Children of Promise
Portraits of greatness. Of gifted talented men and women who left their mark on our time. Albert Schweitzer healer musician humanitarian. Martin Luther King who led with the light of freedom. Marian Anderson who sang tragedy into hope. Eleanor Roosevelt walked with King's word for human rights. Jonas Salk. Who systematically dauntingly discovered the polio vaccine. But you will discover a grain to feed to probe the mysteries of the sea and who will discover the final cure for cancer. Who will find answers to questions that Albert Einstein raised. Who will lead our country with the courage of Winston Churchill. More help us keep our sanity with a creation like Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse. Einstein and Churchill did poorly in school. Disney was fired from his first job. Herbert Hoover had difficulties during his presidency but then excelled
in many important leadership roles. Jackie Robinson became a baseball superstar but almost missed playing in the major league. The. Possibility of being in Europe. Even so getting the news in the background. And some sometimes. Those. I never never used productively even. In children. Teachers and parents are proud of the action by legislators and the governor that established 15 area education agencies and waited funding for special education. But we are also concerned about another group of students with special needs. I was gifted children Dr. Robert Benton's Superintendent of Public Instruction shares the same concern. The constitution of our state gives Iowans a mandate to provide educational programs for all persons that challenge them to the limit of their ability. If we are to achieve this
goal funding and consulting services must be provided for the gifted as well as the handicapped. It is our hope that this presentation will help increase our understanding of gifted children and recognition of our responsibility to help them fulfill their promise. But which of these are gifted children and how many of them are there. A report from the United States Office of Education defines gifted and talented children as those who demonstrate advanced skills imaginative insight and intense interest or achieve high scores on standardized tests. Further the United States Commissioner of Education states they are children who require educational services beyond those provided by the regular school program. If the children are to realize their contributions to themselves and to society five or six youngsters out of 100 are capable of functioning at so high a level they are found in all ethnic and socio economic groups.
They may be black or brown red or white. They may live in a high rise city apartment or in a trailer in the country. The gifted child may be mine or yours with the abilities of gifted children far Excel their age mates. They learn quickly remember complex ideas and have a mature use of words. This kindergartner has celebrated her fifth birthday but her mental age is comparable to that of a seven year old. She can read and write as well as most second graders. She went along with the boy and why God became baby young to care for. Guide. It's a big story isn't it boys and girls. Hey Leslie would you go over to me after you started. And would you boys and girls go to your own table. Specialists at educators in the field of giftedness have learned that these youngsters require an opportunity to develop their abilities. They need instruction of a
special kind guidance and encouragement. Giftedness does not develop in a vacuum. Special education support services are provided for most areas of exceptionality by Iowas 15 area education agencies. Gifted and talented children and their teachers also need special programs and services which could be delivered through the same agencies. This backup support system is imperative if each child is to realize his potential. Giftedness has many dimensions. It is not limited to academic achievement or IQ scores. Performing arts abilities so visible in the hands of this young pianist Stephanie bloomer may also be found in drama. And dance. Here we find our young Rubenstein's Our Katharine Cornell Martha Graham. Visual artistic talent is included in the same category of gifted youngsters with disability will consistently produce outstanding products in ceramics
graphic arts and sculpture. This area of talent holds a future Picasso. Grant Wood. Thomas Hart Benton where will our next generation of leaders come from the future of our nation indeed the world depends on one of our most valued resources our brightest most talented children. Children who assume leadership roles early in their lives are accepted by others as leaders and most important are persons who are developing a capacity for love empathy and human involvement as persons who can communicate with fellow human beings. Gifted children are concerned about morality religion and world problems at an early age. Here lies our nation's hope for moral social and political leadership. As I was driving to school this morning I happened to notice that something in the environment seemed very strange to me a I try to put a finger on it. Finally came
to me that there were no trees in the community any longer. I turned on the radio and sure enough on the news they were talking about World. The trees had disappeared. What would be your reaction. This really had happened that there were no longer any music to be being a real tragedy because the violin would win that. It wouldn't read because I don't think still and quiet work was one and the violin cello feelings and all that stuff. You will have to put the floor that had to be re-adjusting. Creative thinking is another ability in which some children are extremely talented gifted kids consistently engage in divergent thinking come up with original ideas.
