and High Ability Children:

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Maximizing the Potential of Gifted

and High Ability Children:


What Schools and Parents Can Do



Dr Barry
Meatyard



December 12, 2011




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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

This presentation is adapted from a lecture given by Dr Barry
Meatyard

organized by the Connecticut Association for the Gifted at Bedford
Middle School, Westport CT on 12
th

December 2011.



Barry
Meatyard

has worked in education for nearly forty years in a
career spanning teaching in high performing schools, teacher training
and 5 years as a Director of England’s National Academy for Gifted and

Talented Youth.


He currently works as an independent international consultant


with
recent projects in UK, Malaysia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Denmark,
Germany and Holland.



All information and materials in this presentation are the intellectual property of Barry
Meatyard

unless otherwise referenced. Non
-
commercial use of the materials for
educational purposes is acceptable.


Introduction

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

1.
To provide an overview of G+T
education in England


2. To share international approaches to


understanding giftedness


3.
To consider how the definition of


giftedness impacts on provision


4.
To provide examples of creative


thinking exercises and activities.

Objectives

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

G&T Education in England


a recent history

In 1998 a national governmental approach to G&T education was formalised
and a ‘National Programme’ was established.


This led in 2002 to the formation of the National Academy for Gifted and
Talented Youth (NAGTY) at the University of Warwick, the role of which was
to act as a strategic partner with Government to support the National
Programme.


A change in policy in 2007 led to the dismantling of NAGTY, although some
components of its work were transferred to other agencies, and much of its
legacy is reflected in current programmes for both teachers and students.


A ‘National Programme’ as such no longer exists and the responsibility for
provision for ‘more able’ students rests with individual schools. This provision
is inspected against national guidelines by The Office for Standards in
Education (
Ofsted
).



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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

G&T Education in England


the current
landscape

Responsibility for provision lies primarily in schools,
although schools can, and do, procure provision from
independent agencies, and from the university sector
(outreach and summer programmes).


A number of advocacy and support (both commercial and
charitable) groups exist, including London Gifted and
Talented (
www.londongt.org
), The National Association for
Gifted Children (
www.nagcbritain.org.uk
), and The
National Association for Able Children in Education
(
www.nace.co.uk
) . More recently a network of interested
individuals and organisations has been established as
‘G&T Voice’ (
www.gtvoice.org.uk
)



NAGTY 2002
-
07


Strategic Plan



To work in partnership with the English
Government to develop Gifted and Talented
(G&T) education within national policy.



To identify and track the G&T population that
makes up the national top 5%.



To secure high quality core education for all
G&T young people.



To secure access to high quality opportunities
within and beyond school for all G&T young
people in the national top 5%.

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Barry
Meatyard
, BM Consultancy 2011

The NAGTY

‘English Model’

(Eyre, 2008)



national

provision


local or regional

targeted

provision

cross
-
school and extra
-
curricular provision

local or regional
enrichment

activity

classroom provision

Increased sophistication

of provision

Increased access to

adult expertise

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Barry
Meatyard
, BM Consultancy 2011


The English Model of Gifted
Education
-

1



The NAGTY ‘pyramid’ has come to represent the


‘English Model’ of gifted education and has been


conceptualised and defined as a strategic framework


by Prof. Deborah Eyre (2008). However, in practice

many individual schools that have long traditions of

preparing their students for high tariff universities

such as Oxford and Cambridge have been operating

this system for many years.


The essential feature of the Eyre model is that it is


systemic, and inclusive, encompassing all schools


irrespective of socio
-
economic context.

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011


The English Model of Gifted
Education
-

2




The 4 principles that underpin this model are:


1.
Enables extension
and
support for those
students
already identified as ‘gifted
’;


2.
It provides
opportunities in the classroom for
students to respond to stimuli in a way which
indicates their potential for high achievement,
i.e
.
to promote the identification of gifted
individuals;


3.
A focus on the needs of more able students is a
powerful lever for whole school improvement, and


4.
Schools are inspected on the provision they make
for ALL students.

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011


The English Model of Gifted
Education
-

3



Implications of this approach are:


1.
All
teachers are teachers of the
gifted;


2. All teachers need to be able to provide for the
gifted;


3. All teachers need to be able to
recognize
a
response by students to provision that is
indicative of the potential for further high
achievement, and


4. Teachers / schools need to recognize the needs of
gifted students and to be able to broker additional
provision and support.

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011


The English Model of Gifted
Education
-

4



Therefore:


1.
Teacher training programmes need to reflect
these
implications;


2.
On
-
going professional development should be
available and accessible to all
teachers.


The second of these is becoming
internationally recognized in countries as
diverse as Malaysia, Holland and Saudi
Arabia
.

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

What
do we mean by ‘gifted
’?


Important question and defines different approaches to provision.

However there is no international ‘one size fits all’ definition.



