Gagné  Massé Porath    Shore 
Research Focus

Lannie Kanevsky Teacher's Toolkit          Line Massé  Social Difficulties of Talented Adolescents and Peer Envy

Please let us know if you have a current project concerning gifted education in Canada.  We would like to post abstracts here.

Vous faites de la recherche dans le domaine de la douance et vous aimeriez être inclus dans la liste des chercheurs canadiens, faites nous parvenir un résumé de vos recherches en cours ainsi qu'une synthèse de votre curriculum vitae à l'adresse ici.

January Focus
Musician Elizabeth Liddle presents a thesis on Temporal Processing and Written Output Difficulties in Gifted Children    For those of you working with gifted children with written output difficulties there are lots of ideas to contemplate and research to investigate through this site. 

Dr Lannie Kanevsky at SFU has been working on her Tool kit for Curriculm Differentiation (a work which may always be in progress!)  Although this is not an abstract of her research it gives a description of her current toolkit.  Contact Dr. Kanevsky via email (below) or via snailmail co/ Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC  V5A 1S6  Canada  for pricing and availability ( the current cost is less than a couple of summer reading paperbacks)

The Tool Kit for Curriculum Differentiation

A Work-in-Progress

Lannie Kanevsky, Ph.D, Associate Professor
Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University

     The Tool Kit for Curriculum Differentiation provides teachers, parents, bright and gifted students (K-12) with the materials they will need to:

  • recognize students in need of more challenge in their curriculum in any or all content areas;
  • select the best curriculum differentiation and learning strategies to make the curriculum more challenging for each student;
  • identify each students' learning preferences;
  • offer each student choice and control in the development of a challenging curriculum tailored to her or his strengths, interests and preferences;
  • offer students learning contracts to enable them to become increasingly self-directed learners;
  • develop an individual educational plan (IEP) for a high ability learner;
  • locate printed and on-line teaching resources, professional organizations and journals.
     The Tools can be used flexibly to suit the needs and resources in your school, Use one, some or all of them. The directions are geared to teachers but some are provided in student and parent-oriented formats too.  Pick, choose and modify them as you wish.  If you think there's a need for more challenge  -just do it!  Or, let the students!.   They may be gifted, creative, high achievers, highly motivated, learning in their second language, learning disabled, underachieving, non-producing....

     When using these Tools, the starting point is the student.  Curriculum-based observations and the student's preferences guide the selection of curriculum differentiation strategies and the design of instruction - not test scores.  Often, intelligence and achievement test scores have been used to find out what the student knows, but they won't tell you how and what they can learn.  The Tools in this Kit will help you collect this information.  Observations and student ratings will determine which aspects of the curriculum to work on first and in the future.  All of this information can be used in the development of an IEP, if this is your goal.

The tools can be used on:

  • lessons for individuals, small groups or entire mixed ability classes,
  • units of study for individuals
  • small group projects and investigations,
  • IEP's and more.
     The Tool Kit contains directions and forms for:

The Brilliant Behaviours:  This list of 13 behaviours focus observations and curriculum-based assessments on the characteristics of students in need of a challenging curriculum which are relevant to the differentiation process.  Six versions are included: two individual observation sheets, self-assessment form, group observation sheet, referral form and a portfolio conferencing sheet.

Guides for Selecting Differentiation Strategies:  Three more versions of the Brilliant Behaviours which use them to identify the most recommended types of differentiation strategies to use when planning  for each high ability learner.  One is for teachers to use, one for students and one for parents.

Curriculum Differentiation Strategies: Descriptions of each of the strategies for differentiating the content, process and products of learning; lists of commercially-available instructional materials appear with each strategy.

Possibilities for Learning:  A student survey of learning options to identify those the student likes and dislikes most.  Support materials are also provided so teachers, parents or students can analyze, summarize and use the results.  These tools enable students to design their own learning activities and projects.

Learning Contracts:  A selection of forms to structure individual and small group activities and collaborative evaluation which teach self-directed learning skills while students explore a topic, often without the expectation of a tangible product.

Individualized Educational Plan for High Ability Learners:   The form and support materials you will need to complete it.  Included are an activity sheet on which students generate a vision for the IEP, sample themes, generalizations and issues, differentiated objectives for core content areas.

Resource List:  Print, on-line and professional materials.

The Tool Kit can be 3-hole punched and stored in any standard binder.

Professional Development Support  The Author can be contacted for additional information regarding workshops to support and extend the use of the Tool Kit.

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Social Difficulties of Talented Adolescents and Peers' Envy

Line Massé, Université du Québec à Montréal
Abstract of Ph.D. thesis

 Previous studies of personality traits and emotional adjustment have generally concluded that intellectually gifted and academically talented individuals may be at greater risk for social adjustment problems than age-mates because their social abilities are less well developed. But, no causal relationship has been demonstrated. We explored here a new hypothesis to explain these difficulties: the peers' envy toward their talent. The giftedness or the talent may place some individuals at risk for adjustment problems. Family members, teachers, or peers may respond to the giftedness or talent with envy and react negatively toward them. In this perspective, the negative effects on personal adjustment would not result from a deficit in the youth themselves, but would rather follow from reactions to their giftedness in some social environments. Envy can be defined as feelings, thoughts, and behaviours that arise when our personal qualities, possessions or achievements do not measure up to those of someone significant to us. In this pilot study, we first assessed the relative intensity of envy toward talent as compared to other domains (popularity, wealth, etc.), and the influence of various student characteristics (age, gender and school achievement) or school settings (regular classroom vs. special enrichment program). We also examined the incidence of that problem among talented adolescents as compared to their average ability peers, as well as their reactions to peers' envy (feelings and coping behaviours). The sample consisted of 689 French speaking students almost evenly distributed by gender, grade level (grades 7 to 11) and program (regular, special academic enrichment, and music talent development). The groups came from six different high schools in the province of Quebec. Two questionnaires were constructed. The first one asked the participants to rate 35 different objects in terms of their potential to generate envy; the second one explored the experience of being envied (what kind--good or bad--, how often, by whom, how it feels, what one does to cope). They were group administered in the classrooms.
Results indicate that talents (or performance) are more envied by students than natural abilities  (or giftedness). Academic and athletic talents are the most envied among talents, but the most envied of all objects are wealth and social well-being. In a list of 15 social difficulties experienced by talented individuals, envy occupies the sixth rank. Significant differences were observed according to within group achievement level and age: (a) the best achievers within a group, whatever the setting, are more prone to experience social difficulties related to envy, and (b) the perceived frequency of envy increases during the high school years. Results also indicate that the majority of talented individuals (52%) experience peers’ envy toward their talents, but that this experience is positive in most cases; only a few individuals feel rejected by their peers. The feelings expressed by the envied students are more positive (53,9 %) than negative (22,5). Being envied for athletic talent seems the most gratifying experience: these students expressed more positive feelings (82,5 %) and less negative feelings (22,5 %) than students envied for other talents. Compared to talented students, students in regular classrooms expressed less negative feelings (19,6 %) about being envied. The perceived envy is more admiring than malicious. Whatever the domain of envy or the other variables studied, the manifestations of envy do not differ. On average, students state that they are more envied by their friends (61,6 %) than by their school mates (23,0 %), their brothers/sisters (9,6 %) or their parents (5,8 %). But, students who were envied for their talents mentioned school mates relatively more often (37 %) as the envious persons. Compared to other students, talented adolescents react more to peers’ envy by managing information about themselves to minimize visibility, for instance by downplaying their abilities, being unpretentious or not talking about their successes. Only a small minority of talented adolescents react by underachieving or by isolating themselves.

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