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Gifted and talented . “Mediocrity is not mandatory” Simon Tregonning / Alan Coop. What is giftedness?. Giftedness is involuntary - a natural gift. It gives no cause for claims of elitism.

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Gifted and talented

Gifted and talented

“Mediocrity is not mandatory”

Simon Tregonning / Alan Coop


What is giftedness

What is giftedness?

  • Giftedness is involuntary - a natural gift. It gives no cause for claims of elitism.

  • Out of every hundred children, approximately five can be classified as "gifted", yet only a small proportion may be identified as such in school.

  • Some may be very lonely because their interests do not match those of their peers.

  • They may have difficulties at school because of their unconventional behaviour and questioning attitude.

  • They can become distressed through frustration and boredom, or through imbalance between their intellectual and emotional development.

  • They may deny their intelligence and underachieve so as to become more acceptable to their peers.

  • They may become troublemakers.

    We need to recognise and cater for gifted children to ensure this does not happen.


Who are the gifted and talented

Who are the gifted and talented?

  • There has been a trend away from defining the gifted and talented in terms of a single category (eg high IQ) towards a multi category approach which acknowledges a diverse range of special abilities

  • Multicultural values, which reflect a range of attitudes to abilities and qualities, form an important component of any concept of giftedness and talent. Identification procedures and programme content should d equally incorporate multicultural perspectives.

  • Social, emotional and motivational factors are acknowledged as important aspects of giftedness and talent

  • Behavioural characteristics-such as advanced reading or language skills, early abstract thinking and exceptional levels of knowledge, curiosity and motivation-are helpful in identifying gifted and talented students

  • It is important to recognise potential as well as demonstrated performance. Educators should offer rich and challenging experiences to help realise potential.


Renzulli s concept of giftedness

Renzulli’s concept of giftedness

  • THE HORSE VIRTUAL


The following are some signs of giftedness

The following are some signs of giftedness : 

  • An early interest in surroundings

  • Super-sensitivity to surroundings

  • Strong curiosity and powers of observation

  • An extensive vocabulary

  • An exceptional memory

  • May talk early and fluently

  • The ability to read early - often self-taught

  • Can choose to concentrate for long periods

  • The propensity to ask shrewd/unusual questions

  • Tthe ability to grasp ideas quickly

  • A "quirky" sense of humour


New zealand perspectives

New Zealand Perspectives

  • New Zealand is a multicultural society with a wide range of ethnic groups.

  • The concept of giftedness and talent that belongs to a particular cultural group is shaped by its beliefs, values, attitudes, and customs.

  • The concept varies from culture to culture. It also varies over time.

  • Bevan-Brown (1996) suggests that concepts of special abilities for Māori should be viewed as holistic in nature, reflecting Māori values, customs, and beliefs.

  • Māori have their own interpretations, which should be understood in their relationship to Māori culture: they tend to expect these abilities and qualities to be used in the service of others.


Gifted and talented

How does the New Zealand Curriculum encourage the Gifted and Talented? What are your experiences?


Gifted and talented

The disadvantaged or neglected students in our schools are the bright ones?


Schools provision for gifted talented students

Schools’ Provision for Gifted & Talented Students

  • ERO evaluated the provision for gifted and talented students in 315 schools reviewed in terms 3 & 4 of 2007.

  • 261 were primary and 54 were secondary.

  • No breakdown is given for school level.

  • Report can be found at:

  • http://www.ero.govt.nz/National-Reports/Schools-Provision-for-Gifted-and-Talented-Students-June-2008


Gifted and talented

Q1. How well does the school leadership support the achievement of gifted and talented students?


Gifted and talented

Q2. How inclusive and appropriate are the school’s processes for defining and identifying giftedness and talent?


Gifted and talented

Q3. How effective is the school’s provision for gifted and talented students?


Gifted and talented

Q4. How well does the school review the effectiveness of their provision for gifted & talented students?


Gifted and talented

Q5. To what extent do gifted and talented programmes promote positive outcomes for gifted and talented students?


Gifted and talented

  • The Question:

  • The disadvantaged or neglected students in our schools are the bright ones?