Taking old information and transforming it into solutions for new problems is a character that you've developed in either real character and it looks Guru-Murthy name name you went further than some other student did you. You even got a gag order. You want to read the good. Yes. Hey I was six feet tall and good looking but if you mess with me you going to be fluffy and ugly creativity. It's the ability to bring something new into existence. It's Quiksilver nature is hard to define but it's often accompanied by a drive to create something new out of nothing. Some gifted youngsters have ability in a specific area that far surpasses that of others in their age group. We often see this in athletics like basketball where these young shooting stars stand apart from everyone else. Specific academic ability. May also lie in other areas mathematics languages mechanical aptitude or science.
Tom Churchill has outstanding ability in science. His weather forecasts have uncanny accuracy. His predictions are broadcast on television and he regularly shares his knowledge in presentations before grade school children every Iowa community has its share of youngsters who are so bright and sparkling that they are easily identified as gifted persons. These children are often regarded with a mixture of envy and awe and the assumption is made that they will breeze through school excel in all activities and move into a distinguished career. But the truth is there are those who may not achieve and may even go unnoticed. Some may never develop their potential at all. The tragedy is that many of these children may settle into a life of mediocrity even failure for giftedness must be identified colonized and nurtured to survive. The first task is to find the gifted youngster and as early as possible.
Many methods are used. Perhaps the most commonly known are group achievement and group intelligence tests but a variety of other screening procedures are also necessary. One method is through observation of work samples listen to their stories examine their work noticed their interest in solving problems. Teachers can often identify these children when equipped with good knowledge of what gifted children are like fellow students too will often name one of their group as extremely talented and parent information is another important source. Checklists of characteristics have been developed to help teachers find these special children. There are certain clusters of characteristics which may also help in identification. They possess a high degree of creativity are independent in thought and action curious searching willing to take risks and have the courage of their convictions. They are unique their talents and
way of expression make them vastly different from each other. There is no stereotype for the gifted and talented. They are unique one of a kind. And this in itself is a key to identification. The image of the egghead or bookworm is neither true nor typical but giftedness does make these youngsters stand apart. They are different and being different can be a burden. Classmates may feel a mixture of awe and fear toward these children and react toward them with teasing and ridicule. We've been talking about some of the capabilities in your abilities tree and today I'd like to have you take a look at one of the branches something that stands out and talk about some of the things that maybe keep that branch from growing some of the things that maybe can hold you back or some of the pressures that maybe arise. Leadership is one of my lower
back. I want to be a leader but I am a force because I do too much or find things just like things that I'm acting. The things I do when I leave school. You kind of hold back in that area even though that would be an area that would grow with creative thinking. I like to do that sometimes people think like they don't see the same way when you think they don't think something creative and they just think you look great out of a book. I like thinking as if I was in a position like if I'm reading a book or thinking I was in a position where I live what I would do. OK.
So you like to take a really creative perspective on things that others don't really see that as a kind of creativity. The result may be that the talented child tries to hide the ability to do things well. He yearns to blend in with the crowd. Sometimes these children become underachievers even discipline problems at school and at home support and understanding from a guidance counselor a teacher a parent or another respected adult can work wonders in helping these children of promise develop positive self-concept. Although support is needed from counselors and teachers program development for the gifted often begins with the principal if. Any. School is going to address itself to the needs of the gifted and talented student. First of all I think a faculty must become aware. Of the uniqueness of each child. Because certainly uniqueness in itself. Is a great gift.
Once we do become aware that each child has a gift of uniqueness then most faculties are going to need some outside help. In giving direction and in making that uniqueness a positive force in their child's life. We're fortunate here in Waterloo to help from area 7 Dr. Bruce Hopkins and all our faculty were the. Matter of. Finding our. Unique the uniqueness of children in the right direction. Thank you Bill. We've spent a lot of time talking about gifted and talented children and specifically an area that concerns teachers here and that is the area of creativity. I like to spend a little bit of time today talking about what creative What kinds of behavior creative youngsters exhibit. And whether that behavior causes any unusual problems or. Is something that we find easy to deal with in the classroom.
