Monday, October 29, 2012

Stages of Student Decline

An article in Education Week titled “Studies Link Students’ Boredom to Stress” October 9, 2012 talks about possible reasons for students being bored in school.

“. . . the experience of boredom directly connects to a student’s inability to focus attention.”

“Boredom is one of the most consistent experiences of school and one that can be frustrating and disheartening for teachers.”

If you notice, they all seem to center on something being wrong with the student.

We disagree!  We think every student wants to explore and learn about their world.

One of the reasons a student can exhibit boredom is because they’re in the last and final stage of the Three Stages of Student Decline.

Teachers and parents need to be aware of these Stages of Decline so that they can recover their child/student before they decline too far and are beyond reach.

It’s all too common that a child’s/student’s want to learn and contribute is trampled on.  Their free will, sovereignty and right to choose are suppressed.  The child/student is dominated, overwhelmed and made subservient to their environment.

This trampling of free will produces the Three Stages of Student Decline:
1. Protest and rebellion – the child/student begins by protesting and rebelling against this domination and overwhelm.  If it continues, then,

2. Appeasement and passivity – the child/student will be passive and try to make themselves liked by the teacher/parent.  If the overwhelm and domination continues, then,

3. Dejection and despondency (otherwise known as boredom) sets in – the child/student gives up and abandons participating in any activities, in any type of learning.  Their free will has been suppressed for so long that they simply give up.

This can be reversed by allowing the student/child to exercise their free will, their right to choose and their sovereignty.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gifted Children - But Gifted in What Way?

Big Change in Gifted & Talented Testing
Wall Street Journal, October 8, 2012

The test for entrance into New York City’s gifted & talented program is being overhauled.  The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) will become the major measuring stick by which student will be assessed.  This test relies on abstract, spatial thinking and eliminates language, even in the instructions.

I’m glad to hear that NYC is embracing the idea that our children can be intelligent in many ways.  Howard Gardiner’s work on multiple intelligences documents this.  The NNAT may also help to show that children who are dyslexic are not disabled or handicapped, but actually demonstrating a higher form of intelligence.

But the point we must recognize and appreciate is that there are many ways our children can be gifted.  Parents, too often, can be concerned that their child is not academically gifted and fail to see that particular gifts their child has, and then work to facilitate and strengthen those gifts.

As Francie Alexander, Chief Education Officer for Scholastic Inc., said, “Children can demonstrate their various intelligences and gifts by being socially gifted, athletically gifted, and/or artistically gifted.  Being gifted is not restricted to math, language and science.”

Parents should focus on their child’s strengths and enhance them, not fret over apparent “below expectation” levels of skill or ability.  Validating what the child does well actually lifts all other aspects of the child’s endeavors.  By stressing and fretting over the child’s apparent lesser abilities only drags down the child’s confidence and self esteem and damages their overall achievement.

The traits of gifted children:
Language development
Questioning & probing
Integrating advanced words into their conversation
Focused on the pursuit of a purpose
They love to learn
Physically, they have good eye-hand coordination
Love to play and excel at a sport
Able to take any object and create something from it

There are extensive resources for facilitating gifted children at

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ensure Your Child Thrives in Class This Year

Ensure Your Child Thrives in Class This Year

Howard Gardiner developed the Theory of Multiple Intelligences.  Traditional IQ tests measure potential in logical-mathematical intelligence and spatial intelligence, basically, can the child understand words and numbers.

Gardiner says that there are a myriad of ways kids can be intelligent.  We need to acknowledge these various ways.

As we move more and more towards standardized testing, society continues to drop recognition of the other intelligences.  They only emphasize logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligence.  This results in kids, who are stronger in one of Gardiner’s other intelligences, being made to feel stupid and unable to learn.

Kids will then not see the potential career paths available to their type of intelligence.  They will switch off and not participate in school.  They may even switch off from life.

We’re losing so much potential for our future because we insist that logical-mathematical and linguistic intelligence are the only intelligences worth having.

By using the learning style evaluator on the Kidzmet website, you are now ready to have a conversation with the school principle about how your child learns best and in which teacher’s classroom your child will thrive.

Listen to our discussion with Jen Lillienstein, Founder of Kidzmet