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Gifted children Parliamentary Enquiry


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#76 LiveLife

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:23 AM

QUOTE (iwanttosleepin @ 22/12/2012, 01:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My 7 year old (in year 2) goes to a very big school.  7 classes in each level with 27 kids per class.  

At this stage there is great scope to differentiate between children.  

some examples - they have different reading classes each morning for 25 minutes - from about level 10 at the bottom through to finished readers and onto comprehension at the top.  Each group would be about 10 children.  the bottom 10% of children work in very small groups.

There are 3 levels of homework each week and your child is streamed for this.  We download the appropriate set each week.  If you find one week's homework too easy or hard you can choose one of the other levels.

For maths the class always breaks into levelled groups for work.  The same for writing but the groups are different based on each child's strengths.  I know my child is in the top group for mathematics but only the second top for writing.



excuse me editing your post--> but these examples I have left in I dont consider to cater for gifted children at all.  I call that normal differentiation.  It would achieve nothing for my gifted yr 2 DD.  In fact our school streams like this too and she has a separate ILP instead as they know it doesnt cater for her.

#77 LiveLife

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:25 AM

QUOTE (bottle~rocket @ 22/12/2012, 08:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't have a gifted child, so please excuse me if I sound like I don't know what I am talking about.  I don't want to offend anyone.

Many of you have referred to "streaming" classes, I assume this means separating children out into different levels of ability.  I was wondering how much this would really benefit gifted children. I would have thought that the proportion of gifted children is about 1%, therefore being in a class with the "brighter" students in the school wouldn't really help these children much.



BINGO, this is sooooooo correct, thank you for posting.

#78 BadCat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

To be honest I don't know how best to deal with those issues in the bottom stream.  I wish I did.

What I do know is that it is utterly wrong to make smart kids twiddle their thumbs while everyone else catches up.  If it was only happening once in a while then it wouldn't be a problem.  But when a child routinely gets everything the first time it is pure torture to sit through several more weeks of lessons showing the same thing in a variety of ways while everyone else gets it.  Even when there is streaming there will be kids who have this problem.  DD frequently comes home from year 8 rolling her eyes in exasperation at the fact that they are STILL doing x when she understood it two weeks ago.

Perhaps the answer is larger schools where there is scope for streaming and delineation within those streams for kids with behavioural issues.  I'm sure that comes with it's own set of problems though.

Edited by BadCat, 23 December 2012 - 10:34 AM.


#79 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE (somila @ 23/12/2012, 10:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is a real problem - there are so many reasons a child could be in the "bottom stream" and these classes can be horrible.  I did hear a teacher say she had worked at a school where they assigned two teachers each class in this stream so that one could keep teaching while the other dealt with behavioural issues if necessary.  She said it worked better than having one teacher in a smaller class size.

Expelling children with behavioural issues isn't really a system that "works better" is it?


No not really, it benefits some children and disadvantages others, just like class streaming does, the irony is that children who are well behaved hard workers but who take longer to "get it" and children with learning disabilities actually need a non disruptive classroom even more than the bright children with no issues, because for them it can mean the difference between leaving school with the quals they need to enter an apprentiship or with nothing at all.



#80 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:43 AM

QUOTE (BadCat @ 23/12/2012, 10:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps the answer is larger schools where there is scope for streaming and delineation within those streams for kids with behavioural issues.  I'm sure that comes with it's own set of problems though.


I think bigger schools can help badcat  original.gif , our local primary does not stream but it has a G&T support for yr 1+, OC classes (grade 4+), Strings from grade 3, Band from Grade 5, Mathletics, Debating, a very supportive librarian teacher and the kids seem to always be in some sort of academic competition. Of course the irony is that because of this the school attracts lots of bright, gifted and talented children (and to be fair lots of middle class ones as well), this raises the class averages anyway so in effect the whole school is streamed in a way.



#81 BadCat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE
I would have thought that the proportion of gifted children is about 1%,


For those that think of gifted in terms of either Stephen Hawking or average try thinking of it on a scale of 1-10 just like beauty.

Your average looking person is a 5.  Someone a bit ugly might be a 3.  2 is downiright ugly and 1 is ugly enough to stop traffic.  A 7 is attractive, an 8 is better and a 10 is drop dead gorgeous.

Same with intelligence.  A 5 is average.  A 1 is Homer Simpson.  A 10 is Stephen Hawking.  There are lots of 8s in our schools who need better programs.

