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Gifted children Parliamentary Enquiry


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#1 kadoodle

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/...1219-2bn68.html

I'm torn between shouting "well, der!" at the computer and crying.  I always hoped that the education of gifted children was less of a desert than when I was a kid.  Obviously not.  sad.gif

#2 IsolaBella

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:33 PM

Derr was my thought too.

#3 PrincessPeach

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:37 PM

They've only just now thought to study this???

Remind me however not to show my mum - she will loose the plot, she has been pushing for this for years.

#4 JustBeige

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

...and they needed a parliamentary enquiry to find this out.

I think this is appropriate wacko.gif

#5 somila

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

There have been parliamentary enquiries into giftedness in Qld before but I haven't seen big changes "on the ground".  Differentiation within classes seems to be flavour-of-the-month ATM.  Having said that our local state school is allocating spelling books according to tested levels rather than age/year level, so I guess that's a start.
Highly/exceptionally/profoundly gifted children are always going to need an individualised program and will have trouble finding like-minded peers in a mainstream school.  I suspect most of the children in selective schools are not in these categories.


#6 leisamd

Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

Thanks for posting, very interesting!  

Here's the report if anyone's interested:

http://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/st...inal_Report.pdf

#7 BlondieUK

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:36 PM

I fully support the need for schools to do a better job with gifted students. However, the hyperbole that says they need the support as much as disabled children" I find that very hard to stomach. Their ability to learn is not compromised - they do have the ability to gain something, however small from the education system as it stands. Children whose ability to learn is even moderately impaired have extreme difficulty functioning in a mainstream school. The needs are entirely different, but extending a gifted child is much easier than accessing any kind of decent education for disabled children.

I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my experience as a parent of a disabled child, and as a teacher of both ends of the spectrum.

#8 TheMuriels

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:43 PM

Actually, gifted children quite often have their learning ability impaired... due to many factors.



#9 jojonbeanie

Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:54 PM

I have one extremely gifted child and one extremely disabled child. Trust me there is no comparison. I know which side of the bell curve I would rather be.

#10 minus

Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:23 AM

no longer want to comment

Edited by minus, 21 December 2012 - 12:42 AM.


#11 BlondieUK

Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:31 AM

QUOTE (TheMuriels @ 20/12/2012, 10:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually, gifted children quite often have their learning ability impaired... due to many factors.


I am aware of this - and the needs of a such children are even more individual (if that is not a complete oxymoron!). Gifted children, too, suffer from the social isolation that the other end of the spectrum brings - however, their ability to function in everyday tasks and lifeskills does not tend to be so impaired. Yes, I am talking in generalisations, but so is the report.

Don't get me wrong - fully support the need for all teachers and schools to do more than teach to one level. Differentiation is the key and it's a skill that not enough schools place enough emphasis on.


#12 kadoodle

Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:30 AM

As someone who has worked primarily with students at the PMLD end of the scale, the notion that students with disabilities get funding thrown at them left, right and centre is just demented and ignorant.

Rather than drawing comparisons, I think that funding and training for it's own sake - to allow the greatest possible outcomes for gifted children - is a better argument to make.  The "you get so much, we get nuffin" argument does both sets of learners a disservice and shows a massive lack of empathy and lack of knowledge by teachers and parents of gifted students.

I was a gifted child.  My school years were a misery.  But I would never have wanted my betterment to come at the expense of someone else's  loss.

#13 Beancat

Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:46 AM

Hi is there a gifted thread on EB or a good online forum for parents of gifted children?  After a very interesting year at 3 yo kinder my son has had a preliminary diagnosis of gifted and will be doing an individual program at 4 yo kinder next  year.  One of my questions is how were other people's children diagnosed as gifted?  We have been told he cannot formally be diagnosed until 5 when he will undergo an IQ test.

#14 kwiggle

Posted 21 December 2012 - 07:57 AM

What a good reply Kadoodle - so true.

I went to a big government school and spent most of high school roaming the corridors because I was too disruptive in class and the teachers had no idea what to do with me.  The first time anyone ever addressed my learning needs was year 11, when a new English teacher arrived and worked out that I had learned nothing in 4 years.  She showed me that having read every book in the storeroom meant I was a good reader, not a good scholar.  She ensured I could function at uni by the time I left, didn't compare me to other students and taught me to strive to be "the best version of me I could be". What an educator.

