On October 13, 2016, NSGT presented a webinar entitled Current Trends and Considerations in Selective College Admissions: What Every Family Needs to Know! After attending our pre-college programs in the summer, we want students to have successful beginnings at the college or university that best suits them. Therefore we felt this topic was a good one at this time of year for those families anticipating college entrance in the next few years. The interest is this topic was tremendous. If you weren’t able to attend and also are interested in viewing it, please click here.
The webinar was presented by Dr. Matthew Greene, President of Matthew Greene Educational Consulting. Dr. Greene counsels families on secondary school, college, and graduate school admission, as well as career planning, in Connecticut, New York, nationally, and internationally. He has written and co-written a number of books on educational planning, including how to get into college and pay for college.
As Dr. Greene was unable to answer all the questions asked during the webinar within our time frame, we thought it might be helpful if we were to address some of the remaining ones in a series of blogs. Today’s questions, in this blog, written by Dr. Greene, are devoted to questions about liberal arts degrees. (more…)
The Starfish Story from Loren Eiseley’s essay entitled The Star Thrower, published in 1969 in The Unexpected Universe, has become a very popular and meaningful story since its publication. Of course, as we are all things gifted here at NSGT, I naturally see it as a story that can help us as educators save the lives of gifted students. Here’s the story for those who need a refresher. (more…)
There is a useful quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes that can be helpful in thinking about our goals in nurturing gifted children. Quoted here, I’ve substituted people for men in his original writing.
One-story intellects, two-story intellects, three-story intellects with skylights. All fact-collectors, who have no aim beyond their facts, are one-story people. Two-story people compare, reason, generalize, using the labors of the fact-collectors as well as their own. Three-story people idealize, imagine, predict; their best illumination comes from above, through the skylight.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table (1883)
It certainly takes all three levels of people in making the world go round. We need people who can gather information; we need people who can use information, and we need people who can imagine and create ideas, with or without the first two levels of information. This third level reflects our goals for gifted, talented, and creative students. (more…)
Here at the National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT) and Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), we believe that it is very important not only to be the best we can be, but to recognize and honor those who came before us, allowing and encouraging us in all the ways you can become the best you can be. One of the ways we have chosen to do that is to recognize a leader each year who has greatly influenced our enrichment work with gifted students in the alternative educational settings of summer and online programs. Our first recipient was Dr. Joseph Renzulli for his landmark work with the Enrichment Triad Model, which influences our work in enriching education through an emphasis on creative and authentic learning, and student choice.
This year’s awardee is Shelagh Gallagher who we recognize for her career commitment to meaningful and engaging curriculum through her work with Problem Based Learning (PBL). (more…)
With the new school year starting, fortunate gifted, talented, and creative (g/t/c) students will be re-entering or starting a program designed to meet their needs. If the programs involve grouping or pullout options, they will be part time programs. Some program prototypes are full time, including grade acceleration or homogeneously grouped classrooms. Some programs start with the first day of school, some start later in the year or at different grade levels. Regardless, you should expect to find appropriate management, planning, and implementation of the program, however it is designed, to be a worthwhile experience for gifted students. While g/t/c programs can be complex and organic, the following four components should be in place. (more…)
Quite often at this time of year, adults who are concerned about their gifted, talented, and creative students find themselves in a position of needing to advocate for these students. While we generally know that good advocates are positive, persistent, collaborative, and informed, it might be helpful to assess your efforts thus far in several key areas for ensuring that our students get and continue to receive the programs they need.
Start by evaluating yourself, using these 5 questions in key areas of advocacy, to determine whether you have been the best advocate you could be for your gifted student. (more…)
We recognize that gifted students often experience anxiety as they approach a new school year. While most people experience some form of anxiety at various times, gifted students, who often feel emotions intensely, may feel anxious about returning to, or starting, a new school program. Will I have a teacher who won’t let me learn about topics that interest me or move at my own pace? Will there be students who will bully or make fun of me for being smart? Will I have to pretend to be unintelligent to have any friends? Will I have to re-learn material I already knew the first time I was taught it? Will my teacher resent me or dislike me for being different? The list of potential sources of stressful anticipation goes on and on. It’s no wonder there might be more than a little cause for anxiety.
