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Selected Readings: Gifted Students
and Educational Reform

The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC)
E-mail: webmaster@hoagiesgifted.org
Internet: http://eric.hoagiesgifted.org
ERIC EC Minibib EB8
Updated March 2003
Compiled by Sandra Berger
Citations with an ED (ERIC Document; for example, ED123456) number are available in microfiche collections at more than 1,000 locations worldwide; to find the ERIC Resource Collection nearest you, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm. Documents can also be ordered for a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com/, service@edrs.com, or 1-800-443-ERIC. (no longer available)

Journal articles (for example, EJ999999) are available for a fee from the originating journal (check your local college or public library), through interlibrary loan services, or from article reproduction services such as: Infotrieve: 800.422.4633, www4.infotrieve.com, service@infotrieve.com; or ingenta: 800.296.2221, www.ingenta.com, ushelp@ingenta.com.

Borland, J. H. (1996). Gifted education and the threat of irrelevance. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 19(2), 129-47. EJ518072.
This paper argues that, at a time when fundamental issues of educational philosophy and practice are being addressed by society, the field of gifted education is becoming irrelevant as it merely defends gifted programs as if they were an end, rather than a means to an end.

Dettmer, P. (1993). Gifted education: Window of opportunity. Gifted Child Quarterly, 37(2), 92-94. EJ465381.
This paper offers educators of gifted students 10 recommendations for encouraging change in the context of the movement for educational restructuring and reform. These include setting high learning standards and expectations for all students, structuring new roles for gifted education personnel, and integrating gifted education with general education in meaningful ways.

Feldhusen, J. F. ( 2001). Talent development in gifted education. ERIC Digest E610. For full text: http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/eric/e610.html. This digest paper presents a model for the education of gifted children and youth based on the concept of talent development and suggests specific ways to identify and develop talent. New conceptions of intelligence and talent developed by Sternberg, Gardner, and Gagne are noted. Feldhusen's and Wood's model of talent recognition and development is explained, noting that both talent identification and development involve a long range process in which parents, school personnel, and the students themselves work together. Teachers and other school personnel are urged to be alert to signs of talent, structure learning activities to students' demonstrated talent potential, use praise to recognize and reinforce signs of talent, help students set learning goals in their talent areas, locate resources in the school and community that can help develop students' talents, and enlist parents in identifying and nurturing their children's talents.

Ford, D. Y., & Harris, J., III. (1993). Educational reform and the focus on gifted African-American students. Roeper Review, 15(4) 200-204. EJ465438.
This article discusses implications of educational reform movements for improving the educational well-being of gifted students in general and gifted African-American students in particular. Recommendations for educational improvements are offered in the areas of performance assessment, primary preschool programs, extended school services, family resource and youth services centers, and school-based decision making.

Ford, D. Y., & Feist, S. M. (1993). Educational reform and gifted African-American students. The Gifted Child Today, 16(2), 40-43. EJ462571.
This article offers an overview of educational reform and outlines its implications for gifted African-American students. The lack of attention to equity issues in reform reports is documented and prerequisites for success in educational reform are cited, such as performance-based assessment and site-based management.

Frank, R. (Mar 1992). School restructuring: Impact on attitudes, advocacy, and educational opportunities for gifted and talented students. In: Challenges in gifted education: Developing potential and investing in knowledge for the 21st century. Columbus: Ohio State Dept. of Education. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED344409.
Educational reform efforts toward school restructuring are examined for their impact on the education of gifted and talented students. Considered first are implications of societal changes including changing demographics (e.g., increasing student diversity), changes in family structure and in interactions between school and family, and changes in the workplace (requiring a better educated work force). A vision is offered of a restructured school where all students are challenged according to individual abilities and learning styles.

Fullan, M. G. (Feb 1996). Turning systemic thinking on its head. Phi Delta Kappan, 77(6), 420-23. EJ517860.
Overload and fragmentation combine to reduce educators' motivation for working on reform. Since educational change is essentially nonlinear, existing school cultures and structures are antithetically opposed to systemic reform activities, including networking. The lesson of systemic reform is to adopt strategies that mobilize large numbers of people in new directions.

Fullan, M. G., & Miles, M. B. (Jun 1992). Getting reform right: What works and what doesn't. Phi Delta Kappan, 73(10), 744-52. EJ445727.
Instead of developing a new strategy for each reform wave, educators must learn how to foster continuous improvement. Reforms often fail because of faulty maps of change, complex problems, overreliance on symbols, superficial solutions, misunderstood resistance, attrition, and misuse of knowledge. Success means recognizing change as a systemic, resource-hungry, locally inspired journey into uncertainty and complex problem solving.