#82 Quill

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:47 AM

I’m so sorry, Muffintop, I can’t seem to find the article. I’ve done a few searches, and found lots of related stuff, but not the one I mentioned, probably because I can’t remember the authors name. I *think* I read it last weekend. I believe it's Dr Ranjana Srivastava but can't find a link. sad.gif

R2 – Thank you for telling me (us) about your daughter – she sounds really interesting, and I’m so glad she has music to comfort and support her. I hear this a lot from musically gifted children and their parents. Music is like a best friend or a family member to them. It gives these children a type of validation and emotional connection that they can’t find in other areas of their lives. Because musically gifted children are often gifted in related fields, this is so important and I’m so relieved for you that your beautiful daughter has this in her life.

At Grade 3 AMEB, she’ll be starting position work and probably vibrato, which will help extend her even further. The repertoire is so much more satisfying at this level, and it won’t be long before she’ll be ready for proper ensemble work with challenging composers and broader musical ideas and concepts. Is she part of a quartet?

I’d love to hear her, if you have any clips. No pressure – I’m not interested in critique – just is always interesting to hear young musicians developing. All the very best – Howdo is another with musical children.

In terms of what can be done to support gifted children generally, I know there education system needs to do much more, however there need to be multiple areas of support.

Edited by Quill, 23 December 2012 - 01:20 PM.


#83 kadoodle

Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:49 PM

QUOTE (BadCat @ 23/12/2012, 11:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For those that think of gifted in terms of either Stephen Hawking or average try thinking of it on a scale of 1-10 just like beauty.

Your average looking person is a 5.  Someone a bit ugly might be a 3.  2 is downiright ugly and 1 is ugly enough to stop traffic.  A 7 is attractive, an 8 is better and a 10 is drop dead gorgeous.

Same with intelligence.  A 5 is average.  A 1 is Homer Simpson.  A 10 is Stephen Hawking.  There are lots of 8s in our schools who need better programs.



Very well put, Badcat.

We've been very lucky in my kids' current school to have enough support staff to work with the kids in the lower streams as well as enable the higher streamed kids to be extended.  We also have a very active parent body and a lot of volunteer parents to go over the rote learning of the 2 times tables and the alphabet at one end and help with algebra and dissect Robert Frost at the other.

I'm really happy for them, and jealous that my schooling was so much different.

#84 leisamd

Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

Quill, your post is so interesting! I have my children in music aswell, to enrich without running too far ahead. Dd is working 1-2 years ahead in academic work, and is midway through suzuki violin book 2, & starting piano this year at her request.  . I do not think she's gifted though, bright, and would likely coast along as average if she wasn't challenged. Ds1 is similar. Maybe they'd be 7's ish... original.gif

#85 Quill

Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:36 PM

Hi Leisand

original.gif

If you don't mind me asking, how old is your bigger daughter and how long has she been learning? Is she actually learning with the Suzuki method, or is she studying a combination of methods?

Suzuki Book 2 is getting into some interesting techniques, with some good bowings which help with fine motor control (hookstroke, spiccato etc). Because these techniques require more sophisticated mathematical thought it might be a good time to consider theory and musicianship lessons, but it will depend on how advanced her maths is - by the sound of it, she may not be having any trouble at all. original.gif  

It's a tricky time for musically gifted kids. In school they might not learn fractions until Year 3, but need the knowledge for their bowing technique and rhythm in perhaps Year 1, if they're practicing hard. Their emotional depth and understanding of musicality and shaping will line up with their general emotional maturity in other areas of their life - they're likly to be more sensitive than other children and find certain things deeply moving.

It sounds like she might be ready for Grade 1 or 2 AMEB exams, which are great experiences, usually.

At this stage it can be frustrating as they're getting serious, but can't yet make beautiful sounds. Intonation also becomes harder as they need to develop critical listening skills and aural awareness.

Something that is important as a parent to be aware of is that coordination and fine motor control doesn't necessarily develop together. For instance, a child may have great facility in their left hand (fingering hand), but their bow hand and dexterity can lag behind. This is completely normal, even amid gifted kids.

Or - a child may be able to hear that they are out of tune, but be unable to guage whether they are sharp or flat when they are working. A lot of this is developmental - it quite often comes at the same time as a physical ability like jumping rope, or jumping with 'elastics', and isn't usually there until after the age of reason (around 7 years of age).

Be aware that often we also see children hitting a plateau, where they'll really struggle for perhaps months with a particular issue. And then, like lightening, it will come together in just 24 hours or less.

It's wonderful to see.

Anyhow.....congratulations to you as well, and give her lots of kisses and encouragement.

Edited by Quill, 23 December 2012 - 03:50 PM.


#86 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:30 PM

QUOTE (BadCat @ 23/12/2012, 11:59 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For those that think of gifted in terms of either Stephen Hawking or average try thinking of it on a scale of 1-10 just like beauty.

