Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 5

In line with his New Year resolution, that in 2014 he will increase his efforts to bust the myths surrounding giftedness and advocate for acceleration and ability grouping opportunities for gifted students, and in preparation for a webinar and Global GT chat on Twitter for the next two weeks, Columbus Cheetah is updating his myth busting presentations.

Columbus Cheetah’s discussion of the myths surrounding giftedness are based in his own brand of cheetah logic and the wonderful analogy of the cheetah to the gifted person given in Stephanie Tolan’s wonderful article ‘Is it a Cheetah?’
http://www.stephanietolan.com/is_it_a_cheetah.htm

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We hear this myth often used as excuse for not providing for the needs of gifted students in the lower primary classes.
It is often used as a corollary of Myths 1 and 2 or as part of myths about pushy parents and hot housing and flash carding which we will look at later.

Columbus Cheetah says this myth can be busted using observation of the cheetah’s running gait, physics and common sense.

The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. It can accelerate from zero to 40 mph in three strides and to full speed of 70 mph in three seconds. As the cheetah runs, only one foot at a time touches the ground. There are two points, in its 20 to 25 foot (7-8 metres) stride when no feet touch the ground, as they are fully extended and then totally doubled up. Nearing full speed, the cheetah is running at about 3 strides per second

See the slow motion of cheetah running from National Geographic
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/mammals/cheetah/

Gifted students usually learn at a much faster rate than other students.
This is partly because they need to hear fewer repetitions of the material being taught in order to understand and master it.

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In order to demonstrate that the faster you move for the same amount of time the further you will go Columbus Cheetah downloaded a program titled The Moving Man  a physics simulation from the University of Colorado
http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/moving-man

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Using it he showed that travelling the same path for 20 seconds
at 1metre per second the man travelled 20 metres
at 2metre per second the man travelled 40 metres
at 3metre per second the man travelled 60 metres
at 5metre per second the man travelled 100 metres

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Relating this to students, if all the students work for the same amount of time, the ones that learn faster can master more material
If allowed to work at their maximum rate they will complete more work and reach a higher level than those who learn more slowly.

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So if they all start at the same point and work consistently by the time they reach Year 3 the gifted faster learners will be ahead of the others.

However they are usually not starting from the same point.
Some students have already mastered the material to be taught.
At a point half way through Year One some students will be at the average level, some will not have achieved it yet and some would be able to work at level of Year Two or higher.

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The students will NOT all be at the same level by the time they time they reach Year 3. And that is only considering velocity. We have not even started to look at acceleration yet!

Columbus Cheetah, Myth Buster – Myth 2

In line with his New Year resolution, that in 2014 he will increase his efforts to bust the myths surrounding giftedness and advocate for acceleration and ability grouping opportunities for gifted students, and in preparation for a webinar and Global GT chat on Twitter for the next two weeks, Columbus Cheetah is updating his myth busting presentations.

Columbus Cheetah’s discussion of the myths surrounding giftedness are based in his own brand of cheetah logic and the wonderful analogy of the cheetah to the gifted person given in Stephanie Tolan’s wonderful article ‘Is it a Cheetah?’
http://www.stephanietolan.com/is_it_a_cheetah.htm

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This myth seems very easy to dispel using Cheetah Logic.

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Clearly not all students are gifted.  Gifted is a subset of the Students group in the same way as Cheetahs is a subset of the Animals group.

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Sometimes ‘They are ALL gifted’ is intended to mean that all have special abilities.
It is an egalitarian and encouraging statement about the value of all the students.

Columbus does not deny the equal worth of each person and he does not deny that every person has areas of special ability.

However to say that all have equal abilities can be demonstrated to be false.

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Sometimes ‘They are ALL gifted’ is worded as ‘We treat all the students as gifted’ either to indicate that the same excellent education is being given to all the students or to excuse the fact that no special provisions are being made for any students.

However ‘excellent education’ is not necessarily synonymous with ‘special provisions made for gifted students’. Suitable provisions made for gifted students could be quite unsuitable for the rest of the students in the class.

All students need, deserve and should have an excellent education.
Gifted students need education at the appropriate level and depth and pace.

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This post has been nominated as one of the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Rapid Responses to the topic “All children are gifted” To read more responses to this topic see
http://giftedhomeschoolers.org/resources/parent-and-professional-resources/articles/are-all-children-gifted/ 

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The teachers’ lounge

The #gtstoogies lobby is set up as a teachers’ lounge for this week’s gathering after the only #gtchat session for this week which will be a session guest moderated by the wonderful twitterbrarian (or cyber librarian) Cybraryman, Jerry Blumengarten, on the topic What makes a Great Teacher of #gifted children?

Cybraryman has a webpage for everything and everything on its page! He facilitates and participates in many Twitter based education chat sessions and has a page which lists the numerous education chats at http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html
He has a well stocked Gifted and Talented page at http://cybraryman.com/gifted2.html
Cybraryman has also often joined the #gtstoogies merriment and acted as our cyber DJ, choosing just the right music to suit the theme and mood of the occasion.

The Dabrowski Dogs are as eager as ever to participate in the #gtstoogies gathering and a selection of key books has been chosen for display on the bookshelf.

In case you have forgotten to bring your spectacles, here is a close up view of the pin board which includes the notice about this weeks’ #gtchat, a poster for New Zealand’s Gifted Education Centre GO  Gifted Online and The Bavarian Center for Gifted and Talented Children’s Gifted Education conferences in Second Life. There are pictures of Tim Dracup aka Gifted Phoenix as he appeared in Second Life and Dr George Betts presenting his Autonomous Learner Model at the most recent Second Life conference.
The next “Global Virtual Meeting for Gifted Education in Second Life”, 28th 2011 at 9 p.m. CEST.
Invited speaker is Margaret Keane from Ireland. Topic: “MissionV Pilot: Using virtual world technology for the support of high potential students.”