The Psych Owl Ogist 5

“I think those articles from Lesley Sword  would explain a lot of the Tweetlets’ behaviour” said Retweet

“But I also think maybe Tweetil is just BORED.
Sometimes he pulls twigs out of the nest just to see how it was constructed.
When we were trying to learn ‘Feel the Thermal’ his wings were not developed enough to do it; but he thought the previous lesson was far too easy. And the way it was supposed to be taught annoyed him because it sounded like a nesty rhyme.
Sometimes I wonder whether there is a conspiracy to dumb down Tweetlets by talking down to them, slowing the pace of learning and not making them aware of possibilities!

They were supposed to chant
Flap, Flap, FLIP
See my wing TIP

And then they were supposed to dip one wing lower than the other while standing still.

But Tweetil would go zooming around the rim of the nest chanting
Flap, Flap, FLIP
See my wing TIP
Skip, Skip, SLIP!
Oops, I lost my GRIP!

And then he would hold his beak and take a bottom bouncer dive bomb into the centre of the nest; which would send clouds of dust and feathers all over Tweetelle, who was practicing Preening 101, and there would be tears and tantrums from Tweetelle!

“Ah yes,” said the Psych Owl Ogist “Tweetil is definitely showing signs of not being engaged in the studies at the current level.

It is important to pitch the teaching at what Dr Katherine Hoekman would call ‘the eyebrow wrinkle level’ of challenge – possible to attain with effort – but neither impossibly difficult nor far too easy.
Here is some more reading for you

Professor Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, notes that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow when they are completely absorbed in the activity at hand and nothing else seems to matter. For the state of flow to occur the challenge of the task and the ability of the performer need to be matched. The task should be neither too easy nor too difficult.
You can listen to the TED talk at

So for when you next tackle ‘Feel the Thermal’ – get in the flow and bear in mind the flight launching advice of ‘chick-sent-me-high-ee’

“Oh yes, and a tip for you when you are advocating for the Tweetlets with FLOCK Ed. Never say they are BORED 

The Psych Owl Ogist 1

As I guess you remember, Tweet and Retweet were becoming anxious about the behaviour of their Tweetlets. Friends and family (like Great Aunt Hashtag) had undermined their confidence in their parenting skills and  suggested that Tweetil was too boisterous/noisy/ naughty/smart-mouthed/impulsive/ADHD? and that Tweetelle was too noisy/demanding/emotional/neurotic/weird.

The nest visit from the Psych Owl Ogist proved to be a life changing event for the family. He had many years of experience working with gifted Tweetlets and there was an instant rapport between him and the Tweetlets.
He brought with him  the Ravens Progressive Matrices tests which he had chosen because of their independence of language and reading and writing skills, and the simplicity of their use and interpretation (and because Ravens sounds like a suitable test for Twitter birds).

He told Tweet and Retweet that there are a number of IQ tests and suggested that they could research these further at   and

The Tweetlets really enjoyed the testing process “It’s like playing games!” Tweetelle said. And Tweetil added “I wish learning lessons was always  like this!”

The Psych Owl ogist declared that Tweetil and Tweetelle were delightful and clearly very intelligent Tweetlets; and promised to return soon for a debriefing session, to report the results of the testing and his observations and to provide some recommendations for future education provisions.

The NAGC’s ‘Bold Move’

This week the #gtchat session will focus on the implications of the NAGC’s decision to emphasise Talent Development rather than Giftedness

I noticed that, in preparation, Sprite had printed out a blog post by Lisa Conrad on her Gifted Parenting Support blog
The NAGC’s bold step and what it means for your gifted child
It begins ” In her inaugural message to NAGC members, ‘Taking a Bold Step’, Olszewski-Kubilius states, “I suggest that we take a bold step and consider making talent development, rather than giftedness, the major unifying concept of our field and most importantly, the basis for our practice.” Critics were quick to contend that this was a bold statement for the new president of an organization which is considered to be all about giftedness rather than talent development; even going so far as to suggest it change its name.
Nothing less than a firestorm has erupted in online gifted communities”

As usual the Dabrowski Dogs and Columbus Cheetah had gathered around to read  the article and discuss it with her.

This is the conversation I overheard:

Sprite: What does this mean?

Imaginational: I think it means that they want to broaden their definitions so that more students will have their talents recognised and developed so that they can achieve highly in different areas.

Psycho Motor: Sounds good to me – they might recognise bouncing as a talent!

Sensual (scratching his head) I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right to me somehow.

Intellectual: Well it depends on your definitions of giftedness and talent, levels of giftedness, potential vs. achievement, nature vs. nurture and which development programs you are considering.
(Here Intellectual embarked on a lengthy discourse about definitions of giftedness etc, etc, etc… which could best be understood by visiting  Hoagies Gifted Education Page or Gifted Phoenix’s blog posts What are the key issues in Global Gifted and Talented Education? at and  )

Columbus Cheetah:  I am not sure what it all means. It is OK if it means they will keep Cheetah Programs and also have Fish Programs and Turtle Programs; but I hope it does not mean that Cheetah Programs will turn into Big Cat Programs, then into Feline Programs and end up as Animal Programs.

While Columbus Cheetah was saying this Imaginational was imagining the possible implications for Sprite considering that she is Twice Exceptional – identified as exceptionally gifted but with learning differences and disabilities which make it harder for her to demonstrate achievement and make her studies an exhausting experience for her.

Sprite: But what will it mean for me? Will I still be in The Program? People say I am in The Program because I am smart. Some of the kids in The Program are scary smart but I can keep up with them while we are just discussing and debating but not when we have to write about it. The tests said I was gifted but my work doesn’t look as if I am and I don’t think I have any talents to develop.

Emotional: You play the guitar.

Sprite: Yes, but that is only a hobby for fun. I am not a concert musician or anything.

Emotional: And you have great empathy and concern for the environment and people and animals and you have a good vocabulary and a quirky sense of humour and…

Intellectual: Don’t get worked up about it yet. They are going to discuss it on #gtchat this week. We might find out then what it all means and how it will affect you.


“No, you’re not a twit if you twitter” says Jennifer Goddard, director of the Buzan Centre in Australia and New Zealand and co-founder of Mindwerx International

And Sally L, Admin & Creator of OGTOC agrees and has prompted OGTOC members to start twittering.

Carolyn K of Hoagies, the all things gifted page  twitters too and has offered RSS feed for a long time now

I have mentioned Twitter in the newsletter before and in 2006 I wrote a teaching unit titled The Twitter Tree

But until now I have not participated in Twitter myself.

Now very carefully, cautiously and conservatively I have started to tweet also. It is good to receive the updates of the people I am following and I now have a few followers myself.

So if you twitter, please look me up!