The sad reality is that if I hadn't come across a wonderful teacher my life may have been very different & less successful.  If there are any programs that don't rely on such a random encounter to address the needs of kids who aren't average learners they should be encouraged.

After my haphazard education I am very worried that my state has introduced a blanket rule about school starting age and DS will be in the older cohort for his year.  Why hasn't the education system worked out that rigid rules don't meet the needs of individual students?

#15 baddmammajamma

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE (Beancat @ 21/12/2012, 08:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi is there a gifted thread on EB or a good online forum for parents of gifted children?  After a very interesting year at 3 yo kinder my son has had a preliminary diagnosis of gifted and will be doing an individual program at 4 yo kinder next  year.  One of my questions is how were other people's children diagnosed as gifted?  We have been told he cannot formally be diagnosed until 5 when he will undergo an IQ test.


Yes there is a G&T group for parents of kids in primary, but often, parents of younger kids take part:
http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...howtopic=981014

Also, try the Davidson Gifted Forums for age specific discussion (here's the preschool one):
http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/...Pre_school.html

Beancat, although it's unusual to test a 2 or 3 year old, it can be done. My daughter was first tested shortly after her 4th birthday (with the WPPSI-III, which I believe targets kids in the 2.5 to 7+ range) and then again with the SB-V when she was just under the age of 6.






#16 whatnamenow

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:36 AM

Try having a gifted child with a physical impairment!  That blows their mind and they are never sure what to do with her.  As a result they dont do anything.  I thank God in a way that her disability means she is eligible for a program in high school that combines standard high school with distance ed.  She can accelerate where she wants to.  Yippee!

Although i will agree with PP. The barriers to a disabled child learning are incomparible to the barriers facing a gifted child.  At the very least a gifted child doesnt have to worry about getting into the classroom.  2 years ago my DD's school put her in a classroom with stairs.  Then scratched their heads the first day she had to come to school in her wheelchair.

#17 PrincessPeach

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE (Beancat @ 21/12/2012, 07:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi is there a gifted thread on EB or a good online forum for parents of gifted children?  After a very interesting year at 3 yo kinder my son has had a preliminary diagnosis of gifted and will be doing an individual program at 4 yo kinder next  year.  One of my questions is how were other people's children diagnosed as gifted?  We have been told he cannot formally be diagnosed until 5 when he will undergo an IQ test.


My brother, cousins & myself were all diagnosed with an IQ test after we turned 5. The only time any of us were extended at school was in either instrumental music programs or sports programs & myself in mathematics in highschool.

The biggest problem at school I found is that because you are not extended, you never have to study because everything comes soo easily, so when you finally come accross something that is a challenge & requires study (in my case, university), you don't have the skills that a non-academically gifted student has learnt in primary school or high school to fall back on.

If you also look at my brother's grades at school you would never know his IQ is over 150 - he was just so board out of his brains he tuned out & as a result never reached his full potential.

#18 baddmammajamma

Posted 21 December 2012 - 08:43 AM

QUOTE (BlondieUK @ 21/12/2012, 12:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I fully support the need for schools to do a better job with gifted students. However, the hyperbole that says they need the support as much as disabled children" I find that very hard to stomach. Their ability to learn is not compromised - they do have the ability to gain something, however small from the education system as it stands. Children whose ability to learn is even moderately impaired have extreme difficulty functioning in a mainstream school. The needs are entirely different, but extending a gifted child is much easier than accessing any kind of decent education for disabled children.

I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my experience as a parent of a disabled child, and as a teacher of both ends of the spectrum.



QUOTE (jojonbeanie @ 21/12/2012, 12:54 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have one extremely gifted child and one extremely disabled child. Trust me there is no comparison. I know which side of the bell curve I would rather be.



QUOTE (kadoodle @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As someone who has worked primarily with students at the PMLD end of the scale, the notion that students with disabilities get funding thrown at them left, right and centre is just demented and ignorant.

Rather than drawing comparisons, I think that funding and training for it's own sake - to allow the greatest possible outcomes for gifted children - is a better argument to make.  The "you get so much, we get nuffin" argument does both sets of learners a disservice and shows a massive lack of empathy and lack of knowledge by teachers and parents of gifted students.


As a gifted person and a the mother of a gifted child (who also has special needs), I concur with all of the points above.

