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  1. Maximizing the Potential of Gifted and High Ability Children: What Schools and Parents Can DoDr Barry MeatyardDecember 12, 2011 Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  2. Introduction • This presentation is adapted from a lecture given by Dr Barry Meatyard organized by the Connecticut Association for the Gifted at Bedford Middle School, Westport CT on 12th December 2011. • Barry Meatyard has worked in education for nearly forty years in a career spanning teaching in high performing schools, teacher training and 5 years as a Director of England’s National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth. • He currently works as an independent international consultant – with recent projects in UK, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Germany and Holland. • All information and materials in this presentation are the intellectual property of Barry Meatyard unless otherwise referenced. Non-commercial use of the materials for educational purposes is acceptable. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  3. Objectives To provide an overview of G+T education in England 2. To share international approaches to understanding giftedness To consider how the definition of giftedness impacts on provision To provide examples of creative thinking exercises and activities. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  4. G&T Education in England – a recent history In 1998 a national governmental approach to G&T education was formalised and a ‘National Programme’ was established. This led in 2002 to the formation of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) at the University of Warwick, the role of which was to act as a strategic partner with Government to support the National Programme. A change in policy in 2007 led to the dismantling of NAGTY, although some components of its work were transferred to other agencies, and much of its legacy is reflected in current programmes for both teachers and students. A ‘National Programme’ as such no longer exists and the responsibility for provision for ‘more able’ students rests with individual schools. This provision is inspected against national guidelines by The Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  5. G&T Education in England – the current landscape Responsibility for provision lies primarily in schools, although schools can, and do, procure provision from independent agencies, and from the university sector (outreach and summer programmes). A number of advocacy and support (both commercial and charitable) groups exist, including London Gifted and Talented (, The National Association for Gifted Children (, and The National Association for Able Children in Education ( . More recently a network of interested individuals and organisations has been established as ‘G&T Voice’ ( Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  6. NAGTY 2002-07 – Strategic Plan • To work in partnership with the English Government to develop Gifted and Talented (G&T) education within national policy. • To identify and track the G&T population that makes up the national top 5%. • To secure high quality core education for all G&T young people. • To secure access to high quality opportunities within and beyond school for all G&T young people in the national top 5%. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  7. Increased access to adult expertise Increased sophistication of provision national provision The NAGTY ‘English Model’ (Eyre, 2008) local or regional targetedprovision local or regional enrichment activity cross-school and extra-curricular provision classroom provision Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  8. The English Model of Gifted Education - 1 The NAGTY ‘pyramid’ has come to represent the ‘English Model’ of gifted education and has been conceptualised and defined as a strategic framework by Prof. Deborah Eyre (2008). However, in practice many individual schools that have long traditions of preparing their students for high tariff universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have been operating this system for many years. The essential feature of the Eyre model is that it is systemic, and inclusive, encompassing all schools irrespective of socio-economic context. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  9. The English Model of Gifted Education - 2 The 4 principles that underpin this model are: Enables extension and support for those students already identified as ‘gifted’; It provides opportunities in the classroom for students to respond to stimuli in a way which indicates their potential for high achievement, i.e. to promote the identification of gifted individuals; A focus on the needs of more able students is a powerful lever for whole school improvement, and Schools are inspected on the provision they make for ALL students. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  10. The English Model of Gifted Education - 3 Implications of this approach are: All teachers are teachers of the gifted; 2. All teachers need to be able to provide for the gifted; 3. All teachers need to be able to recognize a response by students to provision that is indicative of the potential for further high achievement, and 4. Teachers / schools need to recognize the needs of gifted students and to be able to broker additional provision and support. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  11. The English Model of Gifted Education - 4 • Therefore: • Teacher training programmes need to reflect these implications; • On-going professional development should be available and accessible to all teachers. • The second of these is becoming internationally recognized in countries as diverse as Malaysia, Holland and Saudi Arabia. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  12. What do we mean by ‘gifted’? Important question and defines different approaches to provision. However there is no international ‘one size fits all’ definition. Students whose performance is significantly above that of the average of their peer group and who have the potential for high achievement in adult life; Students who show the early signs of behaviours that are considered ‘expert’ in adults. The Sternberg model – the expertise journey. Howard Gardner ‘Multiple Intelligences’; The Eyre equation: Potential + Opportunity (+ Support +Motivation ) = High Achievement (Eyre, 2008); Renzulli (Renzulli, 1986) – ‘Three Ring’ components. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  13. ‘The English Model’ (Eyre, 2008) Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  14. Potential for High Intellect Creativity Task Commitment Three Ring Concept (Renzulli, 1986) • Problem solve regarding • Context • Role • Audience Analyse Plan creatively Implement Gifted Metacognitive skills Alternative Thinking/Learning strategies Strategies for coping Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  15. Giftedness as an expertise journey (Sternberg) What do adult experts do? Think of an ‘expert’ in your subject area What characterizes their ‘expertness’? E.g. Nobel Prize winners : Saul Perlmutter; Fred Sanger; Kary Mullis; John Steinbeck; Al Gore. Others: Aldo Leopold; Rachel Carson; Maya Angelou; Steve Jobs. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  16. What characterizes adult expertise? In our work with teachers from a wide range of countries and cultures we have asked this question. The answers are remarkably uniform and the common responses are shown in the next slide: Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  17. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  18. The next question is then: What about Students? Think of the brightest / most ‘gifted’ students you have ever taught or known. Why do you think they were the brightest / most ‘gifted’ ? Would you add / subtract anything from this list? Do our assessment instruments recognize and reward these characteristics? Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  19. The responses are remarkably uniform and the great majority (of 2500 teachers) agree that the adult descriptors are also applicable to their ‘best’ students. Interestingly only two have responded ‘because they got good marks in tests’ Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  20. It therefore follows that our curricula and classroom practice (plus the way that extra-curricular programmes are structured) should provide opportunities for the rehearsal of ‘expert behaviours’. This requires a clearer focus on opportunities for ‘HOT’ (Higher Order Thinking). A simple way of envisaging this is to refer to ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’ (see following slides) Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  21. The following three slides give a brief over-view of differing approaches to thinking skills relevant to the G&T agenda. However teachers will also be aware of de Bono’s ‘Thinking Hats’, Gardener’s ‘Multiple Intelligences’s , Renzulli’s ‘Learning Lab’ which are in use in many schools; and additional program opportunities such as ‘Future Problem Solving’ and ‘Odyssey of the Mind’. These are beyond the scope of this presentation. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  22. ‘HOTs and LOTs’ Higher Order Thinking Skills vs Lower Order Thinking Skills Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom et al 1956) Evaluation Synthesis Analysis Application Comprehension Knowledge In unfamiliar situations these are HOTS In familiar situations these are LOTS It is wrong to assume that ‘Bloom’ is a hierarchy – i.e. that it is necessary to top up the ‘LOTS’ before proceeding to the ‘HOTS’. Knowledge and comprehension can be created and stimulated by starting with observation and thinking exercises. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  23. ‘Revised Bloom’ Anderson, L., & Krathwohl, D. E. (2001). Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  24. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  25. Why does all this matter? The World’s Top Universities are more interested in how Students Think than what they Know. At interview at institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge candidates will be given scenarios and problems to consider that may be unfamiliar to them. Sufficient factual knowledge is assumed since all candidates will have top grades in school leaving exams. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  26. Implications for the Everyday Classroom and Parent / Child Conversations How can we encourage ‘HOT’ skills? The following 7 ideas illustrate some strategies that have been devised by teachers for teachers and are in use in many schools in the UK, Europe and beyond. They are mainly short thinking exercises that can be incorporated into normal lesson time. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  27. For Parent-Child conversations they may help to frame dialogues that stimulate and progress learning. (It may be worth referring to the work of Vygotsky(1978 – or ‘Google’) and the value of conversation) Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  28. G&T Provision - 1: Questioning Skills Why do we ask questions? To engage/control pupils; To check prior learning/recall; To lead into new learning; To focus thinking / check understanding; To extend thinking; To lead pupils though a reasoned sequence; To promote problem solving or reflection. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  29. 1. What percentage of teachers’ questions is concerned with recalling facts? 2. What percentage of teachers’ questions is concerned with managing the class? 3. What percentage of questions do you think demand higher cognitive demands of pupils? (Bloom’s categories 3/4 – 6) 4. Who do you think asks the greatest proportion of higher order questions – primary or secondary teachers? 5. How many questions does the ‘average’ teacher ask in their working lifetime (40 years)? Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  30. T W O + T W O = F O U R 7 3 4 + 7 3 4 1 4 6 8 Specimen solution: How does questioning work? A simple math example Low threshold – high ceiling – high impact task How many solutions can you find? How do you know you have all the solutions? Make up one that is more difficult Why is it more difficult? Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  31. G&T Provision - 2: 6 Degrees of SeparationA creative thinking gameYou will be shown 2 picturesLink the two pictures together by six sentencesThe end of one sentence must form the start of the nextTime for the task is 2 minutes

