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    #247227 - 06/17/20 04:44 PM How to advocate for child who tries to blend in?
    slmw Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 05/31/20
    Posts: 29
    DD8 always tries to blend in and is really shy at school, and doesn't exude her best during assessments. We're in a high performing school district so the teachers can't care less about differentiating gifted from high-achieving. Any tips on how to advocate for something like math acceleration with kids who try to 'blend in'?

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    #247254 - 06/20/20 09:31 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    A child who has a gift for math... an interest in math and affinity for math... a love of math... would typically be asking for extra math at home, and would therefore typically have had substantial exposure to above-grade-level math.

    Creating and maintaining a list of these outside-of-school pursuits may provide documentation helpful for advocacy in the school system.

    Crowd-sourced advocacy tips, resources, and information are gathered in this roundup:
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post183916

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    #247255 - 06/20/20 11:18 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    cricket3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 693
    I think this is extremely difficult, and will depend almost entirely on your school district and/or the individuals there with whom you have to deal.

    I have to disagree with indigo here- my kids were certainly talented in math, but the hypercompetetive-ness of the school math league and AMC contests was very off-putting to them, beginning in 5th and 6th grade. It was enough to keep them from participating. As a matter of fact, near,y all our schoolís ďenrichmentĒ was in the form of contests, bees and other competitions, the results of which were usually broadcast to the school community- a real deal-breaker for kids who are bullied for being different.

    By high school that had lessened (both the bullying and the broadcasting of achievement) and our kids did get some personal benefit from scoring highly on the AMC, even qualifying for AIME, but it was not enough to get them to overcome their strong desire to fly under the radar.

    Their relative abilities stood out most starkly during elementary school (or perhaps they had not yet become adept at hiding their talents) but even there, the school had a strict policy of not accelerating, etc, so we looked for challenge and enrichment outside of the school environment. And that would be my advice, unless you have a willing partner in your district.

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    #247256 - 06/20/20 01:28 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    spaghetti Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/05/15
    Posts: 474
    Around that age, my dd wrote a letter to the principal explaining how her brain would get bored and do other things. She gave a cautionary tale of her best friend who was under challenged and how when they got together, her friend's brain started to turn back on.
    And she explained the horrible fate she'd have if she forgot how to use her brain.

    Very high performing district obsessively interested in equity. Got a grade skip. From the get go, I told my child that I would only advocate for her after she tried. She needed to have full buy in. No way would I advocate on her behalf. At least in this district where they feel like pushy parents = child abuse, that was the only way to go.

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    #247259 - 06/20/20 06:10 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: indigo]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 41
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    A child who has a gift for math... an interest in math and affinity for math... a love of math... would typically be asking for extra math at home, and would therefore typically have had substantial exposure to above-grade-level math.


    ... if their parents recognize their math talent for what it is, and have the knowledge and resources and time to provide this for them. And if the child has the kind of temperament suited for independent study, and has enough time and is in good enough health to pursue it.

    You're making a lot of assumptions here.

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    #247261 - 06/20/20 09:39 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: cricket3]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: cricket3
    I have to disagree with indigo here- my kids were certainly talented in math, but the hypercompetetive-ness of the school math league and AMC contests was very off-putting to them, beginning in 5th and 6th grade. It was enough to keep them from participating. As a matter of fact, near,y all our schoolís ďenrichmentĒ was in the form of contests, bees and other competitions, the results of which were usually broadcast to the school community- a real deal-breaker for kids who are bullied for being different.


    Yes I have one child in particular who would actively avoid competitions and make sure they did not get selected for any such activities. In fact there have been many years of this child making sure that they aren't noticed in the classroom. This tendency is partly personality, but I also blame the Gr1 teacher, who admitted to holding them back so as not to upset other children they were blowing past after arriving in the classroom fairly equal after a grade skip. The message was received loud and clear that they were making other kids sad or uncomfortable by whizzing through things so easily. Now great effort is put into remaining a B student.

    A few years ago they took up music and have progessed from never-touched-this-instrument to approaching tertiary standard in 3.5 yrs. Which has been much easier in a 1:1 tution scenario, but there are still issues about not wanting to stand out, so certain auditions have been deliberately sabotaged. And there is no history of well developed work habits or commitment to task...

