Myth busting with Columbus Cheetah

When Psycho Motor Dabrowski learned that the theme for this year’s New Zealand Gifted Awareness Week was to be Myth Busting he became even more super-over-excited than usual.

“Cool! I love myth busting!” he yelped. “Lots of bouncing and barking and blowing stuff up and then lots of high fives all round!”

“I think it would be wise to leave myth busting about giftedness to me” said Columbus Cheetah. “It is what I do! And I use Cheetah Logic rather than explosions to make my case.”

Columbus Cheetah has been working on busting myths about gifted and twice exceptional students for many years now.

He has tackled the myth that there are NO gifted students
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-1/
and the myth that ALL students are gifted
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-2/
and the myth that it is possible to create giftedness by training and attitude
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-7/

He has battled myths such as
All gifted students will do well in school
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-3/

Gifted students are polite, well behaved and have neat handwriting
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-4/

Special education provisions for gifted students are elitist
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-9/

And
Gifted students have pushy parents
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-10/

And he has fought valiantly against

All students level out by Year 3
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-5/

Acceleration is harmful for gifted students
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-6/

It is not possible to be gifted and have a disability

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-8/

Sometimes Columbus Cheetah becomes disheartened when he sees that the myths he has been battling against for such a long time continue to be believed and hinder gifted and twice exceptional students from receiving the educational opportunities and the social emotional support they need.
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/05/09/the-g-word/

So Columbus Cheetah is delighted that the theme of New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Week 2019 is Mythbusting!
https://nzgaw.jimdo.com/
All the folk at Sprite’s Site and Personas, Profiles and Portraits blog send their best wishes to New Zealand for a great week and much success with busting the myths surrounding giftedness.

Acknowledging Diversity: Gifted is not a homogenous group

Better late than never!

New Zealand’s Gifted Awareness Blog Tour is held in June

www.nzcge.co.nz/blog_tour_2017

This year I volunteered to contribute a post for the blog tour but real life got in the way of my writing. I am living with my daughter and son in law and their Stumpy Tail Australian Cattle Dogs had a litter of puppies. Caring for the puppies took up a great deal of time both during the day and overnight. The pups liked to play and be fed at between 2.00am and 4.00am. We called it the ‘stupid o’clock session’!

In the past, when I lived in Rosebud, the folk at Sprite’s Site have gone down to the beach to wave ‘across the ditch’ to New Zealand

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/gifted-awareness-week-new-zealand/

But this year I am not living near the beach so they have to be content to hold up signs and send postcards and emails.

The theme for this year is Diversity.

It is a topic dear to the heart of the Sprite’s Site folk as they are a very diverse lot themselves.

The Psych-Owl –Ogist explained the concept to Retweet when she queried whether both her tweetlets could be gifted as they were so different from each other

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/the-psych-owl-ogist-6/

Gifted students come from every racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic group.

They can have differing profiles as described by Dr. Maureen Neihart and Dr. George Betts Revised Profiles of the Gifted and Talented 2010
http://www.ingeniosus.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/PROFILES-BEST-REVISED-MATRIX-2010.pdf
Teachers would usually recognize gifted students with Successful profile, maybe the Creative ones and maybe the Autonomous Learners but may have more difficulty in recognizing the Underground, At Risk and 2E Twice Exceptional students as gifted.

The Persona Dolls from the Personas, Profiles and Portraits Blog https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/  are representatives of these profiles of giftedness

Columbus Cheetah is quick to point out that there are many myths about characteristics which contribute to the lack of understanding of the diversity present in gifted students. http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Myths such as:
All gifted students will do well in school https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-3/

Gifted students are polite, well behaved and have neat handwriting https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-4/

It is not possible to be gifted and have a disability https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/columbus-cheetah-myth-buster-myth-8/

All of these myths cause gifted students who do not fit those particular descriptions to be overlooked.

Gifted students also vary in the areas of giftedness and talent they have and come with varying personality types and varying types of intensity and sensitivity.