Students
whose performance is significantly above that of the
average of their peer group and who have the potential for high
achievement in adult
life;



Students who show the early signs of behaviours that are
considered ‘expert’ in adults. The Sternberg model


the
expertise journey
. Howard Gardner ‘Multiple Intelligences’;



The Eyre equation: Potential + Opportunity
(+ Support
+Motivation ) =
High
Achievement (Eyre, 2008);



Renzulli

(
Renzulli
, 1986)


‘Three Ring’ components.


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Barry
Meatyard
, BM Consultancy 2011

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

‘The English Model’ (Eyre, 2008)

14

Three Ring Concept (
Renzulli
, 1986)

Potential

for
High

Intellect

Creativity

Task

C
ommitment


Gifted

Analyse

Plan
creatively

Implement

Problem solve
regarding


Context


Role


Audience

Metacognitive

skills

Alternative
Thinking/Learning strategies

Strategies for coping

Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

Giftedness as an expertise journey (Sternberg)



What
do adult
experts
do?


Think of an ‘expert’ in your subject area


What characterizes their ‘expertness’?


E.g. Nobel Prize winners :




Saul
Perlmutter
; Fred Sanger;
Kary

Mullis; John
Steinbeck
; Al Gore.


Others:


Aldo Leopold; Rachel Carson; Maya Angelou;
Steve Jobs.


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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

What characterizes adult
expertise?

In our work with teachers from a wide
range of countries and cultures we
have asked this question. The
answers are remarkably uniform and
the common responses are shown in
the next slide:


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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

The next question is then:


What about
Students?



Think of the brightest /
most ‘gifted’ students
you
have ever
taught or known.



Why do you think they were the brightest / most
‘gifted’ ?



Would you add / subtract
anything from
this list
?



Do our assessment instruments recognize and reward
these characteristics?

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Barry
Meatyard
, BM Consultancy 2011

The responses are remarkably uniform
and the great majority (of 2500
teachers) agree that the adult
descriptors are also applicable to their
‘best’ students.


Interestingly only two have responded
‘because they got good marks in tests’

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Barry
Meatyard
, BM Consultancy 2011

It therefore follows that our curricula and
classroom practice (plus the way that extra
-
curricular programmes are structured)
should provide opportunities for the
rehearsal of ‘expert behaviours’.


This requires a clearer focus on opportunities
for ‘HOT’ (Higher Order Thinking). A simple
way of envisaging this is to refer to ‘Bloom’s
Taxonomy’ (see following slides)

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Barry
Meatyard
, BM Consultancy 2011

The following three slides give a brief over
-
view of differing approaches to thinking
skills relevant to the G&T agenda. However
teachers will also be aware of de
Bono’s

‘Thinking Hats’, Gardener’s ‘Multiple
Intelligences’s

,
Renzulli’s

‘Learning Lab’
which are in use in many schools; and
additional program opportunities such as
‘Future Problem Solving’ and ‘Odyssey of
the Mind’. These are beyond the scope of
this presentation.

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Barry
Meatyard
, BM Consultancy 2011



HOTs and
LOTs’


Higher Order Thinking Skills

vs


Lower Order Thinking Skills


Bloom’s Taxonomy (
Bloom et al 1956
)









Evaluation

Synthesis

Analysis

Application

Comprehension

Knowledge


In unfamiliar situations these are HOTS

In familiar situations these are LOTS

It is wrong to assume that
‘Bloom’
is a hierarchy


i.e. that it is necessary
to top up the ‘LOTS’ before proceeding to the ‘HOTS
’. Knowledge
and
comprehension can be created and stimulated by starting with observation
and thinking exercises
.

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

‘Revised Bloom’

Anderson, L., &
Krathwohl
, D. E. (2001).

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011


Why does all this matter?


The World’s Top Universities are more interested in how Students
Think

than what they
Know
.


At interview at institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge candidates will
be given scenarios and problems to consider that may be unfamiliar
to them.


Sufficient factual knowledge is assumed since all candidates will have top
grades in school leaving exams.





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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

Implications for the Everyday Classroom
and Parent / Child Conversations


How can we encourage ‘HOT’ skills? The
following 7 ideas illustrate some strategies
that have been devised by teachers for
teachers and are in use in many schools in the
UK, Europe and beyond. They are mainly short
thinking exercises that can be incorporated
into normal lesson time.

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

For Parent
-
Child conversations they may
help to frame dialogues that stimulate
and progress learning.


(It may be worth referring to the work of
Vygotsky

(1978


or ‘Google’)
and the
value of conversation)

G&T Provision
-

1:
Questioning Skills


Why do we ask questions?




To engage/control pupils;


To check prior learning/recall;


To lead into new learning;


To focus thinking / check understanding;


To extend thinking;


To lead pupils though a reasoned sequence;


To promote problem solving or reflection.




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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

1. What percentage of teachers’ questions is concerned


with recalling facts?


2. What percentage of teachers’ questions is concerned


with managing the class?


