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Old 10-05-2011, 08:50 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,947,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellar View Post
I NEVER said my older daughter was "lesser." That is just downright offensive.
The entire tracking practice pretty much implies the "lesser" aspect.
As for the second part, oh...I know!!

From one of my favorite blogs:

#101 Being Offended Stuff White People Like
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:50 PM
 
1,428 posts, read 2,773,250 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
I am sincerely not sure why you're having a hard grasping the model I am arguing for. It's done all over the place in other countries at the k-12 level - what exempts the US? Or do they just "know better"?

I am simply arguing that the part of the curriculum considered GT/advanced/very difficult SHOULD be included in a regular class and should STAY THAT WAY without any attempts to make it accessible and easy to everyone. If most kids will not be able to perform well on that part, that's OK. It is expected and understandable - but they were at least given a chance to be exposed to it and try.
With all due respect, Syracusa, this is a nice idea on paper, but in reality, here is what would happen. I speak from experience as a teacher who spoke at length with a teacher who essentially did as you suggest above.

The regular and lower-level students complained bitterly that the material was far too hard, too challenging, that they didn't understand it, that they resented coming to the teacher to get explanation, that they didn't understand the website where the teacher had provided supplementary information to help them, and so on. You get the picture.

This teacher was relentlessly amonished by the administration and the counseling staff for teaching "too hard." He was forbidden to teach specific works (the more challenging ones) even as independent reading.

In short, what at least some schools want is for the majority of the students to be labeled as "gifted" but without actually experiencing the challenge of material that stretches the capacity of even an average student.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:12 PM
 
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Charles, I'm always so happy to read your insights.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:19 PM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,947,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Wallace View Post
In short, what at least some schools want is for the majority of the students to be labeled as "gifted" but without actually experiencing the challenge of material that stretches the capacity of even an average student.
Well...that is a problem!! THE problem. But you can't throw one right practice down the river simply because it is perverted by other problems. We need to take the perversion away and not simply destroy the practice altogether. Best idea: do away with the labels altogether and just get everybody to work: from basic to very hard. Those who finish the basic in 3 seconds should have more of "very hard".

What bothers me tremendously about the tracking model is the polarized vision of intelligence it proposes. You either are (intelligent) or you're not. You're either GT or you're not; and if you're not...well...you will stay with
basic curriculum and nothing else.

Everybody seems to love talking about children who are so gifted that anything short of rocket science bores them so terribly that they want to cut their veins. They also like to talk about kids who would "struggle" too much with anything a GT curriculum might offer and who would get NOTHING out of all those teachings.

If this is the case, the former group is incredibly intelligent and the latter is just downright stupid (anyone offended yet?).

In reality, we all know this is not the case.
In reality, we all know we are dealing with a continuum and not with two discrete variables..
Deciding to use an arbitrary cut-off point somewhere has everything to do with slots available (driven by funding) and not with most children's ability to "handle" the GT curriculum.
All those GT kids are not even remotely THAT DIFFERENT from the bright yet not-officially-gifted kids. Likewise, what is being taught in GT classes IS NOT rocket science. I have seen quite a few GT curriculum samples and I found them to be just slightly more interesting and challenging material than the drudgery of rote learning of basic academic concepts; but nowhere close to "only-divine-brains-could-handle-that".

Do we really have either incredibly smart or downright dumb kids out there?
Obviously not.

So if not...and if the officially-GT kids (those above the cut-off point) get what they need and the Special Ed kids also get what they need...why would we lump together the big chunk in the middle? (the biggest of all, by the way, hence lots of variability, statistics 101).

Why would my clearly-bright-yet-not-officially-GT kid be "slowed down" by the barely above Special Ed kid?

With this mindset, we can continue to individualize, tailor, fragment and chunk down until we find a teacher and a curriculum for each one of them...because after all, each kid is somewhere on the continuum and has "unique needs" and a "unique level" at which they are able to "handle" a given curriculum.

Last edited by syracusa; 10-05-2011 at 09:28 PM..
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:29 PM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
20,572 posts, read 22,733,728 times
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OMG...16 pages because a group of gifted students got to go to Disney World? I thought we were all up in arms because kids WORKED too hard and too much in school> Wasn't society juts whining about how we no longer "play" enough in school?

Isn't "rewards"the new buzz word for this year?

COME ON FOLKS...can't we just allow those who are successful to enjoy a little R & R??

Seriously.....NOT every kid is gifted, and that is probably true about your kid...
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
OMG...16 pages because a group of gifted students got to go to Disney World? I thought we were all up in arms because kids WORKED too hard and too much in school> Wasn't society juts whining about how we no longer "play" enough in school?

