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    #245283 - 04/18/19 10:22 AM NCRGE (UCONN): Gifted Curriculum, Gifted Growth
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4125
    The National Center for Research on Gifted Education (NCGRE) at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) shares Key Findings.

    Of the 16 Key Findings listed, 2 stood out to me. These are the 11th and 12th bullet points, and they highlight curriculum for gifted pupils and growth in the knowledge gained by gifted pupils, respectively:
    Originally Posted By: NCRGE Key Findings
    - Gifted programs seldom focus on core curriculum such as math and reading. Gifted programs have a greater focus on critical thinking and creative thinking than reading/language arts and mathematics.
    - Gifted students start ahead in reading and mathematics achievement at 3rd grade but don’t grow any faster than other groups by 5th grade. In some cases, gifted students show slower growth during this period than non-identified gifted students.

    In a column by Jill Barshay, published online April 15, 2019 for the Hechinger Report, curriculum findings are summarized this way:
    Originally Posted By: J.B. article - April 15, 2019
    The survey found that instead of moving bright kids ahead to more advanced topics, gifted classrooms are preoccupied with activities to develop critical thinking and creativity, such as holding debates and brainstorming. The third most common focus in gifted curriculums is to give students more projects and games, so-called “extension activities” that are tangentially related to their grade-level content. Accelerated math instruction ranked 18th on a list of 26 items that gifted curriculums could focus on. Advanced reading and writing instruction ranked 19th. Teaching academic self-confidence, leadership skills and social emotional learning all ranked higher than teaching above grade level content.

    The relatively low incidence of providing gifted pupils with accelerated math and ELA reveals a great disservice to gifted pupils. Withholding advanced math/ELA curricula may be aimed at slowing the measurable academic growth of the top pupils, as part of a plan to close achievement gaps, close excellence gaps, and achieve "equal outcomes."

    More about the needs of gifted pupils in this old post.
    More about acceleration (full grade acceleration and subject acceleration) in this old post.
    More about grading practices which hold back gifted pupils and help create "equal outcomes" in this old post.

    Other NCRGE Key Findings reveal additional areas for improvement in gifted education.

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    #245372 - 04/30/19 07:28 PM Re: NCRGE (UCONN): Gifted Curriculum, Gifted Growth [Re: indigo]
    Saritz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/12
    Posts: 80
    This is in line with our family's personal experience in a gifted magnet program in a large urban district. The program started with G/T kids mostly grouped in homogenous classrooms, but over the years and under political pressure classrooms gradually became more heterogenous because "struggling students benefit when grouped with bright students."

    At no point were my children offered accelerated instruction. They were given endless projects of dubious educational merit. They were taught to answer the "tricky" questions about main idea and inference on the state NCLB test. This passed for critical thinking, although, honestly, needing to teach critical thinking to gifted students seems redundant, at best.

    When I begged for more complex work in Math, I was directed to IXL and Reasoning Minds. For acceleration in ELA, the Accelerated Reader program.

    The school offered Name that Book, but my kids never participated because the books on the list were several levels below their reading level, even in 3rd grade, and they weren't interested.

    It's really hard to show growth when the diagnostic tools they are using in classrooms tap out at certain levels. A second grade teacher told me specifically not to worry about a lack of growth with my older son because the diagnostic tool topped out at 3rd grade and he'd already hit the ceiling the previous year.

    The one benefit, and I do believe this matters, is that there is a larger peer group of very bright-to-gifted students. Our school also had a band, which was fantastic.

    But the classroom? Forget it. Elementary school was for having fun, making friends, and band.

    We switched to a rigorous private for middle school and it was absolutely the right thing to do, for us and in our community, at least.

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    #245374 - 05/01/19 03:15 AM Re: NCRGE (UCONN): Gifted Curriculum, Gifted Growth [Re: indigo]
    Wren Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1451
    Our experience in NYC gifted and Toronto gifted was vastly different. NYC gifted gave choices based on your score. So if you had a top score you could be in Anderson or PS9, where most of the kids, aside from siblings already at the school, who were all 99+ percentile. So the classroom was very different and you could do more math. In Toronto, you just took the top scorers for a school district. There were plenty of kids in gifted who couldn't do the regular math. Hence, why in Toronto, most kids that got into DD's HG school grades 7-12, have taken accelerated math outside of school for years. Gifted is not one size fits all.

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    #245675 - 06/11/19 12:37 PM Re: NCRGE (UCONN): Gifted Curriculum, Gifted Growth [Re: indigo]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4125
    Here's another article on the topic of this research:
    4 Ways Schools Help or Hinder Gifted Students
    by Sarah D. Sparks
    April 15, 2019
    Education Week
    Vol. 38, Issue 29, Page 8
    Published in Print: April 17, 2019, as Studies Show How Schools Hinder or Help Gifted Students

    Of particular interest to me was one of the "Related Articles" listed: 5 Ways Gifted Students Learn Differently
    by Matthew Lynch
    June 13, 2016
    Education Week
    Originally Posted By: article
    There are five ways in which gifted students tend to learn differently from their peers:

    1. They learn new material much more quickly.
    2. They have a better ability to remember what they have learned, which reduces or eliminates the need for review.
    3. They have ability for abstract or complex thinking that their peers do not have.
    4. They become focused on specific topics and are very passionate about them to the exclusion of other topics and subjects.
    5. They can take in many stimuli at once, knowing what is going on around them while concentrating on a specific task.
    How many gifted programs are built around these traits?

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