3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 28, 2010 8:24 AM by Bonnie Feather

    Why should it only be for the gifted student?

      I was reading an article in the newspaper last Saturday about a gifted class at one of the local elementary schools in a large district in the state.  They were bragging about what great results they had achieved by putting the gifted students in a self-contained classroom.  The following quote is what really got me upset.  "Our philosophy is that a child is gifted all day".  "In an all-day gifted classroom, the subjects are more integrative.  Science can roll over into math.  Reading connects to social-studies content".  "There's real emphasis on problem-based learning.  The idea is that everything is approached at a problem perspective".

       

      I started screaming "why don't you use it in all of the classrooms"?  It works!  Once again, we have to keep preaching the power of the Intel Teach program.  It's not just for the gifted student, but all students.

       

      Sorry about the soapbox.

       

      Neil

        • Re: Why should it only be for the gifted student?
          glen_w

          Neil,

           

          What a great reason to get on your soapbox! I agree that we should not single out Gifted, Resource, or any other group of students. All students should be solving problems as part of their school program. This should apply across all subject areas and grade levels. We should not only teach "Reading" to a specific group ... nor should "Math" be promoted as for a single group. This past year another teacher commented that I only had the "cream of the crop" in my Biology class. He was surprised to learn I had special education students as well as ELL students. One of my favorite stories is how an autistic student passed Biology and decided he wanted to become an Oceanographer! (I wish I could take credit - but I believe he was blessed with an excellent family who supports him.)

           

          How can we get administrators and those in charge to comprehend the need to bring Project Based Learning to the masses?

          • Pet Peeve
            Bonnie Feather

            This has been a pet peeve of mine for many years. 

             

            "Gifted" students (academically gifted ones who could show it on a test) used to be pulled out from the classroom.  In my district, their services were only 1.5 hours per week.  The classroom teachers were rarely, if ever, asked to conference with the "gifted teacher" to try to coordinate activities.

             

            Neil is right- ALL students could benefit from the small-group, intensive, project-based, student-centered instruction which was the model used in more "gifted" programs. 

             

            Another group of students pulled out from the "regular" classroom to receive individualized, target instruction are those who are under-achievers. 

             

            My big frustration was that those students who plugged along, didn't make trouble, didn't stand out in any particular way, were neglected.  Wouldn't they often be the students who would absolutely shine if given this type of instructional environment and opportunity?

             

            Though many studies show that class size does not affect student achievement, but if that is truly the case, why do we insist on small-group instruction for *special* students?  I know- this is just a rhetorical question.

             

            It brings us back to the need for highly educated teachers.  Teachers given the most updated tools, training, (job-embedded, of course) and the freedom to implement promising and proven practices designed for the individuals in their care will be able to produce brilliant results!

             

            Now, I'm stepping down off MY soapbox.