Isn't "rewards"the new buzz word for this year?

COME ON FOLKS...can't we just allow those who are successful to enjoy a little R & R??

Seriously.....NOT every kid is gifted, and that is probably true about your kid...
Missing the point a wee bit.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:48 AM
 
15,756 posts, read 13,184,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
I find it interesting that absolutely all mothers who tout the benefits of tracking and describe how it helped their "struggling/lesser" child also...surprise, surprise... happen to have one other kid who is "gifted". For whatever reason, they want us to believe that having kids at "both ends of the spectrum" allows them more clairvoyance and objectivity than what everyone else exhibits.

I wonder what parents of "right below gifted" think; or those who don't have children at "both ends of the spectrum". Again, I am more interested in the regular child than those at the extremes.
Regular children (not struggling or slow) can certainly benefit from being challenged, even if the challenge feels difficult for them.
My child is not gifted. She is above average in math and science but perfectly average in English and other subjects.

She happens to go to a school that STRONGLY tracks based on subjects. Therefore based on her excellent work ethic and natural gifts she has been in the GT track for math and most of her science classes.

Tracking on all levels is what allowed her to be "exposed" to the GT program. I for one am glad she did not ever have to deal with GT curriculum in English or other areas she already struggles with occasionally. Her interest in those subjects would be even lower than it is now if she felt like she could work forever and make no strides.

So here is a mom of a non-gifted student who truly believes in TRACKING.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:58 AM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,724,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
The entire tracking practice pretty much implies the "lesser" aspect.
As for the second part, oh...I know!!

From one of my favorite blogs:

#101 Being Offended Stuff White People Like
Tracking does NOT imply lesser.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:27 AM
 
11,614 posts, read 19,724,832 times
Reputation: 12046
Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
What bothers me tremendously about the tracking model is the polarized vision of intelligence it proposes. You either are (intelligent) or you're not. You're either GT or you're not; and if you're not...well...you will stay with
basic curriculum and nothing else.
Most schools have more than two tracks after elementary school. My kids school (private, non religious) has 3 different levels of every class, plus some kids are accelerated in math and science. So in 7th grade the kids are taking 4 different levels of math.

Elementary schools around here also have 3 different levels at each grade level.
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,163,534 times
Reputation: 3481
Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Well...that is a problem!! THE problem. But you can't throw one right practice down the river simply because it is perverted by other problems. We need to take the perversion away and not simply destroy the practice altogether. Best idea: do away with the labels altogether and just get everybody to work: from basic to very hard. Those who finish the basic in 3 seconds should have more of "very hard".

What bothers me tremendously about the tracking model is the polarized vision of intelligence it proposes. You either are (intelligent) or you're not. You're either GT or you're not; and if you're not...well...you will stay with
basic curriculum and nothing else.

Everybody seems to love talking about children who are so gifted that anything short of rocket science bores them so terribly that they want to cut their veins. They also like to talk about kids who would "struggle" too much with anything a GT curriculum might offer and who would get NOTHING out of all those teachings.

If this is the case, the former group is incredibly intelligent and the latter is just downright stupid (anyone offended yet?).

In reality, we all know this is not the case.
In reality, we all know we are dealing with a continuum and not with two discrete variables..
Deciding to use an arbitrary cut-off point somewhere has everything to do with slots available (driven by funding) and not with most children's ability to "handle" the GT curriculum.
All those GT kids are not even remotely THAT DIFFERENT from the bright yet not-officially-gifted kids. Likewise, what is being taught in GT classes IS NOT rocket science. I have seen quite a few GT curriculum samples and I found them to be just slightly more interesting and challenging material than the drudgery of rote learning of basic academic concepts; but nowhere close to "only-divine-brains-could-handle-that".

Do we really have either incredibly smart or downright dumb kids out there?
Obviously not.

So if not...and if the officially-GT kids (those above the cut-off point) get what they need and the Special Ed kids also get what they need...why would we lump together the big chunk in the middle? (the biggest of all, by the way, hence lots of variability, statistics 101).

Why would my clearly-bright-yet-not-officially-GT kid be "slowed down" by the barely above Special Ed kid?

With this mindset, we can continue to individualize, tailor, fragment and chunk down until we find a teacher and a curriculum for each one of them...because after all, each kid is somewhere on the continuum and has "unique needs" and a "unique level" at which they are able to "handle" a given curriculum.
Syracusa, why are you not a homeschooler?
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