  • ERO’s conclusions:

  • School leaders are enthusiastic about supporting achievement of gifted and talented students in just over half of the schools surveyed.

  • Almost half had identification processes in place and had appropriate programs running.

  • Nearly half the schools were promoting positive outcomes for gifted and talented.

  • BUT:


Gifted and talented

  • ERO’s recommendations:

  • for teachers:

  • Communicate, consult and collaborate with parents, whanau and the school.

  • Provide challenging differentiated programs for gifted and talented in the regular classroom.

  • Provide appropriate feedback so students can achieve and make progress with their gifts or talents.

  • Develop an understanding that every teacher has a responsibility to teach the gifted and talented.

  • Develop awareness of the social and emotional characteristics of the gifted and talented, and promote their holistic well-being.

  • Other recommendations for school leaders and the Ministry of Education are in their report.


What can we do as teachers

What can we do as teachers?

  • In reality keep on doing what we should be doing for all our students.

  • Two approaches that are often used are enrichment and acceleration. The enrichment is giving the students the chance to deal with material in greater depth and thus extend him/her in order to maximise their potential. Sometimes though the teachers do not have the time and some studies have found that gifted students received differentiated material only about 16% of the time.(westberg et al in Renzulli 2002 pg 8)

  • Accelerating is often used and allows the child to skip a class or year and just work at a higher level. This is probably less widely used here in New Zealand as moving the children out of their own age group could cause them to have emotional issues and may cause them to become socially isolated. Yes this may work sometimes, and often well, but what is failed to be recognised is that the students aren’t necessarily able to handle more of the same work at an earlier age, as they may be learning in totally different ways from other children i.e. they are qualitatively different learners responding to information in more original ways.


The reach responding to exceptionally able children model for teaching gifted learners

The REACH (Responding to exceptionally able Children) model for teaching gifted learners

  • The need to generate a high level of interest in learning

  • The need to develop the “tools of thought”

  • The need to develop intellectual and creative potential

  • The need to foster emotional, social and ethical development


Grouping

Grouping

Can be achieved in a variety of ways:

  • Activity afternoons

  • Cross-grouping

  • Team teaching

  • Contract learning

  • Holiday and after school courses

  • Using teacher networks

  • Talent pooling

  • Pull out programmes


Grouping ii

Grouping(ii)

  • But grouping by itself not enough and the programmes must also be differentiated to match the children’s real needs ie IEPs

  • Taught independent learning skills

  • Regular one on one time with teacher

  • Access to appropriate advanced level resources

  • Have child write clearly written objectives, timeframes and evaluation criteria

  • Keep parents informed and involved

  • Negotiate funding support from school budgets


Common fears about grouping gifted children

Common fears about grouping gifted children

  • Elitist

  • Label children

  • Isolate them from their peers

  • Deprive the class of role models

  • That all needs should be met anyway in the regular classroom

  • Not necessarily backed up by research


What parents regularly ask of the schools

What parents regularly ask of the schools

That they meet the needs of all gifted children through

  • Daily challenge in areas of strength (>50%)

  • Consistent remediation in areas of weakness (<25%)

  • Regular attention to socialization/affective issues (25%)

  • Large blocks of time with intellectual/academic peers

  • Mixed ability peer time for open-ended, higher level activities only

  • Sessions on perfectionism, social skills instruction (fending off the intolerant)

  • Fast-paced acquisition of new content & skills

  • Compacting of regular curriculum to make room

  • Subject acceleration/ grade telescoping

  • Opportunities for competition, benchmarks of progress

    (Working in Partnership With the Schools for Your Child: Nine Things to “Round Out” the School Programme By Professor Karen B. Rogers, University of New South Wales)


Gifted and talented education organisations

GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION ORGANISATIONS

Gifted Education Centrewww.georgeparkyncentre.org/

Gifted Kids Programmewww.giftedkids.co.nz/

New Zealand Association for Gifted Childrenwww.giftedchildren.org.nz/

REACH Education Consultancywww.giftedreach.org.nz/


Programmes for gifted and talented students

PROGRAMMES FOR GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS

Alpha Educational Consultancywww.alphaed.org.nz/index.htmBubble Dome Educationwww.bubbledome.co.nz/default.aspxCRESTwww.crest.org.nz/home.htmeTime – Gifted and Talentedwww.etime.co.nz/giftedandtalented.htmFuture Problem Solving (FPS)www.fpsnz.co.nz/Holiday Seminarswww.holidayseminars.co.nz/Philosophy for Children (P4C)www.p4c.org.nz/

