on education

thoughts from a graduate student at the university of mary washington

reflection – 18 February

February18

Getting together in my task force to do the the identification simulation was great. Even though I’ve had a few classes with my group mates, I’ve never really had the opportunity to work with them on a project before. We mesh really well, and we all are, I think, largely on the same page.

Having those discussions is difficult. I liken it to being given the key to your mom’s car for the first time. You read the Driver’s Ed book and you took the test, but how does that really help you drive?! It doesn’t. Maybe if you’re at a stop sign and you need to know who has the right-of-way or if you need to interpret one of those wacky yellow signs. In theory, it’s great to be able to come together at a round table and say, “Yes! This child looks gifted!” Or maybe you’d rather all say, “Nah, I think this has some serious SPED written all over it.” By and large, our consensus on the simulation was that we couldn’t place the children in question because we didn’t have any relevant information. Sometimes, we had some good information, but it just wasn’t enough. But that draws out the question, then, when DO you have enough information? At what point will you have collected enough stuff to look at to be able to definitively say that you want to identify a child as gifted or no?

This lack of a consensus on what makes a child gifted drives me a little bananas. Funny, for someone that likes to be able to implement her own philosophies of education and management freely. I don’t want something like my humble definition of giftedness to be the barrier or golden gates to somebody’s future. In one of the articles we read for this week, the author mentioned that the identifiers for giftedness (sometimes despite a state’s definition) remain IQ and achievement tests. Okay, fine. But at our discussion tonight, we talked about the struggle we were having with putting a finger on giftedness in other arenas. Yes, we recognized that we needed more information to determine if so-and-so was a gifted musician or if so-and-so was gifted in leadership — but WHAT information do you use?! What should I be asking for?! SURELY, we can come to a consensus on that and write it down so that I know to say when looking at somebody’s file for theatre arts identification, “Oh, they don’t have this interview. Let’s get that.” I know it’s not so cut and dry. My cut and dry brain just wants it to be so.

posted under EDCI 540
One Comment to

“reflection – 18 February”

  1. Avatar March 5th, 2014 at 4:40 pm Laurie Abeel Says:

    I’m glad your task force group will work well! 🙂

    “Yes, we recognized that we needed more information to determine if so-and-so was a gifted musician or if so-and-so was gifted in leadership — but WHAT information do you use?! What should I be asking for?! SURELY, we can come to a consensus on that and write it down so that I know to say when looking at somebody’s file for theatre arts identification, “Oh, they don’t have this interview. Let’s get that.” I know it’s not so cut and dry. My cut and dry brain just wants it to be so.”
    — Right – it’s not so cut and dry.. but there are many types of criteria and items you can look for and request if you feel there is not enough information. I believe the Power Point had a list of items too.


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