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    #247262 - 06/21/20 04:51 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 163
    Loc: Australia
    I agree with earlier replies that it is more difficult to advocate for a child who is trying to blend in. My eldest was such an example and I didnít have much success. In the end she had to work quite hard in the final year of school to cover the entire curriculum because she had always been held back by the rest of the year (we are at our local high school though, by choice, which serves an Ďaverageí population and didnít have other particularly high achieving students). My son started at that high school the year after she finished and he already had several maths comp prizes (with a few perfect scores), so they were keen to accelerate him. In primary school, he did the same worksheets as the others, but gave more advanced answers. For example, in Grade 2, he answered the multiplication worksheets using Roman numerals, in binary format and then in other base numerals. Although the teachers didnít mark his work, they were happy to give him free rein.

    The take home message for me is that teachers respond better when they are shown, not told, that a student is working beyond (and therefore that acceleration is appropriate). Iíve found that revision text books are really useful. I have given my younger kids revision textbooks for up to several grades above their enrolled year. They can usually master a topic in one or two sittings whereas going through the tedious exercises of a standard textbook could take weeks at school. In this way, it has become obvious that they have mastered topics and are ahead. I leave it up to the teachers to decide what to do - Iíve also advised my kids that if they already know the material being taught in class, they can do deeper/ broader research (they bring laptops to school and have access to the internet).


    Edited by Eagle Mum (06/21/20 04:17 PM)

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    #247264 - 06/21/20 07:13 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: indigo]
    Kai Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 647
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    A child who has a gift for math... an interest in math and affinity for math... a love of math... would typically be asking for extra math at home, and would therefore typically have had substantial exposure to above-grade-level math.


    Definitely not our experience here.

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    #247265 - 06/21/20 07:32 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3984
    I would agree that the range of behavior exhibited by children with a gift and interest for math is wide. There are certainly some who present with a thirst for more math, but there are also others who do not, for many different reasons.

    As an adult, I enjoy math and STEM (no longer professionally, but with graduate STEM training, and remaining among my personal interests), but as a young child, I thought I wasn't good at it, and didn't enjoy it. Fortunately, I had a parent who knew me well enough to recognize that this was a warning sign that there was some kind of educational mismatch, rather than taking these sentiments at face value. By the time I reached middle school age, I was +4 or 5 years in math placement (depending on where you put alg II in the sequence). So clearly, my presentation regarding a love for math in the early elementary years was not predictive of my long-term trajectory.

    But even if a child has a gift and affinity for math--and loves it--in-school modifications are not always the solution most suited to them. So by all means, work cordially and collaboratively with your school system regarding differentiation, but also expand your approach to resources outside of school, in the community, online, etc.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247270 - 06/23/20 02:57 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    Fascinating responses. However few provided the requested advice, tips, suggestions on how to advocate for math acceleration for a child who tries to blend in. Interestingly, some suggested not advocating. Even more interesting to me were those who stated disagreement with my post while refuting statements I did not actually make... and then appeared to agree with statements I had made.

    While I mentioned "asking for extra math at home" and "outside-of-school pursuits," one poster called me out by name to disagree... while giving a thumbs-down to school competitions... and giving a thumbs-up to challenge and enrichment outside of the school environment.

    Another poster mentioned a child doing fractions at age 4; one can read Common Core Math Standards to see at which grade level fractions (and other math topics) are taught.

    One poster thought that in suggesting kids who love math would typically be asking for extra math at home, I was making a lot of assumptions about:
    parental
    - recognition of math talent,
    - knowledge,
    - resources,
    - time...

    student
    - temperament
    - health.

    I made no such assumptions. However when processing my mention of asking for extra math at home, possibly some may read into that: parent-arranged formal classes, tutoring, camps, online lessons, etc. These are distinct from a child simply asking for extra math at home. I've personally known several children who loved math, found it in everyday life, and authentically gravitated toward it. For example, in recipe cook books, mathematical patterns found in science TV shows, crafts, LEGOs, Lincoln Logs, coloring books, calendars, and more... asked for workbooks (often on display at grocery stores, big-box stores), sought math books when visiting the library. At some point, if a parent is preparing to advocate, a child's projects and book lists could be documented to show child-led activities indicative of a love of math. As mentioned above, math topics can be cross-referenced to Common Core Math Standards.

