Presentation on theme: "The Challenge of Challenging Gifted Students"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Challenge of Challenging Gifted Students CESA #11 WorkshopOctober 19, 2009Dr. Stephen Schroeder-Davis
2 Goals for this morningReview basic concepts to develop a common languageExamine the “emerging definitions” of giftednessPromote parent & teacher dialogueAssess needs for workshops 2 & 3
3 2005 Gifted and Talented Definition Gifted and talented children and youth are those students with outstanding abilities, identified at preschool, elementary, and secondary levels.
4 2005 Gifted and Talented Definition These students are capable of high performance when compared to others of similar age, experience, and environment, and represent the diverse populations of our communities.
5 2005 Gifted and Talented Definition These are students whose potential requires differentiated and challenging educational programs and/or services beyond those provided in the general school program.
6 2005 Gifted and Talented Definition Students capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in any one or more of the following areas:
7 2005 Gifted and Talented Definition General intellectualSpecific Academic subjectsCreativityLeadershipVisual and performing artsFrom the MGTDC (MDE) Advisory Committee
8 Giftedness is asynchronous development, placing the gifted child “out of phase” with: Self Age peers At level tests, assessments, expectations Much of popular culture (The Columbus Group, 1991)
9 Two examples of asychronicity A kindergarten teacher is explaining how dinosaurs are discovered, and states, “A geologist is a scientist who studies these fossils.” Jenny, age 4 says, “I don’t mean to be rude Ms. Mays, but it’s a paleontologist that examines the dinosaur bones.”
10 A middle school example The majority of the 200,000 middle school students who take the SAT and ACT score as well or better than high school seniorsThe stronger students from that cohort can absorb one year of a high school course in 3 weeksThe strongest of those candidates can absorb one year of a high school course in 10 daysA Nation Deceived
11 Giftedness is “Abnormal” Top 3 -10% of population in any given area of ability
12 Gifted People Are Different NeurosystemPerceptionBehaviorEnvironment
14 My Beliefs About This Topic Gifted students exist, are an exceptional population, and require accommodations to be challenged in schoolGifted students are the most underserved population in most schools (i.e., they learn the least)Serving them appropriately would benefit them and every other student in a school setting
15 The four achievement gaps RacialGenderEconomicAptitude (between what is being learned, and what could be learned with appropriate GT programs and services)
16 Gifts vs. Talents F. Gagne “Giftedness refers to measures of potential, of untrained natural ability, while talent is reserved specifically for indices of achievement, of the performance attained as the result of a systematic program of training and practice.”(Gagne 1995)
17 A Common G/T Vocabulary Gifted Talented• high aptitude • high achievementnature • nurture• ability • performance• potential • environment• threshold • accomplishment• endowment • outputDifferentiationRigor & Challenge(Gagne 1995)
18 How Much Time is Wasted in a typical classroom for GT’s? 140 IQ = 50% of their time170 IQ = 99% of their timeHollingworth (1942), Renzulli, Silverman (1991)
19 The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented: Classroom Practices Study Approximately 40-50% of traditional classroom material could be eliminated for targeted students.
20 Gagne’s Metric System Level Label Ratio IQ SD 5Profoundly1:100,000165+ 4.34Exceptionally1:10,000155+ 3.73Highly1:1,000145+ 3.02Moderately1:100135+ 2.31Mildly1:10120+ 1.3
21 Questions and comments? These ideas square with my beliefs.I’d like to add. . ..These are the ideas that are going around in my head.Some of the ideas with which I disagreed . . .This made me uncomfortable!
