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“Growing Up Gifted:

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Siona Neale-Majewska

on 19 July 2014

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Transcript of “Growing Up Gifted:

I do not want to view certain learners as so silly, so odd, so strange, too out there, or just plain too different, If I did, it would become too hard as a teacher to see or think about why we should bother to dig deeper, to help the learner face the tasks before them : too much pain for too little gain.

Adolescence is a time of profound self-learning, physical, emotional and social growth and development. Will you be the one who digs deeper and helps learners build for future success? (Hume, 2012)
Remember that only only a tiny fraction of gifted children are able to attend gifted schools! (Government of Ontario , IEP, 2004)What about the rest? Chances are, you already are teaching gifted children. So, how will you improve how you teach them? How can you dig deeper?
Welcome to my journey to find out what I don’t know about gifted learners; what am I ignorant of about them?
Listen to these adolescent learners talk (from their perspective) about the differences
between gifted and main stream classes and the pressures that they face.
What increased challenges to changes in adolescence do gifted learners often face?
parental pressure
“Growing Up Gifted:
The Enigma of the Exceptional Adolescent and Support Strategies For The Classroom.”

by Siona Neale-Majewski

I believe that all learners are diamonds in need of polish; all are brilliantly gifted.
We need to view the problems of gifted adolescents in the context of the profound changes that adolescents undergo at this time cognitively, emotionally, socially, and physically . (Hume, 2008) If the gifted child is experiencing these changes sooner and more intensely than normal then this group of adolescents is very much at risk.
(Runzelli, 2012)

obsessive compulsiveness
peer pressure
mental instability
poor self-image
The Differentiated Learning and Inclusion Strategy have historically been the foundation of gifted learning. By extending this learning to all students everyone will have the opportunity to share their gifts. (Tomlinson, Problem or Promise, 1995)
The problem that gifted learners face in the 21st century is not just a lack of prepared teachers.There are also systemic problems. There are barriers that exist between the gifted adolescent educational system and the traditional model. Look at the list by Carol Ann Tomlinson. What does the system that you teach in like? How would you teach a gifted learner? How would you teach a class of mixed and extremely differing academic ability.

*Same Education (Equal Educational Opportunity) VS Different Instruction (Individualized, Human Capital Investment Opportunity)

*Heterogeneous grouping (one-size-fits-all, non-existence of academic diversity) VS Homogeneous Grouping (Differences Exist y Ability, Emphasis On Academic Diversity)

*No Labels, No Favour, No Stigma VS Labels, Awareness, Planning For Development

*Basic Skills Curricula (Strong Emphasis) VS Challenging Curricula ( emphasis on Enrichment, HOT, Problem Solving, DI, Acceleration)

*Strategy of Cooperative Learning Skills Vs Appropriate
Skill-focused Cooperative Learning ,Problem-Based And Other Challenging Instructional Strategies That Balance Cooperation, Independence And Healthy Competition

*Belonging and Group Conformity (Shared Needs) VS Achievement And Gifted Diversity (Similar Needs But Different Expressions)
(Tomlinson , Gifted Education Digest , 1995)

In 1995 the highly respected educator and author, Carol Ann Tomlinson, outlined the barriers that exist with respect to gifted education and main stream education.
What it Means to Teach Gifted Learners Well
By Carol Ann Tomlinson, Ed.D

Good Instruction for Gifted Learners

Good curriculum and instruction for gifted learners begins with good curriculum and instruction.
Good teaching for gifted learners is paced in response to the student's individual needs.
Good teaching for gifted learners happens at a higher "degree of difficulty" than for many students their age.
Good teaching for gifted learners requires an understanding of "supported risk."

- See more at: http://www.nagc.org/resources-publications/gifted-education-practices/what-it-means-teach-gifted-learners-well#sthash.lGjhj93U.dpuf
xGood Instruction for Gifted Learners
1. Good curriculum and instruction for gifted learners begins with good curriculum and instruction.
2. Good teaching for gifted learners is paced in response to the student's individual needs. 3. Good teaching for gifted learners happens at a higher "degree of difficulty" than for many students their age.
4. Good teaching for gifted learners requires an understanding of "supported risk."

Support Strategies For The Classroom
Let's remind ourselves of the changes that all adolescents undergo as they transition into adulthood and some key educational strategies that
we might have experienced
as adolescents (Humes, 2008) Talk to your elbow partner.
What is keeping us from meeting their needs?


I found this list by Clark presented by Dr. Caroline S. Sheffield in her wonderful article 21st Century Literacy and the Digital Native, illuminating. I hope you find it useful.
How have I been responding and how have you been responding to the cognitive characteristics of a gifted learner...? Let's share our thoughts for a few minutes.
A great song to listen to while you check out the resources behind this presentation. Thanks for viewing this!

Cognitive Development

is brain-based development, reasoning skills and engaging the senses
teachers address this with field trips, games, role playing, multi-tasking literacy activities, complex thinking activities like event planning, brain games to improve memory

Emotional Development

is the capacity to recognize and share emotions that another person is experiencing
teachers address this by being a supportive influence, or incorporating opportunities for youth to access supportive role models.

