U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-23-2009, 08:06 AM
Status: "Humming "Suicide is painless"" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,230 posts, read 15,037,369 times
Reputation: 10738
Default All this talk about the profoundly gifted and what they need...

...has me wondering about gifted people who didn't get what they needed.

Here's a thread for you. Tell us about how not having a program for you has negatively impacted your life. What would be different if you'd had the perfect tailor made education that many here think gifted kids need?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-23-2009, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Earth
3,456 posts, read 4,442,858 times
Reputation: 3618
What I really think gifted kids need is to be acknowledged. There are many gifted and bright students who usually are labeled as trouble makers, etc. rather than as gifted. These kids end up missplaced, not challenged, bored, and then, disruptive.

I think that there are many more gifted children in schools than is thought. But unfortunately, something as ridiculous as not testing well negatively labels these student who don't fit a stiff criteria and who then never get the attention that fosters their gift(s).

I know quite a few such people who have succeeded in spite of a lack of support and/or negative labels... but imagine how many don't?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 08:59 AM
 
2,175 posts, read 2,076,369 times
Reputation: 813
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
...has me wondering about gifted people who didn't get what they needed.

Here's a thread for you. Tell us about how not having a program for you has negatively impacted your life. What would be different if you'd had the perfect tailor made education that many here think gifted kids need?
If you actually cared about this issue, I suppose I'd be impressed. Unfortunately, in every other thread related to this concept, you have made it clear both that your mind is already made up and that you don't care what the research says or what the facts are.

So, my response, even though you have already complained about having to read what I write, regardless of content:
********

You write repeatedly of "elitist programs" and how isolating they are, and about the need of a kid to fit in with others.

Yet, you decry the dumbing down of society and classes.

In an ideal program, a child would not be chastised for reading more advanced books during school - or even at home. In the ideal program, a child would not be bullied for knowing answers, for using a large vocabulary, for enjoying learning...

In an ideal program, there would be a chance of meeting other children near the highly gifted child's age who had no problems following the rules for more intricate games. There would be the ability in 4th grade to write a paper on the suffering of children in a war zone without the teacher's suggesting that perhaps it was an inappropriate topic for that age/grade.

In an ideal program, the student who writes well would not be accused of plagiarism because "nobody your age can write that kind of paper." In the ideal program, when you finished learning a topic, nobody will refuse to teach you what comes next, because "what will you do next year?" Nobody will assume you are responsible for teaching the other children, just because you have mastered a topic. Nobody will try to intentionally restrain your learning so you will "fit in."

Nobody will assume that just because you are smart, you think you are better than everybody else. Nobody will think being smart means "you've got it made," or "you never need help with anything," or that you don't need teaching sometimes.

In the ideal program, you will not feel as if you must be a changeling, a mutant, or an alien because there is nobody like you.

It does not take an ideal program to provide most of this. It merely takes an adequately trained teacher and school systems that recognize the needs of many gifted kids. Not all. Perhaps not a majority. But many.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 21,738,199 times
Reputation: 5787
Every kid is different just as every person is different in this great big wide world. We have tried to shoehorn all kids into some mold that we think ALL kids should be at when they are a certain age. Not all kids can be on the same level across the board in each and every subject year after year after year. Some kids will pick up sooner than others on certain things. We don't do anything to accomodate that at all. We just give them "busy work" so that they won't get into trouble. It does nothing to feed their mind. We always hear the term "feed the soul" but what about their mind. It is a terrible thing to waste.

I have a daughter that is academically gifted (and musically). She has been in a G&T academy since kindergarten and it has been wonderful for her. My younger daughter has been in the "regular" school and after a few years of that experience I realized that my oldest would have SUNK in that kind of environment. She has been surrounded with kids that are more like her. They have the same kind of quirks and they don't feel "different" being as "nerdy" as they are in some cases. They are free to be themselves without being tormented or bullied by other kids if they were in a "regular" school.

