my school included many maladjusted types - probably because they were gifted! They were usually cutting up in the back or bored and therefor finding ways to make trouble. And for me personally, it backfired when my teacher tried to encourage me to help others. I got a rap as a "teacher's pet" and I was basically bullied for my entire 6th grade year. I think the idea of student mentorship is nice and all - but that assumes that kids have stronger and weaker areas...what do you do with a kid who is at the top in EVERYTHING (classroom-wise I mean)? Where do they get the experience of being "mentored" by others?

That said, I do think it is helpful to instill in gifted children an idea that they should use their gifts for the greater good - it will help give them some purpose and maybe help channel all that energy. I think someone else mentioned that many gifted individuals never find their "place" in life, and I totally agree with this - as one of the lost myself. I think if I'd had someone helping me to channel my gifts, rather than just asking me to perform like a pet pony and be "teacher's helper" - and if I'd been asked what *I* wanted to use my talents for - I might be better off today. Instead I have to ask those questions as an adult! Many gifted people find themselves betwixt and between because they look at things so differently than others do or because their interests are so wide ranging (they often make connections between vastly different subject areas).

Anyway, don't know if that's helpful or not....but all of this is very complicated I think and not something that is easy to solve in one BB posting LOL
peace,
robyn
post #142 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Also many gifted kids, like many kids in general, enjoy helping others. But oh my is what you said here: "A child who is particularly gifted in math, for instance, will enjoy helping others" is a HUGE issue for me as a Formery Gifted Child(tm). No, I did not want to help others all the time. The idea that the gifted child should be used as a helper is just - blah.
I despised this way of thinking. I hated helping others because I didn't understand how they learned and when they didn't pick up on things the same way I did (I can look at the question and automatically know the answer is 32 - why can't they?) I would get frustrated and we'd both end up upset. I hate teaching others because of the bad experiences I had as a kid.
post #143 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasciate View Post
I despised this way of thinking. I hated helping others because I didn't understand how they learned and when they didn't pick up on things the same way I did (I can look at the question and automatically know the answer is 32 - why can't they?) I would get frustrated and we'd both end up upset. I hate teaching others because of the bad experiences I had as a kid.
This is a good point. And can be a HUGE issue. Remember- gifted children often learn DIFFERENTLY than others. Their brains make jumps that most brains don't make. Connections are obvious to them that others won't make for years to come.

Because of this, gifted children can be dreadful teachers

-Angela
post #144 of 204
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
This is a good point. And can be a HUGE issue. Remember- gifted children often learn DIFFERENTLY than others. Their brains make jumps that most brains don't make. Connections are obvious to them that others won't make for years to come.

Because of this, gifted children can be dreadful teachers

-Angela
: I remember being told during teacher training that it's the subjects that I struggled the most with that I would be best at teaching. If you have to painstakingly go over each step for yourself it's easier to show others. Also, you can empathise with others who may be struggling. Must mean I'm a great math teacher
post #145 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boot View Post
To GuildJenn - You sound a little offended. Please don't be. I was only speaking to my own experience of a non streamed class. As I said, I don't have any experience with children who are 'highly gifted' or whatever we call it. I think we all know by now which kids they are. Since you ask, I have been teaching for about 4 years so I am still relatively inexperienced. And I agree, a child shouldn't be used as a teachers assistant. I only meant that many children are eager to help and actually ask whether they can and I see benefits in allowing them to. This seems to be getting a little off topic so I'll stop here. Very interesting discussion. I've learned loads.
No, I wasn't offended, just frustrated in retrospect - I still have a lot of baggage left from my pre-high-school experience at school, and as my son is learning asynchronously it feels very fresh right now. I personally was very socially damaged by being used to teach the other kids in particular so that's a hot spot for me. So was being pushed to be equal in every subject. There was a decision that I couldn't continue in reading, language and music until I had demonstrated mastery of science (I love that, 'cause it was that general) at the same level - grade 9 was the threshhold at which they would release me. In grade 5. So I did, so I could get to the library to study what really interested me, and it did not serve me well at all because I just ended up seeing chemistry and biology and physics as the "price of admission" to the stuff I wanted to learn at the time.