Social Development

is about one's identity, relationships with peers, romantic partners and family
teachers address this by exposing the learner to different art forms, cultural ceremonies and practices; by traveling to events, encouraging youth to volunteer in the class, school or community

Physical Development

is about growth and physical development, physical activity, body image and nutrition
teachers address this by offering lots of physical opportunities inside and outside of the classroom.(Government of Ontario, Stepping Stones, 2004)

Dr. Carol Ann Tomlinson is an expert in gifted education. She offers these strategies for advanced learners.

• use of multiple texts and supplementary materials;
• use of computer programs;
• interest centers;
• learning contracts;
• compacting;
• tiered sense-making activities and tiered products;
• tasks and products designed with a multiple
• intelligence orientation;
• independent learning contracts;
• complex instruction;
• group investigation;
• product criteria negotiated jointly by student and teacher;
• graduated task- and product-rubrics.
(Tomlinson, 1995)

All of these strategies are well-suited and historically proven to support all areas of the development of the gifted adolescent. (Runzelli, 2012) As teachers we are gifted in the roles of facilitating and collaborating. It is up to us to familiarize ourselves with these strategies and to put them into practice so that the learners can fulfill their capacities.

The Alberta Ministry of Education has set out a fine document concerning gifted education (outlining principles and strategies). The following link should take you right there.


(Sheffield, 2007)
(look up Runzelli, Sheffield or Tomlinson)

Government of Alberta. Alberta Ministry of Education. (2010) Making a
Difference: Meeting Diverse Learning Needs With Differentiated
Instruction We Engage. Edmonton: Author. Retrieved from

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Department of Education. Division of Program Development. Adolescence: Health and Personal Development
Curriculum Guide. The Adolescent Learner. 1-12.St. John: Author.
Retrieved from

Government of Ontario. Ministry of Education. (2010) Students Success
Differentiated Instruction Educator’s Package. Toronto: Author.
Retrieved from

Government of Ontario. Ministry of Education. (2011) Minutes for the Meeting
of the Minister’s Advisory Council on the Special Education. Toronto:
Author. Retrieved from

Government of Ontario. Ontario Ministry Of Education.2004)Ontario Youth
Individual Education Plan (IEP) A Resource Guide. Toronto: Author.
Retrieved from

Government of Ontario. Ontario Youth Development Committee. (2004) Stepping
Stones: A Resource on Youth Development. Toronto: Author. Retrieved From

Hume, Karen.(2008) Start Where They Are: Differentiation for Success with the
Young Adolescent. Toronto: Pearson Canada

Ipaull(2011, May 24). Outside Of The Box Gifted: Transforming The Image
Of Giftedness. Retrieved from

Kiss 92.5. (2013, November 21). Up Close & Personal With Hedley 'Anything'
Live [Video file]. Retrieved from

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.2001)Turning
Points Transforming Middle Schools: At the Turning Point the Young
Adolescent Learner. Boston: Author. Retrieved from

Runzelli, Joseph S.2012. Reexamining the Role of Gifted Education ad Talent
Development for the 21st Century: A Four Part Theoretical Approach.
National Association for Gifted Children: Gifted Children Quarterly.
Vol.56, No.3, 150-159. DOI 10.1177/0016986212444901.
Saylers, Fran and McKee, Carol. 2009. The Young Adolescent Learner. Retrieved
http://www.learner.org/workshops/middlewriting/images/pdf/W1ReadAdLearn .pdf

Sheffield, Caroline C. 2007. Technology and the Gifted Adolescent: Higher
Order Thinking, 21st Century Literacy, and the Digital, Native.
Meridian: A Middle School Computer Technologies Journal.VOl.10,
No.2, 1-33. Retrieved from
Tomlinson, Carol A. 1999. Mapping a Route Toward Differentiated Instruction.
Educational Leadership, Vol.57, No.1, 12-16. Retrieved From

Tomlinson, Carol A. 2012. Differentiated Instruction. Retrieved from

Tomlinson, Carol A.(2011).Differentiating Instruction and 12st Century
Skills: Preparing All Learners for the World Ahead [PowerPoint slides]
Retrieved from

Tomlinson, Carol A. 1999. Mapping a Route Toward Differentiated Instruction.
Educational Leadership, Vol.57, No.1, 12-16. Retrieved From

Tomlinson, Carol A. (2005). Invitation to Learn: What Does It
Mean? How Do We Do It? [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

Tomlinson, Carol A. (1997). What it Means to Teach Gifted Learners Well.
National Association for Gifted Children, Retrieved from

Tomlinson, Carol A. (1995). Differentiating Instruction for Advanced Learners
In the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom. ERIC EC Digest #E536,
Retrieved from

Tomlinson, Carol A. (1995).Gifted Learners and the Middle School; Problem or
Promise? The Council for Exceptional Children Gifted Education Digests.
Vol. E535. Retrieved from
Full transcript