Gifted Children — But Gifted in What Way?

Gifted Children — But Gifted in What Way?

Today’s Learning Curve with Roger & Virginia explores the many aspects of the ways in which children can be gifted and how you can benefit your child by knowing this; and what to do about it.

Our expert guest and friend today is Francie Alexander, the Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for Scholastic Education.  This is a return appearance for Francie; her last show with us addressed how to prevent your child from losing recently learned material in what is referred to as the “summer slide.”  (Click here for our June 6, 2012 show)

Francie reveals there are many different areas in which a child can be gifted.  A parent needs to appreciate this and the various many ways in which the child can express it.

Parents can too often be concerned that their child “is not academically gifted” and fail to see what particular gifts the child has and work to facilitate and strengthen those gifts.

Is your child gifted academically, socially, physically, artistically?  If academically, what particular part or subjects?

Learn how parents should focus on their child’s strengths and enhance them; not overly 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.  But 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.

Learn why and how parents should keep their gifted children engaged and moving forward.

Learn about the extensive resources available at Scholastic, Inc., for parents to use with their variously gifted children.

Be alert to the possibility that your gifted child may have difficulty collaborating with other children; and the fact that gifted children need to be taught just as much as “regular” children.  But most important: let your gifted child follow the line of interest it has its attention on.

Learn the traits of gifted children:

  • Language development
  • Questioning and probing
  • Integrating advance 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 (crayon, pencil, clay, cloth, etc.,) and create something from it


092412 Gifted Children

Roger and Virginia at The Learning Curve


The Philadelphia School System Renaissance

The Philadelphia School System Renaissance

 In January 2012 till August 2012 Philadelphia engaged in a widespread reform of its educational system.

Dr. Leroy D. Nunery II was a major driver for that project.

Leroy is a former Acting Superintendent and CEO and Deputy Superintendent/Deputy CEO of the Philadelphia School District, so he had inside real-life experience of what had to be addressed . . . and he was able to earlier do so as an outside consultant.

Today, Leroy is the Founder and Principal of PlusUltre LLC and is an Educational Advisor to the Gilfus Education Group.

In today’s Learning Curve with Roger and Virginia you’ll hear what situations had to be addressed, what changes had to be implemented and how they affected the renaissance of the school system.

The Philadelphia School System had many “challenges” among which were:

  1. Low graduation rates
  2. Aging buildings
  3. Many changes to its curriculum

The Philadelphia Renaissance Schools initiative, under then Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, aims (and definition) for the turn-around were:

  1. Ensure every child had equitable access to resources
  2. Close facilities that were to old and too expensive to maintain
  3. Reorder the staffing in schools

Many options were explored including external management through Charter School enterprises.

Hear how Leroy navigated and handled the political delicacy of all this.

Much was learned including the point that no one single solution would work in every school district across the US.

Hear how Leroy combined and blended several other cities programs for use in Philadelphia.

Hear how parental engagement was crucial to the turn-around.

Learn why schools need to have a “customer service attitude” towards their “clients”; the parents and children.  And parents need to become informed “consumers” of the services on offer to them and their children and not accept anything less than the best.

In this broadcast of the Learning Curve you’ll hear about the changes that were introduced to upgrade and affect the renaissance of the system in Philadelphia.

One of our favorite implementations was that of “Hybrid Learning technology.”  The benefit of this system is that each child can learn at their own individual rate on a curriculum tailored to the needs of the child.

The other is the recognition that access to information is crucial for students and particularly for parents if the system is to work to the benefit of the “consumer.”

Click here to listen to Dr. Leroy Nunery: Leroy Nunery: The Philadelphia School Renaissance

Roger & Virginia at The Learning Curve



INEQUALITY FOR ALL: The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools

INEQUALITY FOR ALL:  The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools.

Why Can’t We “Get it Together”?

That’s what Virginia and I were left wondering after this interview with Dr. William Schmidt, the author of the exciting new book: INEQUALITY FOR ALL:  The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools.

No, it’s not about rich versus poor or disadvantaged versus privilege.  It’s a revelation of the fact that our schools, even within the same districts, cities and States do not have comparable curriculum content and standards on the same critical science and math subjects.  And the greatest variations are in middle-income school districts; and it happens even within the same school.

