This is a blog entry which I wrote in July 2013 and posted in other places. I am playing catch up and posting it here now.
“It is all about equity and equal access to excellent education. We treat all the students as gifted. A rising tide raises all ships you know” Sprite’s teacher told me. “There have been system wide reforms and changes in the philosophy of education. Every class in every school in the system is now providing gifted education.”
I had gone in to Sprite’s classroom hoping to make an appointment for a follow up meeting with Sprite’s teacher to discuss her progress. I found that all students now had access to a pile of one size fits all paper shoe covers and that these had replaced the De Bono 6 Action shoes gifted education program planning.
“So if every class in every school in the system is offering a gifted education program does that mean that every teacher in every class in every school has been given specialist training in teaching gifted and special needs students?” I asked
“No it means every school receives a bulk order of these one size fits all shoe covers and the teachers are required to attend a one hour long PD session relating to how to apply them in their regular classes” she replied.
Later, at home, Sprite and I discussed the shoe covers with Columbus Cheetah and the Dabrowski Dogs.
“Maybe it means that every student in every class in every school in the system will get an Individual Education Plan. That would be the perfect way to cover it!” said the idealistic Imaginational.
“No, that would be De Bono’s Brown Brogues Do- what- is- most- sensible planning and these covers are blue” said Intellectual.
“I remember that I didn’t like the blue formal shoes programs because they seemed too rigid and did not allow for outside the box thinking” said Imaginational.
“When you think about it, these covers are also an attempt to fit everyone into the same mould” said Intellectual “What type of shoes do you wear under them?”
“We all usually wear Sparkle Toes sandals under the cover shoes” said Sprite.
“They are the shoes that represent the appearance of having a gifted education or special education program when not really having any substantial program in place” said Emotional “They are so pretty and look as if they would be so good and so much fun. It is a real pity they are not really very useful!”
“I don’t think it would be easy to run fast in sandals;’’ said Columbus Cheetah “especially if they do not have a strap around the heel. I don’t know how useful they would be for travelling on Gagne’s DMGT Road from innate giftedness to fully developed talent.”
“The cover on my right foot keeps on tearing because the sandal rubs a hole in it when I try to go faster than the class” said Sprite “And the teacher just sighs and says ‘Get yourself another cover from the pile Sprite- you know what to do’ So now I am getting in trouble each time I tear one and being made to feel that I use more than my fair share of the covers.”
“See!” said Intellectual “They can’t even cover their pretence of having a gifted program!”
“But what about your left foot? How does it feel?” asked Sensual
“I just really hurts!” said Sprite “because I cannot get the pair to the right foot Sparkle Toes sandal on that foot and they won’t even let me try to put a larger one on. We are only allowed one pair of Sparkle Toes sandals each. So I just have to wear the shoe cover by itself on my left foot.”
“It is no wonder so many 2E students drop out!” said Psycho Motor Dabrowski.
Intellectual Dabrowski growled
“These shoe covers appear to be an economic method of countering elitist arguments by giving a show of providing gifted education programs to all students. But treating all students as gifted without making any specific provisions for them is almost as little help as not having any program at all!”