Your average looking person is a 5.  Someone a bit ugly might be a 3.  2 is downiright ugly and 1 is ugly enough to stop traffic.  A 7 is attractive, an 8 is better and a 10 is drop dead gorgeous.

Same with intelligence.  A 5 is average.  A 1 is Homer Simpson.  A 10 is Stephen Hawking.  There are lots of 8s in our schools who need better programs.


Just because I was questioning the rate of giftedness quoted in the article doesn't mean I think of it in terms of Stephen Hawking or average.  Actually the Stephen Hawkings of this world are probably closer to one in a million than one per cent.

If someone is on the 80th centile for IQ then they would not be gifted by any measure, they would be bright (not that there is anything wrong with that). I would have thought that a teacher in a mainstream class should be able to meet the needs of bright students. It is their job to cater for a range of abilities.  It is the gifted kids that are being failed by the education system.

Edited by bottle~rocket, 24 December 2012 - 08:20 AM.


#87 kadoodle

Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:00 PM

You're thinking linear rather than exponential, bottle-rocket.

#88 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 23/12/2012, 07:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're thinking linear rather than exponential, bottle-rocket.


Yes, but Badcat was talking about a scale of 1 to 10 which usually is a linear scale.  It is a pretty simplistic way to describe it.

QUOTE
For those that think of gifted in terms of either Stephen Hawking or average try thinking of it on a scale of 1-10 just like beauty.

Edited by bottle~rocket, 23 December 2012 - 06:07 PM.


#89 leisamd

Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:26 PM

Hi quill, thanks for your post!  I appreciate what you've written and will ponder it! On my phone so please forgive brevity!

my daughter was 7 in july, she just finished her 3rd year of violin lessons, not pure suzuki method but primarily suzuki, her teacher is suzuki qualified.
Dd is relishing the more difficult songs, working on hook stroke at the moment actually. She has an excellent ear which suits suzuki method. I was just speaking with her teacher about ameb exams last week, we plan to start soon but not at the expense of suzuki repertoireo.  We are also working on note reading but I had considered beginning ameb theory, especially with the course now online in the early grades, not sure yet, her workload is fairly full for next year already. I suspect she'd do well, maths is a strength. Dexterity is pretty good, she draws all day long so fine motor is good, but she needs more strength especially for 4th finger. Emotional maturity of a 7 year old!
Interesting about the corresponding physical aspects, I'll have to pull out some elastics!

So much for brevity! Must go, my sons are destroying my bathroom!

#90 BadCat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

I know the 1 to 10 thing was simplistic but a lot of people seem to think you need to be profoundly gifted or you're not gifted at all.  That was the impression I had from your (I think?) post.  Apologies if I misunderstood.

And yes, a teacher or indeed a school should be able to cater to the bright or mild to moderately gifted students.  But so often they don't.  And if you dare raise the issue people roll their eyes and you can almost hear them thinking "Oh here's another pushy mum with no idea".  It's frustrating trying to get a school to lift it's game to engage your child.  My school finally put some effort into it when my youngest was in year 6.  Too little, too late.

Edited by BadCat, 23 December 2012 - 06:36 PM.


#91 Canberra chick

Posted 23 December 2012 - 06:43 PM

I don't think DS is anything like gifted, but he is very bright for his age, if a wee bit lazy if something challenges him as he is used to doing well. His school has a differentiated curriculum and they 'stream' within class, so DS is on the top reading table, usually top for maths but occasionally drops to second table. Kids are not fixed in their stream, can move up or down if they don't get that bit of the curriculum (typically maths). DS and a couple of other kids in the class do extension activities too. I feel quite happy with this, especially as his extension time does not eat into other areas of the curriculum, like music, which he loves. Whereas as a kid, I got maths extension work when the other kids were doing pottery, which would have been great for my rather poor fine motor skills!

I did talk to his teacher about home readers, as they had nothing for DS's level, but she was happy for him to read his own things at home, and as he would rather read than do most things, that wasn't hard!

I was concerned last year as his ability seemed to fall away. It turned out he was bored and switched off. This year the school has been more pro active in challenging the brighter kids. His biggest problem is his fine motor skills as his writing can't match his thinking. I'm sure he'd love to dictate all his work!

#92 BlondieUK

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:02 PM

QUOTE (Bek+3 @ 23/12/2012, 06:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The article really hit the nail on the head when it said that children gifted in sports are celebrated and embraced. There is certainly not the case for the academic children at all. My academically advanced child has 2 left feet and butter fingers when it comes to sport. If he had sporting ability though no doubt he would be taken under someones wing and have that gift nurtured for sure. It just shows what we really value in this country and how it differs from the experience my MIL had with my DH growing up in the UK.