I used to be active in a bunch of gifted forums, and I've scaled back in part because of the underlying sentiment of "Special needs kids get everything" and the inappropriate attempts to draw a parallel between giftedness and special needs/disabiliities" (from the op-ed piece "There is not the understanding that they are at the other end of the normal curve and they need as much help as children at the other end.'')

I think kadoodle's approach is much more sensible.

Edited by baddmammajamma, 21 December 2012 - 09:29 AM.


#19 WinterIsComing

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:07 AM

QUOTE (BlondieUK @ 21/12/2012, 12:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I fully support the need for schools to do a better job with gifted students. However, the hyperbole that says they need the support as much as disabled children" I find that very hard to stomach. Their ability to learn is not compromised - they do have the ability to gain something, however small from the education system as it stands. Children whose ability to learn is even moderately impaired have extreme difficulty functioning in a mainstream school. The needs are entirely different, but extending a gifted child is much easier than accessing any kind of decent education for disabled children.

I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my experience as a parent of a disabled child, and as a teacher of both ends of the spectrum.


I agree with this post.

I say it as a former gifted child, married to a highly gifted man. Due to a tangle of varied circumstances (mostly due to social/economic positions of our families during that stage), nothing much eventuated out of our giftedness during school years, but in the end, both of us ended up doing well in our professional lives. We are naturally smart and that smartness has carried us far in the corporate world. Surely, with certain support, we could have explored our respective potentials a bit further, but there is no research correlating giftedness with success in life. Rather, it is a combination of your birth circumstances and the effort that you have put in somewhere along the line.

Disabled people, I suspect, don't fare as well as cognitively gifted. They need 10x more support just to get to the even plane with the rest of the population. So what if a gifted child doesn't get the support they need to be extra special/successful? Parents of children with learning disabilities just hope for them to be average.

Now, in economic terms, perhaps putting that extra effort into gifted children could pay off - I am thinking raising our scientific and entrepreneurial profile as a country - however, I doubt that any part of our policy planning as strategic as that. If someone does think of that, the money should come from outside the education budget, possibly.

ETA: DH had a learning impairment, too, to go with his giftedness.

Edited by WinterIsComing, 21 December 2012 - 09:17 AM.


#20 baddmammajamma

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

WinterIsComing:

To expand upon your post, the Davidson Institute For Talent Development in the U.S. supports the needs of profoundly gifted kids -- including the establishment of an academy for the profoundly gifted. It is a non profit organization, initially founded and underwritten by a couple (Bob & Jan Davidson) who felt that the most gifted children in the U.S. were being underserved.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Article/About_Us_318.aspx

They have a terrific support & mentorship program called the "Davidson Young Scholars," that provides support and mentorship and educational opportunities for kids up until age 18. If we were living back in the U.S., I definitely would want my daughter to take part.
http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/

They offer generous fellowships for children who have completed a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and "Outside the Box" Thinking:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/fellows/

And they offer summer "think" programs, where high schoolers can earn college/uni credits:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/think/

Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?




#21 Jane Jetson

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:30 AM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As someone who has worked primarily with students at the PMLD end of the scale, the notion that students with disabilities get funding thrown at them left, right and centre is just demented and ignorant.

Rather than drawing comparisons, I think that funding and training for it's own sake - to allow the greatest possible outcomes for gifted children - is a better argument to make.  The "you get so much, we get nuffin" argument does both sets of learners a disservice and shows a massive lack of empathy and lack of knowledge by teachers and parents of gifted students.


I agree - well said.

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was a gifted child.  My school years were a misery.  But I would never have wanted my betterment to come at the expense of someone else's  loss.


Same here. And certainly my experience makes me wonder whether extra funding for gifted children is the best or only approach: I went to two primary schools, one large and progressive, and which extended me wonderfully; and one small and small-minded, with a culture of bullying anyone who didn't fit in.

I could never understand why, at my second school and later, high school, children who were exceptional were singled out and praised, and extended, and popular - if their ability lay in the direction of sport. If their ability was academic (and if, for example, they'd already done the Year Four work in Years Two and Three thanks to being extended, and were bored sh*tless) they were told they were no big deal, that they had to do the same duncework as the other kids, and that it was perfectly okay to bully them for wanting to learn.

I would like to see the same accolades and encouragement currently given to sporting ability given to children who are gifted in more academic areas. Sadly this would probably need to address some deep-seated issues in society, so it's probably about as realistic as getting mainstream schools to actually cater for both gifted children, and those with SN at the other end of the spectrum.

