Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links
DITD Logo

Learn about the Davidson Academy’s online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Davidson Fellows Scholarship
  • Davidson Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 289 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    jarredreeves, sue22, Paul Kevin, salubrious, Lorens
    10808 Registered Users
    August
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30 31
    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
    Topic Options
    #79268 - 06/29/10 09:36 AM Exactly what is "thinking Big"?
    PoppaRex Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/09/10
    Posts: 44
    I am of the opinion that the obvious answer is, "Teach each to his/her ability", but is that something that is doable? I know there is some effort ongoing via "Race to the top" to define base programs and individualized learning, but it is my impression that teachers do not see that individualized learning is possible considering current funding and class sizes, and part of me thinks they are right.

    The problem I see is the moment you create a separate system for identifying and educating the gifted, then there will be a tremendous amount of resistance as the concept flies in the face of "No Child Left Behind". The issue is that there really is no definition of what NCLB really means. The perception is that it means every child has the right to the same level of education as any other child, whether they are capable or not. That automatically drags the system to the lowest common denominator whether intentional or not.

    What I envision is a system that, from an early age, attempts to identify/quantify ability and set minimum targets for those levels. It needs to be very flexible to ensure that a child is not pigeon-holed into a categorization that is not appropriate.

    I would think the ability and testing are fairly simple. It's just a matter of designing something that is used continuously to assess and reassess. I don't think it would require a full psych analysis for every test. It's likely that much of that just needs to be defined clearly.

    The individualized learning might be a bit trickier. How does the Davidson Academy handle this (I didn't see Teacher/student ratios on the website). Again, the issue as I understand it from teachers is that it woudl be impossible for a teacher to be aware of the various levels that each student is learning at. I am not convinced that that is not simply a problem that no one has tried to work out in an efficient manner.

    What is the future for computerized training? Obviously it has never lived up to the model predicted on "the Jetsons", but it that simply a matter of a lack of vision and focus? Could it be done in a way that provides access to the masses?

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Poppa

    Top
    #79317 - 06/29/10 02:42 PM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: PoppaRex]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Poppa - if you aren't familiar with NWEA's MAP test, take a look.
    http://www.nwea.org/products-services-0

    I love your idea of "Teach each to his/her ability" and think it's a great keystone of what education could be about. On a more practical level, I think that "Teach each child within their readiness level" is more 'actionable.'

    To me that implies
    1) figuring out what are the steps to learning a skill, or advancing in a subject
    2) testing which steps the child has mastered
    3) moving the child to a location where a lesson is being taught that is designed to teach that skill

    Computerized teaching seems so appealing to me, but after observing my son, I see that in the end, he really wants several children to interact with (and show off to.) Perhaps computerized learning will really flower when it allows peer interaction in some meaningful way?

    Always fun to hear from you -
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

    Top
    #79318 - 06/29/10 02:51 PM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: Grinity]
    traceyqns Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/18/09
    Posts: 460
    I dk how they do it but a montessori school by me does teach to each kid individually. It somehow works. Kids are not pinned against each other. The parents know each kid is doing their own thing. They all have diff books etc. When a child finishes a book they move on to the next level book. There was no following the group. I just wish the school had higher grades. They have individual instruction and it may not be all day but even 10 minutes of individual attention is better than hours of useless instruction. Most of the kids flourished. It is amazing the difference in a traditional school setting.

    Top
    #79323 - 06/29/10 04:09 PM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: PoppaRex]
    MsFriz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/22/08
    Posts: 313
    Originally Posted By: PoppaRex
    I am of the opinion that the obvious answer is, "Teach each to his/her ability", but is that something that is doable?


    It is doable with small classes. My son's small private school teaches each child at his/her level of ability. Students are pretested at the beginning of the year and when new material is introduced. Then, the teacher plans and designs an individualized curriculum for each student based on the pretest results. Although the kids stay in the same class as their agemates, each child has different assignments and goals. In my son's kindergarten, some kids got kindergarten level work. Some got 2nd grade math and 1st grade reading. Some got 1st grade math and 4th grade reading. But there were also less than 10 kids in the class, with one teacher and a teacher's helper. The entire school, which runs from K-12, has less than 100 kids total.




