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  1. #21
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    Maybe, but I can't remember gaining much from them. It really depends entirely on the quality of the teachers and their attitude, along with the classroom environment.

    If you are going to work with "gifted" kids (I really, really dislike that word btw), then you need to be able to accomodate their eccentricities and have a flexible, more tailored curiculum. From experience, we did the same work as everybody else but just had (supposedly) the best teachers. Those teachers were very hostile to being asked questions, maybe they felt threatened by some of the work I produced and some of the things I said.

    A lot of this is due to the abyssmal failure called New Zealand education. I am sure in larger cities or countries with more options, you can get better results.

  2. #22
    noʎ ɟo ǝʇnɔ ʍoH Mademoiselle's Avatar
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    I’m against classifying students.. the teacher should treat the students differently based on their needs, but it shouldn’t make difference..
    Equally in a justice way. we’re all in the same community, we should get to know each other.. that’s more important to know than black holes in my opinion.

    I think I was clear enough, ask me if you want me to explain more.
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  3. #23
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    My story if you will, sort of off topic:



    It's interesting reflecting back on the kids who were in the GT program in my elementary school. None of them survived college IIRC. On in particular just gets high all the time and works as a bus boy in the Rockies at ski resorts just so he can be a bum. They're all rather smart from what I remember, but at the same time nothing too terribly special? My elementary school was very small (one class per grade), so it could have been a small sample size. What they mostly did was meet once a week for an hour or two and either play games to engage creative thinking, or work on slightly above grade level material. If someone was truly advanced they'd test them and they'd formally bump them up a level in a subject (they would have done so with me for math and science if I wasn't such a crummy problem student). One kid a year behind us skipped a grade in math and would come to our class for that material. There was a small group (about 6 or so) students from my 8th grade that were in a much better GT program than my previous schools had and started out high school quite far ahead in several areas. Only one took the area they truly excelled in and ran with it (and I'd rather he didn't, but that's another story). The others sort of got lazy and tired in high school and wanted to be done with all their advanced work. One of my good friends in high school was also in GT but she got tired too and requested to move down levels.

    I don't think GT programs hurt, and I think they can help, but it matters on the drive of the student. Like all of education, there's a lot of factors to play in. There's really no clear cut yes no answer.
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  4. #24
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    My kids are in it. They would be too bored otherwise.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
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  5. #25

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    I moved a lot, and I liked the programs I was in. One issue of moving a lot is that there can be glaring gaps in education because things are covered at different times in different states/counties.

    I don't have much to compare it to in terms of personal experience. Once, during middle school, I had to take classes at a near by high school, because the middle school didn't offer the level of courses I needed, and this was rather annoying. It lead to some rather bad experiences with bullying from the high school kids, and I was falling asleep in classes while acing the exams.

    With that said, I think "gifted" programs sets up the wrong premise for how to do well, and becomes a self fulfilling prophecy to some extent. There can be horrible gifted programs, and there can be really good programs not labeled "gifted".

    I realize, statistically, that where you learn doesn't matter much, but it tells us nothing about controlling factors. Things like encouraging curiosity, perseverance, and having teachers who care while setting high expectations are not factors that demographers track all that often. Education should not be about passing tests full of questions that have already known answers, anyways. But this is what is measured.

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  6. #26
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I was in "higher level" academic placements growing up... It felt rewarding, in terms of feeling coddled and appreciated. My schools had high quality intellectual resources and excellent instructors, but I also missed out on diversity and real world exposure because I was effectively in a bubble. I also do feel like I was less inclined to explore my individual talents because I was so focused on being academically successful. Was I "gifted"? I think that I have always had an interest in and aptitude for academics, but that's just one skill of many, many diverse skills that are valuable. In retrospect, I don't see it as a justifiable reason to segregate and privilege a certain group.