22 Why are GT’s Underserved? Level w/o DIFrom Get Off My Brain, by Randy McCutcheon. Illustrations:Pete Wagner
23 Coercive Egalitarianism Forced regression toward the mean through indifference or neglectStephen Schroeder-Davis
24 Federal Education Budget Gifted Children $0.03Drug Abuse Prevention $2Reading First $3Children with Disabilities $32No Child Left Behind $64
25 Training, preparation, programming No states have comprehensive policies in gifted education in all areas.only 77 of 3500 HEIs offer GT courses18 states offer no teacher preparationOnly 11 mandate GT fundingNAGC National Conference Report, 2007
26 NCLB and GT’s Remedial, deficit-based Teach what is tested (narrowing curriculum, which “homogenizes” talent)One-size-fits all education to a HIGHLY diverse populationCurriculum reduced to basic skills emphasisGoals are statistically impossible to meet“Adequate yearly progress” does not apply to, refer to, or even acknowledge needs of- GTsNo incentive to challenge high ability studentsSee M. Gentry
27 High-Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB Thomas B. Fordham Institute27
28 BackgroundFirst two studies of a multifaceted research investigation of the state of high-achieving students in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) era.Part I: An Analysis of NAEP Data, by Tom Loveless: achievement trends for high-achieving students since the early 1990s and, in more detail, 2000.Part II: Results from a National Teacher Survey, by Steve Farkas and Ann Duffett: reports on teachers’ own views of how schools are serving high-achieving pupils in the NCLB era.28
29 High-achieving students made minimal progress since 2000 While the nation’s lowest-achieving youngsters made rapid gains from 2000 to 2007, the performance of top students was languid.2929
32 Struggling students command attention… Teachers are much more likely to indicate that struggling students, not advanced students, are their top priority.3232
33 Low-achieving students receive dramatically more attention from teachers. 33
34 but that doesn’t reflect teachers’ own views Teachers believe that all students deserve their fair share of attention.3434
35 ImplicationsLanguid growth of high-achieving students is associated with the introduction of NCLB (and, earlier, with state accountability systems).Most teachers, at this point in our nation’s history, feel pressure to focus on their lowest-achieving students.35
36 Teachers: does the Fordham study reflect your reality? So Far...Teachers: does the Fordham study reflect your reality?Yes, in these ways No, becauseShare agreements!Share disagreements!
37 The nature of the curriculum Mass produced, typically at “grade-level”“Spirals,” with frequent repetitionsPaced (at best) for the average learnerRequires a high degree of differentiation, flexibility and accelerative options to work for advanced learners
38 Grouping Definitions: Tracking Tracking: sorting students, usually once a year, by ability level and then scheduling all of their classes together:Uni-dimensionalInflexiblePermanent (at least for that year)Placement criteria may be invalid or irrelevantAGE
39 What would happen if GT’s were challenged appropriately? Achievement “gap” increases due toappropriate growth for all studentsGifted learner’s faster learning paceChallenging, differentiatedCurriculum for allLearners begin here
42 What Zone Am I In? THIS is the place to be… On TargetI know some things…I have to think…I have to work…I have to persist…I hit some walls…I’m on my toes…I have to re-group…I feel challenged…Effort leads to success…Too HardI don’t know where to start…I can’t figure it out…I’m spinning my wheels…I’m missing key skills…I feel frustrated…I feel angryThis makes no sense…Effort doesn’t pay off…Too EasyI get it right away…I already know how…This is a cinch…I’m sure to make an A…I’m coasting…I feel relaxed…I’m bored…No big effort necessary…THIS is the place to be…THIS is the achievement zone…
43 The “emerging view” of talent development focuses on: EnvironmentEffortCoaching“luck”The “10,000” hour ruleCould be misconstrued to discount aptitude
44 The four sources of the emerging view on an aptitude continuum “Talent is Overrated” (Colvin, 2008) essentially denies the validity of heritable (intellectual) traits focusing on (deliberate) practice, hard work and passion“The Talent Code” (Coyle, 2009) reluctantly acknowledges, but heavily discounts, heredity (aptitude), focusing on ”deep practice,” ignition, master coaching, and myelin (!)“Mindset” (Dweck, 2006) overtly acknowledges aptitude, but focuses on effort, persistence, and risk-taking (a “growth” mindset)“Outliers” (Gladwell, 2008) overtly and consistently acknowledges aptitude,but focuses on environment, practice, mentors, and “luck”
45 Daniel Levitin, Michael Howe, Malcolm Gladwell, and Many, many others Gifts Talents10,000 hour ruleDaniel Levitin, Michael Howe, Malcolm Gladwell, and Many, many others
47 Another interpretation: “Talent is Overrated” (Colvin, 2008) “Deliberate practice is difficult. It hurts.” “Deliberate practice” is focused, intense, specific practice designed to increase performance (+ hard work + passion) = talent How are gifted students to engage in deliberate practice and hard work, let alone develop passion, without challenging school experiences?
