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Gifted Issues


Replies to: Gifted Issues

  • Mom2aphysicsgeekMom2aphysicsgeek 4744 replies56 threads Senior Member
    deb922 wrote:
    The school my kids went to found that at the end of high school, class rank was pretty evenly divided between those who were identified at gifted and those who weren't. I think only around 10% were identified as gifted in elementary school and put into a one day a week pull out program.

    When the school needed at make cut backs, they wanted to end the one day pull out. The parents of those "gifted" were outraged. How could they?

    Why the "" around gifted? Is it doubt that gifted kids exist and actually do have special academic needs?

    The issue is not a simple one and "one day pull outs" cannot compensate for being bored the other 80% of the time (assuming that the 20% is actually mentally engaging, which is equally questionable.)

    A possible reason for only 10% of the gifted by rank in high school:
    The most intellectually gifted students in the United States typically have little good to say about their schooling. Gifted children are usually bored and unengaged in school; they tend to be highly critical of their teachers, who they feel know less than they do, and they are often underachievers. In the best-case scenario, teachers recognize a student as gifted but, unable to teach at this level, they let the child learn independently. In the worst-case scenario, teachers fail to recognize a child as gifted and classify the child as unmotivated or even hostile.

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  • mathyonemathyone 4193 replies34 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Far more interesting than the article posted by the OP is the commentary section on that article with a long list of testimonials from those who were gifted children and pretty much unanimously agree that their school systems did not challenge them or address their needs.

    It is also the case that the usual class ranking systems don't favor the most gifted students. My kid's rank dropped because she took some post-calculus level math classes. She could instead have joined her friends in the "easy" APs and boosted her rank.
    edited April 2016
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  • intparentintparent 36292 replies644 threads Senior Member
    One of my kids is PG. My kids went to a school that was solid academically, but did not offer acceleration for gifted kids. OP, we used a LOT of external resources to keep my kid happy intellectually. Your friend should have their kid test for the talent search in your part of the country (CTY, NUMATS, TIP, etc). That can open up some opportunities (did for my kid). Also, give them this link:

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  • deb922deb922 6463 replies202 threads Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    @Mom2aphysicsgeek, sorry for putting gifted in quotation marks. I deleted a bunch of what I had written. The school system through testing identified approximately 70% of the class as being gifted. (We lived in Lake Webegon ;) )

    I felt that many, not all for sure, were in the program through parent involvement and not true giftedness.

    I do believe many of the things you said. There were kids who were bored and unengaged. i just felt the process to identify the gifted was very political.

    edited April 2016
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  • MassmommMassmomm 4241 replies85 threads Senior Member
    I have a daughter who is gifted, and also cursed with a mood disorder, so maybe my POV is skewed, but I think her elementary education was mostly very suitable. She was identified as gifted in K, but we moved in the middle of the year back to our home state of Massachusetts, where there is little to no gifted education. We were in a district full of high-achieving,super pushy alpha parents with very bright kids, so our elementary school offered no formal gifted program. The principal explained to me that gifted programs in districts like this cause more problems than they solve, and I well believe it!

    The lack of formal programming turned out to be a good thing, because the teachers felt free to give individualized instruction to the kids who required acceleration. It wasn't perfect, and it depended on the teacher year to year, but in general, her educational experience was quite positive.

    In middle and high school, it all fell apart because there was more of an emphasis on quantity, rather than content, of work in the top level classes. But in college, things have greatly improved. I don't think the world will ever be an easy place for a sensitive, highly gifted person, but ease isn't a very good goal for anyone.

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  • mackinawmackinaw 3040 replies54 threads Senior Member
    I commented earlier on this thread about how our public schools made a minimal effort to accommodate gifted kids, especially before high school. They did have my son going across the street to the middle school to take a higher level math of when he was in the 5th grade. But they had no systematic way to allow for advanced math training prior to high school (9-12th grades). There was a leveling attitude: don't make the gifted kids stand out, don't make the other stand out either. In some ways our son was indifferent about this. He had his own agenda, his hobbies. He completed all his required work extremely fast, so had lots of time for his hobbies and (later) his EC's. But the school's curriculum was not demanding enough and a lot of the required work was boring to him.

    Other school districts have a much more differentiated set of courses and curricula. When I was on sabbatical leave in Palo Alto one year, our son was starting the 7th grade. Our first task was persuading the middle school there that he belonged in the "high" 8th grade math class. He had just competed in the council of teachers of math competition and placed 3rd among 6th graders in our state. But when we went to enroll our son in the middle school in Palo Alto and I said that I thought he belonged in the high 8th grade math, they were initially skeptical. After a brief discussion, however, the registrar said, "Here kid, take this test." He went into the next room and returned in 10-15 minutes; the registrar looked over his test sheet and quickly declared, "You were right!" He got into the high 8th grade math as a 7th grader. The teacher was the best math teacher he ever had.
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