This is a professional development blog for Nottingham Elementary. We'll be discussing books we have read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
A golden nugget of wisdom I have gained comes from the section about Family Issues (pages 94-96). I gained insight as to how some low SES students achieve and how others do not. It basically comes down to the core beliefs and values of the family. If the family believes that education is important and provides a schoolwork-centered environment at home, then the student internalized this value and thus understands the importance of a solid education. If the family says that education is important but does not follow through with actions at home, then the student tends to underachieve.For example, I had a poor Vietmemese girl in my class but she was high achieving and possible GT. Her family valued education so much that they turned the parent conference into how they honor teachers and education in Vietnam. I was blushing at the end of the conference due to their gratitude they felt for me teaching their daughter. This example supports the text when it talks about how achievement also comes the family's value of education.
I agree with you Annie. If a parent values education and provides the high standards for their child, then the expectations are there. The communities section of the chapter discussed that urban students lack opportunities to acquire knowledge about careers & cultural knowledge.Schools can help by providing field trips to museums and collaborations with cultural institutions. I also think parents can help by taking advantage of free museum days, going to the public library which often holds free events for kids, and free concerts. They are free things out their, but the families need to make it a priority to take advantage of these to provide rich experiences for their child.
I agree with A Mitch's ( Annie Mitchell) response on June 8th. It comes down to core belief and values of the family. If they commit to follow through, there's success for the student, a win-win for all! If not, then the students do tend to underachieve because its not being nurtured at home and their talent is never fulfilled.
I absolutely agree and find this such a huge problem. Working at a low poverty school for 10 years I saw this all the time. I would call the parent and talk to them about their student and the potential they have and they showed no interest. The student would tell me their parent's wouldn't help them with their homework or didn't have time because they had to watch their younger siblings. There are so many students with such potential that aren't pushed by their families. As their teacher I feel it is my job to show them how smart they are and how bright their future is, but I always wonder if they used it once they went to middle school.........
While the section on "Family Issues" (p. 94) does report that the family's involvement (or the lack of family involvement) often greatly impacts a student's success, it also notes that "the role of the family system in talent development, because of its close proximity to the child...has been the focus of much attention and discussion". There is no doubt that a supportive family makes the student's school experiences (and the role of school teachers and staff) much better. Even so, a family's beliefs and values, parents' educational level, a family's SES level, etc. are not within the control of the school. A lack of familial support does not relieve us of our obligation to ensure that all students achieve success. Other factors that impact students' achievement (in addition to the role of the family) are presented and may be more malleable for a school district, teachers and staff - the "under-referral" problem (p.90), confusion with identification (p.90), ill-equipped and poorly trained teachers (p.91), lack of preparatory programs (p.91), psychological and social issues (p.92), and the under-usage of community resources (p.96). On page 99, a list of strategies used with two successful gifted programs are offered, and can be highlighted as areas of focus even when there is the lack of a familial support system.
I agree with Annie on the golden nugget being "Family Issues". The gold nugget would be Family Issues on pages 94-95. Happy family with lots of support makes for a happy student. I feel that students that get great support at home with lots of encouragement to do their best at school make for a very successful student. Sadly, those students that are not well supported at home need our help. We have to come up with a plan to better show them that they have someone rooting for their success.
A golden nugget of wisdom that I gained came from page 88-89 that deals with Issues With School. It was insteresting to note that the gifted program classes are predominately Causcaisn or Asian students and that Black students are underrepresented by as much as 55% nationally in the gifted program. This topic made me reflect on the gifted program at a school where I first taught. I didn't see it then, but I do see it now that that there were mainly Cauiasian students in GT program. There was one Afrian American student in a grade level that I taught and he would complain to me that he didn't want to go every time Tuesday rolled around. He said he didn't get along with the other kids and that they singled him out. This touches the topic of Psychological and Social Issues on page 92-93. At the time, I didn't have additional educational background to support his needs and I just had to hold his hand and walk him to the counselor's office so that he'd stay there till it was time to get on the bus so he wouldn't run out.
I have witnessed something similar to Sarah Chu June 9. A former school of mine has several bilingual students who were identified and after a few months dropped out from going to Spiral for the same reason. All of that testing and identifing for the students to not want to go. Not because of the teachers but because of how the other GT students treated them.
Responding to A Mitch and Sarah Chu, I think there needs to be bully prevention programs set in place in the GT programs, just as we do so in mainstream. Bullying by GT kids could get complex and insidious. I know there is very limited bullying at the School for the Highly Gifted in SBISD. I don't know how ethnically diverse it is, though.
I agree with Melanie Marshall about having a bullying program for GT centered about acceptance and understanding. I feel that when new GT students are identified there needs to be some type of transition into the class with other students. I also agree bullying in the GT world is different than what we think in the mainstream classroom. Much more complex and stealth.
A golden nugget of wisdom I found was found on pages 92-94, "Psychological and Social Issues." "...found that minority students tend to shun academic excellence due to the fear of being rejected by their peers who perceive success in school as acting White." I wondered if minority students are not trying their best and demonstrating their fullest potential because they want to be accepted among their peers. I have taught students who underachieve and it is frustrating as a teacher because you know they can do better than a C or B, but they are okay with those grades. They would rather be the class funny guy instead. "Too many minority gifted students succumb to the perception that success in schooling and placement in gift programs is a "sell out" to the mainstream culture & can lead to rejection by other minority peers."