We did experience a setback with our older daughter when she was 5 but it was at church of all places. The church we went to at that time had the Awana's program. The first year she was in it they let her fly thru it as much as she wanted. She would do 5-6 verses every single week. At home she would say each verse to us once and don't even DARE to ask her repeat it again to you. She would get upset at that as she KNEW she KNEW it. She would happily go in every week and say her verses and do all of the extra work in the chapters she had completed and thrived doing it. Then the 3rd year of her being in the program she got a "teacher" that flat out REFUSED for her to do more than 1 verse per week and would not let her do ANY of the work in the next chapter of her book. Even though she had already learned all of the verses on her own they would not let her do it. We spoke to them and even explained she is "gifted" and in a program at school for such. She is highly capable of doing the work and doesn't like to be "held back". We had never pushed her EVER as she had always done things on her own that left us just standing their bewildered and shaking our heads in amazement. A good friend was at the church at that time and she had been the one when she was 2 years old kept telling us she was smart (she is a teacher). She even told them what she had observed and that she was capable of doing it and if she was there she would let her and our daughter was happy. Then BAM!!!! Our daughter stopped and I mean STOPPED wanting to read ANY of the work or learn ANY verse. She flat out STOPPED! She had been denied and in her mind they had shut her out and she had no need for it. She clamed up and became a kid we did not even recognize. At school she was fine but when it came time to go to Awana's or church she was not a happy camper. She was okay going to see her friends but that was it. After a few weeks of this going on we just stopped going to Awana's even after talking to them and trying to explain. She recovered from that but it was only because we changed churches.

I can see this happening to any kid in a school setting. If they are denied the work they WANT to do and thrive on doing. Why stop them. Why shut them down. Why? What is it worth really? Why do the adults that think that all 5, 6, 7, 8, 9..... year olds MUST be at a certain level and nothing higher can be done. Why can't we recognize that some kids DO NEED something more. That some kids THRIVE on this and actually excel. Just like all adults can not all be math wizards, engineers, or whatever not all kids can be the same either.

They did not have anything in the schools back when I was a kid. I think that is why my grades were so bad and I just didn't care. In class I'd be like, "I know this......" and just would go off into daydream land or blow it off. I wanted good grades but the work was too slow for me to even want to do and sometimes I just would not. I saw this happen in my own daughter a few years ago and had to really get onto her to do the work and just be done with it. Having "been there, done that" I knew it when I saw it in her. What does this hurt? It changes/hurts where they will place in their class rank. It changes/hurts their GPA. Which then effects where they can get into college. Here in Texas to get into the state schools you have to rank in the top 10%. The University of Texas has now had to move theirs up to the top 7%. So some very bright kids that could do very well in college might not get in if they are held back in jr high and high school and blow it all off as it is "too easy". It DOES hurt them if they are held back from their true potential.

I will NEVER hold my kids back from something that they want to do. Academic wise. If they want to do it and it still might be a challange for them that is fine. I'd rather they have challanges and learn something than flunk around and not get much out of it at all.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 10:13 AM
 
784 posts, read 1,648,133 times
Reputation: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
...has me wondering about gifted people who didn't get what they needed.

Here's a thread for you. Tell us about how not having a program for you has negatively impacted your life. What would be different if you'd had the perfect tailor made education that many here think gifted kids need?
I would probably be making much more than I am right now in terms of salary and career prospects.

At the age of 6, I was at a 6th grade math / science level. (Mostly due to PBS and my parents pushing me when I was young.)

School was very easy for me when I was younger. I always tested at the 99th percentile for the state mathematics and science exams. Reading / English was between the 90th and 99th percentile. This started to fade as the material got harder (for my parents, they aren't that educated, so they could not push me as much if they didn't understand the material themselves...also there were no (and still aren't any) PBS programs for HS math / english) as I progressed through high school. Nevertheless, I still excelled, scoring a 720 on the Math Portion of the SAT (without any SAT prep) as a High School sophomore and graduated in the top 10% of my High School class. Also got a 135 on the Stanford-Binet IQ test as a High School senior. I don't think I ever remember doing HW past midnight (maybe once in senior year). Mind you, this is a High School with a less than 10% acceptance rate for 8th graders. I still had plenty of time for doing other activities, I was active in a number of clubs as well as a varsity sports team (which I later continued in college).

