Monday, September 11, 2006

TAG what does it stand for... absolutely nothing

TAG... I was really really hoping it mean talented and gifted, but I'm not so sure anymore. Today I got home a letter and permission slip for my son's Academically Gifted and Talented Program which he starts tomorrow. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that in his Lookout classes, my child will:

"work on interdisciplinary units and other activities that are designed to develop creative and critical thinking skills, independent learning procedures, communication skills, and group dynamics."

I dont even know what this means. This is exactly the sort of edubabble goobly gook that I can't stand. My son doesn't need independent learning procedures, he is 8 years old for god sake. Group dynamics!!! I am pretty sure that my son qualified based on his math scores, not his social skills. Is it so hard... say it after me slowly... "acceleration". It says right in South Carolina Regulation 43-220, Gifted and Talented, paragraph II A. 2. (D), that the one of the purposes of the program is to provide "a confluent approach that incorporates acceleration and enrichment". ac‧cel‧er‧a‧tion 1. the act of accelerating; increase of speed or velocity. As in... teach things at a faster pace so that he could learn more in less time. Its a pretty simple concept. Now I can understand a little bit of this whole child centered learning junk might be useful with gifted children, but couldn't they include just a little bit of "acceleration", just a little. My son is capable of learning 4th and 5th grade math, but will he get to? It doesn't look like it. Instead my son is going to learn "communication skills". Oh well at least he will be able to easily tell me how bored he is.


Ms. Q said...

Sadly, this is one of the reasons that many TAG kids are either not identified or drop out of programs. TAG seems to be hip on enrichment and differentiation, while I believe this things should benefit all kids, not just TAG kids. TAG kids need to be pushed to their limit. The confusion comes from TAG teachers being taught not to assign 50 questions of the same material that the other kids are getting. They should then immediately think--ok, I'll give him/her this many to see if they get it and then move him/her up to the next level. Instead they opt for the fuzzy and good feeling enrichment activities, often using the same level skills. Sad situation, now I'm not so sure I am upset that my daughter barely missed testing into her TAG program.