Thursday, June 2, 2011

Session 1 - Question 3

Chapters 2 & 3 are focused on the history of acceleration and options for gifted students. Select an interesting statement from one of these chapters and voice your opinions for or against the statement you selected. Mention the page number where the idea or selected topic is located.

23 comments:

  1. p.32 - "Academic Competitions" - these didn't exist when I was high school. I know from my sister in law that Odyssey of the Mind is an amazing program for GT students. I also know from the SBISD website that academic competitions are an integral part of Memorial High School. I can see where these would be a lifesaver for a GT teen. The Competitions give them a "place to belong" which is all so important for a high school teen. In high school the peer group is everything.

    I do wonder what happens to the GT teens who don't attend a "Memorial" type school. Those competitions require money for travel and committed adults (i.e. stay at home mothers) to oversee them. Do they participate in the competitions to the degree that students at the "south of the freeway" schools do?

    ReplyDelete
  2. 3. I think an interesting statement was on page 18 “..early entrance into college has been perceived as more acceptable during times of was – when the nation has a vested interest in accelerating the learning process.” Considering that we are facing global competition now it would seem to make more sense to accelerate our best and brightest students so that we can compete with other countries. One of the suggestions was that the gifted students consider study abroad. Why should we want to export one of our greatest assets? We need an education environment in the United States that will make other gifted students want to come here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a historian buff, I loved the fact that the book pointed out on page 18 that during times of war, it was more acceptable to accelerate learning. After World War II, it was no longer necessary to advance our students so that they could contribute to the war effort. The Ford Foundation sponsored the early admission program about the time of the Korean War. The 1950's was again giving attention to advanced education. But, (as stated on page 19), the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's drew attention away from the gifted programs and focused concern on the underprivileged. We have been slow in America to recover in reinstating an emphasis on providing the best learning experience for our gifted students.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If a gt students is mature enough to travel, then one of the best summer opportunities I believe is the Study abroad programs ( page 30). Even if they are connected to their parents by the umbilical cord of the cell phone, skype, or e-mail that is going to be a learning experience that gets them out of their comfort zone and will have them doing some problem solving with a new culture. The need to stay there for at least 3 weeks in one area to get acclimated to a region ( and that will change them from just being a tourist). I love it when a student tells me that they went to Guatemala to work in a village to help out. They will grow more in that time period than what they would do with weeks in a classroom

    ReplyDelete
  5. Re- Theo- I agree with her last two sentences. In the past year or so when we have been doing the co-teaching classes that has lowered the academic classes in the speed that they work, and as a result, it has lowered the speed of the pre-ap classes since we now keep in students that have low d's since it is an open enrollment and they do NOT want to go to academic, and so on and all of that. We have too many students that are not being challenged at our schools.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The one point made on page 16 struck a nerve with me when it comes to Americans' attention and devotion given to athletes. Gifted students and gifted programs are often misconstrued as being "elitist." Sports gets way too much emphasis in our schools. Students who excel in particular sports are frequently spotted by a scout who insists that they attend their college for their outstanding athletic ability and may indeed offer early entrance. Why would a talented athlete be rewarded and valued while the intellectually advanced student is not given the same attention and accolades? Very distressing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. On p. 34, it talks about volunteering in the comunity as an enriching supplemental activity. It goes on to say that "whether your cause is polital, spiritual, artistic, educational, social, or humanitarian in nature" these students "can draw upon their strengths and interests" to become a great asset in their community. The time is available as they are seniors and it is a wonderful time to look aroung and assess the community in which they live and think about giving back... a twilight time between their life's journey. A time to reflect on the meaning of life and how they can make a difference. I agree with Hendress that the best summer opportunities is the Study Abroad programs. My daughter went to Costa Rica for one summer and it was an opportunity to learn another culture. A Susan believes, I also agree that there is too much emphasis on sparts. There is nothing wrong with being gifted athletically, but there is not the same inroads given for the intellectually gifted. There should be more of a balance of attention placed on both arenas.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The work of Dr. Julian Stanley and his pioneer work with talent searches really struck a chord with me. I am a huge believer in these programs, and wholeheartedly and throughout the years, have encouraged hundreds of students to participate in these talent searches. I am especially familiar with the Duke Talent Identification Program, both as a teacher and a parent. The benefits are innumerable and a great option for the gifted student. As page 20 points out, Dr. Stanley initiated and supported the development of academic summer programs because he “believed fervently in giving academically talented students to learn and socialize with their intellectual peers.” His legacy lives on!