Many times I find that the gifted student in your classroom is a student that tends to be outspoken. Mean times when you are trying to present a concept to the class that student is Junior two or three steps ahead of you many times. I don't think it's a good idea that you put that student down but to acknowledge this to the student know that you are aware that he does have certain towns in this area and that you give him some special attention maybe later on a. Gifted Child and bring a refreshing perspective to topics and come at things from a little different point of view. Frequently the divergent thinking that they're more aware of. On the other hand with what Joe said with with the student that is little overaggressive aggressive many times creative children are very inhibited and very quiet and they will be more or less what you call daydreaming while you're presenting a lesson and they're off thinking about something else instead of perhaps what you have at the moment. They just go off in a little
different tangent. I think that's true and because gifted children look at things differently and they see things differently. I had one child who grew up with a beautiful giraffe followed him and he liked it and I liked it. He was proud of it and someone came along and said that the color of a giraffe. And he said that the color of my giraffe. How do we teach these gifted children in many ways as different as the children themselves are different. One way is to give them an opportunity to meet together once or twice a week with teachers consultants and other resource people. Another technique for teaching the gifted is to utilize cluster groupy This enables students to pursue areas of special interest people from the community who are experts in certain areas are often pleased to work with young persons in their field of interest. David Lee of Lenox industries has worked closely with students
on a solar energy project. This kind of collective can be commercialized even today and it will help to solve the energy problem. These community resource persons are sometimes called mentors whom Webster defines as wise or trusted teachers or guides. Mentors may come from the fields of performing arts city government journalism and other specialized areas. Al Schrock program director for station KFG AB has worked with students on a radio team for over a year. Ninth grader Chris BREMAN has developed a news program about school events Saraki his critic and facilitator one to one relationships are great for gifted and talented youth. A child who is doing exceptionally well in a subject could be advanced in that subject. A third grader capable of doing sixth grade math needs the opportunity to work at that level capable junior high students may take a class or two at the senior high and senior high. Students may study college level
courses and opportunity for challenges important abilities clamor to be used. Special interests clubs offer another way for gifted children to express their talents and interests. Students involved in this rocketry group not only build the rockets. They learn about air pressure. Action and reaction sizes of engines thrust and safety and firing some of our children. I like mountaineers. They need to scale the heights. It is not our job to cut down the mountains to eliminate the challenge to make climbers into plainsman. It is our job to equip the climbers to help them reach the greatest heights where we need the contributions of our gifted persons. We need invention discovery and creativity. If we are to cure our human and social ills. Good for you.
Colleen Kershner is a gifted musician who has run a Meistersinger scholarship from Wartburg college is listed in Who's Who among high school music students in America. And has never had a private lesson in her life her musical ability has been developed in the public schools. She comes from a family of six headed by parents who are dead. Brad Wilcox is talented in music. He shows his ability with others by serving as volunteer director of an elementary church school choir. He has composed music for his high school band to play. Diane Helmer is a multi-talented 13 year old. She's currently writing an
astral projection novel. She's a poet and she plays cello piano and organ. She dances she draws and paints the book that I'm writing I'm trying to write is about a young girl who asked for projects or through the act and she does understand it and should have any control over it. But she finds herself suddenly separated from her body and this story will deal with in the beginning her she becomes accustomed to it and then later on her she finds out that she can control it. And finally how she must make a decision whether she wants to stay separated from what we call reality. They were she is separated from it but still able to discern. I think I think maybe I think that she's a lot like I am. And that's why I'm writing this because I'm hoping to learn a little bit of something about
myself that's what I do a lot when you write if I can just relax. Something will come up that I don't know that you can learn from. Danny Friedan's himself at 12 months of age counted to 10 by 18 months. At four years of age he read books in bed and did two digit math problems. What I hear. I. Like. To discover. New things in mathematics such as no way to do probability for consultant and resource assistance for gifted and talented students are now being provided to schools in some parts of Iowa. But this type of service does not exist statewide. Several local programs have been financed with federal funds which eventually run out. Iowa's 30000 gifted and talented students have unique individual needs to meet these needs. Funding and support services now provided other exceptional
children must also be made available to our children. I promise. You. Hello I'm Dick Staver president of the Iowa State Education Association. With me are two people actively involved and concerned about education for the gifted and talented. On my left is Joy Corning's president of the Iowa talented and gifted Association and president of the Cedar Falls school board. On my right is a role with a consultant with the Department of Public Instruction. We are here to answer some of the questions that you
may have concerning the film. But first we'd like you to see that. Time was when schools could only mould youngsters into a single pot. It was shape up. Or drop out. Those were known as the good old days. In today's school the individual. And teachers help each child find and develop his own particular talent. This way. Each youngster can find the spot which suits him best. Good teachers and good schools make the difference. At least that's what we think of the National Education Association.
