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Don't Fence Me In: Mastery, Creativity and Adventure in the Education of Gifted Kids
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Don't Fence Me In: Mastery, Creativity and Adventure in the Education of Gifted Kids

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Created by Anne M. Rinkenberger, M.S., LMFT …

Created by Anne M. Rinkenberger, M.S., LMFT
Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires
http://livingwithlivewires.com/

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Don't Fence Me In Mastery, Creativity and Adventure in the Education of Gifted Kids Anne M. Rinkenberger, M.S., LMFT
  • 2. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Dabrowski on Authentic Education  Parents and teachers, he believed, are looking for ways to provide humane education, one that enhances development and respects individual children as unique and unrepeatable, while at the same time awakens children to the knowledge that this is so of others as well as for themselves.  Such an education strives for the harmony that respects, not rejects differences, and it is this harmony of true education with higher human values that differentiates the education of human beings from the training of animals. Marlene D. Rankel, Ph.D. Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration, 2008
  • 3. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Piirto on Creativity  In the book, Understanding Creativity, the author states − Creativity is the underpinning, the basement, the foundation that permits talent to be realized. To be creative is necessary in the realization of a fulfilling life... − We are all creative.  Those who are more creative than others have learned to take risks, to value complexity, to see the world, or their own surroundings with naiveté.  Jane Piirto, Ph.D. Understanding Creativity, 2004
  • 4. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Piirto on Creativity What is unnatural and sad is for creativity to be repressed, suppressed, and stymied through the process of growing up and being educated. What happens to most of us is that somewhere along the way, and often necessarily, we begin to distrust our creative self. Survival dictates that we subordinate our creative poetic self to a more practical self. We go along and forget who we are or who we were.  Jane Piirto, Ph.D. Understanding Creativity, 2004
  • 5. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creativity and Gifted Children • A gifted child’s view of the world is often non-traditional and divergent; he sees numerous possibilities hidden to others (Webb, Meckstroth, & Tolan, 1982) •  Being able to see, hear, feel and experience aspects of life that most people miss is a necessary part of creative production (Dixon, 1983) •  High levels of sensitivity may be what drives intellectual giftedness; they allow the child to pick up on vast amounts of input from his environment (Freeman, 1985). • Generally, when children are allowed to learn creatively, we unlock powerful and amazing learning potential (Rivero, 2002)
  • 6. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Dabrowski's Overexcitabilities Psychomotor Sensual Imaginational Intellectual Emotional
  • 7. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Overexcitabilities and Creativity Piechowski suggested that, The Overexcitabilities or “original equipment” are basic components of giftedness shared by many types of gifted and creative individuals.  Susan Daniels & Michael Piechowski Living With Intensity, 2009
  • 8. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Overexcitabilities and Creativity Piechowski stated, The OEs contribute significantly to the creator's drive, vivid sensory experience, relentless searching, power to envision possibilities, and the intensity and complexity of feeling involved in creative expression.  Susan Daniels & Michael Piechowski Living With Intensity, 2009
  • 9. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Piechowski and Colangelo emphasized that the OEs are not specific domains of talent or prodigious achievement. Rather, they represent the kind of endowment that feeds, nourishes, enriches, empowers, and amplifies talent.  Susan Daniels & Michael Piechowski Living With Intensity, 2009 Overexcitabilities and Creativity
  • 10. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Investment Theory of Creativity Creative people decide to buy low and sell high in the world of ideas – that is, they generate ideas that tend to “defy the crowd” (buy low), and then, when they have persuaded many people, they sell high, meaning they move on to the next unpopular idea. Creativity, according to the investment theory, is in large part a decision. The view of creativity as a decision suggests that creativity can be developed. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 11. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Becoming A Role Model The most powerful way for teachers to develop creativity in children is to role model creativity. Children develop creativity not when they are told to, but when they are shown how. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 12. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Reflective Skills - Mindfulness What would happen if teachers were aware of the scientific finding that how a person reflects internally will shape how he treats both himself and others? If teachers became aware that attuning to the self- - being mindful – can alter the brain's ability to create flexibility and self-observation, empathy, and morality, wouldn't it be worth the time to teach such reflective skills first to teachers and then, in age-appropriate ways, to the students themselves? Reflection is the skill that embeds self-knowing and empathy in the curriculum. Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. The Mindful Brain, 2007
  • 13. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Emotional Challenges with Gifted Children Perfectionism Intensity Stress
  • 14. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Perfectionism Susan Daniels and Michael Peichowski, in Living with Intensity, state that:  Our highly excitable children's drive for perfect performance is where their intellectual intensity intersects with their emotional development.  The field of gifted education is replete with means to accommodate children's intellectual needs, but a child's intellectual overexcitability signals a need for more holistic supportive responses from parents and teachers – ones that encompass and nurture their affective and emotional development, self-concept, self-esteem, and self-discipline as well.
  • 15. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Emotional Intensity  The intensity and sensitivity of gifted children spreads through everything they do – their everyday interactions with others, their reactions to events, and even their attitudes toward themselves.  Gifted children seem to have an extra emotional sensor, or a special awareness, that picks up the slightest emotions.  The attitudes and actions of others can be a major source of stress for them. Webb, et. al. A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, 2007
  • 16. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Stress  Stress management, self-awareness, and interpersonal skills often determine whether a child will lead a successful and healthy life.  Long-term studies with a wide range of people over a period of more than 50 years have documented that the way in which individual handle stress predicts whether or not they will reach their potential.  In the same way that academic ability can be cultivated so can many components of resilience and stress management. Webb, et. al. A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, 2007