    ReplyDelete
  9. In response to SusanD and JCanon’s June 7th posts about sports:
    It is interesting to note that in our society, athletic ability certainly appears to be far more valued than academic prowess. In most other countries around the world, physical education takes the form of exercise classes. When students do play sports, it is usually done with a sports club after school hours. I once read an article that said that students that play a sport in school are more likely to attend a 4 year university. Interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  10. On page 32, it talked about academic competitions. I believe this could be a great benefit to our g/t students. I know on our campus we have a math team which goes to math competitions. The students who are involved love it. however no teacher wants to give up extra time after school and possibly on weekends to do the practice and competitions. I hear constantly about other schools with decathlon teams and yet we have none. WE had a lego team 2 years ago but the teacher who did it did not like giving up her time on weekends to attend the competitions. Why not offer an incentive to teachers to take part in thse competitions. It would be an asset to the students who would spend the extra time to become the best they could in whatever competition they want to try

    ReplyDelete
  11. in response to PKassir response on June 7th, i can't tell you how many of my students have no time to do homeowrk or school related practices because they must leave right after school (or leave practice early) for their "other" sports practices: club soccer; club lacrosse; club volleyball; aau basketball, etc. Why are these students and parents NOT supporting school related sports.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think the comments by Henderss about the lowering of the speed at which the academic classes are taught is true to a point, but that is driven by the curriculum and the testing that is required of the students. In the Pre-AP classes, where most of the middle school students GT students end up, this is not necessarily true. Teachers have a lot of latitude in those classes to go far beyond the minimum curriculum required activities. The rigor is also significantly higher in the Pre-AP classes and the differentiated projects makes the learning more individualized for the students. Teachers can accelerate instruction to high school or if necessary college level for students those students who show that level of ability and need. I don't tink I have ever heard a teacher complain about a students working far above level, we actually look forward to having those students in the classroom.

    ReplyDelete
  13. pg 15 - "America's school system keeps bright students in line by forcing them to learn in a lock-step manner with their classmates..." I completely agree with this statement. I think that the mindset of the educational system is to crank out diplomas. Not to nurture the different, no matter how they may be different. I know that not all schools are like this, but I do believe that most are. The only experience that I have with a child that was truly advanced is with a neighbors daughter. She is the same age as my child, but about 3-4 grade levels higher. She was so bored in school (elementary). Her mother attempted to obtain assistance from the school, but could not get any. Finally, she took her child out of the system and is home schooling her.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I cannot agree more with susand and how distressing it is for intellectually talented students to not receive the value they so strongly deserve for their academic achievements!

    ReplyDelete
  15. MixKid - our students would adore a Lego competition. I can understand why a teacher would not want to give up their weekends. It seems if the district can pay for a sports coach to work on the weekend they could pay for an academic competition too. Yeah- in my dreams. Remember, I'm the cynic.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hendrs - Study Abroad would be a wonderful outlet for the G/T kids but once again it's the haves that go, not the have nots - at least that's how it often works out.

    Svankampen - I can understand why a parent would home school a truly gifted child, given the the test driven atmosphere in many of our schools (thanks to the Texas legislature). A really G/T child with a hunger for knowledge would really do well with the "unschool" concept, radical though it is.

    ReplyDelete
  17. In page 21 it states that “if historical trends of fluctuating governmental and public support for acceleration are predicative of what’s to come, the gifted education community must have the stamina to continue to challenge the widely accepted belief that acceleration is a risky practice that may cause more harm than good.” I agree that the gifted education community must come together and keep advocating for research, curriculum, training of educators and promoting early college entrance to those students who are academically, socially and emotionally mature to move on into the next step of their educational careers. We (parents, educators, counselors, and administrators) are their voice and must actively advocate for them and encourage them to advocate for themselves as well. Even though “concerns persist depite the fact that leaders in gifted education have shown acceleration to be an effective educational strategy when well timed and planned” (page 21-22).