Teacher need to think about the messages they give to students when they try to "shore them up" if they are already at or above grade level any way. That it is not okay to learn asynchronously is really the base message there, that you are not "really smart" if you are at grade level in say, social studies, while being ahead in math. It's all very messed up.

The only school experience I really enjoyed was at a high school for gifted kids (1% of entrants) with educators who specialized in gifted education. There was a real respect for kids' obsessions.
post #146 of 204
Thank you cdlover!
post #147 of 204
Thank you cdlover! I agree!
post #148 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
This is a good point. And can be a HUGE issue. Remember- gifted children often learn DIFFERENTLY than others. Their brains make jumps that most brains don't make. Connections are obvious to them that others won't make for years to come.

Because of this, gifted children can be dreadful teachers

-Angela
This reminds me of something that happened back when I was a univeristy TA. The subject I worked in was handmade paper. We had been working with making books by folding the paper (knid of like origami.) One particular some what complex book that had little pockets on each page could be made in several sizes and shapes as well as any number of pages. One of the things I did for the professor was write and illustrate many of our instructional handouts.

For this particular handout I included an algebra formula, so that if one input the number of pages and the finished dimensions one wanted it would give you the size of the sheet of paper you should start with. When I attempted to explain it to the proffesor and students they just kept staring at me like I had 3 heads.

Then sometimes the teachers might not be terribly happy with the results of students helping each other out. In junior high I was in a study skills class for dyslexics, one of the other students was reading Animal Farm. I brought up that with her that the book is really about the Russian Revolution, and communisum (I'm old enough that we are talking coldwar era, so any mention of Marx was somewhat contraversial.) The special ed teachers were not pleased, that I had brought thinking about complex things into what they veiwed as a cute book about animals. They decided that I did not need their services anymore after that (ok it wasn't the first thing that made them want to get rid of me, but it was the deciding moment.)
post #149 of 204
I was in "gifted" classes in school, and I am Canadian. The classes were not called "gifted", though. I think the terms were more like "advanced," "honours," etc.

I hate the term "gifted" used this way -- being Christian, I recognize that we are ALL given "gifts". Some people are "gifted" academically. I hope that the label does not hurt non-"gifted" (ugh) children's feelings.

Quote:
I do think it is helpful to instill in gifted children an idea that they should use their gifts for the greater good - it will help give them some purpose and maybe help channel all that energy
I totally agree. I feel that teaching a child what is RIGHT is more important than catering to their individual needs. Not exclusively, but yes, more important.
post #150 of 204
By the way, the special school program I attended was and still is called AcTal, which is short for 'academically talented'. It starts in grade 5 (testing for it is done starting in grade 2 and 3) and can continue all the way through high school if you so choose, but only one elementary school and one high school on each side of the city offer it. I had to take city buses 45 minutes each way because of where I lived in relation to the school that the program was at. They put you in a whole separate class with other kids also deemed academically talented. I never thought it was any great shakes, but it's worlds better than the stuff the rest of you are describing.

And the word gifted is never used, not even once.
post #151 of 204
That is so funny that someone brought this up! I have never heard of a gifted child much except for once on TV and these message boards. I have always wanted to say something but am too scared of all the drama, which obviously this brings. I think there are such things as gifted children, but it seems like on here, everyone thinks their child is 'gifted'. It is really quite aggrivating. Of course everyone is going to think their own children are amazing, the smartest around, but c'mon. How can so many of us have gifted children?
post #152 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhDang View Post
That I think there are such things as gifted children, but it seems like on here, everyone thinks their child is 'gifted'. It is really quite aggrivating. Of course everyone is going to think their own children are amazing, the smartest around, but c'mon. How can so many of us have gifted children?
I don't know about here -- MDC, I'm assuming you mean -- but I have seen in our local schools that gifted is a label that carries prestige or some positive reflection on the child and/or the parents, so it can be applied to children for whom it does not truly apply. I do believe that this is b/c the requirements for such a label are not very stringent and do not follow standard psychological guidelines.