There are mechanisms and support for musically gifted children - but as Quill will know - these are usually only existent outside of the school structure. Private teachers, private classes - and it costs a fortune. The bigger government schools, or the music-oriented schools, have great programs, but they tend to only really kick in at secondary. There is a real dearth of top quality arts programs in Australian primary schools, and I a not sure that the ANC addresses this problem in any substantial way.


QUOTE (Bek+3 @ 23/12/2012, 06:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I wonder if, as a 'society', our tall poppy mentality is the reason why we have nothing in place to embrace and advance children further who are academically gifted.


Yes, yes, yes. I have worked as a teacher in Asia, and (while I fundamentally disagree with a national hot-housing system that places an insane amount of pressure on even very young children) education is the #1 priority for most families. Children who show any kinds of giftedness have those gifts nurtured and extended as far as families are able to.

I do wonder if it goes back to our modern roots as a 'poneering' nation - where hard work is about the 'hard yakka' physical work, and the wor of the brain is, in many ways, treated as suspicious or secondary. America (while having its own education issues) has managed to avoid this, and despite a profoundly problematic school system, certainly does - in theory - support gifted learning. They hav some of the best universities in the world.

QUOTE (sparkler @ 23/12/2012, 07:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At my school the children in the top stream were happy and did well, the children in the middle strean has some disruptive behaviour but not all the time so did ok, it was the children in the bottom stream that really suffered though as it was made up of the disruptive children, children who were well behaved but struggled with academic learning and children with disabilities, the children with behavioural issues made it nearly impossible for the children who wanted to learn. I tested around the 75th centile but as I am dyslexic I was put in the bottom stream. Streamed classes in the private system might work better though as they can expel the children with major behavioural issues.

Essentially streaming works for the kids in the top stream but you have to be willing to write off 1/3rd of kids to do it if we are talking about state schools, thankfully my DS is testing as above average (but not gifted) and free of learning disabilities right now so he would probably be ok in a streamed system.


I find this post quite disgusting. Any solution which 'writes off' 1/3 of children is unbelievably stupid an narrow minded. What on earth makes you think that profoundly gifted children cannot also be profoundly disabled? To use my son as an example - he tests with an IQ around 70, and is ASD/DHD and has sensory and behavioural issues (although some of these are resolving a bit). But - he also has perfect pitch, and the musical equivilant of a photographic memory. The child can sing a complete Beethoven symphony from beginning to end from memory, in the right key, and varies the parts (sometimes he sings the 'tune', and sometimes he sings inner string parts that even I struggle to hear). His giftedness in this area deserves support and extension, but getting past the other learning issues is incredibly difficult. Does he deserve extension any less than a child without a disability?

Gifted children, in my experience, often come with other 'issues' - whether they be social, emotional, behavioural, or in tandem with a learning difficulty. It's not as simple as shove all the bright kids in a classroom together and everything will be ok. Just like it's not as simple as shove all the 'bad' kids in a classroom together. It's far more complex than that and simplistic solutions such as streaming are so individual to any one school or context as to be almost useless as a general guideline.

R2 - are you living in Hampshire?


QUOTE (BadCat @ 23/12/2012, 09:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be honest I don't know how best to deal with those issues in the bottom stream.  I wish I did.

What I do know is that it is utterly wrong to make smart kids twiddle their thumbs while everyone else catches up.  If it was only happening once in a while then it wouldn't be a problem.  But when a child routinely gets everything the first time it is pure torture to sit through several more weeks of lessons showing the same thing in a variety of ways while everyone else gets it.  Even when there is streaming there will be kids who have this problem.  DD frequently comes home from year 8 rolling her eyes in exasperation at the fact that they are STILL doing x when she understood it two weeks ago.

Perhaps the answer is larger schools where there is scope for streaming and delineation within those streams for kids with behavioural issues.  I'm sure that comes with it's own set of problems though.


One of the answers is that teachers should not be teaching in 'class sets' - there needs to be genuine extension work ready to go with any activity/unit. It's something where inquiry based learning has a lot to offer - set children an open ended problem (ie a problem with several/many solutions). It gets them to think laterally, but also to apply the knowledge they have in new and exiting ways.

QUOTE (leisamd @ 23/12/2012, 05:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We are also working on note reading but I had considered beginning ameb theory, especially with the course now online in the early grades, not sure yet, her workload is fairly full for next year already.