Here’s a short list of five tactics you might consider if a moderate level of anxiety is a concern for you. (more…)
Oh, the Summer Olympics! What gifted education professional can resist the temptation to point out the obvious when it comes to using the Olympics as a model for outstanding gifted educational programming? I’ve noted in the past how well this world event demonstrates just what can be accomplished on a personal level, when gifted athletes are given the best training, the best coaches, the best facilities, and incredible financial and emotional support. And we can’t ignore the fact that these elite athletes are allowed to be in groups of athletes of equally impressive ability and given the time and opportunity to hone their skills. Can you imagine Michael Phelps having to take a swimming class with a beginner, an intermediate or even an expert swimmer? It just wouldn‘t make sense, and that is a point that is even obvious to non-educators. (more…)
With the school year rapidly approaching for most students, and perhaps already underway for others, now is a good time to plan for a new year of effective advocacy for our gifted students. Rather than being caught off guard or surprised by what modifications may or may not be found in the student’s educational program, parents, teachers, and students can be well informed and prepared to be effective advocates as the new school year unfolds. Because we don’t want students to be invisible or for schools to be obstacles for highly creative, achieving, or intelligent students, it is prudent to plan ahead.
Advocacy is a means of motivating decision makers to provide those resources or acquire the understanding necessary to provide appropriate education for gifted students. Advocacy can occur individually one-on-one, instructionally, systemically, through policy, and through attitudinal change within the community. (more…)
Mentoring and volunteerism go hand-in-hand in the summer months. Mentoring is a great way for gifted students to have the opportunity to apply their abilities and skills within a real-life context under the guidance and encouragement of an adult who can share expertise in a common area of interest, as well as provide an emotional connection that is nurturing to both parties. Mentors share more than just interests and skills-they give of their time, talents, and values. While passing along traditions, information, and passions from one person to the next, mentors can change and direct young lives in positive directions. Most successful individuals will admit to having had a significant mentor at some point.
There are many forms of mentorships. They can occur in academic pursuits, career mentoring, or simply as friends or neighbors who share common interests or hobbies. I think the related idea of volunteerism provides a near-perfect type of mentoring for gifted students in that it can combine personal areas of interest along with gifted students’ need to make a difference in the world. Even from a very young age, gifted children may worry intensely about social concerns and issues. Volunteering can be a great resource for mentoring gifted youth, as most people involved in social causes are idealists. A gifted individual will likely feel that someone who works in fields intended to help others will understand and identify with their feelings and their needs to act in positive and constructive ways. (more…)
One great summer activity that gifted students can organize is that of a book or writers club. Such an activity can serve two wonderful purposes for these students. It can provide a place to put all that passion and energy about a certain topic, or genre, that gifted students often have, and, if organized locally, it can provide a nurturing environment for social interaction. When young people share a passion for a common topic or skill, bonding is natural and comfortable. The group could focus on reading favorite selections or could focus on writing about the selected theme of the club or it could be a combination, with in-depth discussion naturally included either way.
You might be interested in the scientific analysis of time travel, or (more…)
Many lists of characteristics of gifted children mention that these children have many interests, hobbies, and collections. Such a characteristic makes sense. Gifted children want to be involved in a variety of activities and are capable of entertaining a wide variety of concepts and ideas at once. We also note that the hobbies, interests, and play preferences of gifted children can also “set them apart” from their age-peers.
I think a great way to set these students apart in a positive way, make good use of their summer time, and provide a forum for their hobbies and collections is to have them create their own personal specialty museums. These museums can be presented as traveling museums to show various audiences (schools, senior living facilities, libraries, preschool programs, etc.) or as rotating exhibits where collections might be displayed or as a more permanent display in a home, local gathering place, museum, or school, to mention a few examples. Students will likely want to visit local museums to get ideas for how museums are set up, how materials are displayed and protected, and what kinds of things other people are curious about. (more…)