Sprite’s Site discussed the various types of giftedness in the post Gifted – How? https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/gifted-how/  which was a contribution to

Hoagiesgifted September 2014 Blog hop www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_how.htm

Because of this diversity in gifted students there is no single program which fits all of them.

Sprite’s Site discussed this:

One size shoe cover system https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/de-bonos-6-action-shoes-9-one-size-shoe-cover-system/

I am very sorry that I did not manage to complete this post in time for the New Zealand Gifted Awareness Blog Tour.
However the good news is that the excellent posts in the Tour can still be read at www.nzcge.co.nz/blog_tour_2017

 

Bachelor of Bouncing, Doctor of Daydreaming

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Columbus Cheetah and the Dabrowski Dogs were discussing the new school year and how they could help Sprite to succeed.

Columbus Cheetah had the Feetspeak Quest map  and Prof Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model diagram  spread out and was trying to plot a path for Sprite from innate giftedness to fully developed talent.
“We can provide her with support and make opportunities available” Columbus was saying “But there are still speed humps and difficulties to overcome.
Being 2E does complicate matters.
It is quite a challenge to prevent her from being an underachiever.
She finds it hard to demonstrate her giftedness and many of her areas of strength are not ones that are recognized and rewarded in the school system.
She does not receive any credit from the school for the astronomy evenings with her mentor.
And the school is not impressed with her very original way of thinking such as:
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/thats-what-its-all-about/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/critical-thinking/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2015/11/24/timelines/

It is a myth that all gifted students will be successful in school.” Columbus concluded.

“If Sprite is going to succeed academically I should be the only one to accompany her to school” stated Intellectual Dabrowski.

There were growls and howls of disagreement from all the other Dabrowski Dogs.

“I am the only one who has a remote chance of getting her through the system and ending up with some sort of official academic qualification” Intellectual continued.
“What will you others help her achieve?
Bachelor of Bouncing with Psycho Motor Dabrowski
Honorary degree in Histrionics with Emotional Dabrowski
Certificate of Completion in Corporeal Comforts with Sensual Dabrowski
Or Doctorate in Daydreaming with Imaginational Dabrowski”

“What I am trying to say” said Columbus Cheetah “is that, as well as advocating for provisions for Sprite at school, it will be necessary for her to be given plenty of opportunities and experiences outside the school setting and that time with her mentor, Paula the Physicist will be very valuable.”

This is a post for Hoagies’ Gifted February 2016 blog hop:
Other Achievement: when your child doesn’t achieve where you hope. 
To find out what advice other bloggers have come on the hop with us starting at www.HoagiesGifted.org/blog_hop_other_achievement.htm

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Discovering the depth and breadth of giftedness

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

The sign announcing the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October blog hop: Discovering the depth and breadth of giftedness appeared at Sprite’s Site at much the same time as the Lobsters arrived for their Annual Lobby Lobsterfest with the Lolly Lobbing competition and dancing of the Lobster Quadrille.

The suggestions for the topics which could be discussed read

This hop is about exploring the breadth and depth of giftedness – in general, in your kids, or in whatever you want to explore. Perhaps it’s also an opportunity to discuss what the public doesn’t understand – how giftedness looks like a lot of things because it IS a lot of things, not just a kid sitting in the front row of the classroom getting easy As. Perhaps less simplification of giftedness would help others to understand nuances and complexity – why we keep going on about it, and why a one size fits all GATE program doesn’t work for all gifted kids (nor even identify them all).

“Depth and breadth suggests the necessity to measure” declared the Lobsters.
The Forensic Lobsters had brought all the tools necessary to gauge the possible presence of the Wicked Lemon Wedges
They produced rulers to measure the extent of the giftedness and a protractor to measure the degree of the giftedness.
With the help of One Twitter Bird on a ladder they measured Sprite while she was standing. Even though Sprite was not standing up straight the ruler was not long enough to give an accurate measure.

measuring03a

Image Jo Freitag

So then they measured her in a seated position and checked the number of degrees of the angle of elevation of her leg and added the total (in degrees) to the height total (in centimetres) to compensate for Sprite being a 2E student and came up with an IQ of …….

