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Roseville GTAC PowerPoint 9-29-2009.ppt


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									Swimming Against the Current
GTAC Meeting 1: 9/29/09
 The superficiality of popular culture
 Messages from schools
 Peer culture and the need for
 Dealing with the issues
Nerd Defined
 Nerd (pronounced /ˈnɜrd/) is a term
  often bearing a derogatory connotation
  or stereotype, that refers to a person
  who passionately pursues intellectual
  activities, esoteric knowledge, or other
  obscure interests rather than engaging
  in more social or popular activities.
Nerd pictured
Geek defined
 The word geek is a slang term, noting
  individuals as "a peculiar or otherwise
  odd person, especially one who is
  perceived to be overly obsessed with
  one or more things including those of
  intellectuality, electronics, etc
Geek pictured
Campaign references
 Palin’s Looks:    Palin’s policies:
  3,500,000          932,000
                                       SCHOOL CULTURE

                   PEER PRESSURE:
                   CONFORMITY OVER
                   MEDIOCRITY OVER
                   ATHLETICISM OVER
                  ENTERTAINMENT OVER

Popular Culture and
    the Media
How Superficial Are They?
Top Searches on Google
   Britney Spears
   WWE
   Barack Obama
   Miley Cirus
   Jessica Alba
   Lindsay Lohan
   Angelina Jolie
   American Idol
Cosmo Cover #1
Cosmo Cover #2
Cosmo Cover # 3
 Best selling YWM in
  the world
 58 international
 34 languages
 100 countries
 Over 110 years
The Cosmo Formula: 1

   How to Make “Your Guy” Happy in . . .
    The Library
    The Science Museum
    The Kitchen
    The Garden
    Bed
The Cosmo Formula: 2
Ten ways to Make Yourself . . .
 More empathetic
 More scholarly
 Financially independent
 More confident
 Thinner (for him!)
Some definitions
 Pseudo-event: an activity that exists for the
  sole purpose of garnering media publicity,
  serving little or no other function in real life
 Celebrity:Someone whose name is worth
  more than his/her contribution
 Non-ebrity:Somebody who manages to
  maintain celebrity status despite having done
  nothing to merit it
Examples of pseudo-events 1of 2
 The arrival of Kim
  Kardashian at the
  “Aqua” dance club
  for a two-hour stay
 An “E!” documentary
  revealing the real
  Pamela Anderson
Examples of pseudo-events 2 of 2
 Brett Favre announces “non-retirement”
 Tom Cruise to appear on Oprah
 Rumor Willis has coffee at Starbucks
 Jennifer Lopez sells baby pictures
 AAA announces “Roads will be crowded this holiday
 Angelina Jolie wears a yellow dress
 And Tanya Harding . . .
1994:Tanya            2002: Tanya
Harding just before   Harding before
she finishes 8th in   her match with
a competition and     Paula Jones
quits skating         (15.5 million
Examples of non-ebrities
     Name?
     Occupation?
     Quote
     Career “highlight”
     Google hits
     Positive contribution
      to culture?
“The name is worth more
than the contribution”
 Paris Hilton
 Socialite
 “Wal-mart... do they
  like make walls
 Paid $500,000 to
  appear at a party
 3, 210,000
  Example of a proxy non-ebrity

 Kim Kardashian
 Friend of Paris Hilton &
  girlfriend of Reggie Bush,
  who said:
 “I’d like to rush for 1,000 or
  1,500 yards, whichever
  comes first”
 Paid $150,000 to appear at a
 5, 180,000
               Friend of


