Greetings! Our group has put together a series of resources that we hope will aid you in your discovery of gifted and talented students and how to support them. We are centered around how our community (students, teachers, peers, parents…) can contribute to furthering gifted students’ abilities.
Common Resource 1:
The NAGC is an American association centered around providing support and resources to gifted and talented students, as well as their parents and educators. This is achieved not only by education and research, but also through community building and advocacy.
This resource focuses on four main aspects; the first centering around the NAGC’s goals and how they contribute to their community through their NAGC’s annual fund. Next the site offers a wide variety of resources for the community, including students, parents, and education professionals. Another important aspect of this resource is its section on how to get involved; including volunteering, donations and networks. Finally, this resource is of importance to professionals working in this domain because it offers opportunities for professional learning.
Overall this website is useful for a wide range of individuals that are associated to gifted and talented students, it offers valid and practical information and prioritizes gifted learners.
Common Resource 2:
In Sue Teele’s, Redesigning the Educational System to Enable All Students To Succeed, the author discusses methods that can be put in place that can accommodate students of a unique and gifted nature. Teele’s purports that education systems should create new learning environments in which students can excel and learn at their own individual pace. In these unique learning environments, “unfair comparison with the progress of others” would be avoided while students can embrace a strong sense of positive reinforcement. Students of all backgrounds can adapt to certain learning styles and take on assessments tailoring to their individual needs.
Teele explains that teaching and learning should not discriminate on the basis of race, sex or socioeconmic statuses; that education should be made available to all. Thus, when schools appreciate diversity, education can move toward high academic excellence and reveal the academic potential of all students. One may find this article quite helpful in understanding the complexities of accommodating unique and gifted students alike in an educational setting.
Although academic in nature, Teele’s article provides an interesting glimpse into what a diverse setting could look like and details how the inclusion of diverse students would proceed and be celebrated.
Individual Resource 3:
In this TED talk, Ava, a girl who was labelled gifted, speaks about why she thinks being given a title that defines her intelligence felt off. She continues her speech by pointing out all the things she noticed when they placed her into a gifted school. She knew that she was forced to socialize with students that were similar to her, and she felt like one small mistake would make her feel inferior to herself and others, simply because everyone was held to the “gifted standard”. She felt pressure to be perfect, which later on developed anxiety to keep up in Ava’s life. As she continues speaking, Ava describes that she was placed in a gifted school because of her circumstances. She had two parents who nurtured her, who provided a good life, and who had access to resources to test her skills and abilities. Ava makes a good point. She tells the audience that students from low income and different racial and ethnic backgrounds cannot exercise their gifts, simply because their chances and circumstances don’t allow it. Ava says, due to the situations of every individual, it is most likely that those who “start behind, stay behind”. Ava suggests the following question in her TED talk, “How can we evolve our education system to stimulate all students without separating them with the limited definition of intelligence”? She offers a few pointers relating to financial budgeting for after school programs, and grade placements for gifted students.
Individual Resource 4:
Although this website might not be peer reviewed, it gives a good idea to teachers on how they can help gifted students in the classroom. This resource provides six strategies to foster a gifted student in a regular classroom. The list offers the following: Offer the more difficult first; Pre-test for volunteers; Prepare to take it up; Speak to student interests; Enable gifted students to work together; Plan for tiered learning. We’ll focus on three of them.
Offer the more difficult first gives the advice that a gifted student can complete 25 easy math questions and still not foster their skills, while providing five complicated ones gives the student the opportunity to work on and challenge themselves.
Speak to students' interests allows the students to choose how and what they’ll work on. It allows them to see how far their gifted skills and abilities can go.
Oftentimes we hear in our courses that we should pair the stronger student with the weaker one, but how about “Enabling gifted students to work together”? They can work together to challenge each other and themselves. It benefits them because they get to know others who are going through the same thing, and they can learn from each other.
- In today’s classroom, teachers are now focused on equal opportunities for all students. In an environment focused on inclusivity, how can we help high-achieving (gifted) students further improve themselves so that they can reach their full potential while keeping an inclusive classroom?
- What tools or resources can a teacher provide to a student who is clearly gifted but part of a lower socio-economic class or part of a cultural or ethnic minority?
- Hearing Ava’s story about why “gifted” labeling does not work, do you think this applies to every child who is has a unique gift? Should all gifted students be placed into a gifted school? If not, why so?
- Is there a strategy from resource four that you agree with? Or that you don’t? Is there one you might want to add or remove?
Team members: Jake G Provencher, Katarina Markovic, Gabrielle Tremblay