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Arts integration assist student learning

Classroom teachers see arts integration assist student learning

Local and national arts and education entities are joining forces in the classroom to better reach students whose brains don’t always grasp traditional learning techniques.

Advocates contend a variety of arts-related exercises are better suited to teach some students — especially the unique, foreign, special and gifted students.

Singing, dancing, jumping, citing poetry and taking photos are just a few of the art techniques that are more and more prevalent in the classroom in order to educate future generations.

Scottsdale and Paradise Valley unified school districts — who combined reach 54,000 students — have teachers who say they are seeing direct results from arts integration in their classrooms.

Arts integration is defined as the approach of teaching that “constructs and demonstrates understanding through an art form.” More than including an art project into a single day’s lesson plan, arts integration engages students in a creative process that connects a specific art form with another subject area.

While one young Paradise Valley girl created a skit about counting tickets and charging admission to a horse show, a classroom full of Scottsdale students physically moved around to mimic the rock cycle.

Areas such as science, language arts, math and social studies are benefiting through individual teachers using a new avenue to reach their students.

The “evolution of education” has created a partnership between SUSD, PVSchools, Scottsdale Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Leading artists and educators meet in the Valley throughout the year to expand their approach.

The Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program brings in teaching artists on the Kennedy Center National Roster to assist arts organizations and develop or expand partnerships with their local school systems. Scottsdale Arts, one of the 96 partnerships in 36 states working with the center, joined the program in 2001.

PVSchools, SUSD and Scottsdale Arts all contribute to pay for the program. SUSD officials say they have provided $3,000 to the program this year, while PVSchools is contributing $6,000…

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Attentional Issues and the Gifted Child

Minding the Details: Attentional Issues and the Gifted Child

There are adults/children who have been identified as gifted who in fact have issues relating to attention.

These issues manifest as troubles with sustained focus and spotty attention to task, that precludes productivity.

Regardless of their innate and idiosyncratic gifted style they also have attention troubles.


This does not mean they have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

They might.

But they also may be in the throes of a complex anxiety arc fed by under-stimulation and over-stimulation, in uneven measure. Sometimes the world they live in is grossly inadequate to feed their hungry mind and heart. Sometimes their inner world is so rife with ideas and feelings – unfed and unexpressed – that they are felled, psychologically clear-cut.

This extreme lack of fit, intellectually, socially or emotionally, can be disastrous and severely interfere with their capacity for attention.

Which begs for a nuanced and differential diagnosis and valid treatment plan based on broader, in-depth understanding of the complexity inherent in mental health for gifted individuals…

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Recent studies of full-grade acceleration

Recent studies look at the potential benefits of full-grade acceleration

More than sixty years ago, Lewis Terman said, “It seems that the schools are more opposed to acceleration now than they were thirty years ago. The lockstep seems to have become more and more the fashion, notwithstanding the fact that practically everyone who has investigated the subject is against it.” Terman’s words reflect today’s disconnect between research on and practice of academic acceleration.

Gifted education experts have been advocates of academic acceleration for decades. It is a strategy that works. Early pioneers in the field promoted grade-skipping and early college entrance. Contemporary scholars study a variety of academic acceleration, ranging from widespread interventions like Advanced Placement classes to less common procedures such as allowing a child to advance through a year of curriculum in just one semester.

Many studies have shown benefits during childhood for accelerated individuals, but few studies have examined outcomes of acceleration in adulthood. Two recent studies compared adult income for accelerated and similar non-accelerated individuals. The first study used the Terman dataset, a famous study that collected data on over 1,500 gifted children over the course of seven decades. The second study used more modern data from five U.S. federal government studies, ranging from the 1970’s to the twenty-first century. Combined, the two studies used data from over 2,600 accelerated people and over 68,000 similar non-accelerated people. Because accelerated and non-accelerated students can vary in important ways, potential confounding variables were controlled in both studies, including test scores, race, gender, and personality characteristics.

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