             People paying to
             “party” with her
Living a life of quiet achievement
    Name
    Occupation
    Quote
    Career highlight
    Google hits
    Positive contribution
     to culture
Daniel Boorstin
  Librarian of
  “Time makes
   heroes, but
  Pulitzer prize
  90,500
  The “pseudo-event”
Daniel Boorstin
   Rhodes scholar
   Doctorate from Yale
   Lawyer
   University professor
   Author, Pulitzer prize winner
   Librarian of Congress
      School Climate
The shared perception of the way
things are here. Climate is more
       explicit than culture.
      School Hallmarks
      The visible expressions of
      culture and climate:
   Heroes
                           Rituals
   Myths
                           Ceremonies
   Symbols
                           Popularity
   Prestige
                           Heroines
Examining School Culture
 Who is celebrated at pep fests ?
 What are the categories in the yearbook
  “Hall of Fame”?
 Do the local & school papers dedicate
  equal time to academics, the arts, and
Examining School Culture

    Are trophies and artifacts in schools
     displayed as prominently for artists &
     academicians as for athletes?
    Who are the most popular and well
     known students in school?
    Are National Merit students
     celebrated equally with D1 athletes?
Examining School Culture
 Are Mock Trial, Speech, Destination Imagination and
  Geography Bees as well attended as “entertainment
 Do school and community calendars feature
  academic competitions?
 Is there an “Academic Activities” Director in the
 Is there academic & artistic lettering?
An Example of Media
Imbalance: School Coverage

  Center for School Change, 1993, found
    the following ratios of news coverage
    for K-12 athletics vs. academics:
   KARE: 2:1
   KSTP: 6:1
   WCCO: 30:1
An Example of Media
Imbalance: Sports Coverage

St. Paul Pioneer Press (September 2,
  1993) called the (lack of) coverage of
  academicians “symbolic annihilation”
On January 31, 1995 the Star Tribune
  noted that in the previous year, they
  published 1,639 articles on the Vikings
  (an average of 4.5 per day).
Consequences of Imbalance

    (Academic) giftedness can become
    The adolescent requirements of
     social and intellectual development
     can become a paradox: a “forced-
     choice dilemma”
    GT students can become self, peer,
     and culturally alienated
Consequences of Imbalance

    GT students can intentionally and
     systematically underachieve
    GT students can become depressed
     and isolated
    GT students become an “at-risk”
     population in a culture (school) if
     there aren’t sufficient resources,
     expertise, or support present
Peers Norms:
The way we do things here
 Athletes are         Academicians are
  honored and           relatively unknown
  celebrated           Scholars are often
 Athletes are the      pariahs
  “governing elite”    Academic
 Athletic              achievements are
  accomplishments       marginalized
  are memorialized
 Anti-Intellectualism in Schools

Some commentators believe that primary
 and secondary schools, at least in the
 United States, place too much
 emphasis on equality of outcome at
 the expense of individual intellectual
 achievement. In the view of such
 commentators, such emphasis leads to
 a “Handicapper General” mentality and
 the dumbing down of the curriculum.
Addressing coercive
egalitarianism via rigor
     Achievement “gap” increases due to
     appropriate growth for all students
      Gifted learner’s faster learning pace

                            Challenging, differentiated
                            Curriculum for all

              Learners begin here
Anti-Intellectualism and Youth
Culture 1
A major preserve of real, though hardly
  militant or even self-aware, anti-
  intellectualism in the contemporary
  world is a youth subculture often
  associated with those students who are
  more interested in social life or athletics
  than their studies.
Anti-Intellectualism and Youth
Culture 2
Such subcultures, often marked by
 cliques, exist among students of all
 groups. Pursuing popularity has been
 likened by blog writer Paul Graham to a
 full time job that leaves little time for
 intellectual interests.
 is a competitive distortion
of the concept of friendship

                  S. Rimm
           A Case Study
You have just completed a test, and as you
are leaving class, several classmates talk
about how the test was “unfair” and “too
hard.” Some feel they may fail the test and
are planning their protest. You studied hard
for this, and felt the test was not only fair and
challenging, but kind of fun. One angry
classmate turns to you and asks, “So how do
you think you did?”
How do you reply and why do you reply as
you do?

