In Losing Our Minds, the author presented several ideas which have always been foreign to me. I'd like to put them out here right now to kind of mull them over.
She suggested that highly gifted students (level 3 and above) can in fact not only easily grade skip, but can quickly fill in any information gaps on their own as soon as they discover the need.
Now, we have done a bit not only of grade skipping, but also of level skipping, especially in math at my school. And we have discovered at the end that students often have holes the size of semi-trucks in their knowledge. I am wondering if the author's premise is incorrect, if our application of the premise was incorrect, if the students we advanced were not at a high enough level to advance so quickly, or if the way we presented the material in some way negated the students' ability to see the gaps at all.
She also stipulated that having students demonstrate mastery of current knowledge is counter-productive, because truly gifted and bored students will not be able to show the knowledge on a traditional test. But, I am thinking, the premise here is faulty. It isn't that we should not ask for a demonstration of knowledge, but that we have to find a way to let the gifted students show they understand the material. I will not argue at all that when the material is perceived to be too easy, gifted students often shut down or even when they try they do not see the mistakes they are making. I see this in my own son. He can accurately tell me which number is bigger or smaller at least with numbers through 39 (I haven't tried any further), but he will sometimes get the order of numbers wrong when he is counting. Since I know he grasps the concepts of the numbers, at least at a basic level, I wonder where the counting errors come in. Does he get bored or lose concentration? Whatever the reason for it, the fact remains that his comprehension of numbers is larger than he accurately demonstrates on a simple "test"
The last point I want to address in this post is the idea that highly gifted students can complete the elementary curriculum in 2 - 3 years as opposed to the traditional 5 -6. There are a lot of issues involved with younger students in upper grade levels. Not the least of which being what they may be exposed to, or what older students are unable to express in their presence. My school attempts to get around this by compacting the curriculum, and by adding depth to the information provided. But again, that hits the average student at my school. What happens to those students who are so profoundly gifted that they are above the curve in my school too? I still see them shutting down and tuning out. It galls me that 12 year-olds have shut down so completely to the idea of school. How do we get them back???
3 hours ago