Author Topic: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Horn O'Plenty Play Update (Reply #447)  (Read 75989 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #135 on: October 24, 2013, 09:31:04 PM »
It may be less of an issue being labelled as "gifted" if you're in a larger school where you can be part of an entire gifted class.  When it's a very small school, class size under 20 each and only one room of each grade, singling someone out as gifted makes them a target.

Under 20...that's...they do that? Oh...that sounds nice. We were always 30 plus. Some high school classes were closer to 25, and the small ones were the more "specialized" classes (choir, dance, AP classes, that type of thing), but in elementary school it was pretty much at 30. Gifted kids were pulled out for specialized classes, they called it IP classes. Usually science, math, and English, depending on your test scores depended on what you got pulled for. They wouldn't test me, but I'd help the IP kids with homework sometimes, or just do it with them (my neighbor was an IP kid, so we do our homework together and I'd do his as something else to do).

Well, since we're on the subject... I went to a very small school in a rural area (about 100 kids in my graduating class). We had regular classes and what we called college-prep classes--so for juniors there would be three sections of regular English 300 and one section of college-prep English 301, for example. English was well-delineated (100, 101; 200, 201; 400, 401), but other things, the college-prep kids hit the advanced classes first. In math for example the college-prep kids took Algebra I in 9th grade, Geometry in 10th, Algebra II in 11th, and Trig/Calc in 12th. You only needed three years of math to graduate high school, though, so regular-track kids might start with pre-algebra and max out junior year with Geometry.

Anyway. Four sections, 100 kids. There were maybe 10 kids who made solid grades in the college-prep classes and were more or less mature and focused. But you couldn't have just 10 kids in all these college-prep classes--it would be too unbalanced for the teachers. I mean, we had one English teacher at each grade level. (And we had one guy who taught all the chemistry and physics classes.) So they padded the college-prep classes with other kids--I have no need to doubt their innate intelligence, but they were not well-behaved. They were clowns, talkers, argued with the teacher about stupid things, made rude remarks during movies, dared each other to talk in funny voices all day... Okay, there's a time and place for that, and I don't deny that sometimes they were entertaining to watch; but it's irritating when you're a junior or senior and you're starting to realize the enormity of the college experience coming up towards you, and your supposed honors-level classmates still haven't quite grasped "don't throw things in the classroom."

In junior high we had a similar setup only they called it "honors" instead of "college-prep." And in elementary school we didn't have anything special for the fast learners that I was aware of.
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ettiquit

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #136 on: October 25, 2013, 07:54:46 AM »
he and his mother could be acting out Friday the 13th

This made me laugh a lot.

suzieQ

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #137 on: October 25, 2013, 08:28:18 AM »
I had a friend who, according to her, had a genius for a parent. (at one point it was her Dad, at another it was her Mom). Friend was normal, but her husband and all of her kids are GENIUSES!! I tell you - they are all so amazing!!!!

It was sad to hear her be in so much awe because her husband could find anything on the internet. He was a Google genius.  ::)

Her kids were so amazing.  They did this and that, and it just saddened me because it felt like she was actually putting herself down. She was so awed by them doing things that to me, are perfectly normal. She seemed to feel she was surrounded by people who were all smarter than her, and actively pushed that idea by constantly going on about how her kids were sooooo smart. This was because they "picked their own clothes out" at age 3 months. They taught themselves to read at age 3, etc.

Honestly, they might just be that smart. But I doubt it, because genius is at the end of the spectrum. How likely is it that her parent, husband and all four kids are at that end of the spectrum?

We drifted apart because I got tired of hearing about how precious her children were all. the. time.
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pierrotlunaire0

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #138 on: October 25, 2013, 08:52:07 AM »
SuzieQ, that is so sad, like her only validation was the accomplishments of the people around her, nothing of her own.  And, for all you know, she would brag about her genius friend, SuzieQ, when you weren't around.
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Teenyweeny

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #139 on: October 25, 2013, 09:29:41 AM »
I think most of the people who are constantly telling you that they are (or somebody in their family is) 'a genius' are suffering from chronic 'big fish' syndrome.