    Moreover, I have heard from other people I love who were not in the higher level groups or who were in the remedial groups because of learning disorders or other issues in their lives and how their experiences were colored by frustration and often a certain amount of shame for not being "good enough" or in the "stupid kid" group. And these are people that have gone on to be very successful in their adult careers, who are smart and talented and making a difference in the world. The fact that they weren't identified as academic overachievers when they were little has essentially nothing to do with how they're doing now, despite what we were all led to believe back then. I feel like there is no way that I can support gifted and talented programs knowing that they make other kids - who may well be just as successful, if not more - feel less valuable.

    I also think about my friend who harped on and on about how she was in the talent identification group and sort of built her life around that, being a counselor for that program and really making it a part of her identity. She now works as a hairstylist, which I think is a fantastic career for someone as artistic and creative as she is, but ironically stylists were people that she used to look down on because of her "elevated" status. I don't think that's a healthy perspective to encourage in children.

    However - my little brother ended up showing an aptitude for science early in his life, and my parents got him into a public STEM magnet school, which seemed like a beautiful compromise of those high-quality academic resources without the artificial environment. It also rewarded, celebrated, and built upon the natural skills and interests of those students without devaluing others. IMO, that's an example of a school doing it right. I think we should encourage and cultivate the natural talents and skills and interests children demonstrate, rather than ranking them higher and lower, and to distribute high quality resources and experiences to all students.
    Last edited by skylights; 09-24-2014 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Better now

  7. #27
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    There are a tiny number of us at one end of the Bell Curve who are gifted. And they have a measured IQ of 160 or above.

    And interestingly the gifted are different, not only in IQ, but also emotionally.

    The gifted are emotionally gifted in that they are over excitable (OE), or sometimes it is expressed as high emotional excitability.

    So for their social integration it is important that the gifted join a group of their gifted peers at an early age.

    Unfortunately many parents want their children to be gifted, but the statistics are completely against it. And so we have what we might call ersatz gifted classes for the vast majority who are not gifted.

    In other words, being gifted is a form of parental snobbery for many.

    Meanwhile the genuinely gifted can be overlooked, misunderstood, and relegated.

  8. #28
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I went to a very small private school for middle school, and was homeschooled for high school, so my only experiences were in elementary. I loved it in elementary school. I looked forward to it (for the first few years we had a full day once a week, and then for the last couple we had about an hour and a half every day). We did a lot of innovative stuff and took some really cool field trips. In retrospect, I do think all the students could have benefited from what we were exposed to, and I'm sure there was some cost to their self-concept to not be considered "gifted" (and probably some detriment to ours to BE considered "gifted" as well). But I can't complain about my own experience. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I went to a very small private school for middle school, and was homeschooled for high school, so my only experiences were in elementary. I loved it in elementary school. I looked forward to it (for the first few years we had a full day once a week, and then for the last couple we had about an hour and a half every day). We did a lot of innovative stuff and took some really cool field trips. In retrospect, I do think all the students could have benefited from what we were exposed to, and I'm sure there was some cost to their self-concept to not be considered "gifted" (and probably some detriment to ours to BE considered "gifted" as well). But I can't complain about my own experience. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.
    So let me ask you: are you genuinely gifted? Do you have a measured IQ of 160 or above? And most importantly, do you have (OE) over exciteability?

    Or perhaps you or your parents believe the New Age mantra that all children are gifted?

  10. #30
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    So let me ask you: are you genuinely gifted? Do you have a measured IQ of 160 or above? And most importantly, do you have (OE) over exciteability?

    Or perhaps you or your parents believe the New Age mantra that all children are gifted?
    In the Stanford-Binet, which was used at my school, "gifted" starts at 130. Mine as tested when I was in Kindergarten was 145. I'm 100% certain I would not test that high now. Sucks to peak in elementary school.

    I don't know what OE is, but I was diagnosed as an adult with ADHD (inattentive type) but don't really consider it a disability. Except when I lose my keys for the forty millionth time.

    My parents believe in the mantra that their children are the best in the world and better than everyone else's children at everything. It didn't take me too super long to figure out they were a bit blind on that count and that I couldn't really trust anything they said about my abilities.

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