In other words there is no equivalence between classes of the same Grade on the same subjects.  And this results in many kids being short-changed or otherwise graduating with different knowledge than other kids who’ve done the “same” subject Grade classes elsewhere in the system.

Dr. Schmidt reveals that some teachers are not properly equipped or competent to deliver the math and science curriculum—and that is part of the problem.

Compared to this, the nations that are bettering us overseas have national standards of common core material that all kids are exposed to.

By “common core standard” is meant what is to be taught: not how it is to be taught.

Parents will ask: what to do?

The answer is go to the Common Core Standards website and see what their child should be learning at each grade, and take the action needed to have the material delivered to your child.

This is important because math is the language of technology and the information driven society we now live in.

Click here for more information on INEQUALITY FOR ALL:  The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools.

If that link doesn’t work go to and look in the “what’s New” section.

William H. Schmidt is University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University and co-director of theEducationPolicyCenter.


Click here to Listen: Dr. William Schmidt — INEQUALITY FOR ALL: The Challenge of Unequal Opportunity in American Schools


Roger & Virginia at The Learning Curve.

Dr. Roger McIntire Speaks on Parental Relationships with Their Children

The Learning Curve 041811

Dr. Roger McIntire Speaks on Parental Relationships with Their Children 

Dr. Roger McIntire PhD, is the author of Raising Your Teenager: 5 Crucial Skills for Moms and Dads and Raising Good Kids in Tough Times. Dr. McIntire is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Maryland, where he taught for 32 years. An award-winning columnist, McIntire shares his wisdom in the Martinsburg (WV) Journal and other publications.  As a child psychologist, a consultant and a teacher of teachers in preschools, grade schools, high schools and colleges since the 1960s, McIntire has worked extensively with families and children of all ages. He is the father of three children, now adults. Dr. McIntire’s scientific writings, over 100 in all, address everything from infant vocalizations, eating problems, and strategies for teachers, to high school motivation and college retention.  One of the key points Dr. McIntire makes is: “Happiness in Childhood Depends on School.

Click here to listen April 18, 2011

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Listen to how one father helped his son overcome the barriers to learning by using the materials in our book.

The Learning Curve April 4, 2011

Listen to how one father helped his son overcome the barriers to learning by using the materials in our book.

This is a wonderful true story of how a young boy became enamored with a love of learning following his discovery that he could learn the meaning of words!  He became so alive with discovering the use of a dictionary that he actually wanted to get, as he put it: “All the kids in my class at school need one of these!  I’m going to buy some and give them to them.”

Click here to listen April 11, 2011

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The Barriers to Comprehension that Prevent Learning

The Learning Curve March 28, 2011

The Barriers to Comprehension that Prevent Learning

This show focuses on the vital information all parents, teachers and students need to know if they are going to be truly successful in their learning or teaching activities.  This show deals with three of the barriers to learning and how to prevent them.  It also gives you answers on how to detect and undo the damage done when your child or student is suffering the effects of these learning barriers.

Click here to play March 28, 2011

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This week’s Learning Curve is about your child’s method and style of learning.

The Learning Curve March 21, 2011

This week’s Learning Curve is about your child’s method and style of learning.

We each have our own method of learning—and you should allow your child to do it it’s way!  You can’t dictate this to a child.  If you try to dictate how your child should learn, you’ll crush the kid and give them losses. Similarly, you must strive to facilitate an optimum balance between cause and receipt (the child being causative versus being made to inflow from the parent/teacher) in the learning process. If you violate either of these principles you risk sending your child down through the three levels of student decline to the bottom where the child goes into failure and gives up. We also discuss the point that dyslexia may well be the mark of a higher of a higher level of natural ability . . . not the disability that conventional wisdom holds it to be!  Tune in to get this latest on what research has revealed on these important issues.

Click here to play March 21, 2011

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The Learning Curve, Why This Program was Created and What’s in it for You.

The Learning Curve March 14, 2011

The Learning Curve, Why This Program was Created and What’s in it for You.

The Learning Curve addresses the issue that all of life is a learning curve.  Your success and that of your children depends on the ability to learn. This introductory program deals with the basic principles involved and how everyone’s natural ability to learn is too often blocked, thus leading to a failure to learn, and what you can do about it.  It’s a dirty little secret that the current educational system in America is the actual reason why, the cause, of the poor grades our kids are getting.

Click here to listen 031411

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