Really clever people don't stay somewhere where it's THAT noticeable. At least, not for long. They move on to professional/academic settings where they are pushed and stretched and are one of many clever people.

Or, they are perfectly content to pursue another calling, and their cleverness is an irrelevance, so it's also not noticed.

People who hang their whole identity on their IQ are often not that clever, so they stay in settings where their slightly-above-averageness has a passing chance of being mistaken for the real deal.



Outdoor Girl

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #140 on: October 25, 2013, 10:25:50 AM »
Once of these self subscribed 'genius' once told my Dad that he had an inferiority complex because my Dad didn't like him.  That wasn't it at all; my Dad didn't like him because he was a blowhard.  But it really bothered my Dad, so much so that he told me about it.  I was LIVID.  This was a guy who'd become part of my brother's hunting party and Dad had decided that if Guy was going the next year, he wasn't.

I had a quiet word with my brother.  He was quite happy to drop Guy as a hunting partner and we haven't see the guy since.

My Dad probably does have a bit of an inferiority complex.  We've realized that he is most like dyslexic and possibly dyscalcic (is that the right word?) and was always told that he was dumb in school.  The man is not dumb - he went to teacher's college right out of high school, did a university degree in English in night school, without reading any book cover to cover, and knows more about plants and animals and birds than I'll ever know.  I've retained a lot of the edible wild info so I know I won't starve if I'm ever trapped in the bush.  But we have an awful time with him calling himself 'dumb'.  Drives me batty.
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Twik

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #141 on: October 25, 2013, 10:50:07 AM »
A relative of my mother had a son who was, according to his parents, a genius. He was going to be Prime Minister some day (presumably in his off-hours from winning the Nobel prizes for Chemistry, Physics and Medicine). We were told this quite repeatedly.

Currently, he is - well, gainfully employed. Nothing to be ashamed of, but not setting the world on fire. I wonder just how his parents deal with this. I think the Connors of this world deserve a certain amount of pity. As Linus van Pelt once said, "There's no heavier burden than a great potential."
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MommyPenguin

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #142 on: October 25, 2013, 02:37:12 PM »
I had a friend whose dad was a genius in the sense of a really, really high IQ.  He had two PhDs (physics and... chemistry?  engineering?) and was an engineer.  But while he'd written some significant papers, etc., in general he was just, you know, an engineer.  You need really smart people in those types of jobs, so he did well, but he just did his job and there wasn't really a place to stand out just because of being *that* smart.  At a certain point, it's just not important whether, say, your IQ is 130 or 160, both of you are able to do the work, do it well, and feel satisfied with what you're doing.

I know somebody else who was reading well enough at about age 4 to impress college professors with his analysis of classic literature.  But he's working in a blue-collar job that doesn't require a college degree (which he doesn't have).  He does, however, excel at his chosen career.  He flew through the education (trade school) parts, does a fantastic job, has been asked to teach, has been asked to take on more teaching, special recognition, all sorts of stuff.  He makes a fantastic salary that is far more than most college graduates could expect.  No idea what his IQ is, but while his path is a little unusual for what one would usually think of as a genius type of thing, he has made a success of it through both ability and hard work.

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #143 on: October 25, 2013, 02:43:37 PM »
I was an early reader, as was my sister.  To me, that indicated...well...that we were early readers.  That's about it.  Through school and into adulthood we both did well in language courses (My sister was an English major in university as well) and we are good with words, art and language (and to a lesser extent science.  I always did well at chemistry and biology) but we're both appalling at math.  Everyone has strengths and weaknesses and neither one is indicative of giftedness.
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TurtleDove

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #144 on: October 25, 2013, 02:51:52 PM »
I keep coming back to the idea of what is the end goal.  I understand that there is value in teaching people how they are best able to learn, but I think life skills are in many ways more important than how quickly someone can read, for example.  In real life, we have to work with people who don't "get things" as quickly as we might.  It isn't particularly helpful to say, "I am bored working with you because I am smarter than you are." I don't have a solution or better way of handling gifted students, I just would be interested to know whether "gifted" students actually accomplish more/better/faster than their "average" peers as adults.   