In a strict psychological sense, gifted is the 98th percentile and up on an IQ test. There certainly is controversy around this and there are experts in the psychological field (such as Howard Garnder) who define gifted much differently and encompassing things such as emotional intelligence, creativity, etc.

As far as internet communities are concerned, I try to grant people to benefit of the doubt. If they tell me their children are gifted, I'll assume that they are not braggarts, that the children are actually gifted and that the parent is truly seeing something in his/her child that requires different parenting/schooling/whatever it may be and trying to meet that need. Whatever other special need a parent posts about, I afford the same courtesy and don't assume it is a fabrication on the part of the parent.

I, personally, visit the gifted forum here b/c my older dd does fall into the traditional standard "98th percentile and up on an IQ test" category (she was tested due to learning differences) and we have run into difficulties in school and parenting that are significant enough to require some consideration on my behalf as to what we need to do for her.
post #153 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhDang View Post
That is so funny that someone brought this up! I have never heard of a gifted child much except for once on TV and these message boards. I have always wanted to say something but am too scared of all the drama, which obviously this brings. I think there are such things as gifted children, but it seems like on here, everyone thinks their child is 'gifted'. It is really quite aggrivating. Of course everyone is going to think their own children are amazing, the smartest around, but c'mon. How can so many of us have gifted children?
Well, there's something over 24,000 members of mothering.com. Assuming 1 child per member average, x 2% (so 98th percentile) - that's 480 kids who might be intellectually gifted. Even if 20 people responded to this thread saying that their kid is gifted, that's a small portion of the total likely number.

Also, people who relate positively to the term "gifted" will tend to respond to these threads, so it gives the impression that "everyone thinks their kid is gifted." That said, yeah, there does seem to be some cache for some people in the term. For others it's a simple diagnostic criteria which helps explain their kid and their kid's needs.
post #154 of 204
RE: children helping other children with content. I think this is an extension of the notion that kids learn by teaching. Absolutely true when they've achieved near mastery or basic mastery, and teaching/helping another student reinforces the lesson for them. This can benefit both students.

Using children who are well advanced as unpaid labour is another matter entirely, and has a variety of negative implications as other posters have described. Gifted children do not have a greater debt of service than any other child.
post #155 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkTrance View Post
I was in "gifted" classes in school, and I am Canadian. The classes were not called "gifted", though. I think the terms were more like "advanced," "honours," etc.

I hate the term "gifted" used this way -- being Christian, I recognize that we are ALL given "gifts". Some people are "gifted" academically. I hope that the label does not hurt non-"gifted" (ugh) children's feelings.

.

Me too. We are Canadian, grew up in Alberta, and my sister and I were both in "Challenge" classes 2 mornings a week for children who scored high on a round of IQ tests.

I remember that of my two best friends, one passed the tests and enrolled in the Challenge program with me, one didn't make it. That pretty much ended our friendship, not sure exactly why, but I've always regretted it. (We were 8-9 when we were tested.)

The classes were valuable, but I remember my parents not wanting to be part of the community of parents of children in these classes. My dad told me once that he felt they only saw their own children's needs and not the needs of others in the school. He had a strong opposition to what he saw as elitism.

I have friends now who have children in a charter school for gifted children, and they are not like that, I have to say.

