NAGC – Differentiation: Blending in Is Not the Answer

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2010-03-05 08.45.46NAGC – Differentiation: Hot Topics.

If a woman is extremely tall, there’s nothing she can do to hide the fact that she’s tall. The appropriate response is to put on some heels, tower above her friends, and enjoy it! Trying to blend in and pretend the situation is different doesn’t solve anything.

It’s a little like this picture. When my husband found himself in a hotel room wearing a shirt that exactly matched the drapes, he couldn’t resist taking a selfie to document it. Sometimes I worry that’s what we expect from our kids. When we want everyone in a classroom to do the same thing at the same time in the name of fairness–that’s just not fair. Blending in isn’t the answer; differentiation is.

Carol Ann Tomlinson’s article on the web site of the National Association for Gifted Children says it well.

Region 10 Advanced Academics wants to know what you think. We’d love to have your thoughts. And by the way, let’s not mention to my husband that I posted this picture.



Kay Shurtleff

Kay Shurtleff

Although my day job is educational consultant for GT/Advanced Academics and ELAR, I also spend ridiculous amounts of down time drinking tea and reading, blogging, tweeting, and playing with language. Writing is a natural outlet, mode of thinking, form of entertainment, and illuminator for me. I'm working on a PhD in gifted education right now, and I appreciate having this forum in which to kick around ideas. Thanks for stopping by G/T-time!

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2 Responses to “NAGC – Differentiation: Blending in Is Not the Answer”

  1. Tony says:

    I like how his shirt matches the curtains. =)

  2. One of my favorite activities to do with teachers is to line them up along a continuum and explain that I will call out a variety of skills and talents as the move from left to right. The left indicates they feel they are in the lower range of that skill then their peers. If they feel average in the skill called when compared to their peers, they will move towards the middle. If they feel they are talented in the area I call out, they will move towards the right. I call skills such as cooking, swimming, speaking Spanish, and so forth. After I am confident they have all moved along the line on both the left and right, we wrap up by discussing the “fairness” of everyone having to start in the beginning swimming class and get comfortable in the water by blowing bubbles. I ask those who are ready to practice turns or diving how that might feel if we were all taught the same lessons simply because they are in the same group of peers. The participants often go back to their classrooms and conduct the same activity in order to explain why some children may be on a computer or working in a different spot with different materials during the day.

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