Upon hearing the word "myth," one may think of Zeus on Mount Olympus or King Arthur at Camelot. However, not all myths come from history; modern myths exist as well. Some of the most prevalent modern myths in education surround giftedness and gifted and talented programs. Numerous lists of such myths have been published. In this article, we provide three such lists published by giftedness researchers. … [Read more...] about Myriad Myths about Giftedness
Children are much more resilient than we tend to give them credit for. In the face of personal tragedy, simple supports, structure, and assurances go a long way toward helping children recover. Events that cause children distress include the death of a family member, friend, or classmate; an accident that disables them or others close to them; and damage to their home or belongings by natural disaster. … [Read more...] about Helping Children Cope with Personal Tragedy
I should have seen it earlier. My son Steven gave me the clues, but I didn’t recognize them. When he was 18 months old, he preferred conversations with adults. At two, he wanted to leave the park when too many children were there. In preschool, he was miserable unless he was one-on-one with a favorite friend or teacher. By first grade he was telling us that he had no friends, although he played with kids at school, in chess club, and on the soccer field. Although I hold degrees in early … [Read more...] about Reaching a Social Fit
Parent question: My 12-year-old son takes little interest in the world around him or in making friends. From early childhood he’s been far more interested in creating elaborate games with his cars; engrossing himself in learning all about trains, space shuttles, and airplanes; and playing computer games. At his gifted school he enjoys the company of other children but doesn’t want to take on the responsibility of friendship. I’ve hosted numerous play dates with his schoolmates, which have ended … [Read more...] about Social Disinterest
Shawn, an inquisitive, blond 10-year-old, knows everyone in his sub-division. He is always the first to visit newcomers. He is a source of information for parents who want to know who carpools and for children who want to know when the park is open. Like Shawn, your child already has a network, although you may not realize it. A network may be composed of relatives, friends, classmates, teachers, neighbors, and other acquaintances. But what is networking, and why is it important? … [Read more...] about Networking is Fun! Networking is Easy!
In his latest book, Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton, the best-selling author and philosopher, graphically chronicles the universal anxiety, often unspoken, about what others think of us and whether they judge us successes or failures by our achievements. De Botton asks, “Why do people generally seem unsatisfied?” He answers this by exploring the comparisons people make between themselves and others. People get concerned, he says, when they think of their family, friends, achievements, and … [Read more...] about Coping Skills: What Can We Learn from Those Who Succeed?
The phone call came in May, just days after my niece had completed the eighth grade. The spunky preteen who had begged to copilot a small plane at age 12 said, “I just don’t want to go to high school.” It took patience and counseling skills to get her to express her fears of demanding academic work, getting lost between classes, and getting teased by older students. … [Read more...] about Smooth Transitions
Parent Question: I have a fifth-grade daughter who until recently was an A/B student. She has always scored high on her Iowa tests. Lately, she has been bringing home papers and tests with Ds and Fs on them. She forgets to bring material home from school to study and is making careless mistakes. She seems to like school, her teachers, and her friends. One side of the problem is that she doesn’t know how to prioritize and organize. The other is that her friends seem to be poor students. Can you … [Read more...] about Fifth-Grade Underachievement
Duke TIP: Which delivery models are most prevalent among gifted programs in the United States today? Joyce VanTassel-Baska: The models have not changed much in the past 25 years. At the elementary level, the pull-out model, in which gifted students are assigned to a class with a special curricular focus outside the regular classroom for two to six hours per week, is still predominant. Full-time, self-contained programs for the gifted still remain an option as center-based, … [Read more...] about Program Delivery Models for the Gifted
Stephen is a 13-year-old math whiz. He’s also a good all-around student, energetic, and curious. He sometimes drives his parents to distraction with his questions and ideas, and he has alienated more than one neighborhood friend with his information about and zeal for mathematical equations. His parents worry that Stephen has few close friends and few prospects of making any. … [Read more...] about Being Me and Fitting In: The Dilemma of Differentness