My daughter is very bright, though I have never been interested in exploring whether she fits a "gifted" label. She is involved in programs where she tutors younger kids. She loves it. She'd skip her regular classes in a heartbeat and just help and teach others all day if she had that option. Her only wish is that they'd let her teach children who really needed her help more...
post #156 of 204
I was one of those 98% and above kids, labeled "Gifted," working several grades above level, etc. As an adult I wish I hadn't been labeled. The gifted program hurt me a lot more than it helped me overall and as an adult I had to unlearn the lessons I'd absorbed. DS's teacher has been pushing to have his IQ tested. We won't permit it.
post #157 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
Well, there's something over 24,000 members of mothering.com. Assuming 1 child per member average, x 2% (so 98th percentile) - that's 480 kids who might be intellectually gifted. Even if 20 people responded to this thread saying that their kid is gifted, that's a small portion of the total likely number.
And that's just the pure numbers without considering some sociological factors that might come into play.

For example, a child's IQ correlates strongly with his/her parents' IQs (and even his/her grandparents' IQs). Some AP parenting practices are correlated with higher educational levels. ...yadda yadda yadda... Is Mothering's audience already skewing towards the right-hand side of the bell curve?

Plus, who is more likely have the luxury of computers, internet access, time, and the desire to read and write online? Again, I'd theorize that it's already skewed "above average" because you're probably more likely to find people with IQs of 125 here than people with IQs of 75.
post #158 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
I was one of those 98% and above kids, labeled "Gifted," working several grades above level, etc. As an adult I wish I hadn't been labeled. The gifted program hurt me a lot more than it helped me overall and as an adult I had to unlearn the lessons I'd absorbed. DS's teacher has been pushing to have his IQ tested. We won't permit it.
May I ask what about the programming was detremental to you? It is always hard to know the outcomes of our actions until much later, but thus far I think that the label and programming has been beneficial for my dd in terms of her self-image and enjoyment of learning.

Prior to testing, she was labeled lazy and slow, which she internalized and felt that she was stupid. With a gifted label, those same characteristics (depth rather than speed, for instance) are given positive terms. Not that this is right or she should need a gifted label to be positively viewed by her school, but it has been the case none the less. In terms of TAG programming, it is more geared toward critical thinking and, while not perfect by any means, has kept dd a bit more interested in learning than when she was stuck doing endless flashcards, for example, b/c that's what the classroom teacher thought all kids needed to learn.
post #159 of 204
Just wanted to put in that I responded to this thread because *I* was labelled gifted in grade school - not because my children are. They are too young to know for certain and while they may turn out to be, I try not to focus on it or even really look for it (unlike my mom - grrr). My H likes to spout on about "regression to the mean" meaning that even 2 gifted parents may not necessarily have a gifted child. It's a genetic cr*pshoot so why worry about it?

For me, being gifted does not ensure my child's happiness or success in life. And it can come with some big challenges....so I'm not so focused on whether or not they are. But they aren't school age yet. So we'll see then.

hth
peace,
robyn
post #160 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhDang View Post
That is so funny that someone brought this up! I have never heard of a gifted child much except for once on TV and these message boards. I have always wanted to say something but am too scared of all the drama, which obviously this brings. I think there are such things as gifted children, but it seems like on here, everyone thinks their child is 'gifted'. It is really quite aggrivating. Of course everyone is going to think their own children are amazing, the smartest around, but c'mon. How can so many of us have gifted children?
I wanted to address this and found that Psyche had already said most of what I planned to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyche View Post
And that's just the pure numbers without considering some sociological factors that might come into play.

For example, a child's IQ correlates strongly with his/her parents' IQs (and even his/her grandparents' IQs). Some AP parenting practices are correlated with higher educational levels. ...yadda yadda yadda... Is Mothering's audience already skewing towards the right-hand side of the bell curve?

Plus, who is more likely have the luxury of computers, internet access, time, and the desire to read and write online? Again, I'd theorize that it's already skewed "above average" because you're probably more likely to find people with IQs of 125 here than people with IQs of 75.
I did want to add that simply from observation MDC kiddos seem to be somewhat skewed upwards. There was recently a thread over in toddler asking when children "normally" knew there colors. The average amongst MDC kiddos was much earlier than what I've seen elsewhere.
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