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Old 10-06-2011, 08:55 AM
 
4,044 posts, read 5,947,709 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
Syracusa, why are you not a homeschooler?
Because I can't afford it. I have a career that provides a good chunk of the family income. That will also help me in retirement.
If my husband had a SECURE job that provided as much as we provide together now, I would; but he doesn't.

Also, I do hope that I will eventually be able to move closer to my family (across the ocean) and the only way we could get there someday is through my career, not my husband's.

Unfortunately, we can't have everything as we would ideally wish to have it. Before I homeschool, I would probably shell out the money for a private school that fits the kids' needs better; but even those have many question marks.

At this point, I am actually quite curious how my son will perform on those standardized tests that decide GT placement next year. I anticipate he will be one of those who will narrowly miss the club. :-)
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Wallace View Post
Yes. Whereas it's obviously a violation of simple common sense to assert that "all children are gifted" (just as it would be equally problematic to assert that "all children are disabled"), I had a number of problems with the idea that 60% of the students are labeled as such -- and a major problem with money and time being wasted at a theme park. Seriously, they couldn't even take them to a science museum? Really?
While I don't know whether the kids are being asked to do an assignment at the theme park, amusement parks can be used as learning tools. I bet disney offers resources for things like this.

Welcome to Amusement Park Physics
Amusement Park Physics -- Roller Coaster

Amusement Park Physics
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:28 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,346,221 times
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Physics? Why stop there? I can personally turn a trip to Disneyland into a lesson in horticulture and why there are strawberries in Tomorrowland, engineering and public transportation in the 1920's, why the horses on Mainstreet respond to German commands, thermodynamics and the human body inside a Mickey Mouse costume. It gets to a whole new level of fun if I get started on Big Oil and the monorail system circa 1962.
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:55 PM
 
1,428 posts, read 2,773,600 times
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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".
I understand your idea, but here is the practical problem. Let's say I have you in class, and you're exceptionally talented in math. You finish my basic problems in 3 seconds, but it takes you even less time to realize that if you finish in 3 seconds, all I do is give you more "very hard" questions.

I could see a parent or administrator objecting to this on the following grounds:

1. I am punishing the gifted kids by giving them more work.
2. How do you intend to grade this extra work?

Quote:
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.
Again, I understand what you're saying, but at least in my experience and the experience of other teachers I know and speak to often, there's a different issue here:

Challenging curriculum isn't being withheld from average children. It's actually being withheld from all children.

Perhaps my experience and those of others I know is not universal -- in fact, I'm sure it's not -- but increasingly, there's been more of a push toward simplifying curriculum, increasing AP enrollment even for students who aren't technically prepared for the rigors of AP (which results in AP courses being devoted to remedial instructions, and giving primarily As and Bs for essentially everything. I overstate, but not a great deal.

Quote:
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..
Again, just to speak from my experience and those of others, it is true that in any given discipline, there are people who are adept at that discipline and those who are not.

Speaking for myself only, I can say with confidence that I would have been appalled at being "treated" to advanced math. Again, speaking for mself, I wouldn't have gotten nothing out of being in advanced math, but what I would have gotten wouldn't have been good: a greater conviction that I couldn't do math and that my I.Q. was simply insufficient to handle it.
Quote:

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".
I am glad we find a point on which we agree. I concur heartily, but here's why it's like that, and it has to do with the dumbing-down issue I referenced above.

Increasingly, there's more of a push to have students be given the AP label (but without AP preparation) and the "gifted" label (but without much difference between gifted and normal). One piece of evidence that this contention is true is the idea that 60% of the students in that district referred to in the OP are theoretically gifted. I never took a statistics course, but even my very minor experience with stats suggests that in any given population, only about 10-15% of the group would be gifted -- and of that percentage, a far smaller number would be so very different from the norm that a different educational approach would be required.

