Kyle's Story

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Kyle's Story by Mind Map: Kyle's Story

1. Kyle’s sudden deficit in achievement in comparison to fellow students deemed as gifted might be discouraging and cause low self-esteem. Having been regarded as gifted from such a young age and suddenly falling behind might cause him to lose overall motivation and in turn lead to hinder his cognitive and learning development.

2. I would feel like I wasn’t performing up to my parents’ standards as they have such high hopes academically for myself. The fact that I tried French Immersion and didn’t thrive might dishearten me from the whole learning process and feel insufficient as my friends are able to grasp these concepts and I am unable to. The result of this might be shown as disengagement from curriculum and lessons taught in class.

3. After being the focus of many discussions of what program I should be in and whether I am fit for the Gifted program or not, I feel like I need something that I can thrive at. I need something that I am passionate about. Nobody ever asks me what I like, I am like a lab rat and people keep on giving me tests and assignments. I want my teacher and parents’ to be proud of me but I want to be able to find my strengths and not always be compared to my friends in the Gifted Program. I think I would benefit more from another enrichment program or extracurricular to showcase my talents.

4. Kyle is a single child and comes from a family of a mom and dad. When Kyle entered grade one he was identified as gifted as his vocabulary and linguistic ability was higher then normal. Through grade one and two, Kyle's school performance was up to par with being gifted but shortly went downhill as he begin grade one in French immersion which was not for him. Kyle was withdrawn from French immersion, but later in grade three Kyle demonstrated difficultly in the gifted program with keeping up with tasks and differentiated instruction. The school year is coming to an end and the IPRC review is taking place for assessment of all gifted students in the program, Kyle is below criterion and asked to be withdrawn from being identified as gifted. Kyle's parents are appealing as they feel the assessments are unfair and withdrawing Kyle will affect his development. Through all, the Board has decided Kyle does not meet the expectations anymore to be a gifted student and is not in the program.

5. As children develop and enter the school system, they might begin to demonstrate signs of giftedness. Parents and teachers should look for signs such as: superior verbal language, superior focus and attention span, high creativity and inventiveness, independence, rapid learning with excellent recall, heightened sensitivity, and a high tolerance for complexity and difficulty (Santrock et al. 193). However, students who are gifted are not always easy to identify, and as children continue to develop these signs might change or be considered negative. Example: dominating discussions or unrealistic perfectionism (Bennett et al. 144).

6. Scaffolding, a technique that changes the level of support offered to a student over the course of the school year, could have been offered to Kyle before withdrawing him from the gifted program. For the tasks that Kyle was having difficulties with, a student skilled in that particular task could have provided assistance until he was able to complete it independently. If this technique failed to help Kyle, his gifted status could have then been reevaluated (Santrock et al. 291).

7. Cognitive Constructivism

7.1. Children are unique and depending on their level of cognitive development, learning will differ. Familiarizing one’s self with the students intellectual foundation is imperative to understanding the learning process (Santrock, p. 215)

8. Special Education Policies

8.1. An act that is designed to address the wide range of conditions that may affect a student’s ability to learn, and do not exclude any medical condition, whether diagnosed or not, that can lead to particular types of learning difficulties (Bennett, p. 242)

9. Differentiated Instruction

9.1. Kyle was in a differentiated instruction program since he was first assessed as a gifted student in Grade 1. Once Kyle entered Grade 3, he was beginning to show signs of inadequacy within the enhanced program. He was unable to keep up with the assignments that were assigned to all of the gifted students in his class. This lead to his withdrawal from the enrichment program.

9.2. One of the strategies proposed to support Kyle was to maintain his withdrawal from the program, and continue to provide differentiated instruction. His teacher can focus on modifying the program after the fact to planning the entire program to meet Kyle’s learning needs (Bennet, 2013, pg. 109).

10. Child Development

11. Scaffolding

12. My proposed solution is to organize a face-to-face meeting with Kyle, his parents, and myself to discuss the implications for the IPRC’s assessment and what the classroom will now look like for Kyle. During this meeting, I will show Kyle’s parents detailed lesson plans in hopes that showing them my learning goals will help to develop a relationship of mutual trust and respect. These lesson plans will utilize time-honoured approaches like enrichment in the classroom, which is a program of study that offers experiences beyond ordinary curriculum. I will also note that I will be closely observing Kyle’s work and progress throughout the duration of the year, and will request a follow-up meeting if necessary.