    Top
    #79325 - 06/29/10 04:21 PM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: traceyqns]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: traceyqns
    I dk how they do it but a montessori school by me does teach to each kid individually. It somehow works.


    The problem with Montessori is that in many people's hands it become a rigid expectation. As in: 'Before one is ready to learn x, one must have mastered y.' It does work for many, but I don't think the model of 'how kids learn' is complex enough. A good start for sure though!
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

    Top
    #79343 - 06/29/10 07:00 PM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: Grinity]
    Ace Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/27/07
    Posts: 22
    Loc: Michigan
    The school my daughter attends (a private school for gifted children) does a fabulous job of individualizing instruction. In the lower school, the classes are multi age - K/1, 2/3, 4/5 then off to middle and upper school. In her 2/3 class, there were 19 kids and 2 teachers- not an aide. And her class was the largest 2/3 class. When the 2nd graders go off to art, science etc., it leaves the 2 teachers with the remaining 9 3rd graders for math and reading/writing. Very easy to individualize with those circumstances! The school is so good at meeting children where they are and providing the appropriate level of challenge.
    _________________________
    Alison

    Top
    #79557 - 07/02/10 05:32 AM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: Grinity]
    traceyqns Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/18/09
    Posts: 460
    The flexibility of the montessori school was great. Handing out diff sheets of work for the kids to do or hand a kid a dictionary and tell him to get you 10 verbs or dictate sentences to a child to work on spelling. But like anything it is a good teacher that matters the most. The diff stations was cool too so the kids can actually learn on their own w/o a teacher standing by them. But Public school sure frowns on montessori! But from personal experience there is no comparison to public.

    Top
    #79563 - 07/02/10 07:11 AM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: traceyqns]
    PoppaRex Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/09/10
    Posts: 44
    I have been chatting with a local teacher about what they call "Differentiated Instruction" that teachers here in Mass. are now starting to be taught. Wiki seems to define this as something that just allows different methods to be used for children who learn in different ways, but on some various websites describing the method, it sounds as if they really do try to allow kids of different abilities to progress more at their own speed. I am not sure if there's a limit to exacly how different a student can be and i suspect that teaching algebra while everyone else is learning multiplication might not be something they are expecting.

    I wonder if it's a matter of designing support systems to track indiviual kids so the teacher don't have to or if there's really a need to have one teacher responsible for all instruction regardless of the level. To be honest, there are a lot of teachers failing the most basic certification tests never mind spanning multiple levels of a subject.

    Lots to ponder.

    Poppa

    Top
    #79583 - 07/02/10 11:41 AM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: PoppaRex]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: PoppaRex
    I have been chatting with a local teacher about what they call "Differentiated Instruction" ...but on some various websites describing the method, it sounds as if they really do try to allow kids of different abilities to progress more at their own speed. I am not sure if there's a limit to exacly how different a student can be and i suspect that teaching algebra while everyone else is learning multiplication might not be something they are expecting.

    Poppa


    Our local public school uses 'Differentiated Instruction' to explain why they can meet the needs of all students. But since they don't actually pretest to see what the learning needs of the various students might be, there is a tremendous problem with the expectation that they have no students with learning needs way above what the teachers are planning to teach.

    My approach to schools is to plug my ears with cotton when they explain what their system is and why it works, and ask specific questions about hypothetical situations and do lots of observation. I've been told 'We do provide differentiation - but your child has never gone over to the 'extra work' area when he finishes his required work, so he must not be interested - it's his fault.'

    And if the extra work offered is still years below his readiness level, being offered as an 'additive'instead of a substitute, and not actually having any teaching go along with it, is my son still going to be judged lazy because he doesn't do it?
    ((shruggs))
    Grimity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

    Top
    #79586 - 07/02/10 12:10 PM Re: Exactly what is "thinking Big"? [Re: Grinity]
    PoppaRex Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/09/10
    Posts: 44
    It takes a long time to shed the guilt of being "lazy".

    Top
    Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >


    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    Perseid meteor shower reminder
    by madeinuk
    07:26 AM
    The ultimate brag thread
    by madeinuk
    07:24 AM
    Aging
    by indigo
    10:33 PM
    AP scholar importance
    by Wren
    08/12/20 12:04 PM
    How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping?
    by Lorens
    08/11/20 07:40 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter