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TIPical Gifted Kids

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Dr. Rick Courtright …

Dr. Rick Courtright

5th Annual ECU Gifted Conference
October 5, 2011
www.ecugifted.com

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  • 1. AIG PARENTS’ NIGHT East Carolina University Presented by Richard D. Courtright, Ph.D. Gifted Education Research SpecialistDuke University Talent Identification Program
  • 2. Myths of Giftedness
  • 3. Stephen ColbertTruthiness (n.)What you want the facts to be,as opposed to what the facts are.What feels like the right answer,as opposed to what reality willsupport.
  • 4. Myths of GiftednessThe Gifted are...  more prone to emotional disturbance  have everything going their way  can succeed without help  should be valued mostly for their brain power  are more stable and mature  should assume responsibility for others  enjoy being examples to/for other children
  • 5. Myths of GiftednessThe Gifted are...  have abilities that are always valued by their families  excel or exceed the norms in all areas of development  need to be disciplined more than others  will always reveal their giftedness  are high achievers with high motivation to excel in school
  • 6. Truths of GiftednessThe Gifted are the mostheterogeneous group tostudy, because they can vary themost on the most variables. -- Tracy Cross The College of William & Mary
  • 7. Gifted children and [gifted] adults seethe world differently because of thecomplexity of their thought processesand their emotional intensity.People often say to them, “Why do youmake everything so complicated?”“Why do you take everything soseriously?” “Why is everything soimportant to you?”...
  • 8. The gifted are “too” everything:too sensitive,too intense,too driven,too honest,too idealistic,too moral,too perfectionistic,too much for other people! ...
  • 9. Even if they try their entire lives to fitin, they still feel like misfits. Thedamage we do to gifted children andadults by ignoring this phenomenon isfar greater than the damage we do bylabeling it.Without the label for theirdifferences, the gifted come up withtheir own label: “I must be crazy! Noone else is [like this] but me!” Silverman, Linda ...The Columbus Group
  • 10. On the other hand, being academically gifted canget you in trouble with kids who don’t like the wayyou get straight A’s.Being smart can sometimes mean a drop inpopularity with groups of ―normal‖ kids who don’tlike brains.Once you get a reputation as a brain, its [sic] hardto lose it. I try not to answer every question theteacher asks, even though it might mean a bettergrade. Middle school male, 7th grade
  • 11. Last year this boy was my very best friend.He wasn’t very smart, but he didn’t carethat I was. Until this year.Now, he won’t speak to me. I’m reallyupset about this but maybe sometimehe’ll be nice to me again. Middle school female, 7th grade
  • 12. If someone is talking about a topic and Itell them what I know about it, they seemto think that I am bragging… and I don’tmean for it to be that way!I just try to share my knowledge withthem but they take it that I am bragging.Now I’m careful of who I say things infront of. Gifted Kids Speak Out – Delisle, J.
  • 13. America’s Love-HateRelationship with the Gifted
  • 14. DABROWSKI’s Theory ofEmotional DevelopmentThree Factors:Factor 1: Heredity / ConstitutionalFactor 2: Environmental / SocialFactor 3: Self-directed / Autonomous
  • 15. The Columbus Group ―Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm…
  • 16. The Columbus Group …This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally.‖
  • 17. Dyssynchrony impliesVulnerabilityKate, like every highly gifted child, is anamalgam of many developmental ages. She maybe 6 while riding a bike, 13 while playing thepiano or chess, 9 while debating rules, 8 whilechoosing hobbies and books, 5 (or 3) whenasked to sit still.How can such a child be expected to fit into aclassroom designed around norms for 6 yearolds? Tolan, 1989
  • 18. She walked into the high schoolguidance office and told the head ofguidance that there was aphilosophical flaw in the idea of APcourses when there was a goodcollege across town. She wantedcollege courses, NOW. He suggestedlearning to get along with peers was avalid goal…
  • 19. She walked into the high schoolguidance office and told the head ofguidance that there was aphilosophical flaw in the idea of APcourses when there was a goodcollege across town. She wantedcollege courses, NOW. He suggestedlearning to get along with peers was avalid goal…She said she already knew how topretend to be stupid.
  • 20. What is Duke TIP?  A self-supporting, non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the identification and support of academically gifted students.  Founded in 1980, over 2 million students have participated in the Duke TIP Talent Searches.  Arm-in-arm with schools and families, Duke TIP works to identify talented young people and to provide them with a wide array of fulfilling educational opportunities, from 4th grade through 12th.
  • 21. Endogenous characteristics Originates from the characteristics of the individual Gifted attributes as a matter of degree, not kind Examples in gifted students:  Overexcitabilities  Asynchronous development  Perfectionism  Excessive self-criticism  Multipotentiality
  • 22. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Acquires and retains  Impatient with the information quickly slowness of others;  dislikes routine and drill;  may resist mastering foundational skills;  may make concepts unduly complex.
  • 23. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Inquisitive  Asks embarrassing attitude, intellectual questions; curiosity; intrinsic  Strong-willed; motivation; searching  Resists direction; for significance  Seems excessive in interests;  Expects same from others.
  • 24. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Ability to  Rejects or omits abstract, conceptualize, details; synthesize; enjoys  Resists practice or problem-solving and drill; intellectual activity.  Questions teaching procedures.
  • 25. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Can see cause-effect  Difficulty accepting relationships. the illogical—such as feelings, traditions, or matters to be taken on faith.
  • 26. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Love of truth, equity  Difficulty in being and fair play. practical;  Worry about humanitarian concerns.
  • 27. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Enjoys organizing  Constructs things and people into complicated rules or structure and order; systems; seeks to systematize.  May be seen as bossy, rude or domineering.