Could you review for us some of the unique needs of the gifted and talented students. Well I do think it's very important that we remember that these are special students with special these yet they have some of the same developmental needs as the other children. They need to be love they need to be cared for. They need to feel secure. They need to achieve to feel valued. They're the same way. They're part of our total educational process. But still we're talking about the top three to five percent. So we want to challenge them and provide a program that defining quality rather than on it. And as I've seen some things go on I could say it should be a program based on their abilities so they can go through the curriculum at their own rate at their own route. Still feel
challenge. They need to learn the basic skills but since they learn faster why then they should be able to go through at a faster pace and then have something truly challenging that they can do in addition not more of the same thing. Access to people access to places access to things access to situations where they can use higher level thinking skills time when they can be in special projects really go into a project in time to be independent. Many of these things and yet they sometimes have trouble with self concept. Here's where the counselor can come in and say well now let's talk about what you are and why you are so that you can except yourself and you know
that there's many things that we can do as long as it's qualitatively different. And we're looking at that time. I certainly would agree with ETA's comment. I do think as parents we need to remember that gifted children are children first and gifted second. We should not hold them in awe or put them on a pedestal but remember that they need the same love and respect and discipline that all children need. I'd like to thank Joy and Nita for appearing with me on this program and for your help in making this film. If you would like more information concerning the gifted and talented you made contact. Hello I'm Sarah Fasher. We've just seen the film going acquaints us with the gifted and
talented children and what their names are. We're going to discuss those children in more depth now with Dr. Robert Bentley who is State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Richard Staver who is president of the Iowa State Education Association. Corning who is president of Iowa talented and gifted. And Janet McCarthy who is a consultant on the gifted and talented with area education agency number seven talked about that there's been a resurgence in this interest in gifted and talented children. Why now what's happening that it is coming to the fore. I suppose in a general way we would say again I think we're returning to the concept of individualization that every child isn't the same that we should then try to develop programming that's going to meet the individual needs of youngsters. But I suppose in Iowa and more specifically it could be tied back to the new emphasis the last two years in programs for the handicapped. And many
times I have people say to me Well you know we're all for programs for the handicapped. We think this is great. The new emphasis. Those children have long been neglected. What about the other end of the spectrum the talented and gifted. So shouldn't we be doing something special for them. And so I think it's a combination of those two things the desire to recognize individual differences and to do that but also to recognize that actors who are talented and gifted that need some special programming some special emphasis just as handicapped youngsters educate digable handicapped physically handicapped and whatever it is I think it's in that context that the resurgence of the re-emphasis is at least emerging here in Iowa. Does this resurgence have also I need to do with this I understand there has been in the past two years one Fennville dollars in the area of exceptional. Well that the retarded or the gifted the new federal legislation the educational amendments of recent years I think there has been mention of that and you'll find the history of federal involvement in education generally has been
a long categorical line. By that I mean the federal government through Congress and other groups will identify an area that has either been neglected or is not receiving enough attention. And I think the educational amendments of 1975 or 76 I forgot the exact year. I do have a section dealing with the gifted and I believe there have been some appropriations now made Congress work for the two part approach they they pass authorizing legislation and then sometime later they they will appropriate the funds to go with it. I know for example in our department we were successful in applying for and did receive a federal grant. And we have now been able to employ a full time person in there. I guess what I'm getting at is how much is the impetus from below and how much of this is is it from above. I think the others made me want to comment on that. I think though here in Iowa if we have been very fortunate that much of the impetus has come from the low if that's the way you want to put it from the grass. Certainly the organization that your
recording represents here and others have been in existence for over three or four years. And I know we in the department have been most appreciative of all the groups State Education Association others that have that have got behind this so I think that a lot of it has come now. Having said that I think we do want to take advantage of the resources that are available to us. So we just think that we're going to be able to better use the federal dollar very frankly. Because of this interest and impetus from other organizations. We were the only agency that could have applied for it for example. And we we started some work in this and all of these groups have been a part of that. I have a question I'd like any one of you to answer. What concerned me about the film is. And also in some of the literature I've read it places the potential it emphasizes the need for. Helping. Gifted and talented children or for giving them meeting their special
needs in terms of the fact that they are meant to be tomorrow's leaders. And one of my thoughts is that that sometimes gifted and talented people turn out to be very destructive people in our cultures and that some very average human beings have made some very significant contributions to community. And what I'm wondering is is it really fair to the children to present it in those terms rather than just. You know these are special needs and will meet them to help the children grow rather than selling it on the basis of these are tomorrow's leaders. So therefore we need to give them some more. But I think there are a couple of things come to light there. Number one. Is kind of how you look at Leader. I mean if you look at a leader as the United States something like that you know there's more to a leader than that. And then what you mentioned that the. Sometimes talented gifted what we might say are telling them to become destructive forces. I think I think that's true. But then one must examine why and possibly
