Not too long ago, I found myself in an adult workgroup, surrounded by people who said, “She’s really good at synthesizing; let’s let her do the work,” and then began to resume their individual conversations. I immediately experienced a flashback that was so vivid that I felt like I was ten years old again. In those brief moments, I relived much of my life as the gifted student that assumed/was assigned responsibility for the work of an entire group, and I felt all of my childhood frustration, indignity, and quest for fairness resurface.
Today many gifted students still report that group-work is unfair, unproductive, and unappealing to them, and wish that their teachers understood this. Keeping this in mind, I propose the following ideas to improve group-work for gifted students.
Students also suggest some things to consider when working in groups. Some of them include:
As I reflect on my frustration in my recent adult group-work, I wish I’d taken my own advice. But, as Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes once said, “Live and don’t learn. That’s us.” ☺
If you are a teacher, here are some additional resources to help you plan for group work in your classroom:
Jackie Drummer, Past President,
WI Association for Talented and Gifted
(WATG would like to extend a huge thank you to Dr. Martha Aracely-Lopez of Milwaukee Public Schools for translating this article into Spanish for our Spanish-speaking families and educators. The translation can also be found in our website blogs.)
Gifted in Perspective
A column designed to link the gifted perspective to other perspectives, and to make you think.