I think being reject by peers because "success is perceived as white" is becoming a thing of the past. The author is referring to research that was conducted in mid-1990. However, I do feel "belonging" can be an issue when you have students who are from different socioeconomic groups in a classroom. For example, no real community might not exist between students who live in apartments and those who live in houses.
A golden nugget I read was on page 90: There is considerable controversy about the validity...of these alternative measures, and current thinking suggests that traditional tests are still the best measures, especially if selected to match the requirements of the learning situation....I thought the author was encouraging the readers to use different ways to measure giftedness among the underrepresented groups, but she back pedaled. I think that is wise. If a student is not acquiring the necessary standards to be promoted to the next grade level, then they may not be able to perform in a GT class.Perhaps an alternative GT program, such as one after school, could be a solution. This she talked about in Chapter 5.
Melanie you make a very good point. In some districts, it a status symbol for kids to be in the gifted program. Parents aggressively pursue the system. Testing eliminates those who do not deserve it and includes those who have earned it. Hence, many believe it is the best measure.
First, I love the wording of this question, lol. My "golden nugget" came to me when I read pgs. 92-94- Psychological and Social Issues. I reflected on the past chapter when I read the "stereotype threat" section and was amazed at how similar these sections are to each other. Minority groups feeling "fear" of achieving because of the negative stereotypes their cultures hold. The author did state that due to the "fewness" factor- only small percentages of students from minority groups are in advanced or accelerated classes.-that the minority students perception that success in schooling is a "sell-out" to the white culture and has social disadvantages by their minority peers. This spoke to me because in Maryland I worked in a predominantly African American district and the white children were the minority. the few white students I had would not work as hard as I had seen in the past due that they didn't want to be ostracized by the the larger "minority" group by looking like an over achiever.
I agree with you on this. pages 92-94 discuss the psychological and social issues to those students who are minority students. I would like to see that it is more a minority that a wide range of students are not in the GT program. We have to find someway to take the fear of achieving to their highest potential. How can we do that?
I agree with Sarah, there are definitely more Caucasian students in the G/T program than any other group. I can see how this would psychologically affect minority groups entering the program with no peers that are like them. I think it would be very difficult to feel like "part of the gang" and I agree that they probably give up as their easy way out of the uncomfortable situation.
A Golden Nugget I found was on pages 88-92 when they are talking about Issues with Schooling. I find it interesting that gifted programs tend to exist in schools that serve more affluent populations of students. This goes back to families and the importance of education. The more affluent families are more focused on their children's education so they push for these programs. These school have a lack of textbooks, libraries and qualified teachers. We are setting them up for failure or to make it a lot harder to succeed.
I agree with Annie on her June 8th post, the nugget of wisdom I received was the part on pages 94-96 "Family Issues". I have long believed that the family dynamics is hugely important in the developmental growth of the whole child. As is stated on page 95, It is clear from these studies that even parents with limited resources can, by their messages to their children and their actions, speak volumes to their children and enable their children to be successful. The family has a lot of influence on their children, and I have thought about this quite a bit, especially thinking of our own student body and wishing some of our parents would realize this in order to help our students be successful.
Sara brought up a good point in her June 9th post regarding "Issues with Schooling". It is very apparent that most gifted program classes are predominately Caucasian or Asian students, Pg. 88. African American and Latino students are underrepresented in the gifted program. and the reason for this underrepresentation is that gifted programs tend to exist in schools that serve more affluent populations of students and the poor minority children are in schools that lack a rigorous curriculum and less equipped resources. I see it as a means of setting our poorer populations up for failure! Tragic!!!!
My golden nugget is that success for atypical gifted students is possible pp 97-101. This is demonstrated through the programs, Project Excite and Live. These preparatory programs helped develop the skills students needed to get into the traditional advanced classes in their schools. In reading about the psychological and social issues, lack of family education commitment/values and sound multicultural/academic programs, I am for the privatization of gifted programs. I think that by working with a school district and university these educational companies will develop a program that meets the needs of any gifted student. The program will have in place a standardized assessment system. If you get in the program--pass the test, you are deemed qualified. This will eliminate stereotypes and pyschosocial stressors. Students who meet their testing and other criteria/measures regardless of race, rural upbringing, poverty, language barriers will have a program specifically designed to meet their needs.
My gold nugget is on page 90 - that the design of appropriate gifted programs can be done readily at the local school level b/c school administration know the students and have the freedom to craft their own programs. This was in response to the idea that poor minority students may have gaps in their schema and need remediation and exposure to advanced content b/f they can succeed in accelerated programs. While our district has procedures in place for student identification and (off-campus) G/T programming, this does not preclude the ability for classroom teachers to meet the needs of students through differentiated instruction that includes remediation and acceleration based on what each student needs. Through our current focus on Balanced Literacy instruction, we are better equipping teachers with the tools needed to better impact students' success.
The gold nugget would be Family Issues on pages 94-95. Happy family with lots of support makes for a happy student. I feel that students that get great support at home with lots of encouragement to do their best at school make for a very successful student. Sadly, those students that are not well supported at home need our help. We have to come up with a plan to better show them that they have someone rooting for their success.