I never really started trying in school until I went to an elite college and ended up with a mid-semester GPA of 1.7 during my Freshman year. I struggled throughout college and had to take 7 "cupcake" courses during my last semester of college to end up with a 3.48. During Wall Street recruiting season, I had a 3.3, which was too low to be competitive for any of the positions I desired.

Perhaps if I was actually challenged in school I would have tried harder in college? I don't know.

And I didn't even attend public school. I attended my local catholic school, which was supposedly "more challenging" than the public school.

I don't know. American education (except for the elite private schools) is complete garbage when compared to schools around the globe. I will never send my children to public schools unless they were one of the elite / specialized public schools (Hunter College HS, Stuyvesant).

Last edited by NYCAnalyst; 12-23-2009 at 10:36 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 11:03 AM
 
2,038 posts, read 1,262,711 times
Reputation: 2270
I'm not going to own the label "profoundly gifted", but there are some things that, in an ideal world, would have been done differently with my schooling. One of my regrets is that I've never really stopped wondering how my life would have turned out if I had gotten the kind of education that I believe that I needed. There is nothing that I can do about it now for myself, but it is my primary motivation for my interactions with my students.

First of all, I don't think I benefitted from four years of schooling before first grade--two years of preschool and two years of kindergarten. I arrived in first grade at age six having learned to read two years earlier. I spent the first five weeks "learning" a letter of the alphabet each day with my "peers". On the Friday of the last week, I recall my first grade teacher calling me up to the front of the room to read to the second grade teacher. The following Monday I was in second grade. There were a number of problems with this, which I won't enumerate right now, but I know that my mother had tried to get me enrolled at age five, after my first year of kindergarten. I think that might have given me a better start.

The strategy was less than successful for a number of reasons, some of which were due to my unusually small stature and intensely introverted nature. Schoolwork remained unchallenging to me. Most of my teachers left me to my own devices, allowing me to read in class after I finished my lessons. It was my sixth grade math teacher who seemed out to get me, telling my parents that I was too smart for my own good and that I needed to be in a private school. Part of my inspiration for being a teacher was her--no one deserves to have a teacher who is that bad. She was the only one I remember not allowing me to read after I finished my work. It seemed to infuriate her that I could get a 100 on a math test in less time than it took her to hand them out.

By junior high, I had quit doing any work at school. Family problems had split the family, and I had become resigned to the fact that I would never learn anything at school, so I quit going through the motions. I would have failed the eighth grade had my father not insisted that my mother bring us all out of state where he was doing his residency in a misguided attempt to patch the family back together. I spent the remainder of that year in a private school where my relatives sent their children.

Once we moved back home, I returned to being an outcast. Despite scoring in the 99th percentile on every section of the standardized test that I had taken while flunking the eighth grade, no provisions were made for my unusual ability. I asked my ninth grade homeroom teacher what the graphs and scores meant and she told me, "That's really good." End of intervention.

My father died later that year, leaving me with no one at all to guide my education. My mother "quit being a mother" (her words), and I fell in with a group of juvenile delinquents who accepted me as I was. There were no AP classes, and although I later realized that I was in the college track, I still wasn't learning anything at school except in my math classes. I took notes in class and read my books while I was at school, but I never took books home, never studied, and only completed what homework I could while I was at school. The rest of the time I partied--before school, at lunch, and after school. I finally had a social life! By my senior year, I was skipping school two or three days a week, minimum. I still maintained an A average in all my classes, because I could ace tests just by remembering what I read and wrote. I won the math prize my senior year, but because I didn't know I was getting an award, I skipped school that day. Only nerds went to school on awards day. I was at a party with my friends.