  • 28. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Large vocabulary and  May use words to facile verbal proficiency; escape or avoid broad information in situations; advanced areas.  Becomes bored with school and age peers;  Seen by others as a ―know-it-all.‖
  • 29. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Thinks critically; has  Critical or intolerant high expectancies; is toward others; self-critical and  May become evaluates others. discouraged or depressed;  Perfectionistic.
  • 30. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Keen observer; willing  Overly intense focus; to consider the unusual;  Occasional gullibility. open to new experiences.
  • 31. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Creative and inventive;  May disrupt plans or likes new ways of doing reject what is already things. known;  Seen by others as different and out of step.
  • 32. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Intense concentration;  Resists interruption; long attention span in  Neglects duties or areas of interest; goal- people during period directed behavior; of focused interests; persistence.  Stubbornness.
  • 33. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Sensitivity, empathy for  Sensitivity to criticism others; desire to be or peer rejection; accepted by others.  Expects others to have similar values;  Need for success and recognition;  May feel different and alienated.
  • 34. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  High  Frustration with energy, alertness, eager inactivity; ness; periods of intense  Eagerness may disrupt efforts. others;  Schedules;  Needs continual stimulation;  May be seen as hyperactive.
  • 35. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Independent; prefers  May reject parent or individualized work; peer input; reliant on self.  Non-conformity;  May be unconventional.
  • 36. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Diverse interests and  May appear scattered abilities; versatility. and disorganized;  Frustrations over lack of time;  Others may expect continual competence.
  • 37. Characteristics of the Gifted:The Good News & The Shadow Side  Strong sense of humor.  Sees absurdities of situations;  Humor may not be understood by peers;  May become ―class clown‖ to gain attention.
  • 38. Potential Problems Faced by SOMEGifted IndividualsExogenous Problems: Educational conformity vs. individualism Expectancies by others Peer relations Family relations Power struggles
  • 39. Potential Problems Faced by SOMEGifted IndividualsExogenous Problems: Enmeshment (or ―confluence‖) Mistaking the abilities of the child Sibling relations Parental understanding (lack thereof) Chance and location factors
  • 40. Potential Problems Faced bySOME Gifted IndividualsIsolation Feels the anxiety of being different  Few role models  Lack of societal respect
  • 41. Potential Problems Faced bySOME Gifted IndividualsOverload “Penciling in Playtime”
  • 42. Potential Problems Faced by SOMEGifted IndividualsExogenous Problems:There is evidence to show that the gifted areinfluenced by their peers’, parents’ and teachers’feelings about their abilities. If they are seen asmental freaks, unhealthy personalities, or eccentricsimply because they are brainy or creative, many ofthem will avoid the stigma through conformity.Some would rather underachieve and be popularthan achieve honor status and receive ostracism. Abraham Tannenbaum
  • 43. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented StudentStudy by TannenbaumHigh school juniors ranked the preferred characteristics  average – brilliant  studious – non-studious  athletic – non-athletic
  • 44. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented StudentStudy by TannenbaumSignificant difference favoring the BRILLIANT- NON-STUDIOUS- ATHLETE
  • 45. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented StudentStudy by Cramond & MartinStudent teachers ranked the preferred characteristics  average – brilliant  studious – non-studious  athletic – non-athletic
  • 46. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented StudentStudy by Cramond & MartinSignificant difference favoring the BRILLIANT- NON-STUDIOUS- ATHLETE
  • 47. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented StudentStudy by Cramond & MartinExperienced teachers ranked the preferred characteristics  average – brilliant  studious – non-studious  athletic – non-athletic
  • 48. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented StudentStudy by Cramond & MartinSignificant difference favoring the BRILLIANT- NON-STUDIOUS- ATHLETE
  • 49. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented Student The Brilliant—Studious—Non Athlete was chosen last in every study ―Athlete” occupies the top four places in all three surveys Non-studious occupies the top spot in all three surveys Preservice and experienced teachers chose ―average‖ over ―brilliant‖ as a descriptor
  • 50. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented Student There are, in fact, peer groups (cliques) in virtually all schools Students associate ―brains‖ with ―nerds‖ High achievers resist being labeled a brain, and consequently… High achievers employ strategies to avoid the ―brain-nerd‖ connection
  • 51. Social Dynamics and theGifted/Talented StudentTo avoid the ―brain - nerd‖ connection, strategies were employed that include:  Denial  Distraction (excellence in another domain)  Deviance (class clown)  Underachievement
  • 52. The Power of Social ContextOur children are taught to wear masks before theyrecognize their own faces. They are made to put theirtender, pliable forms into prefabricated shells –cultural roles prescribed for their age, sex and class. Alltoo soon the open faces and fluid selves are disfiguredas were the bound feet of the women of Manchu China.They are crushed to meet social expectancy. Those whofail to escape the constraints of masks and sheaths canonly look ahead, not up or down, right or left... Elizabeth Drews
  • 53. RECOMMENDATIONS Treat gifted children as children first Establish communication among parents, teachers and counselors Teach gifted children social skills, ways to manage stress, and to enjoy non-academic activities Try to understand the social milieu of school Learn about the individual child’s personality, social goals and needs Create opportunities for gifted children to interact Model adaptive behaviors
  • 54. RICK COURTRIGHT Gifted Education Research Specialist Duke University Talent Identification ProgramPhone: (919)668-9130Email: RCourtright@tip.duke.edu