one of the possible reasons is because we have not been doing enough for them because you also mentioned that they do have special needs. They do. And we have not been treating those special needs to make them to help them so they are not destructive. OK. What I'm also getting into this question now is is this. Some people feel that what you're proposing is elitist is undemocratic. To single out the very bright. At all levels at some level. There's there's nothing any more equal that that equal treatment in some cases you know we've learned that in the area of the handicapped. If they're going to have true equality we have to compensate we have to add on to what would be the normal regular program and I think this is just as applicable here. I would agree with Dick here but I would put leadership. If I were to use that. I agree it is sometimes overused to sell this. If I were going to put literature I would say though leadership particularly in the area of the arts the talented those types of things that this is this is true that we are training for leadership an excellent job in those areas. But I would tend to agree with General leadership that
nothing necessarily is going to be in the gifted and talented group although they would certainly isn't necessarily limiting it to political leadership either. But people who make great strides to take the rest of this forward I imagine some of them were not necessarily gifted and some gifted people wasted their talents. What I'm saying. That's true. We know that you know research has proven that we lose 20 to 25 percent of our very young gifted and talented people by the time that they leave high school and so this is part of the thrust for gifted program and in meeting their needs to help program for their special talents and their special abilities. There are lots of myths that we live with about that these children will learn in spite of us and they already are blessed with certain gifts so why program for more of them. And then we know that. At certain levels and ages that they do have talents and abilities of maybe older students and they do need to be in groups with other children who have talents and skills like their own. I noticed that when I go out to some of the schools and program for some very early children kindergarten and first grade children
often times parents will say gee the kids are bored. But their first educational experience is exciting and fun and the kids don't want to leave the classroom. They don't want to go to another classroom for an accelerated reading program. Now maybe in second third and fourth grade that changes and they're very excited about going into another classroom or another grouping that you're getting into what the school should do and before we move down in that direction I would like a little better definition of gifted and talented. You know what are the characteristics of these children intellectually creatively their personalities etc.. And what are some of the myths we hold about maybe we can start with a definition and talk a little bit about those children who excel or who show the potential to excel above the average child in an in a variety of areas. One is general intellectual ability. These children usually do score very high on test scores achievement test test stuff in some measures. That's one measure of
identification and we can talk about that a little later further too. Usually they do well on IQ tests generally intellectual the gifted child are good in almost all areas Excel everything. Then we have children who are specifically academically talented maybe someone who's very very good in math or very good in the reading language arts area. This is another myth that we hold that a child could be learning disabled as well as gifted. I work with some teachers and children who are not very good readers at all but who may be very talented in psychomotor abilities or some other very math science. Then I have an area of creativity. Quite often we think about the performing arts when we think of creativity people who sing and dance and play well. All right good producers but we're really talking about those children who come up with a lot of alternative solutions to problems. Ask lots of questions they're very very curious are very concerned about what's fair. Are you very very much maybe with a teacher and other people these people may be the biggest nuisance in the classroom. The group of people that we often mis identify
because creative children are usually also highly intelligent once they are identified. Then we have an area of visual and performing arts that we were just talking about a minute ago. The area of leadership. In looking at that ability and then psychomotor ability which also carries with it mechanical kinds of abilities. Now do we really have accurate ways of assessing it. I'm saying we a. I was just going to say that. She's done a good job of listing all of those categories. And the fact is that the child could be gifted and dealt with in any one or combination of those categories you mentioned. And you also mentioned about gifted children talking and they are highly verbal. This is one characteristic of gifted children. They have very diverse interests and curiosity I think is another thing that you particularly noticed with gifted children and parents will particularly mention this at an early age their children ask lots of questions. How does the TV picture get to my house from the TV studio and how can I hear grandma's voice on the telephone and
this sort of thing they ask lots of questions. They're great collectors too. That's another interesting thing about gifted children and this is something that parents can certainly help along. Now. Where is your information coming from. In other words have there been studies done now that look these are accurate facts. Know there has been established especially in the last few years quite a bit of research done and more is being done constantly. But like Jim mentioned and you asked about group intelligence tells my friends there have been many different methods identified of identifying the talented gifted. The intelligence tests we've already mentioned the achievement tests them aside from tests. There's also the role of the teacher simply by observation of the student by examining the work that the student does by the things that Joy mentioned for instance a student who is rather astute and original in the kinds of answers they give to questions or the kinds of questions they ask or simply by observing their creativity. Those
kinds of things a great deal depends upon the observation method. In addition to the standardized testing that that can be done on a doctor that might want to comment on the fact that I believe that the construction has developed guidelines for it. And having said I I would think we're going to have to be extremely careful that we don't. Try to quantify or unduly quantify gifted and talented knows that we could do it in certain areas the areas of. Testing and a few things like this but creativity is extremely difficult to quantify. And so here's where I really think I think this is important point. We rely on professional graduates of doctors dentists and lawyers. Is where I really say the teacher shines and we we're going to have to recognize that the professional judgment of a teacher. Is going to have to be put on the same par here. And you know and I'm not saying we shouldn't try to quantify it but I think we've got to