    A second poster gave a thumbs down to school math competitions, another stated that their child who loved math never asked about extra math at home, and another shared that although they are fond of math now, at a young age they did not think they were good at math.

    That said, it appears that among the responses (and to varying degrees) there is general consensus that:
    - it is more difficult to advocate for a child who hides their ability in order to blend in,
    - math pursuits outside of school may be helpful.

    Other factors mentioned (which may influence the success of any potential math acceleration):
    Positive
    - well-developed work habits
    - commitment to task
    Negative
    - pushy parents
    - bullies

    You know your child best. After reading the personal anecdotes in this thread, and the crowd-sourced advocacy information linked upthread, I'm sure you'll make a good decision for your child.

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    #247271 - 06/23/20 04:30 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Hi Indigo, you've certainly summarized thoroughly!

    I have definitely known kids that were very advanced in math, very self driven in their math pursuits at home and anywhere they went, and thus generally very recognised for their math gift. If they weren't offered extension and support at school it was never for lack of recognition of how advanced they were.

    But I do think, with any area of giftedness, it is incredibly difficult to advocate for a child that doesn't "bring it" themselves for the teacher to see. And I think it's getting harder. At least where I am the attitude of schools towards parents is increasingly dismissive or even antagonistic. Very much an assumption that all parents have blinkered views of their snowflakes and if the school didn't raise the issue the issue doesn't exist.

    I didn't reply initially because I really have no tips, I have had no success advocating for my children when they have (deliberately or not) hidden their talents, or had talents which are not valued by the school. I was drawn in by other replies and may have helped things veer off topic...

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    #247274 - 06/23/20 03:07 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: MumOfThree]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    Another great summary, MumOfThree, and I agree with you.

    My main point was to share that when advocating, one typically needs or benefits from having some type of documentation of the child's interest/motivation/success in the subject matter... to illustrate, prove, or back up what the parent is seeing in the child, that the school may have thus far overlooked.

    Yes, advocating for academic acceleration is more difficult in today's educational climate of equal outcomes for all students, as the focus in on closing achievement/performance/excellence gaps.

    While I'm not personally a fan of "differentiation," especially in an inclusive classroom with a very broad range of abilities, the article at this link may be of interest to the OP, as it describes the current mode of teaching, in many schools:
    - Article: Differentiating Math Instruction Through Tiered Lessons
    - Link: https://www.davidsongifted.org/search-database/entry/a10965

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    #247276 - 06/23/20 07:40 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: indigo]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3984
    I agree, documentation and objective data are extremely helpful for advocacy. I think it is also critical to have:
    1. a clear idea of your child's needs;
    2. a range of possible solutions that you believe based on your knowledge of your child and whatever research you may have done might be appropriate to meeting your child's educational needs; and
    3. as much information as you can get regarding the options the school has offered or might consider agreeing to--or failing that (or in amplification of it), a list of thoughtful, solution-focused questions to clarify what the options might be.

    It can be helpful to come prepared (in the sense both of suggesting them and of accepting them) with objective measures that you would be willing to have them use to acquire their own documentation and data. Preferably data that they understand and are accustomed to interpreting. For example, programmatic achievement testing (e.g., MAP or state-wide testing), curriculum-based placement or summative testing (e.g., end-of-course, unit testing, chapter tests, standards-based testing).
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #247278 - 06/23/20 09:12 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: aeh]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    Great tips, in a concise list. smile
    For more detail, I believe these are covered in the crowd-sourced roundup of advocacy links, posted upthread.

    Unfortunately, for a child who is hiding their intellect and ability, in an attempt to blend in with other students in the school learning environment, the in-school performance and achievement test results may not show the child's true aptitude/potential. If the teachers already have access to this data, and it has not alerted them to the student's need for advanced curriculum, then possibly an advocacy effort may not benefit from citing this data, alone. When a family may be facing these circumstances, possibly outside documentation may be helpful.

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    #247279 - 06/25/20 08:37 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    knute974 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 683
    Loc: controlled chaos
    I agree with the other posts. I just want to point out that gender may also be an issue. Others have alluded to kids who want to blend in. Linda Silverman wrote an article specifically about gifted girls "blending in" because they don't want to appear different from their peers. It's at least 20 years old by now. There are probably more current articles on the topic.