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #145 on: October 25, 2013, 02:52:31 PM »
My dogs are very gifted. They know before we leave the house to stand by the kitchen counter and wait for their treat. They sit by the front door when they want to walk, and by the back when they just need to go out. They know what their walk times are and remind us when we don't walk them. So, my dogs are gifted. Very, very gifted.

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Venus193

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #146 on: October 25, 2013, 02:53:07 PM »
My elementary school had its IGC classes (Intellectually Gifted Children) in which we had more advanced work than the other class of our grade level.  About half of that class went on to more advanced stuff in junior high and half of that to honors and Advanced Placement classes in high school.

Not all of us could afford Ivy League colleges.

Not all of us were interested in math and science either.  It really upsets me to see that kids like this are really being forced into math and science these days.

Edited to add:  None of this means that Connor is "gifted" either.

TurtleDove

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #147 on: October 25, 2013, 03:00:43 PM »
Venus, do you know what any of your group did/does as adults?  I think in academic settings it is "easy" to "see" the more/better/faster because of different classes and material.  I just wonder how that translates over to adults in actual workplaces.  I can see that kids who do well academically are more likely to go to college and pursue certain careers, but is there a difference between what the people who did well academically and the people who were labeled "gifted" accomplish as adults?

Twik

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #148 on: October 25, 2013, 03:10:40 PM »
I keep coming back to the idea of what is the end goal.  I understand that there is value in teaching people how they are best able to learn, but I think life skills are in many ways more important than how quickly someone can read, for example.  In real life, we have to work with people who don't "get things" as quickly as we might.  It isn't particularly helpful to say, "I am bored working with you because I am smarter than you are." I don't have a solution or better way of handling gifted students, I just would be interested to know whether "gifted" students actually accomplish more/better/faster than their "average" peers as adults.   

Think of it as an exercise class. Is it really efficient, or useful to all members, to plonk the experienced marathoner in the same class as the person who's joined the gym after a lifetime on the couch? As much as one may say, "Oh, the instructor will just have to work at setting levels for everyone in the class, and attending to everyone individually," there comes a point where it's an impossible task. *Particularly* if there is a legal mandate that all participants must be tested for how much they've improved by the end of a set time period.

So the instructor must make a decision. Pitch the class at a level designed for the least-fit person? The fittest person? Or for the majority of the participants, who are somewhere in between, although that means that the beginners will drop out because it's beyond their present capabilities, and the people above that level will also likely drop out, because they're not getting any benefit from the class and is simply wasting their time.

What most gyms do, of course, is offer classes aimed at different levels of fitness. This allows participants to improve at their own pace. No one goes around saying, "Those snobs in the advance class! Just because they can run a mile without raising a sweat, they think they're better than us! They should be forced to do the same exercises as the person with arthritis, who can't make it up a flight of stairs without gasping!"

There is no guarantee that people in gifted classes will become the Tomorrow People. But giving them work commensurate with their abilities avoids total shutdown due to boredom, and teaches them how to make an effort, rather than coasting because they don't need to make that effort to keep up with their peers.

Many very smart people get a jolt upon entering college, because the materials are no longer aimed at the slowest person in the grade. People left in a general class, who assume that they'll always be the smartest people in any group, are just as likely (or more) to become casually arrogant than people who have been kept working in groups of similar abilities.
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citadelle

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Re: "Gifted" Child - Engage or Not? - Email Notice (Reply #107)
« Reply #149 on: October 25, 2013, 03:41:40 PM »
In schools, though, the concept of separation of classes by ability = tracking, which is a "dirty" word. That is why differentiation has become such a buzzword. Public schools aim for full inclusion, meaning not that the class is pitched toward the lowest, highest or middle, but that individual students can access the essential questions of the lesson from multiple points of entry. Pull out classes are disappearing.