recognize we're dealing with a human dimension here and subjective judgment is going to enter into it. And sometimes that diagnosis if you want to put it in that term or that evaluation is going to be right on target sometimes it isn't going to be right on target but these are the vagaries of innovation some of the papers that you gave me for this it said that quite often if she left it up to one single classroom teacher you missed a lot and we just did. Another thing about teachers you something. We're talking about multiple criteria in identifying gifted students as just as Dick has talked about group test scores IQ tests. They are one measure because we're looking at the person in a total commodity and their unique way as each individual person to program individually for them. And when we look at IQ test scores achievement test scores that's just one indicator the pupil products that they do make the kinds of work samples that they work in the classroom the way parents observe and parent input is so very very important denomination from a parent to talk to
us about how at a very early age they put Legos together or they build blocks or they they found solutions to problems and the kinds of you know did they learn how to read on their own how did mom teach them how to read those kinds of things are very very critical. I also read that. In the reaction of the child's peers often. What they know themselves and singled out that you meet people in their group. That's one more identification measure. Picking your time out using a variety of station measures for these children. OK. You mentioned the parents and I want to ask Joy this how do you guarantee that you're not going to end up with programs where parents can. Pressure schools to acknowledging their children is gifted and talented who necessarily are not. And the converse of that it seems to me is the parents who maybe. I mean parents are naturally proud. I mean all parents think their children are unique and that's a necessary thing. What about the parent who is almost embarrassed to come in and say I think. I have an exceptional child. How do you deal with those two things.
There are parents who do not come forward I think to begin with and say My child is gifted. If the child does not have a satisfying educational experience and does not want to go to school or play sick or. Is. An. Unhappy person then I think that's when a parent usually comes forth and starts asking some questions. And not really demanding but saying look at my child needs. An appropriate educational experience. So I don't know that I do not really believe that parents should pressure you if you're going to use that word. I think parents can be helpful to schools. And if I were a parent I would it with a gifted child. I would approach a school in in a helpful positive manner. I do not think you would get anywhere if you go into a school lb the principals that they ask and say
why aren't you doing something for my gifted child. I think you have to know some things about gifted children I think you have to have a good background yourself. And then be able to offer some positive solutions. OK what I also found was getting to is once again because I think it's a real concern of people who don't understand maybe. That only middle class people are either well-educated parents are going to push their children for this. And you have created. Some Alfie's educational programs and again the democratic idea that you are not going to find the children in the ghetto who are gifted and talented. That is a myth. Another one of our myths that have been perpetuated because gifted children do come from all races and creeds and economic circumstances. So if you as a middle class parent let's save you help get something started in your school for gifted and talented children you will not only be helping your own child. But all other
children who are also gifted and talented. What do you want the schools for the gifted and talented. Do you want them all put in a totally separate school. Do you want them up graded jumped three or four grades joint special activities. I mean how does I would want to deal with their gifted and talented. The key in my opinion is going back to what I said are the individualization. Almost a prescription. You know this type of thing. And obviously if you think if you separate them if you if you segregate them. And I realize that term is used in other contexts but it can be used in this way if you segregate them with an opinion you have you have heard them just as badly as when we segregated for race or anything else. So certainly the interaction of children of various types and kinds of backgrounds is still very important because after all they've got to live in this society and in some of the earlier thrusts in this thing of grouping and tracking this type of thing I think that was one of the reasons we rejected that type of thing because it really did in a very physical way. Develop that elitist
approach to anything. So I at least from my point of view and I don't know how the rest of the view from my point of view. It's extremely important that any programming that you have has to be done in the regular school setting. Now all you're trying to do though is it just that setting or provide additional opportunities to meet the individual needs of that youngster. I like to use this expression I've used it not just in Talib gifter but all of education the role of education ought to be to help that individual become what he or she is capable of being. That that says an awful lot it has a lot of implications but it's particularly applicable. In the gifted and talented situation here seems to be but also the handicapped and so I don't I don't see them segregated. I don't see them pulled out. I do see opportunities provided. Additional opportunities or different opportunities. But I think when I look upon it just like looking at any other course for instance you're right you have a group of students and you have some students especially on a secondary level some are taking home economics some are taking industrial arts and physics and
what have you and I think the. Programs for Delphin gifted could be looked upon the same way to avoid this elitist thing you're talking about. And so that there could be identified students could be put in go to special classes one or two days a week or two hours a week or a day or something just as they would go to some other class just as we do for the opposite end of the spectrum where a student who needs additional reading help or something goes to a special class so that they are still in the mainstream of all students. But given those special extra opportunities that they need. Rather them you know setting up a whole separate program or school or something to tell them gifted. We certainly don't want the. Janitors. And so what are some of the specific things you would recommend I mean to say. Well let's take a hypothetical example a. Child. Extremely right. In. Science. I mean that's so traditional That's what it sounds but rather what would you do exceptional for that child.
