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    #195686 - 07/01/14 01:08 AM AP class material (US) before high school
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    We are thinking that the class material that would be interesting for a gifted child might be in what are taught in AP classes during high school.

    Rather than wait until high school and then cram all of those AP classes in four years, has anyone found a way to have their school district introduce those classes to the gifted students before high school?

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    #195689 - 07/01/14 05:05 AM Re: AP class material (US) before high school [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2595
    Loc: MA
    My post http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post132445 in the thread "Predicting AP scores from PSAT scores" supports the idea that a select group of middle school students are ready for AP classes. The administrators in my town would shrug if presented with this evidence. If yours do not, please tell us where you live so we can move smile.

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    #195692 - 07/01/14 05:38 AM Re: AP class material (US) before high school [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Cookie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    Hmmm....

    I see what you are saying.

    I plan to combination of home school and virtual school my son through middle school. The schools here have the students do world history 6th grade, civics in 7 th grade, and American history 8th grade. And then in highschool you take world history (ap is an option) and American history (ap option) again. Civics is also an available high school class although not everyone takes it. I have been thinking...what is the point of him taking those classes twice if his writing skills are up to the level they need to be because his reading, comprehension and analysis would be high enough to take it high school/AP. The only iffy part is the writing skills under timed conditions.

    His writing skills came a long way this past year and he has one more year for them to develop further before I need to worry about this. But it has been something I was thinking about.

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    #195696 - 07/01/14 06:33 AM Re: AP class material (US) before high school [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Some families may choose summer camps, online programs, or resources and support for independent study to provide middle school students with an AP-type learning experience and challenge... as "afterschooling" or "enrichment".

    Parents provide such opportunities individually because many schools are working toward statistically uniform achievement among all students, therefore are not interested in providing advanced academic opportunities which may widen the "achievement gap" or "excellence gap".

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    #195779 - 07/01/14 10:48 PM Re: AP class material (US) before high school [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    Wesupportgifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/14/13
    Posts: 157
    Indigo, I'm glad you brought up that point. We are having a hard time trying to explain on behalf of the gifted kids. It almost helps to try to explain it here. Say, a school makes classes easier and more people get straight As. Unfortunately, that doesn't make all of those straight A students gifted. It sort of just wastes the gifted students' time, forces them to self-study on their own time at their own level if they want to learn at their level and we think sets other students up for a big surprise when they are out of school that, "Hey, wait a minute. I thought I was a straight A student." Well, the school was too easy. Now, on the job, for example, they are average or cannot keep up or are not that successful or don't have an unbelievable memory or cannot speed read, can't absorb instantly and it is confusing to people and can leave them very unhappy. While the gifted person might find everything easy, does everything very quickly, makes fewer ( if any ) mistakes and now people (if the other people even can perceive the difference) might be wondering how they are doing that. Well, we tried to explain that gifted people are different, just no one wants to hear it. But, we almost feel embarrassed for people who are going around saying they are gifted and / or that their kids are gifted, but if you really examine it, it is not true and it just holds up the issue for the gifted students. And, it leaves the gifted people thinking how can those other people think they are intellectually gifted if there is no evidence to support it? So, even in residential areas that may have the highest per capita per household incomes, if you talk to a family that is obviously gifted in that town, they will tell you honestly (and off the record), that it feels like everyone in that 'elite' town thinks their kids are gifted, but they are not and it clouds the issue for the mentally / intellectually gifted kids that people are trying to help with special education in this type of gifted discussion forum. It has proven to be a tricky dilemma that we did not expect, especially given that online you can find IQ estimates for every job that there is and given that there are consistent characteristics of gifted minds that are exhibited. But, being polite and pretending that everyone has the traits of a genius (if you even want to use that label) is a waste of time. There is no proof to support it. So, uniform achievement could be a real obstacle for gifted families. It is challenging and borderline offensive to have to say to a principal, a special education employee, a gifted support employee, a friend, etc. - "Hey, we are going through something here. This runs in our families. We need to figure this out for our child. Could we please stop pretending that you know what we're going through?" It can be exhausting for a gifted person to have to lie / white lie in order to be kind / nice / polite / not hurt someone's feelings. So, what we have found is that schools have to waste a lot of time with identification, because everyone thinks their child is gifted or non-gifted people want to have their opinion on the topic.

