I am enjoying the gifted community on Twitter so much! Just search Twitter for #gifted or #gtchat, whether you are a member or not, and you will find posts with a smorgasbord of links to all sorts of things that will inspire you as a parent or teacher of the gifted. If you are a member, you can also explore the homepages in people’s profiles, and often if you find a person by searching for #gifted, their homepage will prove to be a treasure trove of resources on giftedness too.
I think the 10 Myths video would get the point across to many people who have the “water off a duck’s back” response when you hand them printed words. I am sure colleagues at The Gifted Education Centre will find it useful, as will parents at WAGC. I see there are more GT videos on YouTube, so I must look for others as useful as this one. It is interesting to consider who may respond more positively just because the medium of information delivery is different.
The balance between enhancing children’s creativity, building foundation academic skills and building advanced academic skills, is perhaps more complex than we give it credit for being. Here in New Zealand, creativity is highly valued in our education system, but concerns about basic skills have brought us down the National Standards route. Therefore it is possible to enhance creativity without building basic skills, although we have many gifted educators explaining how a creativity programme can enhance those skills. Authentic learning is often seen as the holy grail here – the aspired-to medium of delivery that will allow both creativity and basic skills to be addressed at the same time. And yet I have seen wonderful authentic learning experiences provided to children which have taken so much teacher energy just to provide the experience that the follow-through to cement learning lacked energy, depth and impact. Similarly, teaching advanced thinking skills can drag basic skills along on its coat-tails or leave them in the dust. How do we empower our teachers to build skills in all three areas without burning them out, bearing in mind that they are also addressing more social needs in the children they teach than teachers of a generation ago were doing?