13. This issue is also difficult in terms of the pressure I have received from both of Kyle’s parents. Their worry is that withdrawing his identification as gifted will limit his opportunities to progress, but I disagree. Instead, I believe that by resuming differentiated instruction despite the difficulty Kyle is experiencing, he will continue to fall even farther behind and will fail to reach his true potential. So, as a teacher, what do I do?

14. Another issue arises when considering the possibility that Kyle is a twice-exceptional learner. Twice-exceptional learners are often at risk for misidentification because they experience strengths as well as struggles. Unfortunately, if the IPRC fails to identify Kyle as gifted even though he might be, it is my job as an educator to choose only one type of programming.

15. As a teacher this situation is extremely difficult for a number of reasons. First, how can I explain to Kyle that despite the fact that he is no longer labelled as gifted he is still equally capable of succeeding in school? Kyle might experience issues with poor self-esteem or may feel as though he’s disappointed his parents, and as a teacher I need to find ways to help Kyle through this potentially difficult time. It is important for Kyle to know that while he may not be gifted according to the criteria administered by the IPRC, he still has his own special abilities to discover and develop.

16. A strategy we would like to get a second opinion on testing Kyle’s giftedness. Kyle along with another student were nominated to be released of the gifted program as the only marker Kyle received was parent nomination. As Kyle’s parents we see him in a different setting/ environment at home, we get to see him successful, he may be shy at school and uncomfortable in the setting which stops him from his giftedness personality. We propose that Kyle is reassessed with a different standardized testing and additional professionals supporting his testing. We would like to keep Kyle in the program as of right now as removing him does no good to his development. Kyle will be discouraged and embarrassed for being removed, if additional testing can be done then as parents we will view different insights and understand if Kyle really needs to be removed from the gifted program or not. As parents we cannot rely on just one standardized testing relating to our sons education, we can focus on what Kyle needs to work on and provide support from professionals like tutors, educators or a mentor. Lastly, as caregivers we obviously want what is best for our child(ren), if Kyle is not for the gifted program, then what can we do as a team relating to us parents and the school to making Kyle's education successful? If Kyle cannot be successful in the gifted program is there additional testing we should do that maybe we do not know about as parents? Is Kyle delayed with his learning? Through different assessment the professionals can support us parents and Kyle with providing him the best answer and opportunity for his learning. Ending off, as parents a strategy we could use at home is observing and taking our own notes, having notes can be useful when interacting to professionals and the educators who work with Kyle. These observations can provide significant information when deciding if Kyle needs professional assistance in his education or if the gifted program is for him.

17. Bennet, S. Weber, K., & Dworet, D. (2013). Special Education in Ontario Schools (Seventh ed.). St Davids: Highland Press.

18. As parents we understand that children learn differently and display their understanding in their own unique way. We understand the IQ was the type of assessment to distinguish if Kyle was still accepted in the giftedness program, the IQ test is a standard assessment and does not do justice to all students knowledge and capabilities, Kyle could show his intelligence in many ways, but maybe not the way the IQ is asking. “Researchers and educators alike are becoming increasingly concerned about the under-representation of particular groups within the category of giftedness. Persons with disabilities, students who are culturally different, and students who have low socio-economic status are often excluded from the classes” (Bennett, 2013, pg. 148), as parents we know there should be no discrimination in the process of determining who is gifted and need to investigate reasoning for withdrawing our son.

19. As Kyle’s parents we feel confused and disappointed in the school system for having Kyle withdrawn of the gifted program. Two things we are not happy with are that assessments of children Kyle’s age (7.9) are unreliable and secondly denying Kyle additional opportunity offered to the other students will damage his self-esteem and limit his opportunities for his future. With this, speaking to Kyle’s teacher and principle is an important approach to us as as a start. We would like insight to how Kyle was assessed and if this type of assessment is appropriate to distinguish Kyle’s giftedness as this is important for his well -being and his future.

20. As Kyle's parents we have provided him with an inclusive environment, culturally accepted, supportive and intellectually engaging. We want Kyle to be successful with his learning and to have the best opportunities for him when he is in in future. As Kyle's parents we requested an IPRC prior to being enrolled in school and will begin French Immersion in grade 1

21. Perspective of a Parent(s)

22. From the perspective of a teacher, Kyle’s issue is significant because despite the fact that he was identified as gifted prior to his enrollment in grade 1 he has been consistently falling behind. Throughout grades 1 and 2 Kyle was struggling in his French immersion program, and early in grade 3 began to demonstrate an increasing amount of difficulty keeping up with the tasks assigned to students identified as gifted. Now in grade 4, Kyle has been reevaluated by the IPRC and his identification as gifted has been withdrawn.

