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Are Gifted Students Surviving Or Thriving In The Public Schools? Alan Zollman Northern Illinois University Research Council on Mathematics Learning 35th.

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Presentation on theme: "Are Gifted Students Surviving Or Thriving In The Public Schools? Alan Zollman Northern Illinois University Research Council on Mathematics Learning 35th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are Gifted Students Surviving Or Thriving In The Public Schools? Alan Zollman Northern Illinois University Research Council on Mathematics Learning 35th Annual Meeting March 8, 2008 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

2 review the different types of gifted students delineate different approaches to fulfilling the needs of the gifted discuss the current barriers to meeting the needs of the highly and extremely gifted examine the opportunities available for the gifted speculate on the future for gifted mathematics student

3 The story of James … the needs of the student vs. the needs of the school 10 year-old sixth grader skipped 2nd & 5th grade now advanced to 9th grade algebra class (his third new math course of this semester) now on track to complete all high school math by 9th grade Will he become a gifted underachiever with hostility towards school, poor study habits, low levels of self-discipline? easiest, most economical plan from schools perspective academically advanced - no special teacher or classes required school wants to keep James in 6th grade - state assessment scores What about his emotional, social and intellectual needs? What does proficient mean for a child with James math talents?

4 The different types of gifted students a) really good exercise doers (Greenes) - 5% population - IQs of 115+ b) highly gifted - 0.1% population - can work independently, reflect abstractly - IQs of 145+ c) extremely gifted % population - highly precocious need little formal instruction - IQs of 160+ (Davidson & Davidson) d) mathematically creative (Sriraman) - produce novel, insightful solutions to problems

5 The different approaches to fulfilling the needs of the gifted a) Academic Acceleration moving through standard curriculum more quickly b) Academic Enrichment studying same standard curriculum, but at a broader and deeper level Gifted students benefit more from enrichment ahan acceleration (Sheffield)

6 The current barriers to meeting the needs of the highly and extremely gifted Federal Funding - 2¢ per $100 for gifted Jacob Javits Gifted & Talented Students Education Program The proposed priority would support the implementation of models with demonstrated effectiveness in identifying and serving gifted and talented students who are economically disadvantaged or limited English proficient, or who have disabilities, and who may not be identified and served through typical strategies for identifying gifted children. Feb. 19, 2008 (continent upon available funding)

7 The current barriers to meeting the needs of the highly and extremely gifted Maslows Hierarchy of Human Needs level 5: Self-Actualization Desires personal development (being needs) level 4: Esteem Needs achievement, independence (deficit needs) level 3: Emotional Needs sense of belonging, relationships (deficit needs) level 2: Safety Needs law, order, stability (deficit needs) level 1: Survival Needs food, drink, shelter, sleep (deficit needs) deficit needs - felt if unsatisfied, nothing if satisfied being needs - once engaged, continue

8 The opportunities available for the gifted Magnet Schools - good exercise doers course inflation, right name course but dumbed-down curriculum Math & Science Academies - selective boarding schools University Camps, Institutes, Summer Programs - select number of states (20), not widely known Gifted & Talented Search Programs - Northwestern, Duke, Denver, John Hopkins Specific On-Line Courses for Gifted - John Hopkins, Stanford University Internet Sites - University Of Connecticut National Research Center on Gifted & Talented, Duke University American Association of Gifted Children, National Association for Gifted Children, Genius Denied, Davidson Institute for Talent & Development, Resources for Gifted Families, Hoagies Gifted Education, American Psychological Associations Center for Gifted Education Policy, Malone Family Foundation

9 The future for the gifted mathematics student Individual physically and mentally challenged students have federal regulations that require schools to provide for their needs. The gifted have no such protection. (In fact, the gifted try not to be designated differently than their peers - level 3 needs.) Limited opportunities are available if the childs guardian is knowledgeable, affluent, and lucky. The needs of the gifted are individual stories of the waste of our countrys brightest and best. These students are rare and valuable resource. Losing one is significant.

10 Zollman, A. (2007). Revisiting The Needs Of The Gifted Mathematics Students: Are Students Surviving Or Thriving? Mediterranean Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. vol. 6, 1 & 2,


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