In actual practice, most of us have IQs around 100, with 15 points give or take on either side. In a typical classroom, then, the plain vanilla education works well for kids with I.Q.s ranging from 85-115. The 85 folks will find the material challenging (but not impossible), and the 115 people will find the material challenging (but not so absurdly simple that it becomes torture). Gifted programs ideally need to meet the needs of kids for whom the educational system simply does. not. work.

I am actually an advocate for subject- or whole-grade acceleration -- it lacks the "gifted" cachet (a major advantage, as far as I'm concerned) while providing a low-cost, easily-implementable response to students whose abilities genuinely need the challenge of more difficult material. It's not a perfect situation, but it's one of the best.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:16 AM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
20,582 posts, read 22,733,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzcat22 View Post
There was an op-ed piece in the Atlanta newspaper today (unfortunately I can't find it online to link to it). A mom wrote about the Atlanta Public Schools' Challenge Program for the Gifted and Talented. They will be taking a field trip to Disney World for several days. One of her kids in the program; the other is not. The son who is not in the gifted program has supposedly been traumatized by his lack of inclusion in this. He now hates school, is afraid to do his homework because he may make a mistake, and cries constantly. This paragraph blew me away:

http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/



So---is she saying that 60+% percent of kids in her son's class are in the gifted and talented program? Can there be a majority who are gifted/talented? By definition, wouldn't they be in the minority? She later goes on to talk about a Duke University research project where every child was treated as gifted and the result was 20% of the kids eventually designated as being gifted as opposed to the control group of 10%.

And would a child really be so traumatized by his brother getting a special treat? Isn't it good for kids to learn that rewards/resources aren't infinite and that not everyone gets everything s/he wants? If kids aren't "sorted," then should every/any kid get a scholarship even if they have poor grades/scores, etc.?

I will agree with the author that the trip to Disney World is an unnecessary use of taxpayers' money (the kids have to pay for the trip, but the teachers will be getting their salaries) and that the "cast members" of the theme park shouldn't be more capable of teaching rigorous content than the teachers.

What do y'all think?
Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Missing the point a wee bit.

Thought I was right on point?

Folks upset about the gifted going, others frustrated because they are left out, and a few consider it extravagant..
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Old 10-07-2011, 07:28 AM
 
12,455 posts, read 27,089,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zthatzmanz28 View Post
Thought I was right on point?

Folks upset about the gifted going, others frustrated because they are left out, and a few consider it extravagant..
The point is that 60% of the class has been classified as gifted and are going on the trip.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:44 AM
 
613 posts, read 808,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
Gifted students ARE entitled to a free and appropriate education, just like everyone else. A child with an IQ of 130 is just as different from the average child as a child with a 70 IQ. If we are providing a specialized education for the 70 IQ child we need to provide a specialized education for the child with an IQ of 130.

Kids who are gifted are profoundly different from average children. NOT being gifted doesn't mean a person is stupid.
I agree with this, however I see so many kids in the gifted program in my district who are not profoundly different, just very bright. Also, the gifted program is a joke. Kids r pulled out of class twice a week for an hour and a half AND they get the enviable task of doing extra projects. Ugh!
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:56 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,981,424 times
Reputation: 1850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Wallace View Post
I understand your idea, but here is the practical problem. Let's say I have you in class, and you're exceptionally talented in math. You finish my basic problems in 3 seconds, but it takes you even less time to realize that if you finish in 3 seconds, all I do is give you more "very hard" questions.

I could see a parent or administrator objecting to this on the following grounds:

1. I am punishing the gifted kids by giving them more work.
2. How do you intend to grade this extra work?


Again, I understand what you're saying, but at least in my experience and the experience of other teachers I know and speak to often, there's a different issue here:

Challenging curriculum isn't being withheld from average children. It's actually being withheld from all children.

Perhaps my experience and those of others I know is not universal -- in fact, I'm sure it's not -- but increasingly, there's been more of a push toward simplifying curriculum, increasing AP enrollment even for students who aren't technically prepared for the rigors of AP (which results in AP courses being devoted to remedial instructions, and giving primarily As and Bs for essentially everything. I overstate, but not a great deal.



Again, just to speak from my experience and those of others, it is true that in any given discipline, there are people who are adept at that discipline and those who are not.

Speaking for myself only, I can say with confidence that I would have been appalled at being "treated" to advanced math. Again, speaking for mself, I wouldn't have gotten nothing out of being in advanced math, but what I would have gotten wouldn't have been good: a greater conviction that I couldn't do math and that my I.Q. was simply insufficient to handle it.

I am glad we find a point on which we agree. I concur heartily, but here's why it's like that, and it has to do with the dumbing-down issue I referenced above.

Increasingly, there's more of a push to have students be given the AP label (but without AP preparation) and the "gifted" label (but without much difference between gifted and normal). One piece of evidence that this contention is true is the idea that 60% of the students in that district referred to in the OP are theoretically gifted. I never took a statistics course, but even my very minor experience with stats suggests that in any given population, only about 10-15% of the group would be gifted -- and of that percentage, a far smaller number would be so very different from the norm that a different educational approach would be required.

In actual practice, most of us have IQs around 100, with 15 points give or take on either side. In a typical classroom, then, the plain vanilla education works well for kids with I.Q.s ranging from 85-115. The 85 folks will find the material challenging (but not impossible), and the 115 people will find the material challenging (but not so absurdly simple that it becomes torture). Gifted programs ideally need to meet the needs of kids for whom the educational system simply does. not. work.

I am actually an advocate for subject- or whole-grade acceleration -- it lacks the "gifted" cachet (a major advantage, as far as I'm concerned) while providing a low-cost, easily-implementable response to students whose abilities genuinely need the challenge of more difficult material. It's not a perfect situation, but it's one of the best.
Wow, my head hurts from all my nodding. It is exactly what I would have said if I were more eloquent. I agree about subject acceleration... some drawbacks, but one of the best options.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wsop View Post
I agree with this, however I see so many kids in the gifted program in my district who are not profoundly different, just very bright. Also, the gifted program is a joke. Kids r pulled out of class twice a week for an hour and a half AND they get the enviable task of doing extra projects. Ugh!
Agreed. Nothing is perfect. We all know some of those kids are in fact not gifted, just above average. But they are helped with the program. It does slow down what could be done with the truly gifted, and those parents usually seek charter schools, supplemental programs, or other alternatives. But what is a public school system to do, help 10% of "gifted", or 2% of the actual gifted?
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
558 posts, read 1,091,117 times
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I think I am in love with Charles Wallace.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:42 PM
 
1,226 posts, read 1,981,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eeyore1 View Post
I think I am in love with Charles Wallace.
+1

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.

Your "struggling" daughter would not have been hurt if she had been exposed to SOME GT curriculum. If it would just fly over her head, oh well - be it. She tried. But for many officially non-GT children, that type of curriculum would be beneficial and would not simply "fly over their heads".

I know mine would strongly benefit from it, and chances are he will barely miss the GT cut-off point next year.

Tracking kids into GT and non-GT is simply polarizing and simplistic, though I agree it is awfully convenient from a funding perspective.
Reality is not black and white.
One of my daughters made one GT program and not the other. She actually didn't make the one she is STRONGEST at. Do I disagree... you bet! She got a 99% on the aptitude test, nobody deserves to be there more than her (in her very humble mother's opinion )-not even my other kid! But another criteria was an A average, and she had a VERY tough teacher that year, and got 2 B's, because the teacher marked off for EVERYTHING. I would not trade her wonderful experience with a tough teacher, that taught my kid to expect more of herself, and not just rely on her natural intelligence, but to STUDY and not expect A's to fall from the sky as they did all the previous years.
My district qualifies every year. I've purchased one of the workbooks they use for the class, she does that at home as a supplement so that she does get some of the material that I think is important. I'm confident she won't be complacent this year, and she'll make the cut next year. She will miss out on a lot of advanced curriculum this year, and I am dissapointed, but that doesn't mean I would rather all those other children miss out on the advanced curriculum as well.

Last edited by cc0789; 10-07-2011 at 03:59 PM..
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