I had no counseling, no college preparation, no guidance of any kind. I didn't even know I had to take a college entrance exam until the other seniors got their scores and asked me how I had done. I had to beg my mother for the $17 to take the ACT, because she had never heard of having to PAY to take a test. Not knowing how the test was scored, I thought I had failed when I got my results. Even though I understood the percentile scores, I had never had a 31 on anything in my life, and I was confused. I didn't know anything about applying to colleges, but I had had my scores sent to Rice University, which accepted me. My mother refused to let me leave home at 17, so I went back across the street to the small religious college where I had begun my education in their preschool program at age 3.

Even though the math department of the college was able to get me a prestigious internship with a great future, I still had no guidance at home. My mother's contribution motivated me to attempt suicide--I foolishly thought she would be proud of my 4.0 GPA my first semester. Instead, she just said, "That's nice. Do better next time." In my 17-year-old mind, I concluded that if perfection wasn't good enough, then there was no longer any point in trying. My first thought when I woke up in the hospital was that I couldn't even kill myself properly. I went back to school the second semester, and dragged myself through until I left town the following year for the internship. Although I completed the first year, I lacked the structure and encouragement in my life to see it through to the end.

With a substantial inheritance from my father's death on the near horizon, I quit college several times, before finally getting it and spending it traveling. I feared that I would die young like my father and his parents. My goal was to live abundantly while I could. After I turned 21, I went through nearly $200K in just over 3 years. There was no one to teach me anything about budgeting, investments, or anything about my financial future. The money left over from the sale of my father's land to pay the inheritance taxes came and went quickly.

At some point during that time, my thoughts turned to my schooling. I became the State Gifted Children co-ordinator for Mensa, by default, as the position was open. I attended the National Association for Gifted Children convention as the Mensa representative. Everyone there asked me my credentials. Other than having been a gifted child, I had none. So I went back to school with the goal of teaching gifted children. I graduated with a teaching degree and signed my contract the same month that the money from my inheritance ran out.

Although I have never taught a class expressly for the gifted (after learning that they were mostly caught up in Odyssey of the Mind competitions in which I had no interest), my subject matter has allowed me to work with the most gifted students in the inner-city schools where I teach. One of my goals is to help provide my students with the same quality of education that students receive in elite private schools, the kind of schooling that I wish I had had. I also try to make sure that they get to take the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which was denied to me. I am positive, based on my experience with such tests, that I would have at least been a semi-finalist. That would have gotten some attention from somebody, and I may have been able to fulfill my potential.

Had I known then what I know now, or if a responsible adult had taken it upon him or herself to intervene, I think I would have attended Cornell University and studied under Carl Sagan. I had no idea in high school that that was possible, even after reading all his books. I would have loved to be an astrophysicist, working with him, Stephen Hawking, and Brian Greene. I think I would have been able to make a real contribution to the knowledge base of mankind, rather than, (as my mother says) wasting my talents on poor children who aren't able to appreciate them. Probably I would have been better equipped to deal with my predisposition to depression. Possibly I would have avoided the unfortunate suicide attempt that no one in my family acknowledges. As it is, I am still constantly trying to prove my self-worth to my dead father and my impossible-to-please mother over a generation later.

All a series of might-have-beens. For all I know, things could have turned out worse. But it still nags at me, making me wonder. As it is, I choose to believe that God had me go through all those experiences just to better prepare me to work in the inner-city school where I have spent my career. If I didn't choose to believe that, I would be even more depressed about how my life has progressed. Instead, I have the joy of having my former students return to school to see me nd tell me about the positive impact I have had on their lives. I often run into them in the community where they share with me the good that I have done. And more and more, I find myself in the same classroom with THEIR children whom they have entrusted to me. It really is the Circle of Life.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 11:06 AM
Status: "Humming "Suicide is painless"" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,230 posts, read 15,037,369 times
Reputation: 10738
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
What I really think gifted kids need is to be acknowledged. There are many gifted and bright students who usually are labeled as trouble makers, etc. rather than as gifted. These kids end up missplaced, not challenged, bored, and then, disruptive.

