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Gifted and Talented Education. The best and the brightest. The definition issue. We say “gifted and talented” in one breath, and usually mean gifted

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Gifted and Talented Education

The best and the brightest

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The definition issue

  • We say “gifted and talented” in one breath, and usually mean gifted

  • Some states, though, such as Oklahoma, have separate definitions and separate programming for students who are talented and those who are gifted

  • Talented have special abilities in one or two areas

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The identification problem

  • Studies show that classroom teachers fail to identify gifted students 10 to 50 percent of the time

  • This is in contrast to handicapped students who are usually identified and are sometimes over-identified

  • Studies show that we readily identify students who present behavior problems

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Who am I? (1 of 6)

  • Her family suggested she find work as a servant or seamstress

  • An editor told her she could never write any-thing with popular appeal.

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Who am I? (GT#2 of 6)

  • He handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer

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Who am I? (GT 3 of 6)

  • His parents encouraged him to be an engineer.

  • His teachers said he had no voice at all and could not sing.

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Who am I? (GT 5 of 6)

  • He didn’t speak until age 4

  • Didn’t read until age 7

  • Described as mentally slow, unsociable, adrift in foolish dreams.

  • Was expelled from school.

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Who am I? (6 of 6)

  • He cared only for dogs, shooting, and rat-catching.

  • He was rather below the common standard in intellect.

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Why so much miss-identification?

There may be more stereotypes of giftedness than of any other exceptionality

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The Terman Study

  • A longitudinal study of gifted individuals which has been going on for over 45 years shows that all of the preceding are false.

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Cannonball effect--a hindrance to identification

  • The “cannonball effect” as it applies to gifted says that just as a cannonball cannot be deflected from its course, once fired, so the gifted cannot be deterred from their greatness. False! Environment works for or against the gifted as well as for other exceptionalities.

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Intellectual--measured by group or individual IQ tests




Specific academic fields

Group=Lorge Thorndike or Otis-Lennon tests; individual, Wechsler or Stanford-Binet

Creative--Williams or Torrance

Others--by observation

Areas considered in classification

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Wechsler Characteristics

  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children is best known. Ages 6-16.11

  • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence--ages 4 through 6.5

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale--ages 16 through 74

  • All have means of 100, standard deviations of 15, and standard errors of 5

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Properties of tests of creativity

  • Divergent rather than convergent reasoning

  • Scoring manuals must leave provision for unconventional, inventive, “odd” answers

  • Creativity allows the student to get “outside the box” to find a new solution to a problem.

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Artistic Abilities

  • Instrumental music

  • Vocal music

  • Drama

  • Dance

  • Creative writing

  • Painting, charcoals, drawing, sketching

  • Computer graphics

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Evolving Concepts of Intelligence

  • Primitive thinking--”gray matter”

  • Charles Spearman (1863-1945) was first to break free from the one-factor theory and, using correlation as a statistic, show a general or inherited factor, and a specific (environmental) factor

  • Edward L. Thorndike (1874-1949)--three kinds of intelligence--abstract, concrete, and social

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Evolving Concepts 2

  • Louis L. Thurstone (1887-1955)--In 1933 proposed a seven factor theory of intelligence.

  • Joy Paul Guilford--several dates and revisions--in 1967 found 120 factors in intelligence after having begun with 90. Later found 150, then 200.

  • Problem--applying 200 factors in a classroom!

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Evolving Concepts (3)

  • Howard Gardner--1989, 1993, 1998--Multiple intelligences (8).

  • Linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Spatial,

  • Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal,

  • Intrapersonal, Naturalistic

  • Popular since 8 types can be dealt with for classroom planning

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Placement Options for Gifted (acceleration) 1 of 2

  • Early entrance--students enter elementary, middle, high school, or college earlier than their agemates.

  • Continuous progress. Requires individualization.

  • Course acceleration (subject skipping)

  • Grade acceleration.

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Placement Options for Gifted (2)

  • Concurrent or dual enrollment.

  • Credit by examination (CLEP or other).

  • Compacted courses.

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Grouping options for gifted

  • Cross-age or multi-age grouping. But usually no more than 2-year span.

  • Subject grouping

  • Part-time special class with integration

  • Full time special class. Can go from self-contained to self-contaminated!

  • Magnet school.

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Special courses for gifted

  • Honors courses. Advanced courses that focus on issues, problems, and themes not in regular education.

  • Advanced placement courses.

  • Special school.

  • Residential high school.

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Enrichment techniques

  • Extensive use of Bloom’s taxonomy

  • Learning contracts

  • Community mentors

  • Guest speakers

  • Internet partners

  • Web pages and other technology for sharing knowledge

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Helping gifted girls in science

  • Do not overhelp young gifted girls

  • Encourage girls to trust their own judgement

  • Insist that girls use equipment

  • Introduce female role models

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Fostering creativity (1) children

  • Provide a working place where your child can make and leave a mess.

  • Try not to interrupt the child when she is deeply involved.

  • Provide some flexibility around rigid schedules that allow for prolonged work periods.

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Fostering creativity (2) children

  • Show you child how subjects integrate or blend together.

  • Show how history and science overlap and use one another’s facts.

  • Provide working materials such as throw-away items, left-over paint, etc.

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Fostering creativity (3) children

  • Children can plan trips and map the map, plan the food and demonstrate that they are needed family members.

  • Provide time for you and the child to be alone and have special activities.

  • Listen and encourage your child’s ideas.

  • Provide use of the kitchen, garage, or workshop for experiments.

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Go to the library often and discuss books with your child children

On family trips, make time for talking about what the child observed.

“Creativity kits” are common materials in your home.

Be success oriented.

Avoid comparing children

Make the most of current interests, but keep an eye open for new interests.

Fostering creativity (4)

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Fostering creativity (5) children

  • Encourage story-telling and imaginative games.

  • Listen to their ideas and show that you use those ideas

  • Pay attention to your child’s needs and act upon at least one each day.

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Fostering creativity (6) children

  • Provide your child with a camera, tape recorder, VTR, or other materials to record their ideas.

  • Introduce the ideas behind research, what is a problem, and how to go about solving it.

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A final note on gifted . . . children

  • Gifted people are still people; they need love, affection, reassurance, and attention, just as all others do.