Myths about Gifted Learners
Gifted LearnersWhy Identify?Gifted = natural, untrained ability = potential
Talented behaviour = manifestation of giftedness in productive and observable ways
Giftedness + a process of development = talented behaviourGifted vs TalentedGiftedness is about natural ability, but talented behaviour (ie the manifestation of giftedness in productive and observable ways) is about that natural ability, mixed with a set of environmental catlaysts and a set of intrapersonal catalysts which in fact filter the environment. Eg Joe and Jack have the same level of giftedness but different home environments and different temperaments. They will respond differently to the programs or provisions that you offer them. So we have to look for multiple pieces of evidence and compile them into a portfolio that allows us to keep track of them, and to recognise their giftedness in different ways.
31. Facts you know about the learner2. How do you (as a teacher) feel about the learner?3. What are your concerns about the learner?4. What are the positive things about the learner?5. Questions you want to ask about the learner?6. Ideas you have now for responding to the learner.Thinking it ThroughFacts about her (whilte)Feelings about her: (red)Concerns about her: (black)Positive thoughts about her: (yellow)Questions you want to ask about her: (blue)Ideas for responding to her: (green)
4Why is it important to identify her?
What might be the long term impact of identifying her? Or not identifying her? Furthermore Myths and Misconceptions about Gifted LearnersWith a partner sum up the key ideas that the video showed about gifted children.
Which ideas contradicted something you thought about gifted children?All parents think their child is gifted
(so teachers need to double check or question them or ask and keep asking for proof)(so we shouldnt make it public that we are looking for gifted children) (especially those who think their child can already do what we are doing in class)A Dozen Myths2. No one is gifted
(I have been teaching for x years and not seen one)(in this regional/rural/low ses/high indigenous area we dont have anyone)3. Everyone is gifted at something
(so we shouldnt separate them out)(we need to offer everyone this chance)(so he/she is just like everyone else)
4. IQ tests are worthless at identifying giftedness
(and are not really connected to real ability)(and might be wrong)(and are stressful)5. There is a fine line between genius and insanity
(so gifted children are fragile and likely to have emotional issues)(so gifted children will be high maintenance and difficult to manage)Gifted children are overexcitable.
(so they will be hyperactive, intense, hard to control, problems in the classroom)(so we have to let them have space and accept misbehaviour it is because of their ability) 7. Gifted children are perfectionists.
(so their work will be perfect and always high quality)(so they will spend a long time getting it right)(so they can be relied on to be the highest performer, do their best work)(and that is always a bad thing?)8. Gifted children will be poorly adjusted if theyare told they are gifted.
(they will become big-headed)(they will be egocentric)(they need to be reminded that they are not special)9. Gifted education helps children achieve their potential.10. Many gifted children are too socially immature to be educationally accelerated.11. Boredom is intellectual.12. Curriculum differentiation is about doing things differently. Look for evidence of:An exceptional learnerAn exceptional use of knowledgeAn exceptional generator of knowledgeExceptional motivationHow can gifted learners be identified?Coleman suggested that what we need to look at is:Evidence of the child being an exceptional learner (noted in memory, speed of learning and acquisition of advanced concepts in an area/s)Evidence of the child being an exceptional user of knowledge (advanced use of systems and codes, uses knowledge in other contexts, reasons well in problem solving, wants to know why)Evidence of the child being an exceptional generator of knowledge (creativity, humour, curiosity, self-expression, different ways of thinking about things) Evidence of the child having exceptional motivation (long concentration when interested, perfectionism, leadership, self-direction, passion to know)
17Multi-facetedOngoingConnected to the program offeringConsiders a range of aspects of development Is looking at the whole childNeeds to be started earlyAbout seeking information for planningBroad look at low ses/indigenous / underachievers/ creative learners
Identification is Parent nominationPeer nominationSelf nominationTeacher nominationAnecdotal recordsWork samples
Subjective InstrumentsStandardised achievement testsClassroom testsAptitude testingOff level testingPsychometric testing (IQ testing)
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