“What on earth dooo yooou think yooou are doooing?” hooted the Psych-Owl- Ogist.

“To identify giftedness and derive an accurate score for IQ it is necessary for a qualified psychologist or education consultant (preferably with an interest and expertise in giftedness) to administer appropriate testing. The tests must have a sufficiently high ceiling level to be accurate at the upper level; otherwise you will only be able to say that the IQ is above a certain level. I have heard it likened to measuring all the members of the Harlem Globe Trotters basketball team with a six foot ruler and then saying they are all more than six feet tall.
And there are also other ways of identifying giftedness by observation and check lists.

But, as I told Retweet Gifted is not a homogenous group!
There are varying levels of giftedness and varying domains of expertise combined with varying character profiles and personality types.
I discuss some of the aspects of giftedness here https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/the-psych-owl-ogist-2/

And I talk about social/emotional issues here https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/the-psych-owl-ogist-4/

Fortunately Gifted Homeschoolers Forum has an excellent collection of articles about these topics at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/resources/parent-and-professional-resources/articles/
Defining giftedness at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/resources/parent-and-professional-resources/articles/defining-giftedness/
Tests and testing http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/resources/parent-and-professional-resources/articles/testing-2/

“The other problem” chimed in Columbus Cheetah “is that very often people have mistaken ideas about what giftedness is and is not. There are so many myths surrounding giftedness. I always aim to counter the myths in my role as Myth Buster
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm
And I also advocate for employing acceleration when appropriate and using the Iowa acceleration scales
https://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Resources/IAS.aspx

One of the common misconceptions is that all children are gifted
Gifted Homeschoolers Forum has a page of Rapid Responses to this issue at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/resources/parent-and-professional-resources/articles/are-all-children-gifted/

Thank goodness Gifted Homeschoolers Forum gives links to information about giftedness and its measurement so that we do not have to do not have to rely on Lobsters with rulers and protractors.

This is a post for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum October blog hop.
To find all the posts please go to

http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/discovering-the-depth-and-breadth-of-giftedness/

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Advocacy – Just ask Sprite and co

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Sprite had just completed a session with Dr Ed Needs, the Education Consultant, regarding her education requirements as a 2E twice exceptional student and now had recommendations for challenging her giftedness and extra support provisions for her areas of difference and difficulty. Dr Needs had stated that he would be available to advocate for Sprite by discussing the measures with the school if necessary.

“He said that I would need to learn how to advocate for myself too” Sprite said “What did he mean by that?”

“Well” I said “It means that you need to learn how to talk about what you need  in a respectful manner . For instance if you want to make mind maps and sketches when you are told to take notes you could tell the teacher that is what you are doing so that she will know you are paying attention and not just doodling.”

We have talked about Advocacy for Sprite before

Advocacy https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/advocacy/

Advocacy 2 https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/advocacy-2/

The meeting https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/the-meeting/

But advocacy is not confined to talking to schools.

It can also be raising awareness of issues and tackling myths about giftedness.

Columbus Cheetah advocates for the gifted by myth busting
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Advocacy can also be explaining giftedness and the associated asynchrony and intensities to family and friends.
Retweet has encountered the need for this when dealing with Great Aunt Hashtag and her friends but has not always been brave enough to speak up.

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/when-extended-family-dont-get-giftedness/

Whenever you speak up to increase awareness or explain issues you are acting as an advocate.

This post is part of the Hoagies Gifted October Blog Hop: Gifted advocacy
Links to all the posts in the blog hop can be found at
www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_advocacy.htm
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Giftedness: Why Does It Matter?

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The sign announcing the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September blog hop on the topic ‘Giftedness- why does it matter?’ had been posted and the characters at Sprite’s Site were busy discussing it.

“Giftedness matters because, to quote the Columbus Group definition, the gifted need modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order to develop optimally” said the Psych-Owl-Ogist.