I think that there are many more gifted children in schools than is thought. But unfortunately, something as ridiculous as not testing well negatively labels these student who don't fit a stiff criteria and who then never get the attention that fosters their gift(s).

I know quite a few such people who have succeeded in spite of a lack of support and/or negative labels... but imagine how many don't?
Given that our definition of gifted is something like the top 0.3% of the population, I doubt there are more gifted kids than we think. Pretty much 3 in 1000. Are you suggesting that our definition of "gifted" doesn't go far enough down into the standard curve? What percent of the population do you think is gifted?

Why is attention needed to foster a gift? As I've said before, I question how gifted a child is if they need someone else to bring it out. That sounds more like parents who try to create "gifted" children through elite schooling to me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 11:15 AM
Status: "Humming "Suicide is painless"" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Whoville....
21,230 posts, read 15,037,369 times
Reputation: 10738
lhpartridge,

Could you describe the schooling you wish you'd recieved and what you do to try and make sure your students have it? What should have been done in your other classes so you would have learned? What do you do differently with your students?

Personally, I don't see too many gifted kids. I have a few who think they're gifted but I'm not seeing signs of it (they just complain that I write my tests wrong ).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 11:24 AM
 
2,038 posts, read 1,262,711 times
Reputation: 2270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Given that our definition of gifted is something like the top 0.3% of the population, I doubt there are more gifted kids than we think. Pretty much 3 in 1000. Are you suggesting that our definition of "gifted" doesn't go far enough down into the standard curve? What percent of the population do you think is gifted?

Why is attention needed to foster a gift? As I've said before, I question how gifted a child is if they need someone else to bring it out. That sounds more like parents who try to create "gifted" children through elite schooling to me.
Why is sunlight needed to foster a plant? Why fertilizer or water?

Where do you get your definition of the top 0.3%? In my coursework in Tests and Measurement and the Psychology of the Gifted, the definition was based on being two standard deviations from the norm. I don't recall the percentages, but I think it was a bit more than the top 0.3%.

My own perception of my differentness was clarified in a story that I first read when I was about 8 years old called Star Bright by Mark Clifton:

"The 140 child lives in a world which the 120 child can but vaguely sense. The problems which vex and challenge the 160 child pass over the 140 as a bird flies over a field mouse."

That passage haunted me and I returned to it many times over the years until I finally hunted it down and bought the anthology online.

I often felt like a changeling, and just like the girl in the story, I longed for companionship with someone with whom I could truly communicate. Unlike her, I never found anyone.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-23-2009, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,966 posts, read 2,292,646 times
Reputation: 2606
I was labeled as "gifted" in elementary school. I got yanked out of my 4th grade class twice a week and put in another room with other "gifted" kids. I absolutely hated it because: 1. all of my peers (from my regular class) treated me like a leper, 2. the gifted teacher was horribly sarcastic and intimidating, and 3. I didn't really understand why I was there. I begged my mom to quit making me go. So I didn't do the program for 5th grade, but for some reason I was put back in there for 6th grade. Again, no one really explained to me why.
Once I started junior high, I figured out how to do just enough to do OK in the class without making myself stand out. I did the same in high school, but I still never felt like I fit in because they were jealous of me for making A's when they knew I wasn't working for them (we all had an over-active social life LOL)
I struggled when I got to college because I had never learned how to study. I made a C in calculus, and that completely shot down my self esteem as a student. It took me many years to get over it. As a consequence, I dropped out after 2 years and didn't go back until I was in my later 20's. I was in my 40's before finishing a terminal degree.

Would things have turned out differently has I been in a full time gifted student program? Probably yes, because I would have had time to properly develop a network of peers, and I would have learned to study (and avoid that horrible first time in college experience). How much difference would that have made in my life? I have no idea. Maybe I would have finished college sooner, which would put me further ahead in my career. Or maybe not. To this day I still try to avoid standing out by keeping my accomplishments on the down-low. Maybe that's related to my experiences in school, or maybe it's just my personality. Hard to say.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $79,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Education
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top