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'gifted' children an American trend? - Page 5

post #81 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatermom View Post
:

Meeting the needs of all children begins with understanding that children have different needs. We're really a long, long way from truly understanding this, and the "fairness" aspect really impedes our progress. What's fair is not that everyone get the same, but that each person get what s/he needs to develop fully. Our current system isn't set up to handle that, and the additional programs we set up are really just bandaids.


My son is way ahead intellectually, quite behind social/emotionally, has sensory issues and is very strong-willed and independently minded(read: "behaviour"). His needs are very diverse, and I spend a lot of time discussing them with the school. It's very difficult for a large system based on a prescribed notion of normal, acceptable etc to meet the varying needs of individual kids.
post #82 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post

It starts with- "why the heck do the SMART kids need anything extra anyway?"

:

Start a conversation with the first, instead of the second (and preferably leave the second out all together...) and you'll get a much different reception.
Well that's a bit of a misnomer. I question whether the catch all term of gifted is useful to categorize this huge group of people who seem to me to be vastly different. I also think the special education programs implemented for gifted kids should be accessible to the general population... people were mentioning how crappy standardized testing is for 'gifted' kids. I think it's crap for everyone. Let's not remove context here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
So, you're extrapolating from your personal experience and drawing conclusions you would assert are generalizable? .
Uh... I mentioned my own personal experience on page 4? I think? Other people have mentioned their personal experiences and have not been challenged b/c they are agreeing with the majority here. It's a bit... inconsistent.

I hardly think it's outrageous to critique this value laden label that gets imposed on children. I think it probably has positive benefits, but it also has negative impacts, and tweaking it and removing the label chasing element would be good for all kids and would clarify the issue. That's really it.
post #83 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well that's a bit of a misnomer. I question whether the catch all term of gifted is useful to categorize this huge group of people who seem to me to be vastly different. I also think the special education programs implemented for gifted kids should be accessible to the general population... people were mentioning how crappy standardized testing is for 'gifted' kids. I think it's crap for everyone. Let's not remove context here.
Okay- take a step back for a minute and look at it from the perspective of those of us more educated in the field for a minute. You come in, ASSUMING that you understand how gifted kids are labeled, and ASSUMING that that process is a simple one. You don't even understand the basics of how a "gifted" child is LABELED gifted yet you want to argue about how useful it is to categorize people that way.

Okay- gifted children are identified as NEEDING those programs. Will you argue to open up the opportunities available to special ed. kids to all kids too? I sure would rather my kid be in a class of 5 and allowed to be taught at their own pace But I don't hear you arguing for that.

Honestly I don't see anyone complaining about how crappy standardized testing is for gifted kids. Usually gifted kids do fine with the testing. What's crappy is limiting their education to passing those tests. Big difference.

-Angela
post #84 of 204
Okay that's fine and I acknowledged that I was mistaken about testing... that I assumed it was less complex than it seems it is.

But that doesnt change my commentary about the value laden label and the social context of 'giftedness.' Which is really my interest in this discussion.
post #85 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
I hardly think it's outrageous to critique this value laden label that gets imposed on children. I think it probably has positive benefits, but it also has negative impacts, and tweaking it and removing the label chasing element would be good for all kids and would clarify the issue. That's really it.
I don't know if it's possible to remove all label chasing I've seen parents chase LD labels too... say nothing of ADD and ADHD labels. Sure, not to the extent that some parents want a gifted label, but I think that is a completely different issue than serving the needs of the children.

-Angela
post #86 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Okay that's fine and I acknowledged that I was mistaken about testing... that I assumed it was less complex than it seems it is.

But that doesnt change my commentary about the value laden label and the social context of 'giftedness.' Which is really my interest in this discussion.
I'm not sure what social context you really mean. I think you have high achieving and parent pushing all mixed up with gifted ed. Impossible to have a conversation on gifted ed with those mixed in. First you have to start from a clear understanding of WHAT is gifted and how to serve them.

-Angela
post #87 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I don't know if it's possible to remove all label chasing I've seen parents chase LD labels too... say nothing of ADD and ADHD labels. Sure, not to the extent that some parents want a gifted label, but I think that is a completely different issue than serving the needs of the children.
ADHD is another thread... probably a contemptuous one. I saw a poster once that said "Everyone has ADHD but the computers."

See, I do NOT think the label chasing element is a completely different issue than serving the needs of 'gifted' children. I think the two things are very interrelated.
post #88 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I'm not sure what social context you really mean. I think you have high achieving and parent pushing all mixed up with gifted ed.
I think a *lot* of people have these things mixed up. And I think that reality has a lot to do with the title and point of this thread, actually.