Child --- (feels different/stigmatized) --- manages information
by behaving along a continuum of visibility:
 VISIBLE > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > INVISIBLE
 truth       placate/truth    cop out      preface/no answer          lie

         Behaviors vary, and could include:
         •    Compensatory activities (sports in particular)
         •    “Reverse Cheating”
         •    Feigning interest in small talk (“American Idol” vs.. Cosmology)
         •    Making fun of other gifted kids
         •    Managing vocabulary (“tiny” rather than “diminutive”)
         •    In general, choosing affiliation rather than achievement
For gifted students, this can become a paradox, not a hierarchy
The Stages of Life Span Development
 Trust vs. Mistrust         Infancy (0-1 year)          Trust in the world is developed through
                                                        consistent and continuous love and
 Autonomy vs. Shame and     Toddler (1-3 years)         Independence is fostered by successful
 Doubt                                                  experiences formed by support and
 Initiative vs. Guilt       Early Childhood (3-6        An exploratory and investigative attitude
                            years)                      results from meeting and accepting
 Industry vs. Inferiority   Middle Childhood (6-12      Enjoyment or mastery and competence
                            years)                      come through success and recognition of
 Identity vs. Confusion     Adolescence (12-18 years)   Personal, social, sexual, and occupational
                                                        identity come from success in school and
                                                        experimentation with different roles.
 Intimacy vs. Isolation     Young Adulthood             Openness to others and the development
                                                        of intimate relationships result from
                                                        interaction with others.
 Generativity vs.           Middle Adulthood            Productivity, creativity, and concern for
 Stagnation                                             the next generation are achieved
                                                        thorough success on the job and a
                                                        growing sense of social responsibilities.
 Integrity vs. Despair      Old Age                     Acceptance of one’s life is achieved by an
                                                        understanding of a person’s place in the
                                                        life cycle.
Stage 4:
Industry vs. Inferiority
 Industry vs. Inferiority (6-12 years).
  This conflict period coincides with
  the beginnings of elementary school.
  Children must apply themselves to
  their learning and develop a sense of
  competence and confidence in their
  abilities and peer relationships.
  Industry results from a sense of
  mastery and accomplishment
  in school tasks and life.
Stage 5: Identity vs. Role Confusion
 Identity vs. Role Confusion (12-18
  years). Adolescents must develop a
  sense of identity, a feeling of
  certainty about who they are as
  individuals and as peers. Selecting
  an occupation or post-high school
  direction is a particularly important
  aspect of this stage.
Identity vs. Role Confusion
Did you know Erikson coined the term “identity crisis”?
 Identity Diffusion: occurs when individuals fail to make
  clear, consistent choices. Confusion is common. Choices
  may be difficult, or individuals aren’t developmentally ready
  to make choices. Sense of self is loose, uncertain.
 Identity Foreclosure: occurs when individuals prematurely
  adopt ready-made positions of others, such as parents.
  This is an undesirable position because decisions are
  based on the identities of others.
 Identity Moratorium: occurs when individuals pause and
  remain in a holding pattern. Long-range commitment is
 Identity Achievement: occurs after individuals experience a
  period of “crises” and decision making. Identity
  achievement reflects a commitment to a goal and direction,
  a more settled sense of self.
Stage 6: Intimacy vs. Isolation
 Intimacy vs. Isolation (young
  adulthood). Individuals must
  negotiate developing physical and
  psychological intimacy with partners.
  Learning how to interact with a life
  mate and to function as a couple in
  social settings is a central task.
Maslow’s Theory
“We each have a hierarchy of needs that
ranges from "lower" to "higher." As lower needs
are fulfilled there is a tendency for other, higher
needs to emerge.”
                                      Daniels, 2004
Maslow’s Theory

Maslow’s theory maintains that a person
does not seek a higher need until the
needs of the current level have been
satisfied. Maslow's basic needs are as
               Basic Human Needs
                       Food
                       Air
                       Water
                       Clothing
                       Sex