23. Perspective of a Teacher

24. Summary

25. Course Connections

25.1. Learning Disabilities

25.1.1. Robert Sternberg describes his theory Triarchic Theory  of Intellectual Giftedness, there are three kinds of intelligence necessary for giftedness: analytic, synthetic and practical. Kyle was enrolled in French immersion and was immediately struggling as he was not suitable, at this time Kyle could have noticed his three levels of giftedness were fading as he was taking on a new language of French and teaching style. Sternberg believes a gifted child will need all three intelligence in order to hold the 'gifted' name. It is said the gifted individual understands how to coordinate all three intelligence and knows when to use each one. (Bennett, 2013. pg 146) If Kyle was not suitable for the gifted program this could be because he is not able to manipulate all three intelligence's together. Did the prior assessment identify if Kyle has an LD, this is important to identify prior to enrolling a student in a gifted program.

25.1.2. Kyle may display his giftedness at different times, his level of intensity and when he shows it. The misconception that gifted students display giftedness all the time (Bennet, 2013, pg. 142)

25.1.3. " Many students with learning disabilities are challenged by the task of processing language" (Bennet, 2013, pg. 98) - Kyle has difficultly in the French immersion curriculum

25.2. Misconceptions

25.2.1. It is described that Kyle comes from a lifestyle that intellectual and culturally enriched which influenced Kyle's enrollment into the gifted program, the IPRC was requested  prior to enrollment and he was accepted. One comparig misconception is " students who are gifted are easy to identitfy" (Bennet, 2013, pg. 142) relying on IQ tests discriminate  against culturally diverse populations

25.2.2. Students who are gifted are easy to identify' (Bennet, 2013. pg 142), as every child is unique and comes from their own upbringing, they will display thier own learning and culture differently and this may need to be assessed differently instead of only an IQ test.

25.3. Giftedness

25.3.1. Although giftedness is broadly defined and lacks a consistent definition, there are certain characteristics that gifted students have which differentiate giftedness from other diverse learners. Giftedness can consist of a “well-developed attention span and deep curiosity; ability to grasp, synthesize and act on information” and the “capacity to adjust easily to new situations and demands” (Bennet, 2013, pg. 144).

25.3.2. Unfortunately, Kyle did not measure up to many of the characteristics of an enhanced learner once he reached Grade 3. He was incapable of maintaining an advanced ability of learning and did not meet the standards of the enrichment program.

26. Sources:

27. Perspective of a Principal

28. As Kyle’s principal, I have been working with both Kyle’s teacher as well as his parents to have this issue resolved as quickly as possible. This matter is time sensitive as Kyle is still young, so it would be ideal to find a resolution that meets the best of Kyle’s needs.  I would like to consider both perspectives of Kyle's parents and his teacher in order to assess the situation and come up with an efficient plan. I would like to meet with Kyle’s teacher and parents to discuss both of their views.

29. In my role as a leader of the school, it is in my best interest to maintain an environment hospital to education. Although Kyle’s parents think otherwise, I believe that keeping Kyle in the enriched program will weaken his self-esteem more so than if we were to keep him enrolled. Not only will he become discouraged towards his school work, his attitude may have an impact on the rest of his classmates’ learning. I understand that Kyle’s parents are putting pressure towards keeping him enrolled in the program because they feel that it will limit his opportunities to progress. However, in my opinion, if he is placed in a program where he might feel isolated due to the fact that he is unable to keep up with the work, it will damage his progression.

30. My first course of action is to meet with Kyle’s teacher and discuss alternate options that we could suggest to Kyle’s parents. Kyle’s teacher had proposed that she provide Kyle with differentiated instruction. I believe that this may be the most ideal solution to Kyle’s situation as the enrichment program may not be well suited for his needs. This would mean that his teacher will provide modified tasks or activities, separate to what the rest of the class is working on, yet still meeting Kyle’s level of ability. As Kyle’s principal, I would like to ensure that we are supporting and encouraging his education to the fullest capacity, while keeping Kyle’s parents content. Another part to this strategy will be to continue monitoring Kyle’s development within the modified learning to see where Kyle’s progress is sitting. From there, we can consider doing an IRPC review to evaluate Kyle’s progression and decide on the next course of action, which could be continuing the same strategy.

31. Perspective of Student

31.1. Being labeled as gifted at such a young age by my parents may have actually negatively affected my learning. Acknowledging the fact that I was distinctive from the majority of students gave myself the impression that I could take it easy in class and not work as hard as the others because I was labeled as “gifted”. So when I was put into a French Immersion program I was shocked and overwhelmed at the amount and complexity of the work. It just wasn’t for me.