As many people new to finding information on giftedness online will be blog tourists this Gifted Awareness Week, I’m going to point out a few great sites that have been extremely helpful to me.
Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page is the super-repository all things gifted in cyberspace. It may have been a single page when it started in 1997, but it’s more of a complex hyperlinked treasure trove today. Hoagies’ is amazingly comprehensive, with information for parents, teachers and children, and a Gifted 101 section to help you get to grips with some fundamentals of both giftedness and the site. Hoagies’ “Don’t Miss…” page is definitely unmissable, listing some of the best resources online. Everything else I’m going to list here is probably somewhere on Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page already!
Joseph Renzulli and his colleagues were probably the first group of gifted education theorists to put large amounts of their work online. It’s good, practical stuff that I believe meshes well with Kiwi culture. It’s written for teachers, but parents and school board members may also find it interesting. You won’t find many people who will disagree with the idea that success takes ability, creativity and task commitment. I had a large drawing of the Three-Ring Conception of Giftedness on my classroom wall for a long time, and asking children how well they were doing with the three rings would often get them to identify a lack of focus and apply renewed task commitment themselves. I like tools like that. You’ll find the version I used here in a helpful article on identification. Most Kiwi educators will agree that we should be looking for giftedness in lots of different areas, not just literacy and numeracy. Renzulli supports this notion as well. Curriculum Compacting is another very helpful strategy. You may already realise that gifted kids usually dislike being “taught” things they already know. Curriculum compacting is a tool to help you decide what they should be able to skim or skip in the classroom. More detail on that here.
Australian parents and teachers worry about what they aren’t doing for gifted kids just as we do, but they have some great information online. After being reassured by the “Normal for Gifted” graphics here, do move on to Gifted and Creative Services Australia’s homepage. They have lots of other goodies, including an interesting section on adult giftedness, just in case you’ve realised it’s not only the kids in your family who are a little different. You might be “normal for gifted” too!
If you are a teacher wanting to learn more about gifted education, the professional development package on Australia’s Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website is a fabulous place to start. Each downloadable resource comes in three versions, for early childhood, primary and secondary education.
There’s a lot more fabulous material online, but whether you are a parent or a teacher, I hope you will find a useful starting point among that selection. If you’re looking to network online, see yesterday’s post, near the bottom, and if you’re looking for other resources in New Zealand, start with Gifted Online, just because I work there, and then check out all the external links at the Wikipedia Gifted Awareness Week page.
Photo credit for needle in haystack: Flickr member “Naughty Architect“.