Quote:
Impossible to have a conversation on gifted ed with those mixed in.
Which is exactly my point. That the value laden label and the status-y label chasing element that goes along with it has really muddied the issue, and made the whole 'gifted' label a bit laughable. I think the point of the OP, that there does seem to be a trend, is really relevant here.
post #89 of 204
I have learned something new today (not saying this in a snarky way at all). I had assumed as I read posts that 'gifted' meant the uber-bright, working at several grade levels above their 'age' in several topics (not just math bright, language etc.)

However, as Angela (and some else too) has continuously pointed out - that gifted is a different learning style - perhaps working at several levels ahead, perhaps not, not necessarily an easy learner, perhaps well adjusted to a 'standard' classroom, or perhaps not at all situated to learn in a standard classroom. It is a learning style - and from what I am reading, not at all an easy ride for the parents, trying to help their kiddo.

What is the solution, other than homeschooling the kiddos in particular on the peripheral. I will say that the Cdn system (or at least the Toronto system) is failing the learning disabled - hopefully the proper wording (my only knowledge is from the info from a mom of a child with autism). How will our education systems meet the needs ... especially as the US economy is struggling so much (recession). We have overcrowded classrooms, too few teachers, not enough school space blah blah. What will we do to meet the needs of the kiddos.

OK - off to make cookies - probably should edit this a bit. But honestly - I have learned something.
post #90 of 204
To take this in a bit of a different direction: Our current education system (similar to most education systems in use now) is based on the basic idea of putting all kids of an age in a classroom and teaching them the same thing in the same way. Agreed?

As long as this is the basic system, then kids who learn faster or slower or differently than the "average" child of that age are going to need something different.

Ideal, Angela controls the world, education system? Toss the age segregation and whole group learning. What would it take to move the mainstream education system there? Something catastrophic. It's not happening any time soon.

The good thing is that there are more and more options. More special schools. More different programs. More services for kids in the typical programs. Those all help. Those are all NEEDED. But no, they don't solve the basic problem.

Would *I* prefer that the basic problem be solved? Absolutely. Do I have any delusions of it happening any time soon? Heck no.

In the meantime, we have to try to meet the needs of all the kids as best as possible.

-Angela
post #91 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
I think a *lot* of people have these things mixed up. And I think that reality has a lot to do with the title and point of this thread, actually.



Which is exactly my point. That the value laden label and the status-y label chasing element that goes along with it has really muddied the issue, and made the whole 'gifted' label a bit laughable. I think the point of the OP, that there does seem to be a trend, is really relevant here.
Okay- then let me say this- those who work in gifted ed, those who (in most cases) do the identifying, those who research and teach in the field, and many of the moms arguing on the pro-gifted-ed side here- are QUITE aware of exactly what is what. We are not mixed up.

And when someone comes in all mixed up, and argues that there should be no gifted ed, without even knowing (or caring to look up ) what gifted is or how it's identified, things get frustrating at least.

Yes, high achieving kids, hot housing parents, etc all are things that people working in gifted ed deal with all the time. We're aware of them. We're aware of the bias of the label.

Please be aware that these kids still are an identifiable group with identifiable learning needs that deserve to be met even if you don't understand them.

that's all.

-Angela
post #92 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnD View Post

What is the solution, other than homeschooling the kiddos in particular on the peripheral. I will say that the Cdn system (or at least the Toronto system) is failing the learning disabled - hopefully the proper wording (my only knowledge is from the info from a mom of a child with autism). How will our education systems meet the needs ... especially as the US economy is struggling so much (recession). We have overcrowded classrooms, too few teachers, not enough school space blah blah. What will we do to meet the needs of the kiddos.
That is the million dollar question.

In the US (or at least my area), gifted programs are the responsibility of the Special Education department -- the same department responsible for teaching students with learning disabilities. It seems Special Ed has quite the goal -- meet the needs of all children who fall outside "average". Money and staffing is severely limited, as you know, and in my experience, when the budget is cut, it's the gifted program that's the first to go.
post #93 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiamond View Post
That is the million dollar question.

In the US (or at least my area), gifted programs are the responsibility of the Special Education department -- the same department responsible for teaching students with learning disabilities. It seems Special Ed has quite the goal -- meet the needs of all children who fall outside "average". Money and staffing is severely limited, as you know, and in my experience, when the budget is cut, it's the gifted program that's the first to go.
And I just wish that gifted were a protected group like special ed. I wish they were fully included under the special ed. umbrella. THAT would be a huge step in the right direction IMO.