48 Another interpretation: “Mindset” Dweck, 2006) “Those with the growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They’re a wake-up call.”How are gifted students to experience setbacks and mistakes without challenging school experiences?
49 Another interpretation: “The Talent Code” (Coyle, 2009) “Deep practice takes events we would normally strive to avoid-namely, mistakes-and turns them into skills.”How are gifted students to experience “deep practice” without challenging school experiences?
50 Another interpretation:”Outliers” (Gladwell, 2008) What does the “Hamburg Crucible” and the 10,000 hour rule imply for gifted students and talent development?
51 The Beatles’ “Hamburg Crucible” From the Beatles played in Hamburg, Germany:Five trips270 nights8 hours per night, 7 nights a week1,200 live performances in 18 months
52 The Beatles’ “Hamburg Crucible”2 Does this mean that any four musicians playing 1,200 live performances, could equal the Beatles’ legacy?NO?Yes?What do you think?
53 The Beatles’ “Hamburg Crucible”3 Lennon: “We had to try even harder, put our heart and souls into it we had to play for 8 hours and so we really had to find a new way of playing.”
54 The Beatles’ “Hamburg Crucible”4 Biographer Philip Norman, “They learned not only stamina. They had to learn an enormous amount of numbers-cover versions of everything you can think of-not just rock and roll, a bit of jazz too. When they came back, they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.”
55 The Beatles’ “Hamburg Crucible”5 Author Gladwell: “The Beatles are undeniably talented. Lennon and McCartney had a musical gift of the sort that comes along once in a generation.” Have you ever heard of “Rory and the Hurricanes”? They too were in Hamburg for a long time - but didn’t become the Beatles.
56 Passion and Persistence GT’s should “succeed” by learning, not by exceeding an arbitrary standardIntrapersonal CatalystsDegree of Giftedness(potential)Can’t be fulfilled withoutappropriatecurriculum challenges and GTprogramsand services!(Skills)AcademicLanguageScienceArtsVisualDramaSocial actionChessVideo gamesSportsLeisureWork ethicPassion and PersistenceDevelopmental Process K-12Milieu: physical, cultural, social, familialPersons: parents, teachers, mentors, peersOpportunities: programs, activities, servicesEvents: encounters, awards, accidents10,000 hoursLuck
57 Gagne’s Formula from 1995 (!) Aptitude + Catalysts + Practice = AchievementHigh Aptitude/Catalysts/PracticeLess Aptitude/Catalysts/PracticeVirtually everyone can improve significantly in virtually any endeavor,but that does not mean everyone is gifted. It does mean that all students needan appropriately challenging education to thrive!
58 Related questionsIf you were to practice with the same intensity and for the same duration, could you eventually equal:Tiger Woods?Maya Angelou?Steven Spielberg?Could you become an Olympic swimmer?
59 My Conclusions & Recommendations Heritable differences are real, and need to be accommodated from grade K - College graduationGifted students are an exceptional population, requiring specialized programs and services if they are to optimize their developmentAppropriate teacher training and classroom differentiation work, but need to be applied to all studentsTeachers need to understand and practice “high-end” differentiation if schools are to work for GTs (our afternoon session)
60 On to the NAGC proposalThis fall, a select committee of GT experts submitted a new, expanded definition of giftedness to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) in the hopes of gaining more federal funding and expanded support for gifted children. That (unpublished) definition follows.