What would you change. Well it depends very much upon you know the support within the school district and in this program development to individualized for the gifted and talented. I think the support is needed by first of all the administration and the community and all of the teachers and staff and so some staff development needs to be done to erase some of the mess that we've been talking about this afternoon so that everyone has a supportive attitude. I think the one thing that's been unique about the schools that in which I work is that we don't have money to hire teachers to be a special teacher that gifted in Dallas. We don't have monies for a lot of materials or lots of Transportation to transport them to a special place. And so the programs that we've been developing are really becoming very creative programs with people who are volunteering who are exciting and creative people themselves and working and supporting the gifted and talented. So we've tapped resources community resources we've tapped all kinds of materials and teaching strategies and looking at other programs in other states to see what we can find. We know that
there have been a lot of independent study programs but we're fearful that those are going to become isolated activities and that's not what we want either. We want the children to have the opportunity to interact with other people and other students of their own talents and abilities. Quite often we can use it in universities and colleges and communities to find mentors or tutors so to speak to come in someone who has expert talent or ability in a specific area whether it be in music or in some vocational aspect where they can work on a one to one basis with the student. I'm curious about one thing again that some of the literature you gave me to read there is concern over some teachers feeling threatened. And defensive around a child very much brighter than they are. And I actually thought it would be the office that I should think would be much easier to teach a gifted child because I understand that they're much more motivated. I think here again depending upon the area maybe of giftedness. If someone is very intellectually gifted and knows the field very very well it can be very threatening
to a teacher who maybe doesn't know the content or someone who is also very confident in in their their knowledge or their skills and abilities in something and acts very bored and does withdraw. That can be a real problem for a teacher also. And sometimes children have abilities sit back and do not demonstrate them and that can be very disturbing for a teacher when you know knowing the ability is there but it's not coming out. At our last ungifted conference in November in Davenport. One of the presenters talked about. The kind of person that a teacher has to be to teach gifted children. And he said that a teacher really has to go from the sage on the stage to a guide on the side. And I thought that really aptly. You know said What we need to say about a teacher of gifted I think really needs to be a facilitator. More than the sage on the stage.
Yes I understand that. I want to stick with you a minute. What we. Remove from the schools side of what is best for the home environment was what should parents do for children. They have a gifted and talented. One book that I read recently said the best thing one of the best things that parents can do is to provide taxi service. And I got you know as parents we all see enough of that. But it went on to say of all the community resources that are available say art clubs drama clubs Boy Scout Girl Scout Troop Camp Fire Girls astronomy groups gymnastics you know all of those sorts of things. And very often gifted children have so many diverse interests that perhaps as parents the best thing we can do is to see that they can get places to be able to pursue these interests. So I think that's one thing that you can be as a parent. Also I think you have to be somewhat like the teacher you cannot be threatened. As a parent by a bright
child. First of all you have to remember a gifted child is a child first and gifted second. And that child needs the same love and support and supervision discipline whatever that any child needs. So you have to remember those things. As a parent of a gifted child. Have there been any studies that have found difficulty a sibling rivalry that if one child the family is gifted the other children resent them. It just struck me I wondered. I'm not aware of any specific studies but would seem like the logical kind of thing that probably something has been done in the field of psychology or something someone. And it would seem to me that that would be true that there probably would be Suddenlink Ravelry there is sibling rivalries is based on rival really and differences. I'm sorry to say if there were tremendous gaps it would be more serious. What I want to get to now is after all you said and I don't want to quote something you wrote documented
in 1974 in a paper entitled because of or in spite of this. About gifted and talented children and that you said quote In all successful programs for the gifted there is a climate of learning that is concerned more with how a pupil learns thinks and acts than with the facts he has mastered from that you've said here about the school situation and the whole situation. What you're describing is the ideal situation for any child whether he is exceptionally bright average slow or retarded. Why segment on. I don't I don't deviate from that concept if you'll recall but most of my remarks have been in the area of individualization. OK. Then why are we talking about separate money separate organizations separate and teaching staff. I mean how do you separate it off. I don't know everyone talks about that separate I think we're saying that that in any given situation. You can just say if we put equal dollars equal effort or whatever it is that we're
going to have equality here goes back to the thing I said earlier there's nothing more equal than equal. Yeah I understand so. So I would think that we would we would need to recognize that in some way we do have to have additional resources. We do have to have additional emphasis. But I would I would not I would want to emphasize you know this the leaders thing is one of the thing that bugs me it bothers me and I as you know if we could do it another way if we could say that we could with a given framework I get to give it atmosphere try to really meet those needs. But traditionally we haven't been able to do that. So traditionally we've had to resort to a compensation type of say compensatory approach. Additional dollars a day of resources and I don't like it either but very frankly that's traditionally how we've had to do it. That's how we've got vocational education on the line and that's how we've gotten problems for the handicap on the line. And I think people are just saying well we're taking a page out of another book here. This is what it takes to get this type of interest and concern. We're going to use that methodology.