    My DDs are 20 and 18 now so my experience is from several years ago. They are both quantitatively gifted. I noticed when they were in elementary school, there was a very strong stereotype that if the kids are gifted, the boys are gifted in math and the girls are gifted in language. When I attended our school district's gt department's parent seminars, I would hear some version of that "wisdom" in almost every presentation. These same presenters usually did a gt teacher training during the day and then the parent version in the evening. So, I have to assume that the teachers were getting training that constantly used examples about how to challenge boys who were gifted in math but never mentioned girls. I am guessing that if your DD is not showing any of her abilities at school, there is a strong bias that she is a typical math student even if you have testing to the contrary.

    Also, particularly in elementary school, there seems to be high value placed on speed and competition. Someone who gets the right answer in 2 seconds is "obviously smarter" than the kid whose brain processes more slowly and spits out the same answer in 6 seconds. I don't know how your daughter presents but if she is not a speed demon she also is unlikely to be recognized as needing something different. My DD was not a speed demon, she was a deep thinker. Her abilities were not recognized until we moved her to a dedicated gt classroom and even then, they didn't want her to get too far ahead of the rest of the class.

    If and when she does start to show her abilities, it may not go as you expect. At the end of 6th grade, the students in my DD's gt class took a math placement test for middle school. My daughter came home upset and embarrassed because she was still working on the exam long after the other students were done. Later, her teacher told me that DD got the highest score on the test by a wide margin over her gt classmates and that most of the kids didn't even attempt the last portion of the exam. My DD had interpreted the length of time that she took on the exam as a sign of failure when it really was an indication of her greater understanding of the material.

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    #247280 - 06/25/20 10:30 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    cricket3 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/09
    Posts: 693
    This is a great post!!
    Knute describes very well what my two kids experienced (though one of mine is a boy, he is gentle and sensitive, and avoided competition even more than my girl did- so while I think gender certainly plays a role, so does temperament and personality). I think the description of deep thinkers is spot on- this is what I was so clumsily trying to describe in our frustrating math journey. I believe there are long-standing, systematic attitudes and policies in many schools which are enormous obstacles to educating this kind of student.

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    #247282 - 06/25/20 04:41 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: knute974]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: knute974
    Also, particularly in elementary school, there seems to be high value placed on speed and competition. Someone who gets the right answer in 2 seconds is "obviously smarter" than the kid whose brain processes more slowly and spits out the same answer in 6 seconds. I don't know how your daughter presents but if she is not a speed demon she also is unlikely to be recognized as needing something different. My DD was not a speed demon, she was a deep thinker. Her abilities were not recognized until we moved her to a dedicated gt classroom and even then, they didn't want her to get too far ahead of the rest of the class.


    Bingo! I have one who is a particularly slow deep thinker, and this is a big issue for them. The tendency to notice and celebrate the fast kids (and the kids with great memories) seems most pronounced in primary school, and most pronounced in math, but it comes out in other domains. I distinctly remember being told by the yr2 teacher: "I know that if they put their hand up and I wait long enough they'll have something really interesting or useful to add to the discussion.... But they take so long to form their thoughts and say something that I don't call on them because everyone else needs a chance to talk and I don't have time".

    I have another child who is EG/PG in the verbal domain (both IQ and achievement DYS level scores) but also no scores below the 94% on the last WIAT, so relative weaknesses but no academic problems. Compared to my child mentioned above they are not nearly so pronounced about being "slow thinking" and yet they feel stupid, and bad at math (it's true math was the lowest score on the WIAT). The main thing they talk about is being slower than the smart kids who are "so good" at math. And it's fairly clear that the kids who are good at math ARE the only "smart kids" and also that "good at math" = "fast at math"... Primary school is so much about basic skills and rote learning. Certain kids of gifted kids do not ace this at all.


    Originally Posted By: knute974
    If and when she does start to show her abilities, it may not go as you expect. At the end of 6th grade, the students in my DD's gt class took a math placement test for middle school. My daughter came home upset and embarrassed because she was still working on the exam long after the other students were done. Later, her teacher told me that DD got the highest score on the test by a wide margin over her gt classmates and that most of the kids didn't even attempt the last portion of the exam. My DD had interpreted the length of time that she took on the exam as a sign of failure when it really was an indication of her greater understanding of the material.