3. What percentage of questions do you think demand


higher cognitive demands of pupils? (Bloom’s


categories 3/4


6)


4. Who do you think asks the greatest proportion of


higher order questions


primary or secondary


teachers?


5. How many questions does the ‘average’ teacher ask


in their working lifetime (40 years)?





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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

How does questioning work?

A simple math example



Low threshold


high ceiling


high impact task


How many solutions can you find?


How do you know you have all the solutions?


Make up one that is more difficult


Why is it more difficult?

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

T W O

+
T W O

=
F O U R



7 3 4

+
7 3 4

1 4 6 8

Specimen solution:




G&T Provision
-

2:
6 Degrees of Separation


A creative thinking game


You
will be shown 2 pictures


Link the two pictures together by six sentences


The end of one sentence must form the start of the
next


Time
for the task is 2 minutes

Caterpillar






Candle


In 6 steps…



1.
A caterpillar is the larva of a butterfly

2.
Butterflies are insects which are classified as animals

3.
Animals respire in order to provide themselves with energy

4.
Energy can exist in many forms

5.
One form of energy is thermal energy

6.
Thermal energy and light energy are produced when a
candle burns



A response from a
15 year old
pupil


DNA

Ballot
box

Arroz


Huevos

Beethoven Electric guitar

Mountain Coral reef

Isosceles triangle Cylinder

Cat





Bicycle

Romeo

Juliet

Freedom

Fireworks

Christianity



Islam






In 6 steps

Summary:


6
Degrees of Separation




Can
be used in the everyday classroom



Stimulates thinking,
creativity, analytical


and evaluation skills,
and
discussion


Low
threshold


high ceiling tasks,
but:



Level of difficulty can be adjusted



Can be converted into a research task



Low maintenance for
teachers


Remember: there is no ‘right’ answer!

But what constitutes a ‘good’ answer? Engaging students in
deciding this can develop their analytical and evaluation
skills.




And it’s fun!!



G&T Provision
-

3:
‘Big’ or ‘Rich’ Questions


Explain:



How Color
C
hanging Pens (e.g.
Crayola


Switchables
’™) work


Where religion came from


How mountains are formed


How many matches you need to play in a tennis tournament


The plot of a Shakespearean play in a modern context


Why the sea is blue and not green


The origin of language


Why we haven’t found a cure for the common cold.


N.b
.
these
cannot be answered

in
a single
step. There may also be

more than one solution or answer which can be further explored ,

discussed and evaluated.

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011



G&T Provision
-

4:

Jeopardy’



If
this is the answer what could the
question(s)
be?




New York, carbon dioxide, Lincoln, inflation, tea,


water, cotton, limestone etc.



Can we group the answers?



What patterns might be discerned
?





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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

G&T Provision
-

5:
Tell
the
Story



Of a graph



Of a
picture



Of a year in the life of a
barn swallow






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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011


G&T Provision
-

6:
Draw a Graph


To represent:



How you eat a Hershey Bar




The pressure in a balloon as it deflates



Your journey to school







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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

G&T Provision
-

8:
Thought Experiments



What
if
:


The density of water was greater / lesser
?


We used decimal time?


Pigs could fly?


Gravity on earth was greater / lesser?


We didn’t have verbs / nouns?





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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

These ideas are developed as ‘low threshold


high
ceiling


high impact’ tasks. This means that most
students can engage with them at a basic level, but
they allow G&T students a blank canvas on which
to express their creativity and wider knowledge.

Feedback suggests that teachers use them to extend
the thinking of ALL students (not just G&T) and this
enables them to identify potential.

Advice is given to teachers on professional
development programs as to how best to
incorporate these activities.





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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

International Links

International Gateway for Gifted Youth (IGGY)

www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/iggy


Junior Commission, Forums, ‘The Why Files’, Math

Problems, Summer Schools.


London international Youth Science Forum

www.liysf.org.uk/participation
-
at
-
liysf


Summer Schools, Forums








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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011

nrichmaths

http://nrich.maths.org/1854





Nine squares with side lengths 1,4,7,8,9,10,14,15 and 18 cm
c
an be

fitted together with
no gaps and no overlaps, to form a rectangle.


What are the dimensions of the rectangle?


Once you've had a chance to think about it, click below to


see how

three different pupils began working on the task.





This is how Anna started:
hyperlink




Here is what Brendan tried:
hyperlink




Here is Chandra's initial approach to the problem:
hyperlink



Can you take each of these starting ideas and develop them into a solution?


To discuss your methods for answering these questions, visit the
blog

Fitted

Stage: 2 Challenge Level:


Concluding Thoughts


what I have learned



Teachers from a wide range of educational
cultures have similar views of giftedness


A more inclusive approach aids recognition of
potential


Sustainable G+T education can only be achieved
by embedding it as a right within schools


Teachers need access to high quality professional
development opportunities



Learning should be fun! For Students, Teachers
and Parents




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Barry Meatyard, BM Consultancy 2011