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    #233885 - 09/21/16 07:34 AM Re: Wasting money teaching children what they know [Re: indigo]
    AAC Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/16
    Posts: 57
    Fundamentally, I think all this is saying from a tactical standpoint, is that the structure of US schools is ill-equipped to deal with the educational needs on ANY student. The argument so far has been that the content was aimed at the highest number of students, and then differentiation could be made for the outliers.

    Though, most of us know, the differentiation was really only benefiting those in between the 90th and 98th percentile of students, rather that those who need it most.

    The article, to me, pretty clearly makes a case that the arguments FOR educating the most, and accommodating the least in terms of population isn't sufficient, and is really ideal for a small amount, while the rest accommodate school.

    Time for a new model.

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    #233886 - 09/21/16 07:56 AM Re: Wasting money teaching children what they know [Re: AAC]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    Exactly.

    The system is designed for an "average" student, who doesn't exist in reality. No one student (okay, maybe there would be a few) is going to be at the averaged out ability and understanding on every single subject.

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    #233910 - 09/22/16 05:49 AM Re: Wasting money teaching children what they know [Re: AAC]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Agreed. smile I believe that this study substantiates something which parents on this forum may have long been aware of, anecdotally.

    While I'm not a fan of data collection and have posted to raise awareness of the vast amounts of data collection ushered in by common core... having this research which combed through the collected test score data may help improve options, going forward, for these underserved kids at the top.

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    #233915 - 09/22/16 01:53 PM Re: Wasting money teaching children what they know [Re: indigo]
    AAC Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/16
    Posts: 57
    Indigo, really, I hope it helps improve options for everyone. Though I am particularly interested in kids at the top as I am worried about DD's education.

    But I really do think studying the ways that we can differentiate for the highest levels of intelligence will actually provide solutions for students at every level because it will force individual needs to be seen with out collective lens.

    I also don't think that our society will allow what will be seen as a privilege for those who many think are already "privileged" with intelligence, unless it is framed as a case study in differentiation and marketed as a way to improve our education system as a whole.

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    #233916 - 09/22/16 03:08 PM Re: Wasting money teaching children what they know [Re: AAC]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Originally Posted By: ACC
    Indigo, really, I hope it helps improve options for everyone. Though I am particularly interested in kids at the top as I am worried about DD's education.
    Because the focus of this study was the needs of students at the top (those achieving at a level one or more grades beyond the assigned grade level, as evidenced by scores on standardized tests) therefore my comment matched that, and focused on the students at the top. This does not show indifference to other students. There is simply no need to remark on them in this context, any more than it would be expected to wish a "Happy Birthday" to every attendee at a birthday party once you've acknowledged the guest of honor; while they all have birthdays, the moment is not about them.

    Originally Posted By: AAC
    But I really do think studying the ways that we can differentiate waste and disservice of current public education in teaching content which students already know for the highest levels of intelligence will actually provide solutions for students at every level because it will force individual needs to be seen with out collective lens.
    I agree that it is essential to see individual needs without the collective lens. However, for illustrative purposes I struck the phrase with the buzzword differentiate and chose other words to describe this study. smile

    Originally Posted By: AAC
    I also don't think that our society will allow what will be seen as a privilege for those who many think are already "privileged" with intelligence, unless it is framed as a case study in differentiation and marketed as a way to improve our education system as a whole.
    When some may wish to reframe educational needs as "privilege", I believe it is important to refocus on needs. The right size of education to fit a pupil's growth in their zone of proximal development (ZPD) is not a privilege any more than the correct shoe size is a privilege; too-small education, like too-small shoes, can cause harm. (See related thread, what kids don't learn.)

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    #233940 - 09/23/16 02:40 PM Re: Wasting money teaching children what they know [Re: indigo]
    longcut Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/15
    Posts: 266
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: AAC
    I also don't think that our society will allow what will be seen as a privilege for those who many think are already "privileged" with intelligence, unless it is framed as a case study in differentiation and marketed as a way to improve our education system as a whole.
    When some may wish to reframe educational needs as "privilege", I believe it is important to refocus on needs. The right size of education to fit a pupil's growth in their zone of proximal development (ZPD) is not a privilege any more than the correct shoe size is a privilege; too-small education, like too-small shoes, can cause harm. (See related thread, what kids don't learn.)


