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Lecture 12

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY345H5
Professor
Stuart Kamenetsky
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 12: GIFTEDNESS [Year] Exceptionality  “exceptional” – exception to rule > far away from the average (top 1%)  General ED designed around the average child – doesn’t work well for exceptional children STEREOTYPES Old Stereotype > Belief in a just world (not the case) – the majority are average, so expect if someone is excellent in something, they are deficient in something else = average like everyone else {incorrect!} > “equality in rights” = equality in abilities; no premise for this > it’s true some gifted fit the stereotype, but so do ungifted kids New Stereotype > problem: labelled as gifted – HIGH expectation to be perfect > it’s rare that child gifted educationally is gifted in all other aspects (sociable) > even in education - gifted in one domain typically (eg. gifted in math & snc won’t be gifted in writing & English) .. children aren’t perfect > consistent w. “all American child” – media’s depiction boy, athletic, good looking (blue eyes, blonde hair, white), from small city in America, faced an adversity (eg. death of father), good student, popular, has a little sister to care for > problematic for gifted kids & rest of population – impossible to measure up to media’s standards – live deficient lives b.c. never live up to perceptions 8 Gripes (“complaints”) of Gifted Kids 1. No one explains: Assessing giftedness > in gr.3/4 give whole class test – subsequently, kids that did good take a test w. psychologist – not assessed (forget about it) or assessed (parents notified & decide what to do) > parents tend not to tell child (have to move child, have to leave friends, overly confident) > vague with children: “what do you think about going to afterschool programs”, etc. 2. School is easy/boring: repetitive work – they don’t want to do it, tune out, many drop out 3. Kept perfect: > not perfect (they’re children), won’t do their best all the time, teachers have expectations > many cases kids understand subjects better than teacher {eg. math} – doesn’t look up to teacher, the only thing teacher can do is expect child does what is expected according to curriculum 4. Teased for being smart: girls grade 7, grade 8 – everyone makes fun of her (intimidated) 5 & 6. Feel misunderstood/different: different interests, also: gifted academically, not emotionally 7. Overwhelmed: a lot of options; worries early in life – “what will I be in life; important decisions” 8. World problems: most people are helpless (donate to charities, demonstrations) = enough to elevate that guilt that others are suffering > children don’t have emotional stability @ that age to deal w. it (obsess about it) Lecture 12: GIFTEDNESS [Year] Characteristics ** not all gifted kids will have these characteristics ** > advanced words: no one taught them (exposed to it; from TV in the background – pay attn. & figure out what it meant by the context) > memory: sponge of knowledge – curious & pick up everything; at a young age they have a lot of information about everything > curious: problematic for teachers – “eg. where do babies come from? - only so much they want to explain”, most kids are satisfied w. explanations “mommy’s tummy” – no curiosity or understanding, kids continue asking “how did they get there, how did they come out” > interests: obsessed/passionate of things (eg. sand collections, dinosaur collections) – knowledgeable in interests > intense: totally absorbed in activities/thoughts > if interested, more motivated: offended they have to do things they already understand, find it trivial > abstract thinking: teen years = abstract thinking “what if”, obsessed, trying to constantly figure out the world – operate at that level of thinking really early on = diff level of understanding the world > perceptive: hypothetical, snc. reasoning – subtle things from observances > complex/challenging: confusing to other kids, threatening to teacher (NA: creativity is not encouraged – all kids are taught the same way: test, meet the requirements > no novel ways of creating probs.) > pay attn.: can divide their attention in multiple ways (problematic for the teacher – other kids can’t do this > lose entire class) > catches on quickly, then sloppy: right answer & show how you did the work – many kids have the answer in their head – don’t want to be bothered explaining it ** classroom difficulties for kid & – power struggles w. teachers teacher – general ED isn’t always > “better ways”: teacher intimidated > sensitive: typical kids “when will we get there? What will we eat?” -no the most suitable env’t ** understanding of uniqueness – gifted kids see beauty & uniqueness – broader ** bittersweet being gifted – smart understanding why lake in dessert is special/stares at plane taking off >> understanding of other ppl (takes a long time to develop; gifted see it early) BUT hard for children & not always > Justice/fairness: hard time functioning, don’t let things go (others get over it) the case they will do well in school - not a fun place, don’t have friends > global issues, humor: humour requires intelligence- laughing about self, know the difference between when it’s a joke & pushing line; feel like outsiders = use that understand them, tune out, their sophisticated sense of humour – most often class doesn’t get it argue w. teachers, fail courses** Lecture 12: GIFTEDNESS [Year] GIFTED EDUCATION APPROACHES: ENRICHMENT/ACCELERATION Enrichment – “horizontal, inclusive approach”  general ED class – w. additional education {age & grade appropriate}  same topic/content/level but exposing child to much more (extra work @ same gr. Level)  time for enrichment activities: available ideally during class time o children shouldn’t spend more time in school; use 9-3 productively, so they’re not bored  Challenged by work, kept busy, active & interested Interdisciplinary Instruction  Topic: Ancient Greece from historical perspective  Gifted child taught: philosophical/economic/psychological perspective too  Much broader, enriched perspective about the topic, content Independent Study  Excuse child from class discussion on the topic  child spends time writing a paper on specific part of the topic – supervised, read by others  change grading scheme to certain extent - keep tests in, remove rogue-memory work required on regular basis & replace it with independent study assignment Mentorship: adults guide child in real life situation (child can spend time in museum) Internship:placed in job setting – completed material Enrichment triad: “other specific models - not discussed” PROS: inclusion, social  Inclusive: see the world (broad range of individuals w.in the community) o Neighbourhood school, general ED classroom, with friends o “Normalizing experience” – same age, same grade, same stages, same neighbourhood  Social skills developed – exposed to a broad range of individuals w.in community CONS: academic  More work – don’t get to be children; socialize, play, hang out o Especially in high school, they don’t want to take enriched classes (universities don’t care about enriched classes, all they care about is grades; so why not do less work & get a better grade?)  More likely to be bored, get into confrontations w. teachers, tune out of the system Lecture 12: GIFTEDNESS [Year] Acceleration – “vertical, segregated approach”  special ED classes – teaching more in less time, same curriculum  move up curriculum – accelerate speed of instruction (same curriculum; 2 yrs of high school not 4) Acceleration Traditionally: when “Special ED” wasn’t available, only General ED  stayed behind & repeated grades, or skipped grades – based on academic level: did you/not master it?  Problem: accounts intellect/academics NOT social development (too old/too young)  Not common, easier; Didn’t need to go through process of identification & finding placement Acceleration Today – inclusive classes Advanced placements –  Same age group as everyone else, but accelerate in specific subjects  Accelerated subjects: University level material – finish grade 12 = completed 1 year of university too  For the rest of the classes, with same-age peers Honors sections – form of ability grouping  Gifted & non-gifted, if high achievement = in advanced classes > ONE particular subject they’re good at Ability grouping
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