    ReplyDelete
  18. Totally agree susand! I have yet to hear a response to that same question that makes sense. Funny how academia values talent on the field verses talent in the classroom. I think at the university level it all comes down to finances. What brings in the money to a university? Sports events! I don’t think critical thinking skills competitions sell out a stadium like a UT vs. A&M game does. Why is that? We should be more excited about medical, technological, etc. advances that are student led than about a sporting event. Things that make you go…Huh?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Two passages combined were interesting because they are something I have been discussing more and more among AP teachers in my school and on the College Board listserv. The first idea is from page 14, where the history of chronological grouping being the long-held tradition in the United States is mentioned. Taken with the discussion (on pages 26 and 27), of AP courses and Dr. Stanley's view that "most academically talented students should be able to extend their high school experience by taking as many AP courses and exams as they could handle without feeling overwhelmed", they make me think about a trend I'm seeing myself and hearing others talk about. This actually also ties in with the ideas on subject acceleration in the preceding passage. I've been hearing from colleagues (and witnessing myself) how more and more students seem to be taking AP courses as a transcript- and GPA-booster instead of being intellectually interested in the course. I have many students that I know are gifted in science or math taking my AP Lit class and becoming discouraged by what they consider poor grades. I think of the GT students I've taught who have a true passion and feel for the class and material and whose participation makes me feel as if I'm *really* teaching a college-level class. These two ideas from the book make me think about how wonderfully those students would fit into a true college-level course and would undoubtedly be able to hold court with students who are not their own age. I am fine with open enrollment, but reading all of this makes me wonder if perhaps those GT students are being short-changed by being grouped in with peers simply based on age, when they would be far more challenged in a more academically advanced class in a physical college setting.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with mixkid's post about competitions for GT kids. These kids have such varied interests and a great passion and curiosity for learning but what I see as few outlets, other than a hobby they work on at home or outside of school. The social and emotional development of GT kids is also important, and competitions would be a great way for them to get more widespread acknowledgment of the value of their interests. I agree that it is time-consuming for the sponsors but I think you could also make a case that this may be another example of viewing GT programs/students as elitist--it doesn't jive too well with the "everybody gets a trophy just for trying" mindset.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have two:
    On page 16, she writes "...that attitudes, which affect policy, are difficult (but not impossible) to change. This is the problem with the education system in a nut shell. I feel that because we have this whole twelve year school system in mind, we will never change from it. Remember when they were trying to implement Year Round School? Parents and teacher were totally against it. It went againt the tradition of summers off, and we can't mess with that. So we keep a system that is over a hundred years old, even though our kids come to us more prepared that ever before.
    My second opinion comes from the same page, a little further down. The arguement that we can't accelerate some kids, it might damage the self esteem of the others. WAH!! It's the old arguement that everyone has to play and we don't keep score. Kids need to know that there are some people are smarter and have more talent than others. Why sacrifice two or three because it MIGHT effect others.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Victoria GutierrezJune 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    In response to Oliverl's June 7th's post, Considering that we are facing global competition now it would seem to make more sense to accelerate our best and brightest students so that we can compete with other countries. We need an education environment in the United States that will make other gifted students want to come here.
    I totally agree with your comment. Unfortunately, it seems we are doing the exact opposite, especially Texas. In fact other countries scoff at our ignornance and use it as fuel to promote their exmplar GT program. The US government's lack of GT support is truly a detriment to all.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Victoria GutierrezJuly 12, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Concerning Subject Acceleration, "a common fallacy is that students must be accelerated across all subject areas to be considered gifted" (25).On top of that, many are under the assumption that if a student is considered gifted, they are gifted in everything. As an educator, I have struggled with this misconception in my classroom with GT students failing an AP English class but counselors refusing to move them out due to the GT status. In my opinion, allowing a student to remain in a class he/she has no way of passing is just another way GT students are being disserviced in our school system. I feel so empowered and knowledgable just within reading these first three chapters

    ReplyDelete