Gallagher, J. J. (1988). National agenda for educating gifted students: Statement of priorities. Exceptional Children, 55(2), 107-14. EJ378868.
A national agenda for the education of gifted students should focus on three areas of unmet needs: the educational needs of the underserved gifted, including underachievers, young gifted, and culturally diverse gifted; a program quality support network, emphasizing research, development, demonstration, and leadership training; and collaborative efforts with other professionals.

Gallagher, J. J. (1991). Educational reform, values, and gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 35(1), 12-19. EJ427056.
The positive and negative elements of six educational reforms are discussed: search for excellence; cooperative learning; middle schools; master teacher certification;site-based management; and accountability. Gifted educators are urged to promote these reform movements for the maximum benefit of all.

Gallagher, J. J. (Mar 1992). Gifted students and educational reform. In: Challenges in gifted education: Developing potential and investing in knowledge for the 21st century. Columbus: Ohio State Dept. of Education. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED344404.
This paper examines gifted education in the context of current educational reform efforts. It offers a rationale for the differentiated education of gifted students based on American values and equitable allocation of educational resources. Examples are offered of curriculum content modification for math, science, language arts, and social studies which utilize four approaches: (1) acceleration, (2) enrichment, (3) sophistication, and (4) novelty.

Jackson, N. E. (1993). Moving into the mainstream? Reflections on the study of giftedness. Gifted Child Quarterly, 37(1), 46-50. EJ462591.
This position paper calls for efforts to increase connections between studies of giftedness and mainstream psychological and educational research, arguing that studies of giftedness have contributed to mainstream theory and may play special roles in theory development. Strategies are proposed for overcoming barriers to further integration with mainstream research.

Maker, C. J., (Ed.) (1993). Critical issues in gifted education: Programs for the gifted in regular classrooms. Volume III. ISBN: 0-89079-549-5 Austin, TX: PRO-ED. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED352782.
This book presents 29 papers addressing critical issues in the education of the gifted. Individual chapters are followed by a commentary written by a second author. For example, "Education of the Gifted and the Excellence-Equity Debate: Lessons from History" (Thomas R. McDaniel) is followed by "Comments on McDaniel's 'Education of the Gifted and the Excellence-Equity Debate'" (James J. Gallagher).

Reis, S. M., & Renzulli, J. S. (1992). Using curriculum compacting to challenge the above-average. Educational Leadership, 50(2), 51-57. EJ451479.
A major problem facing schools is lack of curricular differentiation and academic challenge for the most academically able students. Also, contemporary textbooks have been "dumbed down." Curriculum compacting is a flexible, research-based technique enabling high-ability students to skip work they already know and substitute more challenging content. A recent study and program development advice are included.

Renzulli, J. S., & Purcell, J. H. (Feb-Mar 1996). Gifted education: A look around and a look ahead. Roeper Review, 18(3), 173-78. EJ521545.
This article argues that the field of gifted and talented education is entering a period of intense change in ability identification, programs, teachers, classrom practices, funding, and terminology. Three questions are posed: "What changes within the field herald a reconceptualization?"; "How does the current transformation differ from previous changes?"; and "What are the next steps for practitioners?"

Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (1991). The reform movement and the quiet crisis in gifted education. Gifted Child Quarterly, 35(1), 26-35. EJ427058.
Gifted education faces a quiet crisis as reform movements focus on cosmetic administrative changes in school organization and management rather than interaction among teachers, students, and the material to be learned. Two goals of American education are presented: providing the best possible education to promising students and improving the education of at-risk students.

Rogers, K. B. (2001). Re-Forming Gifted Education: Matching the Program to the Child. AZ: Great Potential Press, Inc., Tel: 602-954-4200; http://www.giftedbooks.com.
This guidebook is designed to assist schools in providing appropriate education experiences for all gifted and talented children, regardless of the child's talent area, age, ethnic origin, or economic level. Chapters address: (1) the development of an educational plan, what is reasonable to ask schools to do, and what kind of teacher is best for a gifted child; (2) characteristics of different gifted children, the five domains of giftedness and talent, and determining whether a child's strength is a gift or a talent; (3) evaluation of five key areas to aid in developing an effective educational plan; (4) determining the type of education a gifted child should receive, curriculum modifications, and guidelines for assessing modifications; (5) subject-based acceleration; (6) grade-based acceleration; (7) grouping within the school, whole-class strategies, small group strategies, and a possible set of steps for a teacher; (8) additional program provision in schools, such as in-school enrichment options for gifted children, projects and self-direction, tutoring, and content and curriculum modification provisions; (9) out-of-school provisions for gifted children; and (10) developing a child's plan and guidelines for school and parent cooperation.