  32. CaterpillarCandle In 6 steps…

  33. A response from a 15 year old pupil A caterpillar is the larva of a butterfly Butterflies are insects which are classified as animals Animals respire in order to provide themselves with energy Energy can exist in many forms One form of energy is thermal energy Thermal energy and light energy are produced when a candle burns

  34. DNA Ballot box ArrozHuevos Beethoven Electric guitar Mountain Coral reef Isosceles triangle Cylinder Cat Bicycle Romeo Juliet Freedom Fireworks Christianity Islam In 6 steps

  35. Can be used in the everyday classroom • Stimulates thinking, creativity, analytical • and evaluation skills, and discussion • Low threshold – high ceiling tasks, but: • Level of difficulty can be adjusted • Can be converted into a research task • Low maintenance for teachers • Remember: there is no ‘right’ answer! • But what constitutes a ‘good’ answer? Engaging students in deciding this can develop their analytical and evaluation skills. • And it’s fun!! Summary: 6 Degrees of Separation

  36. G&T Provision - 3: ‘Big’ or ‘Rich’ Questions Explain: How Color Changing Pens (e.g. Crayola ‘Switchables’™) work Where religion came from How mountains are formed How many matches you need to play in a tennis tournament The plot of a Shakespearean play in a modern context Why the sea is blue and not green The origin of language Why we haven’t found a cure for the common cold. N.b. these cannot be answered in a single step. There may also be more than one solution or answer which can be further explored , discussed and evaluated. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  37. G&T Provision - 4: ‘Jeopardy’ If this is the answer what could the question(s) be? New York, carbon dioxide, Lincoln, inflation, tea, water, cotton, limestone etc. Can we group the answers? What patterns might be discerned? Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  38. G&T Provision - 5: Tell the Story Of a graph Of a picture Of a year in the life of a barn swallow Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  39. G&T Provision - 6: Draw a Graph To represent: How you eat a Hershey Bar The pressure in a balloon as it deflates Your journey to school Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  40. G&T Provision - 8: Thought Experiments What if: The density of water was greater / lesser? We used decimal time? Pigs could fly? Gravity on earth was greater / lesser? We didn’t have verbs / nouns? Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  41. These ideas are developed as ‘low threshold – high ceiling – high impact’ tasks. This means that most students can engage with them at a basic level, but they allow G&T students a blank canvas on which to express their creativity and wider knowledge. Feedback suggests that teachers use them to extend the thinking of ALL students (not just G&T) and this enables them to identify potential. Advice is given to teachers on professional development programs as to how best to incorporate these activities. Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  42. International Links International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY) Junior Commission, Forums, ‘The Why Files’, Math Problems, Summer Schools. London international Youth Science Forum Summer Schools, Forums Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  43. nrichmaths Fitted Stage: 2 Challenge Level: Nine squares with side lengths 1,4,7,8,9,10,14,15 and 18 cm can befitted together with no gaps and no overlaps, to form a rectangle. What are the dimensions of the rectangle? Once you've had a chance to think about it, click below to see howthree different pupils began working on the task.  • This is how Anna started: hyperlink • Here is what Brendan tried: hyperlink •  Here is Chandra's initial approach to the problem: hyperlink  Can you take each of these starting ideas and develop them into a solution?  To discuss your methods for answering these questions, visit the blog Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

  44. Concluding Thoughts – what I have learned Teachers from a wide range of educational cultures have similar views of giftedness A more inclusive approach aids recognition of potential Sustainable G+T education can only be achieved by embedding it as a right within schools Teachers need access to high quality professional development opportunities Learning should be fun! For Students, Teachers and Parents Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011