    Meanwhile, we are wondering if brains are hardwired differently for different types of performance, can one type ever really understand the other. Say I found a way for there to be a virtual experience of what it feels like to have an IQ of 180 just by wearing a helmet. Now, put that helmet on three other people - with IQs of 70, 90 and 120 respectively- wouldn't they all have different interpretations of what it felt virtually to be a person with an IQ of 180?

    Some families we meet have no problem discussing IQ even if they have children who are intellectually disabled. It comes up if you are truly communicating because people are trying to figure it out and problem solve. Like, this current national U.S. commercial campaign in which various tremendously successful people are coming forward and stating in commercials that their child has autism. We want to know if our highly intelligent child is likely to have a child with autism. There might be a link. There might be a pattern that in families that have the anomaly of very high IQs, there are also signs of autism. Some 'gifted' people feel they have some autistic characteristics.

    But, with many families you can't have a discussion about IQ, they think it is labeling, they say there kids are gifted but they are not and you can't figure it out if everyone is forced to be politically correct (for lack of a better term) and pretend that everyone has the same intellectual ability when we think it is pretty obvious that is not true or if it is true, then no one has yet found the key to click the on switch to make a mind gifted.

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    #195780 - 07/01/14 10:58 PM Re: AP class material (US) before high school [Re: Bostonian]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    My post http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post132445 in the thread "Predicting AP scores from PSAT scores" supports the idea that a select group of middle school students are ready for AP classes. The administrators in my town would shrug if presented with this evidence. If yours do not, please tell us where you live so we can move smile.


    I must say that this post made me snort out loud just before I started nodding vigorously in agreement. wink


    On a more serious note, I'd like to add, here, that AP coursework these days is not always as "advanced" as one might hope-- but that the work product is extensive and that much of that work product is written work. A lot of written work. Volume is the issue here, not necessarily high quality.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #195785 - 07/02/14 05:10 AM Re: AP class material (US) before high school [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1449
    Loc: NJ
    WSG,

    You hit the nail on the head. I am from a different generation and country/culture to most on this board and for the life of me I cannot fathom why education in this country is such a mess or the reasons for why it is a mess without drawing some very politically incorrect conclusions.

    The whole charade where the truth is right under everyone's noses but no one wants to think it or discuss it reminds me of the bit in Watership Down in which the group finds itself in a community of extremely well nourished fellow rabbits but no one in this community wants to talk about why they are all so well fed.





    Edited by madeinuk (07/02/14 05:56 AM)
    _________________________
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    #195797 - 07/02/14 06:51 AM Re: AP class material (US) before high school [Re: Wesupportgifted]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Quote:
    We are having a hard time trying to explain on behalf of the gifted kids. It almost helps to try to explain it here.
    Yes, this bulletin board is widely read, by registered users and others.

    Quote:
    Say, a school makes classes easier and more people get straight As.
    Or say a school "differentiates in task demands" so that other students get straight As than those who previously experienced straight As. This has been discussed in previous posts, so here I will simply provide an analogy to sports:

    The task demand is to run a mile.

    Those believed to be strong athletes may be given more difficult assignments, for example: running uphill, running in extreme heat, running without hydration, running across or through traffic, running on rough or uneven surfaces. Note that several of these conditions may increase the likelihood of accident/injury.

    Meanwhile those believed to be less athletic may be given a different set of conditions under which to run a mile: resilient bamboo wood flooring in a gym or field house, level footing, controlled temperature, ample hydration, music to set a lively tempo.