    It seems like an ambitious undertaking, but I agree it needs to change. Based on the response I've seen in everyday discussion, and the denial of the existence of higher cognitive ability, it seems like a big challenge. Perhaps I'm suffering from defeatism at the moment, but I recently had a couple conversations with people I consider quite intelligent, who don't believe in IQ differences (at least at the top; most people seem to accept that there are differences at the bottom, with just a few people at the very top who are obviously out there, but not that 2% have much different needs) nor that student needs are big enough to require anything beyond classroom differentiation. They both think that the gifted label stems from home enrichment and privilege, rather than higher intellectual ability. Also that it all evens out in the end, and everyone should have access to the same materials.

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    #233943 - 09/23/16 06:52 PM Re: Wasting money teaching children what they know [Re: longcut]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    I agree that there are viewpoints informed by a desire for "equal outcomes" rather than "equal opportunities". Some people may not be ready to consider with an open mind that people are not uniform but are individuals, with unique strengths and weaknesses... however others may be ready to consider that reality.

    Originally Posted By: longcut
    nor that student needs are big enough to require anything beyond classroom differentiation.
    A few thoughts to possibly counter this:

    1) Differentiation is a buzzword which only means something is different: the advanced students may be required to twiddle their thumbs, mark time, march in place, tread water, or other catch phrases which indicate busy work with no real intellectual challenge or moving forward with measurable academic learning gains. With "differentiation" the pupil's school experience is somehow different, but this term is sufficiently nebulous as to what is "different" for the student's educational experience. Too often the difference may be in work-products expected (differentiated task demands), possibly including more stringent grading criteria, rather than a qualitatively different instructional level and pacing.

    2) In contemplating whether student needs may be big enough to be met with advanced curriculum, such as the next "grade level" curriculum... that's where this study may come in handy, in showing that 15% - 45% of students are testing beyond proficient and therefore may have readiness and ability to learn advanced curriculum, such as the next year's curriculum.

    3) Lack of an academic/intellectual challenge worthy of one's potential can cause long-lasting and far-reaching problems (some of which are summarized in the recent thread what kids don't learn).

    Originally Posted By: longcut
    They both think that the gifted label stems from home enrichment and privilege, rather than higher intellectual ability.
    A few thoughts to answer those who may present such views:

    1) Home enrichment is not reserved to the wealthy. Rather, it may be simply regarded as positive parenting. Having books on hand is a common example. Library books are free to borrow and many charities provide a selection of books free for the taking. Enrichment may take many forms, such as reading to a child, conversing with a child, talking about one's day, making eye contact, asking questions, pointing out colors of everyday objects, counting things, discussing textures, describing foods as they are eaten, etc... anything which engages and stimulates the brain in a positive manner. Building a relationship with the child and building a child's vocabulary may be two notable benefits.

    2) Both nature and nurture are involved in intellect; Native intelligence must be coached and nurtured to grow, just as athletic ability must be coached and nurtured to grow.

    3) From an old thread discussing gifted myths, this post hopes to raise awareness that some conflate giftedness with opportunity, but they are two different things. Nature and nurture.

    4) This thread shows that low SES schools with high-achieving students do exist (such as Steubenville City, Ohio).

    5) There are many shining examples of role models - people who've risen from difficult circumstances, including Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Ben Carson, Chris Gardner ("Pursuit of Happyness"), Carol Swain, Candace Owens, Phiona Mutesi and students such as Destyni Tyree, Liyjon Desilva, Samantha Garvey, who come to mind as frequently cited examples.

    Originally Posted By: longcut
    Also that it all evens out in the end
    There are posts about the heinous and toxic practices undertaken in attempt to close achievement gaps by capping the growth of students at the top, getting them to level-out, underachieve, and in some cases develop a host of social and emotional difficulties from sensing a need to hide or deny their gifts and talents (failure to embrace being their true selves).

    Originally Posted By: longcut
    ... and everyone should have access to the same materials.
    Some may wish to respond: This is as preposterous as saying all should wear the same size of shoes!

    smile

    I'm not saying that keeping up the conversation is easy, only that it is necessary, it is up to the gifted community, and there is good company along the way. Here's an old post which reflects on a similar theme.

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