I guess I have a naive conception of my own high school experience. I think of the one very unique teacher I had who because of their individuality. And that there was someone who was a superb teacher touched every kid in the class and he didn't have to label anyone gifted or slow or dollar in a very average or whatever have you. He just brought everyone on at their own pace and idealistically I'm thinking well if all your teachers were good you wouldn't need a structure you know very often when you talk to teachers they will say oh I know I'm just not doing enough for those kids in my classroom. That. The very. Bright children and and I think. I know as a former teacher I felt as though I pretty much taught. To the average I did not do enough for the children who needed more help. And I did not do enough for those children on the other end of the spectrum. And I suspect maybe
this happens in a lot of classrooms. I think that the average teacher today the majority of teachers echo what you just said we do teach to the average. And let's look at well because probably about 98 percent of the students are average. When we're talking about gifted and talented children we're talking about three to five percent. How many would that be. What about that 30000. And if there are some of those schools in trouble aren't they. Not necessarily and not necessarily put into place and the individualization model I think this small school may very well be the best place where that can happen if you get the right if you get the right type of planning and development the right type of teacher. It's awfully hard in my opinion. It's awfully hard to teach either the handicapped or the lower into the higher end in a self-contained closed classroom. Extremely difficult because that's where you that's where you end up. Out of just desperation having to teach her you've got 30 kids isn't it better to separate out.
I was. I've been informed that that the trend now is to try. What's the phrase mainstream. So children. And yet you are talking about giving special activities. To the children. I had had friends who teach and say when you put your children in the class if you if you really teach them you slow down and that's the class I mean is there a contradiction there and mainstreaming the retarded and wanting you to age of visualize for the gifted you mainstream those individuals into that portion or part of the program with which all children can benefit. And you individualize it and do compensate whatever you want to call it to individualize it in those particular areas. And when I use the term self-contained I'm perhaps being a little bit too restrictive by really talking about a teacher in one classroom six hours a day with 30 kids and he or she is expected to do anything and everything for those 30 extras. And I think here is where you really need the resources to provide some of that specialized talent to get teachers and materials and things like this. And you've got to start
breaking down the walls of the classroom it seems to me to meet the individual needs of kids. The question is often asked is a program good for the gifted good for everyone. And I think I'm going to have to get him because we're out of time but I want to thank you all for being here. Dr. Robert Fenton who is State Department who's. Had the state superintendent of public instructional Scuse me I got that wrong. Richard Staver is president of the Iowa State Education Association. Joining who is president of the talented and gifted. And Janet McCombs see who has consulted for the Gifted and Talented with the area Education Agency number seven. Thank you all for being here. I'm Sarah Fasher. Thank you for watching
- Children of Promise
- Contributing Organization
- Iowa Public Television (Johnston, Iowa)
- AAPB ID
- Program and follow-up discussion. Dubbed 4-2-87, Rec Eng RW VCR 5, 60 minutes, UCA-60
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- Moving Image
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Iowa Public Television
Identifier: 23F74 (Old Tape Number)
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- Chicago: “Children of Promise,” 1977-01-22, Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 25, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-38jdfrkb.
- MLA: “Children of Promise.” 1977-01-22. Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 25, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-38jdfrkb>.
- APA: Children of Promise. Boston, MA: Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-37-38jdfrkb