Science OlympiaNZ www.scienceolympianz.org.nz


Further references and bibliography

Further references and bibliography

  • Bevan-Brown, J. (1996). Special abilities: A Māori perspective. In D. McAlpine and R. Moltzen (Eds), Gifted and Talented: New Zealand Perspectives (pp. 91–109). Palmerston North, NZ: Massey University E.R.D.C. Press.

  • Cathcart, Rosemary (2005) They’re not BRINGING MY BRAIN OUT (3RD Edition) Hodder Education

  • http://gifted.tki.org.nz/

  • Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligence: The theory in practice . New York, USA: Basic Books.

  • Javits, J. K. (1988). Gifted and talented students' education act. USA: Department of Education.

  • McAlpine, D. (1996). The identification of children with special abilities. In D. McAlpine and R. Moltzen (Eds), Gifted and talented: New Zealand perspectives (pp. 63–90). Palmerston North, NZ: Massey University E.R.D.C. Press.

  • D. McAlpine and R. Moltzen (Eds), Gifted and Talented: New Zealand Perspectives (pp. 361–376). Palmerston North, NZ: Massey University E.R.D.C. Press.

  • McAlpine, D., & Reid, N. (1996). Teacher observation scales for identifying children with special abilities. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research, and Palmerston North, NZ: Massey University E.R.D.C. Press.

  • Reid, N. (1990). Identifying the culturally different gifted in New Zealand. APEX, 3 (3), 3–10.

  • http://www.ero.govt.nz/National-Reports/Schools-Provision-for-Gifted-and-Talented-Students-June-2008


Further references ii

Further references (ii)

  • Reid, N. (1996). Evaluation of Programmes. In D. McAlpine and R. Moltzen (Eds),Gifted and Talented: New Zealand Perspectives (pp. 377–389). Palmerston North, NZ: Massey University E.R.D.C. Press.

  • Renzulli, J. S. (1978). What makes giftedness? Re-examining a definition. Phi Delta Kappan, 60, 180–181.

  • Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (1985). The Schoolwide Enrichment Model: A Comprehensive Plan for Educational Excellence. Mansfield Center, Connecticut, USA: Creative Learning Press.

  • Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (1986). The Enrichment Triad/Revolving Door Model: A schoolwide plan for the development of creative productivity. In J. S. Renzulli (Ed.),Systems and models for developing programmes for the gifted and Talented (pp. 216–266). Mansfield Center, Connecticut, USA: Creative Learning Press.

  • Riley, T. L. (1996). Curriculum models: The Framework for educational programmes. In D. McAlpine and R. Moltzen (Eds), Gifted and Talented: New Zealand Perspectives(pp. 185–200). Palmerston North: Massey University E.R.D.C. Press.

  • Schmitz, C., & Galbraith, J. (1991). Managing the social and emotional needs of the gifted. Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

  • Tomlinson, C. A. (1999). The differentiated classroom. Alexandria, Vancouver, USA: ASCD.

  • Townsend, M. A. R. (1996). Enrichment and acceleration: Lateral and vertical perspectives in provisions for gifted and talented children". In D. McAlpine and R. Moltzen (Eds), Gifted and Talented: New Zealand Perspectives (pp. 361–376). Palmerston North, NZ: Massey University E.R.D.C. Press.


The last word

The Last Word

"Parenting a gifted child is like living in a theme park of full thrill rides. Sometimes you smile. Sometimes you gasp. Sometimes you scream. Sometimes you laugh. Sometimes you gaze in wonder and astonishment. Sometimes you're frozen in your seat. Sometimes you're proud. And sometimes, the ride is so nerve-wracking, you can't do anything but cry."

Carol Strip & Gretchen Hirsh.


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