(I have no idea if my kids are gifted. I'm pretty sure one has ADHD, and our slow progression in diagnosis is looking that way.)

Edited because my gifts clearly deserted me at some point and I can no longer construct a valid sentence.

Edited by Jane Jetson, 21 December 2012 - 10:39 AM.


#22 WinterIsComing

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 21/12/2012, 10:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WinterIsComing:

To expand upon your post, the Davidson Institute For Talent Development in the U.S. supports the needs of profoundly gifted kids -- including the establishment of an academy for the profoundly gifted. It is a non profit organization, initially founded and underwritten by a couple (Bob & Jan Davidson) who felt that the most gifted children in the U.S. were being underserved.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Article/About_Us_318.aspx

They have a terrific support & mentorship program called the "Davidson Young Scholars," that provides support and mentorship and educational opportunities for kids up until age 18. If we were living back in the U.S., I definitely would want my daughter to take part.
http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/

They offer generous fellowships for children who have completed a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and "Outside the Box" Thinking:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/fellows/

And they offer summer "think" programs, where high schoolers can earn college/uni credits:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/think/

Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?


To be honest, I sincerely doubt it would happen. One needs to have a look at the very wealthy in our country, Gina Reinheart or Rupert Murdoch come to mind. Zero personal integrity, mega greed and would stop at nothing to get that little bit extra wealthy. For all its problems, US is still the hot bed of the progressive thinking and high profile philanthropists. I remember reading about one who was involved in projects in Australia!!



#23 WinterIsComing

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 21/12/2012, 10:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
WinterIsComing:

To expand upon your post, the Davidson Institute For Talent Development in the U.S. supports the needs of profoundly gifted kids -- including the establishment of an academy for the profoundly gifted. It is a non profit organization, initially founded and underwritten by a couple (Bob & Jan Davidson) who felt that the most gifted children in the U.S. were being underserved.

http://www.davidsongifted.org/Article/About_Us_318.aspx

They have a terrific support & mentorship program called the "Davidson Young Scholars," that provides support and mentorship and educational opportunities for kids up until age 18. If we were living back in the U.S., I definitely would want my daughter to take part.
http://www.davidsongifted.org/youngscholars/

They offer generous fellowships for children who have completed a significant piece of work in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Literature, Music, Philosophy and "Outside the Box" Thinking:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/fellows/

And they offer summer "think" programs, where high schoolers can earn college/uni credits:
http://www.davidsongifted.org/think/

Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?


To be honest, I sincerely doubt it would happen. One needs to have a look at the very wealthy in our country, Gina Reinheart or Rupert Murdoch come to mind. Zero personal integrity, mega greed and would stop at nothing to get that little bit extra wealthy. For all its problems, US is still the hot bed of the progressive thinking and high profile philanthropists. I remember reading about one who was involved in projects in Australia!!



#24 BlondieUK

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

QUOTE (Jane Jetson @ 21/12/2012, 08:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would like to see the same accolades and encouragement currently given to sporting ability given to children who are gifted in more academic areas. Sadly this would probably need to address some deep-seated issues in society, so it's probably about as realistic as getting mainstream schools to actually cater for both gifted children, and those with SN at the other end of the spectrum.


As a (former) professional musician, I know that I got wonderful support from the music staff. Because I was non-sporting (although not non-athletic IYKWIM) some teachers would actively denigrate me in front of other students. It's cultural - it's deep seated and I have no idea what we can do to shift our values. Other than, as a teacher, promote and support excellence in all fields. Critical thinking, to me, is the key skill.


#25 *LucyE*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:22 AM

QUOTE
QUOTE
Wouldn't it be fabulous if some of the mega-wealthy business people in AUSTRALIA could help fund something innovative like this in our country?

To be honest, I sincerely doubt it would happen. One needs to have a look at the very wealthy in our country, Gina Reinheart or Rupert Murdoch come to mind. Zero personal integrity, mega greed and would stop at nothing to get that little bit extra wealthy.

That's not quite accurate. The Australian government hasn't always supported private philanthropic endeavors unlike the US. The assumption here is that the 'government' should do it whereas in the US it is more that the private sector should do it. Although I accept that it does take a certain amount of generosity to start, it is not always done with purely altruistic motives. There are perks for the benefactor too. When JH tried to bring in changes that would encourage private philanthropy in Australia, he was attacked for trying to weasel out of his governments responsibility. It doesn't have to be either or. It can be a mixture of both.




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