FWIW, HERE they are not in special ed. at all. :

-Angela
post #94 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiamond View Post
That is the million dollar question.

In the US (or at least my area), gifted programs are the responsibility of the Special Education department -- the same department responsible for teaching students with learning disabilities. It seems Special Ed has quite the goal -- meet the needs of all children who fall outside "average". Money and staffing is severely limited, as you know, and in my experience, when the budget is cut, it's the gifted program that's the first to go.
Exactly. The misconception is that "smart" children can fend for themselves. Left to their own devices, this might be true. Forced to follow someone else's agenda, often not.
post #95 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage_SS View Post
Hmm very interesting. I've never even heard of a class for the gifted or talented kids in any of my schools here in BC. There are programs for those kids, they're called Honors Programs, the International Baccalaureate Program, but never a class they'd attend within their regular schedule.

There were classes for kids with behavioural problems, social problems.. etc..
and there were classes for ESL.
Keep in mind though, in BC (and most of the country) we have many ways of challenging students. Many kids who would be labeled 'gifted' at a young age are placed in French Immersion, and many kids who are in regular classes will take Late Immersion in order to offer more of a challenge when it's found they are too bored with the workload and curriculum of the regular English classroom.

Also, it's my understanding that we have a lot more 'Alternative' schools, which families of kids who think outside the box will gravitate towards. And then there's the fact that we allow cross-boundary transfers to allow children to attend schools that specialize in areas they have an interest in and aptitude for. As far as I know, going to a school outside your catchment area is virtually unheard of in the States.

All of those aspects combined make having specialized programs within each school somewhat redundant (though not entirely, especially in the elementary grades, where the Challenge Program starts, which often leads into the Baccalaureate program)
post #96 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydiamond View Post
Success in life has more to do with perseverance and hard work than it does intellect. Intellect can help, but it's not everything. I've mentioned this before, but I'm in the middle of applying to medical school and I know quite a few people who are doctors (many of whom I took undergraduate classes with years ago). I always think of this one particular guy -- very brilliant and an extremely high IQ. Figured he was a shoe-in. . and while he did get accepted, he had a lot of trouble putting in the work med school required. Another girl, friends with this guy, actually, has a very average IQ. Struggled a lot in college, but worked very hard to get good grades. Got accepted to med school also, and actually did better than her friend, because she was willing to put the time and effort into it. I think a lot of people would be surprised to find out that many in our "esteemed" professions are regular, ordinary folk who just had the drive and dedication to make their dreams come true. "Giftedness" is not a requirement in the least.
Personally I don't think the choice should be smart or hardworking. I'd like my physician to be both. I certainly recognize there are people who make it through medical school who aren't particularly bright, that's nice for them but it isn't what I'm looking for in a doctor. And, that's one reason I support gifted programs. I believe ALL children deserve to learn something new in school every single day. That isn't something kids should lose on because they are smarter. Every kid deserves to be challenged and we need to be prepared to find ways to offer that to learners who aren't in the middle of the pack.
post #97 of 204
The gifted or honors programs I was in as a kid were not based on IQ, they were based on kids who could and desired to learn at a quicker pace. Honestly to me it is no different than giving special attention/classes to those who need to learn at a slower pace.

Whether it is mostly an American thing, I don't know, but I do agree the way public schools are set up here it is needed. Otherwise, the class tends to be taught to the middle, with the slower folks falling further and further behind and the faster folks bored to tears and wasting their time. Splitting folks up, everyone still learns the minimum needed for the test or whatever, but you learn at your own pace and you fill the program so everyone is challenged much more fully than if they are all thrown in the same class.

And some people see it as an elite thing, but for me anyway it never was. I just could pick some things up quicker and wanted to be able to learn more, not keep going over and over and over the same things. Some repetition is valuable, but making someone who loves learning hate school is not IMO. And obviously the system doesn't work perfectly, but for me anyway it helped a lot.
post #98 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well that's a bit of a misnomer. I question whether the catch all term of gifted is useful to categorize this huge group of people who seem to me to be vastly different. I also think the special education programs implemented for gifted kids should be accessible to the general population... people were mentioning how crappy standardized testing is for 'gifted' kids. I think it's crap for everyone. Let's not remove context here.

