STEM and the Gifted Student

by Jeanne Bernish on September 11, 2012

I am pleased to announce that I have been invited by The Maker Mom to join a panel of experts on #STEMChat on Twitter on Thursday, September 20 at 8 PM Central (9 Eastern, 6 Pacific). I expect the blog post I wrote on the World of Learning blog (Raising a Mathematician for “Math Nots”) had something to do with it. Either way, I am very excited to bring the parent voice into the conversation about preparing our children to be successful in science, math, technology and engineering (what STEM stands for).

I am also particularly interested in exploring the ability of blended learning to provide an appropriate foundation for gifted students in the STEM fields. For those of you not up to speed in the latest edu-lingo, blended learning is the practice of using both teachers, books and traditional curriculum in conjunction with online learning options. In the education world this is a novel concept that needs to be defined ad nauseam and put through a democratization process.  For those charged with challenging high ability kids, blended learning is what the talent search organizations (and home schooling parents) have been doing for decades.

Our public school district included the following sentence in its stated mission: “Instruction must begin at the point where the current achievement ends and must be based on the strengths of the learner.” I couldn’t agree more. What we know from research performed by Karen Rogers, PhD and author of “Re-Forming Gifted Education

GT students are significantly more likely to retain science and mathematics content accurately when taught 2-3 times faster than “normal” class pace.

GT students are significantly more likely to forget or mislearn science and mathematics content when they must drill and review it more than 2-3 times

GT students are decontextualists in their processing, rather than constructivists; therefore it is difficult to reconstruct “how” they came to an answer

How does this factor into a STEM discussion?

I believe we have to nurture our academically talented students if we have any expectation of improving our national ability to compete in the STEM fields. Don’t agree? Agree? Join us on September 20th for #STEMChat!




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