Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Davidson Academy, a student's voice

Not long ago, we heard from a teacher at the Davidson Academy of Nevada, located at the University of Nevada-Reno. The Davidson Academy is the nation's first public school for profoundly gifted children. I thought it would be fun to hear from a student as well. Today we're talking with Alex Wade, 11, a student in his first year there.

GE: Why did you decide to attend the Davidson Academy?

Alex: At my old school, I was bored because the material covered was too easy for me. Also, I had trouble finding kids like me that I could make friends with easily.

GE: Describe a typical day. How is it different from your previous schools?


Alex: 1st period I take Algebra I, 2nd period I take History, 3rd period I take English, then a break for lunch, in 4th period Digital Media, in 5th study hall, and in 6th Chemistry. The classes themselves and the teachers are different from my old school in that they are more accommodating towards gifted students and the classes are harder and are not at the same exact level as each other.

GE: What kind of student do you think would do best at a place like the Davidson Academy?

Alex: A student who can meet deadlines, is self-motivated, curious, and does not goof off.

GE: Are there things you and your fellow students do at the Davidson Academy (or ways you learn) that you think other schools could try?

Alex: Matching classes up with students by ability and not age or grade, and teachers who do not lecture, but converse with the students and respect the opinions of the students.

6 comments:

Jeremy said...

Cool to hear from a student! Sad that it's so rare in articles about education...

Kelly said...

Laura- Sorry this is unrelated to your most recent post. I just wanted to let you know that I would be interested in what you have to say about standards-based grading and gifted children. It seems to be the way most schools are moving, and I have been thinking about how it will affect our gifted population. Just a thought/idea...not sure where to write this.

George said...

Another unrelated post, but I'm looking for some feedback/sources. Our school district is recommending the elimination of self-contained high ability (that the buzz word for "gifed" in Indiana) classrooms in favor of cluster model. Part of that model includes a high abilty coordinator/instructor. As we understand it, this person would be in the four elementary schools 80 percent of the time w/ the other 20 percent devoted to program development. I'm looking for links or comments about how a position like this might work.

The Alexanders said...

Wow! My son is only 7 right now. I don't know if he if profoundly gifted but he is gifted. He is technically a 1st grader but will be finishing 3rd grade and has been doing a highschool level science course (we homeschool). My son is just now opening up to me about being gifted. He says it is hard to communicate with kids his age b/c of the level of work he is doing and the 3rd graders he can relate to but they see him as a 1st grader. He really wants to meet others like him that he can relate to. Davidson Academy sounds great and if my son is profoundly gifted I would love for him to attend. I just don't think my husband would move.

Anonymous said...

I studying for the ACT test to get into davison academy. I am 12 years old.Any ideas on how I could study better? I am already getting a 26 in english and 28 in reading and 25 in math but science is hard for me. ANY HELP???

Anonymous said...

I found a great resource online. It's a great place to discuss/share gifted talented issues, topics, thoughts, and ideas... http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=109801