Physiological Needs
               Safety and Security
                  Pain Avoidance
Safety Needs      Routine/Order
               Love and Belonging
Social Needs
Esteem Needs   Self-Respect
               Respected by
               High School and
                 Achieve full potential
For gifted students, this can become a paradox, not a hierarchy
For gifted students, this can become a paradox, not a hierarchy
Achievement vs. affiliation
The Sheet
She wasn’t having the best night. The best string of
nights. She kept turning over—more than the usual
left, right, left right, center, right, sleep. Wrapping
herself around me, desperate to be covered and
shielded. Her head kept butting the pillow. She
smelled anxious.
There was, of course, nothing I could do. I could
only lie there and hope I was soft enough.
She had muscles like marbles—the torture made
her sweet skin glossy. The agitation prickled like
thistles; she tasted like dry
Achievement vs. affiliation
She had muscles like marbles—the torture made her
sweet skin glossy. The agitation prickled like thistles;
she tasted like dry wine. If she didn’t dream (she didn’t
mewl into me), she was a fresh slate in the morning. But
I could feel it coming back as she rose. It was a sick ink,
dumping into her. It couldn’t be soaked out.
She held frantic, eighth-note conversations with anyone
she hoped could help. She called her parents four times
a day. She wrote and cried and implored. I ignored the
rest of the bed to cup her. I would reach out and fall
around her shoulders. I wrapped around her neck like a
pet. But I wasn’t made of skin.
Anxiety was corroding her. I heard her thinking.
Something had to change. At night she rolled like she
was tumbling down a hill. I wanted to tell her in cotton
whispers that it’d be ok. The anxiety could be controlled.
The thoughts would go away.
Achievement vs. affiliation
It was the 19th night of sickly insomnia when she gathered
me up and carried us away. I smelled the grit of the sidewalk.
Her pulse slowed against my seam. She walked through her
own breath and stretched me. I tried to protect her from the
She bound her hands with me as she grasped a stinging
railway. She wiped her face and piled me under her flimsy PJ
bottoms. I rolled in the wind and waited. The moonlight got
through to her hands, drying from the cold.
If only the monsters would leave her alone sometimes, she
would be ok. If only someone had the definitive answer, the
end. But she was tired of tasting like vinegar, exhausted by
the weight of her own body. She felt the sewage in her veins
and smelled the choking ash of inevitable suffering.
No cars to find her, no walkers to save her. She held me
against her chest, legs and I dangling over the mud bed
below. I stuck to the iron ice, but it wasn’t going to keep her
from plummeting.
Achievement vs. affiliation

               We leaned.
Dana Schroeder-Davis, 18

Drake University
 Some Recommendations
 for Cultural Change
 See “Nerds: Who They are and Why We Need More of Them”

 Challenge stereotypes - make them shameful
 Turn off - or debrief - the viral marketing of anti-intellectual (anti-
  adult, anti-authority, anti-achievement) messages that are
  embedded in media aimed at school-aged kids
 Don’t use nerdity as an excuse (“of course she won the spelling bee,
  all she does is study”)
 Offer role models other than celebrities
 Find, or develop, a subculture for intellectuals in school
 Encourage intellectual pursuits beyond standardized tests
 See that scholars are elevated to a status as least equal to athletes
  in your school and community
Suggestions to consider
 Help students understand their “condition”
  without promoting elitism or disaffection
 “Interview” teachers in each grade to be sure
  they understand potential conflicts and to be
  sure they can challenge your child
 Ask about grouping, grading, acceleration
  and homework policies
 Look for opportunities for your child to be with
  others of similar interests and orientations
Some suggested (non-fiction) titles
   Delisle, J. & Galbraith, J. (2002). When gifted
    kids don’t have all the answers. Minneapolis,
    MN: Free Spirit Press
   Halsted, J. (2002). Some of my best friends
    are books: Guiding gifted readers from
    preschool to high school. Scottsdale, AZ.
    Great Potential Press
   Piirto, J. (2007). Talented children and adults:
    Their development and education, 3rd edition.
    Prufrock Press

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