    This reminds me of two things a psychologist said to me some years ago "I can often spot a gifted child is by how long they think before answering" and also, directly from one of the children's reports: "A need for precision in thinking and expression - A student who answers questions with Ďthat dependsí... is a first clue of extreme intelligence."

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    #247284 - 06/25/20 05:38 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3984
    Great point, knute! And cricket, I agree, it's not only gender, but temperament in general. And, I'd add, cognitive style.

    I had a student who took 45 minutes to complete a WISC quantitative reasoning subtest that normally is done in about 5-7 minutes, but got nearly all of them correct. (Unfortunately, that task is timed, so many of these correct responses were obtained for their clinical interpretative value only, and not for the formal scores.) One of the factors was that even after identifying the correct response, they went back to confirm that all other options on the multiple-choice items were definitely not correct. Extremely high mathematical ability, headed to engineering school now, and likely to be very successful in that field.

    Along the same lines, my SO was described as an eminently average student in every way all the way up to just before middle school, but ended up high school valedictorian, and went on to graduate from a premier STEM post-secondary institution. I would say the description of slow, deep thinker still applies.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #248085 - 02/26/21 04:09 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    twallace Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 03/31/17
    Posts: 42
    I can empathize entirely with your situation! My DD9 is exactly the same way. She will shut down entirely if she outperforms others, specifically with math, and becomes highly anxious. However times in her life when she was grade skipped and her skills were middle-of-the-road, she excelled. It has been so frustrating because she will say she's bored and ask to be challenged, but then does not perform to show her teachers her skill level.
    My only ideas (take it for what it is because I haven't found any great solutions either) include:
    1. Subject acceleration if she prefers to learn with a classroom rather than differentiated work.
    2. Allow her to perform as she is comfortable in school, and work with her on skills at her actual level at home.
    3. Try to brainstorm with the classroom or gifted teacher to find a solution.
    4. Work with her on building confidence to be different and stand out. Personally, my shy daughter has succeeded with this in sports (playing point guard for basketball and pitching for softball where attention is on her) which has had some crossover with academics.

    Good luck, I feel for you. It's hard to find a solution.

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    #248089 - 02/26/21 09:09 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: slmw]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    I would take the analysis a step further and say some children are not only deeper/slower thinkers, but also decidedly non-performative thinkers. The joy, for them, is in the exploration, not the accolades. This is particularly challenging for children who are temperamentally perfectionistic, or who are quite socially attuned and are being raised in families, or placed in classes, which place outsized weight on performative academics or fitting in.

    In the case of my DS, a well honed sense of cost benefit analysis often stops well-intentioned educators in their tracks. He assesses what he sees as the likely range of options that will be offered to him and, if the perceived ceiling is too low, will not invest the effort to ďproveĒ himself because the reward isnít sufficient. My guess is that, for many of our children, conventional settings offer too little in the way of incentive to reach, or too much discouragement for attempting to do so.

    In your shoes? Iíd play at math at home for a couple of weeks and see where it leads. Cover a sprinkling of topics and map them to your local curriculum norms. Keep track of dates the topics are covered, or measure your child with a timer (on the QT, if they devour content in one sitting). Then, have a candid conversation with the school about options. Iíve found placing emphasis on the studentís sense of identity as a learner, emotional well being, and self-efficacy is the lens that pays with the educational zeitgeist here, not boredom or poor academic fit.

    And re: math gifted children invariably seeking out challenges, no. Learned helplessness is a real phenomenon, as is a gulf between ability and access to opportunity, and both are mediated by a host of environmental, temperamental, cultural, and socio-demographic factors. Also, stereotype threat is a real source of academic derailment, particularly in STEM, and especially among females, racial or linguistic minority students, and students coming from families with limited means.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #248094 - 02/27/21 07:32 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: aquinas]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3984
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Iíve found placing emphasis on the studentís sense of identity as a learner, emotional well being, and self-efficacy is the lens that pays with the educational zeitgeist here, not boredom or poor academic fit.

    Yes! Educators enter the field because they want to make a difference in the lives of children--to inspire and transform, not only academically, but holistically.

    And for your DS and others, the cost benefit analysis could be changed if completing a small selection of easy tasks that demonstrate sufficient mastery to the teacher provided access to progressively more challenging materials (as in curriculum compacting using the test-out approach).