I am spending my Xmas holidays writing a new curriculum for Years 6-9 Music for my new job starting Jan 7th. I can't find a link that does AMEB theory online - can someone paste it here, please?


#93 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE (BlondieUK @ 23/12/2012, 07:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I find this post quite disgusting. Any solution which 'writes off' 1/3 of children is unbelievably stupid an narrow minded. What on earth makes you think that profoundly gifted children cannot also be profoundly disabled? To use my son as an example - he tests with an IQ around 70, and is ASD/DHD and has sensory and behavioural issues (although some of these are resolving a bit). But - he also has perfect pitch, and the musical equivilant of a photographic memory. The child can sing a complete Beethoven symphony from beginning to end from memory, in the right key, and varies the parts (sometimes he sings the 'tune', and sometimes he sings inner string parts that even I struggle to hear). His giftedness in this area deserves support and extension, but getting past the other learning issues is incredibly difficult. Does he deserve extension any less than a child without a disability?

Gifted children, in my experience, often come with other 'issues' - whether they be social, emotional, behavioural, or in tandem with a learning difficulty. It's not as simple as shove all the bright kids in a classroom together and everything will be ok. Just like it's not as simple as shove all the 'bad' kids in a classroom together. It's far more complex than that and simplistic solutions such as streaming are so individual to any one school or context as to be almost useless as a general guideline.


Did you miss the part where I mentioned that I was in the bottom stream? Or the part where I mentioned that I tested as bright but as I had a learning disability I was put in the bottom stream for everything? It was my experience that yes the kids in the bottom stream where written off by the teachers and the education system, it was a case of 80% behaviour management and 20% learning. I am well aware that children can be twice exceptional and since I have a child who has gone from GDD to above average I also know what kids can do with the right support, which is why we need a system that supports all children.

I might have a learning disability but at least I don't go around declaring people's posts are disgusting for no good reason!



#94 BlondieUK

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:42 PM

Sorry - bad wording - the concept in the post. And collective 'you'.

Streaming can work - but it takes quality teaching, and you don't have to write of 1/3rd of children to do it.

Edited by BlondieUK, 23 December 2012 - 07:43 PM.


#95 leisamd

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:44 PM

BlondieUK, try this link http://www.amebtheory.edu.au

original.gif

Edited by leisamd, 23 December 2012 - 07:45 PM.


#96 kadoodle

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE (Canberra chick @ 23/12/2012, 07:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
His biggest problem is his fine motor skills as his writing can't match his thinking. I'm sure he'd love to dictate all his work!


Teach him to type.  In trying to keep up with my brain, my handwriting looked like a spider had climbed out of the inkwell and had an epileptic fit on the page.  90wpm on Mum's clunky old typewriter felt like magic.

Sparkler - I think Blondie was inferring that writing children off was disgusting, not that your post or you were.  FWIW, I think that giving up on children is disgusting, abhorrant and just sodding lazy.  But when you spend 80% of your classtime dealing with behavioural stuff, I imagine it would be easy to lose focus.  A great many of my teachers in high school were just childminders trying to stop riots rather than educators engaging us in learning.

#97 BlondieUK

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:53 PM

That is what I meant, sorry, sparkle. Supervising children watching Tree Fu Tom and jumping around the living room as I type.

#98 TeaTimeTreat

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (BlondieUK @ 23/12/2012, 07:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry - bad wording - the concept in the post. And collective 'you'.

Streaming can work - but it takes quality teaching, and you don't have to write of 1/3rd of children to do it.


That's cool,

I think the worst thing was that those of us in the bottom stream were only allowed to sit a maths GSCE exam that allowed us to get a D at most, so even if you had the ability to pass you couldn't because you were a bottom stream kid and therefore not eligible.

I got a D, can you tell I am still p*ssed lol.

Sorry for the derail OP.



#99 =R2=

Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:50 AM

QUOTE (Quill @ 23/12/2012, 11:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I’d love to hear her, if you have any clips. No pressure – I’m not interested in critique – just is always interesting to hear young musicians developing. All the very best – Howdo is another with musical children.

Sending you a YouTube clip as we speak. Her strength is piano though. Would love your critique actually. Thanks!

QUOTE (BlondieUK @ 23/12/2012, 07:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
R2 - are you living in Hampshire?

DH is Hampshire born and bred but we live in Australia original.gif. We were there for Christmas last year.

#100 Quill

Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:56 AM

Hi R2

I've sent you some feedback. original.gif




Edited by Quill, 26 December 2012 - 04:37 PM.





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Keeping little hands busy

Free printable acitivity pages like colouring in, cutting, word finders, mazes, maths activities and puzzles.

 
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