Absa-freaking-lutely agree. I actually spend a fair bit of time active at DD's school advocating for shifts in the system to align content and style to kids' real needs and arguing against the BS of standardized testing and the BS interpretations I see educators making.

Uh... I mentioned my own personal experience on page 4? I think? Other people have mentioned their personal experiences and have not been challenged b/c they are agreeing with the majority here. It's a bit... inconsistent.

My winkie smilie wasn't obnoxious - I've been arguing personal as an example, too. Your experience is not representative - few jurisdictions offer gifted magnet. Those that do probably accept a spectrum of kids ranging from high achievement oriented kids with 90 percentile IQ scores to the top 2%. The literature indicates that the needs of these two populations can be significantly different. And of course there's huge variation among people with identical IQ scores.

I hardly think it's outrageous to critique this value laden label that gets imposed on children. I think it probably has positive benefits, but it also has negative impacts, and tweaking it and removing the label chasing element would be good for all kids and would clarify the issue. That's really it.
I was educated in an urban centre, in a very well-to-do neighbourhood, while living in the suburbs. The differences in orientation between parent groups was striking. There was no labeling of gifted in my neighbourhood school, and no services. That would not have been a better setting for me.

I would have pulled my teeth out rather than seek a label for DD for many of the reasons you cite. Without a name (label), you get nothing from the current system IME. Same with my DS - they were chasing ADHD for a couple of months because that would have gotten extra support for him. We got the gifted label, and he's still getting nothing.

I would LOVE to have a shift in the educational system that benefited all children, that they could all feel successful, believe in themselves, and have an opportunity to experience and follow passion. The system I see fails miserably for a whole lot of kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Okay that's fine and I acknowledged that I was mistaken about testing... that I assumed it was less complex than it seems it is.

But that doesnt change my commentary about the value laden label and the social context of 'giftedness.' Which is really my interest in this discussion.
DD was recently invited to the one thing the school does for gifted kids - a short-term pull out program, probably once every 2 years . There was a discussion among some of the parents about hiding where they were going. This is the social context for me of "giftedness." In large part due to the very issues you're describing - the assumptions about what gifted means to some people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
ADHD is another thread... probably a contemptuous one. I saw a poster once that said "Everyone has ADHD but the computers."

See, I do NOT think the label chasing element is a completely different issue than serving the needs of 'gifted' children. I think the two things are very interrelated.
I've thought a lot about this, personally and professionally. I can't figure out why there's been this explosion of "special needs" of various forms across the population. Is it our toxic environment and bad diet? Is it the increased speed of our lifestyle, and increased expectations for developing minds to take on increasingly complex concepts and sit longer? Is it a hyper-focus on our children to avoid a scary global context (blah blah blah). Are we narrowing our definition of "normal"? Is a label a social perk for some people? Is any kind of "special" better than "normal" for some? Is it the reality of inclusion?

Are kids actually different today than they were 20 years ago, or are the adults around them preoccupied with defining and labeling? If so, what's in it for them?
post #99 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
And I just wish that gifted were a protected group like special ed. I wish they were fully included under the special ed. umbrella. THAT would be a huge step in the right direction IMO.

FWIW, HERE they are not in special ed. at all. :

-Angela

-Angela
Here, gifted is special ed. Interestingly, there are 20% of the total number identified as gifted last year as 5 years prior. Things that make you go hmmmm.
post #100 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Yola View Post
Keep in mind though, in BC (and most of the country) we have many ways of challenging students. Many kids who would be labeled 'gifted' at a young age are placed in French Immersion, and many kids who are in regular classes will take Late Immersion in order to offer more of a challenge when it's found they are too bored with the workload and curriculum of the regular English classroom.

Also, it's my understanding that we have a lot more 'Alternative' schools, which families of kids who think outside the box will gravitate towards. And then there's the fact that we allow cross-boundary transfers to allow children to attend schools that specialize in areas they have an interest in and aptitude for. As far as I know, going to a school outside your catchment area is virtually unheard of in the States.

All of those aspects combined make having specialized programs within each school somewhat redundant (though not entirely, especially in the elementary grades, where the Challenge Program starts, which often leads into the Baccalaureate program)
This is the route we've taken, and it is not sufficiently challenging for either child. DD did FI kindergarten, then fine arts school. I am thankful that she's had these opportunities, but they have not been the panacea we had hoped. When you're capable of doing work years ahead of what's being presented, it's great that you spend 30% less time doing the academics, but it doesn't meet your need for engagement. ATM, this seems to be the best available.
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