    Under these conditions those previously deemed less athletic may now outperform those previously deemed to be strong athletes. In this example, they may run the mile in shorter time. Students' permanent records, as seen by colleges/universities and others may therefore reflect a skewed impression of ability, endurance, and performance. This may be reflected in both absolute performance as compared with the standard or task demand, and relative performance as compared with peers (percentile, class rank, etc).


    Some districts are incubators for new policy/practice for social change, including common core; Some families with gifted children may have already experienced skewed grading based on differentiated academic task demands. This is not to be shrugged off; Student grades are stored in a permanent longitudinal database.

    Quote:
    ... sets other students up for a big surprise when they are out of school that, "Hey, wait a minute. I thought I was a straight A student."... school was too easy... on the job, for example, they are average or cannot keep up or are not that successful or don't have an unbelievable memory or cannot speed read, can't absorb instantly and it is confusing to people and can leave them very unhappy.
    The social changes implemented in schools may also be readily implemented on the job by simply adjusting a position description, changing the delegation of task assignments, altering the division of labor among employees, changing the pay scale, establishing hiring quotas for various demographic groups (by gender, age, ethnicity, level of education attained, type of institution attended, etc), and/or changing a position's performance evaluation criteria.

    Quote:
    While the gifted person might find everything easy, does everything very quickly, makes fewer ( if any ) mistakes and now people (if the other people even can perceive the difference) might be wondering how they are doing that.
    Social change on the job may find these individuals largely employed in positions for which others are credited/promoted for the work accomplished by them.

    Quote:
    Well, we tried to explain that gifted people are different, just no one wants to hear it.
    Possibly they already know, possibly the powers-that-be have absorbed decades of information on how to best educate and support the gifted and have utilized a strategy to apply the opposite techniques in attempt to stymy the development of the gifted, with a goal of creating uniformity in achievement. Some examples here.
    Quote:
    uniform achievement could be a real obstacle for gifted families
    Anecdotally, the experience of some families bears this out.

    Quote:
    everyone thinks their child is gifted or non-gifted people want to have their opinion on the topic.
    With the public schools being funded with taxes from all people, and with the majority of people not being gifted, it is true that they have a larger voice. However within "gifted education" and other related industries such as psychology, it would be ideal to employ persons who've experienced giftedness firsthand. Helping to create a required bachelor level college course in giftedness for students seeking a teaching degree may prove helpful. How many colleges/universities have this? In many businesses, "filling the pipeline" with talent and having succession plans is key. Based on parent input on the forum, one topic on a syllabus may be understanding IQ and achievement tests and test scores. This would prepare teachers for meaningful discussions with parents and other support professionals as may be needed.

    Quote:
    It is challenging and borderline offensive to have to say to a principal, a special education employee, a gifted support employee, a friend, etc. - "Hey, we are going through something here. This runs in our families. We need to figure this out for our child. Could we please stop pretending that you know what we're going through?"
    To the degree that some find giftedness something to be grasped at, dissuading giftedness may be effective. However it harms the gifted outliers. As families with gifted children, we need to accept that some find it offensive that giftedness may be hereditary as they may take this as a signal that the die is cast and individual effort is all for naught; This thought may have given rise to the push-back against gifted education (including claims of gifted education being elitist).

    To return to the thread topic, the lack of advanced academics in schools (to the degree of matching the interests/ability/readiness of many gifted kiddos) leads to afterschooling/enrichment in order to keep those gifted minds happy, productive, and challenged in a positive way. This also applies to AP courses for middle school students, and is the current state of the educational system, as experienced by many families with gifted children.

    Some parents find their children enjoy taking college courses early. Some options are: dual enrollment, in-person classes (including evening courses, Winterim, and Summer offerings), online courses, and hybrids (partially taught online, with several in-person class meeting dates). For in-person classes, parents may need to be on campus.

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