Giftedness The following exerpt was retrieved from Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting our Brightest Young Minds by Jan & Bob Davidson with Laura Vanderkam @ http://www. geniusdenied. com/articles. aspx? articleid=9&NavID=3_1 “Educators play an important role in nurturing genius. Good teachers learn to recognize common characteristics of gifted children in their classrooms and plan an appropriate education. They lobby their schools to be flexible with these children, and they create classes or programs that meet their needs.
They foster an educational climate where intellectual inquiry is celebrated, and they insist that learning be the primary goal of school. ” Gifted students are often difficult to identify, as they are a very diverse group. Some are good students and others are not. The only common denominator gifted students share is that they think and learn differently, they learn more rapidly than other students, and think more deeply about what they learn. Some of the specific characteristics you are likely to find in a gifted student: •a precocious ability to think abstractly a need for constant mental stimulation •an ability to learn and process information quickly •a precocious ability to perceive patterns and form connections •a prodigious ability within a particular area, such as math, music. etc The following exerpt was retrieved from A Place to Start: Is My Child Gifted? Davidson Institute for Talent Development @ http://www. davidsongifted. org/db/Articles_id_10112. aspx Determining whether or not your child is gifted is not easy. There are a plethora of definitions, characteristics, assessments, and theories.
The Davidson Institute for Talent Development consulted eight professionals, in 2001, recognized for their work with the gifted-talented population who offered their insights on the rationale for testing, the appropriate age for assessment, what should be included in an assessment, and which tests they believe are most accurate and effective. Without exception, the experts consulted cited school placement and educational programming when discussing why children should be assessed, and they recommended a comprehensive assessment of the child’s abilities rather than simple IQ testing.
Nancy Robinson, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, suggested that IQ scores, particularly in the exceptionally gifted range, “aren’t going to be as helpful as educational assessments, specifics about what a student is ready to learn. ” She added that IQ test information is more persuasive when accompanied by information about age or grade-equivalence. The rationale for assessment conveniently coincides with the experts’ recommendations regarding the best age for testing.
Generally, testing is believed to be most reliable and most predictive between the ages of six and nine years old. Although many of the modern assessments are approved to be administered to children as young as two years old, the consensus among professionals is that there is rarely a need to test before the child is ready to enter school and that testing at younger ages may not provide reliable results. The most widely used intelligence tests have been criticized by the Gifted and Talented community.
IQ tests were not developed to adequately identify individuals at the extremes. By definition, scores in the profound ranges occur less than one time in a thousand. Their infrequency makes accurate measurement difficult, so few tests have been written to assess the extremes. This situation has fueled a spirited debate about which test is best for highly able children. Experts recommend utilizing a variety of tests or test sections to get the best combination of skills assessments.
Robinson, warning that achieving high IQ scores should not take precedence, indicated the primary goal of assessment is “looking at a pattern of abilities in a number of domains, getting a sense of how advanced a student is in each of them, looking at the strategies the student uses in solving problems, and observing his or her response to challenge and even bafflement. ” Three of the experts we consulted, Feldhusen, Robinson and Sheely, specifically mentioned the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) as a good supplemental test for children who top out on individually-administered intelligence tests.
All three noted that, particularly for children between the ages of 11 and 14, the SAT is a valuable tool because it was designed for older students, and therefore has very high ceilings. Sheely was careful to point out that the SAT is not an IQ test, “but it will help the parents and teachers understand how the child’s strengths compare to other students. ” The SAT, and other similar out-of-level testing options, has the added advantage of being used by many talent searches across the country for identifying qualified students.
Other achievement tests, such as those that comprise the Woodcock-Johnson are also of great value as they provide rough grade and age equivalents. The Davidson Institute provides additional information on several new versions of frequently used intelligence tests that have been published since 2002, and their implications for use with highly able students, as it becomes available. The panel: John F. Feldhusen, Ph. D. , Pat Howard, Ph. D. , Deirdre V. Lovecky, Ph. D. , Julia B. Osborn, Ph. D. , Steven L. Pfeiffer, Ph. D. , Nancy M.
Robinson, Ph. D. , Deborah L. Ruf, Ph. D. , Annette Revel Sheely, M. A. The following exerpt was retrieved from A Nation Deceived Executive Summary A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G. Assouline, Miraca U. M. Gross Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration @ http://www. accelerationinstitute. org/Nation_Deceived/Executive_Summary. aspx America’s schools routinely avoid academic acceleration, which is the easiest and most effective way to help highly capable students.
While the popular perception is that a child who skips a grade will be socially stunted, fifty years of research shows that moving bright students ahead often makes them happy. Acceleration means moving through the traditional curriculum at rates faster than typical. 18 forms of acceleration include grade-skipping, early-entrance to school, and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. It is appropriate educational planning and it matches the level and complexity of the curriculum with the readiness and motivation of the student. Students who are moved ahead tend to be more ambitious, and they earn graduate degrees at higher rates than other students.
Interviewed years later, an overwhelming majority of accelerated students say that acceleration was an excellent experience for them. Accelerated students feel academically challenged and socially accepted, and they do not fall prey to the boredom that plagues many highly capable students who are forced to follow the curriculum for their age-peers. With all this research evidence, why isn’t the idea of acceleration easily accepted? A Nation Deceived presents these reasons for why schools hold back America’s brightest kids: •Limited familiarity with the research on acceleration Philosophy that children must be kept with their age group •Belief that acceleration hurries children out of childhood •Fear that acceleration hurts children socially •Political concerns about equity •Worry that other students will be offended if one child is accelerated. A Nation Deceived hopes to change the conversation about educating bright children in America. This website has been established to encourage dialogue across the nation. For further information, download the report. http://www. education. uiowa. edu/belinblank