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“It was certainly very helpful for us to have the tweetlets assessed by the Psych-Owl-Ogist and to learn about giftedness” Retweet said “Before we did that everyone said that they were just being naughty or neurotic and blamed our parenting. But when we found out it helped us to be more understanding and also to make decisions about how they should be educated”

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/best-australian-blogs-2013-no-14-stories-3-twitter-bird-tales/

“It also matters because there are so many myths and so much misinformation about giftedness” said Columbus Cheetah.
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm
“We have people saying everyone is gifted or nobody is gifted. We have people saying you can create giftedness by practice and attitude. We have people saying it does not matter whether you identify giftedness if you differentiate. We have people saying you should give all students exactly the same programs and people saying gifted do not need any different treatment.”
“But we know from the Columbus group definition that the gifted need modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order to develop optimally”

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“It is especially important in the case of 2E students like Sprite” said Columbus Cheetah. “If their giftedness is not recognized only their learning difficulties and differences get noticed and they are put into remedial groups and not given appropriate challenges. Or else the difficulties mask the giftedness and the giftedness enables the student to hide the difficulties and the student appears average and receives no modifications at all.”

“That is why initial assessment with a psychologist who specialises in gifted and 2E issues and ongoing evaluation and treatment with an education consultant can be so helpful. 2E students need to be allowed to work at their level of ability while receiving support for their difficulties. Sometimes special services or funding is available for the students whose needs qualify them to receive them”
That is why Sprite went back to see Dr Ed Needs recently for progressive achievement testing and planning the next stages of her education.
We are planning Sprite’s education programs http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/feetspeakforweb01.htm  using De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning tool and checking the effectiveness of the programs using Gagne’s DMGT model. We need to make both suitable provisions for both her giftedness and support measures for her difficulties.

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We talked about the topic of Identification of gifted students recently on Twitter #gtchat.
The transcript can be found here   https://storify.com/gtchatmod/gtchat-gifted-identification

A review of the chat and additional information links will be found on the #gtchat blog at http://globalgtchatpoweredbytagt.wordpress.com/

This is a post for the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum September Blog Hop.
Please join us on the hop and read and comment on the posts.
To find all the posts in the hop please follow the links at http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/blog-hops/giftedness-why-matters/  

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Gifted – How?

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Psycho Motor Dabrowski had interrupted our discussion about Animal Farm to remind me that I should write a blog post on the topic ‘Gifted – How?’ for the Hoagiesgifted September blog hop.

“Some people say that everyone is gifted in some way. Do you think that is true?” Sprite asked me.

“Some people tend to confuse the term gifted (which means an IQ above a certain level and the related heightened intensity) with being unique or special.” I said

Yes, everyone is unique and special, precious and of equal worth. Everyone has areas of strength and ability and attributes which some people would call gifts or talents.

But NO, everyone is NOT gifted in the sense of the word as we use it here on the blog!

I could see that Columbus Cheetah was eager to share his myth busting efforts with us and he pointed to a collection of his cheetah logic at http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

“But what about when people say something like Psycho Motor is gifted at bouncing?” asked Sprite.

“I would say that Psycho Motor has a talent for bouncing but that is not what makes him gifted” I said

The terms gifts and talents are used in different ways according to the definition being quoted.

Prof Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model speaks of Giftedness as innate abilities in a number  of different Domains which can be transformed into fully developed Talent if circumstances are favourable.

The Psych Owl Ogist talks about being gifted in different ways at https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/the-psych-owl-ogist-6/

You can read more about Definitions of Giftedness on Hoagies Gifted Education pages at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/ 

This post is part of the Hoagiesgifted September Blog hop. Gifted, How?
The different faces of giftedness. The creative gifted, the math gifted, the chess kid, the 2e child, the introvert, etc. All gifted kids (and adults) don’t all look alike!  What does the face of giftedness look like to you?
Links to all the posts in the blog hop can be found at  www.hoagiesgifted.org/blog_hop_gifted_how.htm

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