    In addition to external stereotyping, there are also internal pressures, especially among those same populations, to mask gifts in order to blend in with perceived peer and authority expectations. The homeostasis of bias has many dimensions.


    Edited by aeh (02/27/21 07:33 AM)
    _________________________
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    #248101 - 02/28/21 03:14 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: aeh]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Iíve found placing emphasis on the studentís sense of identity as a learner, emotional well being, and self-efficacy is the lens that pays with the educational zeitgeist here, not boredom or poor academic fit.


    I work very hard to play to this when negotiating for my kids. I am bashing my head against a brick wall atm and it is really doing my head in. It's quite heartbreaking....

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    #248103 - 02/28/21 07:26 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: aeh]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    In some schools/districts, focusing not on demonstrable academic skill achieved and pupil readiness ("need") for advanced material in the zone of proximal development... but rather on a student's mental processing and belief systems (such as identity as a learner, emotional well being, and belief in their ability to be successful) may result in extensive journaling assignments examined by school counselors, scheduled pupil visits to the school psychologist, and even unwarranted encounters with child services. YMMV.

    While some, many, or most educators may enter the field because they want to make a difference in the lives of children, I'm also aware of a good number who choose not the field of education, per se, but specifically government school education due to the strong union, salary, and lifelong benefits. On the other hand, some of the most noble teachers I've met have been those who work in private, independent, or parochial schools, where the goals are NOT equal outcomes, but inspiring each student to acknowledge and appreciate differences, and through grit, determination, resilience, and perseverance, be the best they can be. YMMV.

    I'm not currently aware of teacher-provided access to progressively more challenging materials (such as curriculum compacting using the test-out approach), as these, in some areas, may be relics of the past now that a policy of "equal outcomes" has become entrenched, and teachers are evaluated on extensive data collection including grade books which show there are no performance gaps, no achievement gaps, no excellence gaps, among pupils in their classrooms. YMMV.

    I do agree that documenting and demonstrating sufficient mastery may help a pupil be cluster grouped with others of similar ability and readiness. Especially if the pupil is grouped with a higher grade level in which their performance would not show as a "gap" between themselves and other pupils in that classroom.

    In regard to "internal pressures... to mask gifts in order to blend in with perceived peer and authority expectations... homeostasis of bias..." are you referring to a perceptive gifted pupil observing that there is an expectation of equal outcomes for all pupils, and the gifted pupil understands that they are not to exceed this?

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    #248104 - 02/28/21 08:22 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: indigo]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3984
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    In regard to "internal pressures... to mask gifts in order to blend in with perceived peer and authority expectations... homeostasis of bias..." are you referring to a perceptive gifted pupil observing that there is an expectation of equal outcomes for all pupils, and the gifted pupil understands that they are not to exceed this?

    That is one among the possible scenarios. I also refer to GT students incorrectly perceiving peer social norms to be markers of adult or institutional expectations. Or even prioritiing those lower, unspoken peer norms over higher, overt adult expectations. More nuanced examples would include misattributing their own emotional experience to internal failings rather than external failings. For example, when a child thinks they are "bad at" a skill when in reality it is well below their true instructional level, and thus experienced as not engaging (aka, "boring").
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #248106 - 02/28/21 09:25 AM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: aeh]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4922
    Excellent insight, aeh.
    As usual.
    smile

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    #248111 - 02/28/21 02:53 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: MumOfThree]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Originally Posted By: MumOfThree
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    Iíve found placing emphasis on the studentís sense of identity as a learner, emotional well being, and self-efficacy is the lens that pays with the educational zeitgeist here, not boredom or poor academic fit.


    I work very hard to play to this when negotiating for my kids. I am bashing my head against a brick wall atm and it is really doing my head in. It's quite heartbreaking....


    Awww, MumofThree, Iím so sorry to hear that! Would it be helpful to discuss? Feel free to PM if youíd like to brainstorm ideas privately. You have my heartfelt support.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #248113 - 02/28/21 11:37 PM Re: How to advocate for child who tries to blend in? [Re: aquinas]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: aquinas


    Awww, MumofThree, Iím so sorry to hear that! Would it be helpful to discuss? Feel free to PM if youíd like to brainstorm ideas privately. You have my heartfelt support.


    That is so kind of you! I may well reach out but I have a few too many plates spinning atm. Hopefully later in the week.

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