Wednesday, March 9, 2011

From the Publishers of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

THE GT LABEL is the subject of continuing debate in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to an article at the Maryland Gazette.Net, "critics say the Gifted and Talented, or GT, label is damaging students because it ends up dividing them along racial lines and makes those who don't get identified as Gifted and Talented — typically about 60 percent of students — feel inferior. They also argue that what constitutes Gifted and Talented curriculum in Montgomery County Public Schools, such as critical reading skills and research projects, should be taught to all students." Read more about the controversy.
SOCIAL SKILLS IN AUTISM. A Scientific American article covers "how social intuition goes awry in individuals who have autism," touching on typical development of social behaviors and hypothesizing on the link with a certain cerebral structure (Con Economo spindle neurons) which shows disruption in autistic individuals. Find the article.
NASA'S INSPIRE program is accepting applications for the program through June 30. The selected students and their parents will participate in an online learning community with opportunities to interact with peers, NASA engineers and scientists. The online community also provides appropriate grade level educational activities, discussion boards, and chat rooms for participants to gain exposure to careers and opportunities available at NASA. Visit the NASA site for more information.
ON TEACHERS, THEIR BURDENS, AND THEIR REWARDS. Teachers, whether of the gifted or not, have come under lots of fire lately as states try to balance budgets. We offer pointers to several recent articles that might provide perspective to those interested in the issue. One is a New York Times article titled "Teachers Wonder, Why the Heapings of Scorn." Interesting reading after that is reader reaction to the Times article. And an article in The New Republic gives some international perspective on the issue of teacher pay and reward.
RESEARCHERS HONORED. Two researchers who devoted their careers to child development and mental health have been honored by the Child Mind Institute. Dr. Judith Rappaport did some of the earliest research on AD/HD, OCD, and child-onset schizophrenia. Dr. Jerome Kagan was a developmental psychologist; we've pointed to some of his articles from this blog. Read more at Medscape.com.
DIRECT LINE TO THE WHITE HOUSE -- at least, for education. We found out about this resource from a Mensa listserv. At a White House site, parents, teachers, and students have the opportunity to opine on education -- what's working and what needs change. It looks as though the topic is education for this week only, so if you'd like to share your opinions, do it quickly. Find the site and sound off about gifted education and  education for the twice-exceptional!
GOT A LEFT-HANDED KID?  You might be interested in an article on the topic that covers historical background (how it's been viewed in past times), the role of the brain (it's less asymetrical), and the fact that a high percentage of achievers seem to be left-handed -- including seven presidents as well as some dynamite baseball pitchers. Find the article.
NUTRITION. The American Pediatrics Association is using the book The Hungry Caterpillar in a campaign for healthy eating. Read more about how the book provides "teachable moments." Separately, eating apples -- or the antioxidants contained in them -- apparently extends the life of test animals by 10 percent. So there's evidently truth in that old saw. Read more.
AND FINALLY, THIS. Do you, O Parent of a Twice-Exceptional Child, complain about the property taxes used to fund education in your community? Then read an article that almost made us feel good about the amount of tax we pay, an article about a community where property taxes approach the level of the median annual US  household income.

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