  • 17. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creative Strategies that Modulate Perfectionism, Intensity and Stress Redefine Problems Giving children latitude in making choices helps them to develop taste and good judgment, both of which are essential elements of creativity. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 18. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creative Strategies that Modulate Perfectionism, Intensity and Stress  Encourage Idea Generation  Adults and children should collaborate to identify and encourage any creative aspects of ideas that are presented.  When suggested ideas don't seem to have much value, teachers should suggest new approaches, preferably ones that incorporate at least some aspects of the previous ides that seemed in themselves not to have much value. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 19. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creative Strategies that Modulate Perfectionism, Intensity and Stress  Allow Mistakes  When children make mistakes, teachers should ask them to analyze and discuss the mistakes.  Often, mistakes or weak ideas contain the germ of correct answers or good ideas.  In Japan, teachers spend entire class periods asking children to analyze the mistakes in their mathematical thinking.  For the teacher who wants to make a difference, exploring mistakes can be an opportunity for learning and growing. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 20. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creative Strategies that Modulate Perfectionism, Intensity and Stress  Encourage Sensible Risk-Taking  Few children are willing to take risks in school, because they learn that taking risks can be costly.  Perfect test scores and papers receive praise and open up future possibilities.  To help children learn to take sensible risks, adults can encourage them to take some intellectual risks with courses, with activities, and with what they say to adults – to develop a sense of how to assess risks. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 21. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Motivational Challenges  Underachievement − Children's behaviors are not just random events. All behaviors, even maladaptive ones, are motivated to meet some need. Webb, et. al. A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children2007
  • 22. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creativity Strategies to Motivate Gifted Children  Help Children Find What They Love to Do  Helping children find what they really love to do is often hard and frustrating work.  Yet, sharing the frustration with them now is better than leaving them to face it alone later.  Robert J. Sternberg  Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 23. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creativity Strategies to Motivate Gifted Children  Help Children Build Self-Efficacy  The main limitation on what children can do is what they think they can do.  All children have the capacity to be creators and to experience the joy associated with making something new, but first they must be given a strong base for creativity. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 24. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Mastery  George Leonard, author of Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment, writes,  Early in life, we are urged to study hard, so that we'll get good grades.  We are told to get good grades so that we'll graduate from high school and get into college.  We are told to graduate from high school and get into college so that we'll get a good job.  We are told to get a good job so that we can buy a house and a car.  Again and again we are told to do one thing only so that we can get something else.  We spend our lives stretched on an iron rack of contingencies.  Contingencies, no question about it, are important. The achievement of goals is important.  But the real juice of life, is to be found not in the products of our efforts as in the process of living itself, in how it feels to be alive.
  • 25. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Path of Mastery Progress Plateau Progress Plateau
  • 26. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Life of Mastery George Leonard writes: •   If our life is a good one, a life of mastery, most of it will be spent on the plateau. If not, a large part of it may well be spent in restless, distracted, ultimately self-destructive attempts to escape the plateau. •  The question remains: Where in our upbringing, our schooling, our career are we explicitly taught to value, to enjoy, even to love the plateau, the long stretch of diligent effort with no seeming progress? George Leonard Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment,1992
  • 27. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Social Challenges with Gifted Children  Introversion  Peer Relationships  Challenging Values and Traditions
  • 28. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Introversion  Introverts are not likely to approach new children; they are more likely to wait for others to initiate friendships.  They need time to observe a situation before joining in and don't feel the need for as many friends as extroverts do. Webb, et. al., 2007 A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children
  • 29. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Peer Relationships  Peer relationships are issues for almost every gifted child.  Because their interests and behaviors are often unusual and different from age peers, they may find few peers of their own age in their school or neighborhood.  Gifted children with unusually high intellectual abilities, intensities, and sensitivities can have even more difficulties finding friends among children their age. Webb, et. al., 2007 A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children
  • 30. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Challenging Values and Traditions  Gifted children's perfectionism, exacting nature, literal interpretation of events, and concern for truth and justice – especially in those who are auditory-sequential learners – motivate their strong reactions.   Their moral sense and need for truth and justice are so strong that they must be addressed in the moment. Webb, et. al., 2007 A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children
  • 31. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creativity Strategies that Improve Socialization of Gifted Children  Imagine Things From Others' Point of View  Teachers and parents should encourage their children to see the importance of understanding, respecting, and responding to other people's points of view.  This is important, as many bright and potentially creative children never achieve success because they do not develop practical intelligence. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 32. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creativity Strategies that Improve Socialization of Gifted Children  Encourage Creative Collaboration  Collaboration can spur creativity.  Teachers can encourage children to learn by example by collaborating with creative people. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 33. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Creativity Strategies that Improve Socialization of Gifted Children  Encourage Children to Identify and Surmount Obstacles  When children attempt to surmount an obstacle, they should be praised for the effort, whether or not they were entirely successful.  Teachers and parents can point out aspects of the effort that were successful and why, and suggest other ways to confront the obstacles. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 34. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Adventure Going in   Preparat ion  Practice  Researc h  Predict Experiencing  The unknown  Risk  Uncertain ty  Explorati on Coming out   Overcoming fear  Self-confidence  Dealing with chaos  Perseverance
  • 35. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires You Can Make the Difference  YOU already are your own coach through your professional development efforts and you can enhance your own personal creativity each day.  YOU can provide the creative culture for your students when you become a powerful mentor and coach to inspire creativity in their lives.
  • 36. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires Balance in Successful Individuals Successful individuals are those who have:  creative skills, to produce a vision for how they intend to make the world a better place for everyone;  analytical intellectual skills, to assess their vision and those of others;  practical intellectual skills, to carry out their vision and persuade people of its value;  and wisdom, to ensure that their vision is not a selfish one. Robert J. Sternberg Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized, 2003
  • 37. Copyright 2009 Living With Live Wires QUESTIONS? Anne M. Rinkenberger, M.S., LMFT Anne@LivingWithLiveWires.com

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