I'm thrilled to write that Dr. Jessica Manzone, co-creator of the Leave Your Sleep curriculum used in our AAE program, has asked me to share our school's experience using the curriculum during her presentation at this year's Gifted Education Conference on 11/30/18.
I am excited to be attending the Rutgers Gifted Education Conference on 11/17/17, and can't wait to learn new ways to improve our AAE program.
The authors begin by boldly announcing that their approach differs radically from gifted education as currently practiced, so radically that they give it a different name: advanced academics. Identification of the cognitive, motivational, and personality traits that might uniquely characterize gifted learners is left for psychologists to investigate and debate. For practitioners, identification should refer to "a formalized system that sets out to determine which students have needs that are not being met by the standard curriculum of a given school or district" (page 15).
Therefore, instead of asking, "Who is gifted?," we ask, "Who can thrive in the advanced academic programs we've designed?" (pg. 2). Supplementary advanced academic services should focus on needs that are not being met as part of the general curriculum..." (pg 9).
"Replacing the concept of giftedness with the much more contextual notions of academic need and advanced academic programming removes an invisible intellectual straightjacket that has tied our hands and blinded our eyes to obvious changes our schools must make to support high-achieving or potentially high-achieving students" (pg 13).
Advanced academics, therefore, is a completely needs-based and school-based construct that stems directly from historical conceptions of gifted education with their focus on student need.
The term enrichment encompasses a wide variety of programming. However, generally, enrichment entails the coverage of topics not usually encountered in the usual curriculum, frequently through individualized or small group instruction or independent study, and often involving open-ended projects leading to products or performances (pg 18).
Peters, S., Matthews, M, McBee, M., McCoach, B. (2014) Beyond Gifted Education. Texas: Prufrock Press.
If you ask your child about "the owl" in first grade, they might say one of three things: Echo the Owl, Baby Echo the Owl (both from our Fundations work) or they might tell you about the exercise called "the owl" that we do to get our brains warmed up for thinking. "The owl" is just one exercise I learned about while being trained in "Brain Gym" several years ago. www.braingym.com.au/About-Brain-Gym-pg6639.html
Recently I've read more about the importance of valuing and encouraging curiosity in the same way that creativity and innovation are valued. Because of this reading, I've added the "Be Curious" assignment to the list of homework suggestions.
"I realized something: creative thoughts didn't have to follow a straight narrative line. You could pursue your interests, your passions, you could chase any quirky idea that came from some odd corner of your experience or your brain. Here was a world where good ideas had real value- and no one cared whether the idea was connected to yesterday's idea or whether it was related to the previous ten minutes of conversation. If it was an interesting idea, no one cared where it came from at all." - There Is No Cure for Curiosity by B. Grazer , pg 19
"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." -Albert Einstein
In the new book, “How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens” (Random House), Benedict Carey, a science reporter for The New York Times, challenges the notion that a high test score equals true learning. He argues that although a good grade may be achieved in the short term by cramming for an exam, chances are that most of the information will be quickly lost. He argues that most students probably don’t need to study more — just smarter. He upends the notion that “hitting the books” is all that is required to be a successful student, and instead offers a detailed exploration of the brain to reveal exactly how we learn, and how we can maximize that potential. Included in this article are tips for how to best study/learn, some of which I've summarized below:
-change your study environment from time to time
-review new material several times over several days to signal to your brain that this information is something worthy of memory
-talk about new information, teach it to others, create “tests,” create flashcards
-spaced study (see article)
-sleep well! (sleep enhances learning!)
Interesting article, great comments. The title could feel a little less "judgy" - but don't let that stop you, if you're a parent. :)