Ross, P. (Fall 1991). Advocacy for gifted programs in the new educational climate. Gifted Child Quarterly, 35(4), 173-76. EJ439630.
This article urges educators of the gifted and talented to become knowledgeable abut educational reform efforts at the local, state, and national levels. Specific initiatives pertinent to gifted education include ungraded primary schools; performance-based assessment of student progress; use of student portfolios; and rigorous, revamped curricula.

Schack, G. D. (1996). All aboard or standing on the shore? Gifted educators and the educational reform movement. Roeper Review, 18(3), 190-97. EJ521548.
This article discusses ways practitioners can assure that gifted students' needs are met within the context of educational reform, including ensuring that general education reform efforts have positive outcomes for gifted students, sharing the experiences and strategies of gifted education with reformers, and considering new roles and relationships between gifted and general educators.

Stevens, M. (Mar 1992). School reform and restructuring: Relationship to gifted education. In: Challenges in gifted education: Developing potential and investing in knowledge for the 21st century. Columbus: Ohio State Dept. of Education. ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED344408.
This chapter reviews recent trends toward increasing emphasis on excellence in American business and applies these trends to school reform and restructuring in the context of gifted education. First, it notes the main ideas of recent business and education excellence studies which call for radical changes in the American education system. Examined is the dilemma of balancing the educational demands of equity and excellence especially in an age of major demographic shifts. A quality-oriented paradigm is proposed which merges equity and excellence and focuses on the individual thus replacing the industrial model paradigm which focused on the "system".

Tomlinson, C., & Callahan, C. (1992). Contributions of gifted education to general education in a time of change. Gifted Child Quarterly, 36(4), 183-189. EJ459541.
Educators in gifted education should be involved in the school reform movement because of the need of gifted learners for positive changes in education and because of the potential of the field to contribute to improved education for all students. Philosophical contributions, instructional contributions, and pedagogical contributions of gifted education are examined.

Treffinger, D. J. (1991). School reform and gifted education. Opportunities and issues. Gifted Child Quarterly, 35(1), 6-11. EJ427055.
Efforts toward excellence and effectiveness in school programs should be viewed as a powerful opportunity for gifted education. Gifted educators should work toward expanding receptiveness to lessons learned from organizational research on innovation and change, effectiveness, and improvement, and educators should recognize that gifted education can make important contributions to these efforts.

Toward a common agenda: Linking gifted education and school reform. (1995). Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children. National Training Program for Gifted Education. (From a symposium held May 20-21, 1994). ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS), ED377671.
Based on a 1994 symposium and intended to be used with a video, this monograph attempts to bring together the perspectives of gifted education and school reform. Individual chapters address the following topics: (1) changes in gifted education, changes in general education, the need to find a balance, a history of tensions, and remaining tensions; (2) common elements and shared contributions of gifted education and school reform, uncertainties, and unresolved issues; (3) sources of power for change, top-down versus bottom-up change strategies, and shared lessons on change; (4) inclusive schools, and expanding perspectives in gifted education and school reform; (5) the student-centered school, high-level learning experiences, and tailoring instruction to fit the learner; (6) reconfiguring time and rethinking staff development; (7) barriers to cooperation and steps to building bridges. Appended are a list of symposium participants and a list of related materials from the ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education.

VanTassel-Baska, J. (1991). Gifted education in the balance: Building relationships with general education. Gifted Child Quarterly, 35(1), 20-25. EJ427057.
Gifted education depends on two linkages in its program development efforts: the special education linkage and the general education linkage. A closer working relationship with general education is recommended, along with careful consideration of the curriculum reform movement, basic research on teaching and learning, and effective schools research.

VanTassel-Baska, J. (1993) Linking curriculum development for the gifted to school reform and restructuring. Gifted Child Today (GCT), 16(4), 34-37. EJ470633.
This paper compares academic performance of American students with that of other countries; addresses responses to poor performance, such as outcome-based approaches to learning and use of national standards; outlines practices being adopted by schools to promote reform; identifies curriculum reform principles; and discusses implications for gifted education at national, state, local, and classroom levels.

VanTassel-Baska, J., Leonhard, P., Glenn, C. B., Poland, D., Brown, E., Johnson, D. (1999). Curriculum Review as a Catalyst for Gifted Education Reform at the Secondary Level. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 10(4) 173-83.
Explores a curriculum-review process for assessing how a specialized secondary school for the gifted might improve its programs and services. The review process used document review, interviews, focus groups, and classroom-observation techniques to arrive at recommendations and an action plan.

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