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Gifted Education

"You don't need to look far for evidence that we Americans don't place a very high value on intellect. Our heroes are athletes, entertainers, and entrepreneurs, not scholars. But our schools, with their high academic standards, high-stakes tests, and performance bonuses for improved achievement scores -- surely our schools are bastions of intellectualism?  Not necessarily." Kathleen Vail, "Nurturing the Life of the Mind,"  American School Board Journal

2009 State of the States in Gifted Education Report Recommended National Association for Gifted Children
Forty-seven states completed the survey. The resulting picture shows a patchwork of gifted services, little teacher training in recognizing or serving gifted children, modest funding, and a lack of accountability for educating high-ability learners... Depressing!  Is American Education Neglecting Gifted Children? by David Nagel in The Journal summarizes the bad news
 
Are gifted children getting lost in the shuffle? 30-year study reveals clues to the exceptional child’s journey Recommended
Gifted children are likely to be the next generation’s innovators and leaders—yet the exceptionally smart are often invisible in the classroom, lacking the curricula, teacher input and external motivation to reach full potential. This conclusion comes as the result of the largest scientific study of the profoundly gifted to date, a 30-year study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development... links to research Who Rises to the Top? Early Indicators  (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Acceleration Recommended National Association for Gifted Children Position Paper
Educational acceleration is one of the cornerstones of exemplary gifted education practices, with more research supporting this intervention than any other in the literature on gifted individuals.  See Academic Acceleration for more...
 
Achievement Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students from Lower-Income Families Recommended by Joshua S. Wyner, John M. Bridgeland, John J. DiIulio, Jr., A Report by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation & Civic Enterprises with original research by Westat
There are far fewer lower-income students achieving at the highest levels than there should be, they disproportionately fall out of the high-achieving group during elementary and high school, they rarely rise into  the ranks of high achievers during those periods, and, perhaps most disturbingly, far too few ever graduate from college or go on to graduate school. [It] is not that high-achieving students from lower-income backgrounds are suffering more than other lower-income students, but that their talents are similarly under-nurtured... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance Recommended by Josh Waitzkin
Waitzkin, a champion in chess and martial arts, brings enthusiasm and obvious love of learning to this amazing look at what he aptly describes as the art of learning. He begins by recounting his own quirky journey. Waitzkin describes how important passion is, how failures are far more important in defining a learner than success, and how.  Great suggestions for enhancing the learning process...
 
Being Gifted in School: An Introduction to Development, Guidance, And Teaching Recommended by Laurence J. Coleman & Tracy L. Cross
For educators, includes definitions and models of giftedness; identification of the gifted; teaching methods and best practices; creativity; counseling and guidance; administrative arrangements; and program prototypes and evaluation...
 
Being Smart about Gifted Education: A Guidebook for Educators and Parents Recommended by Dona J. Matthews and Joanne F. Foster
Practical strategies for the education of exceptionally high ability (a.k.a. gifted) children.  After addressing all the questions, debates and arguments about nature vs. nurture, elitism, testing, creativity, and more... all that's left is to serve the child's educational needs!
 
Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education: What the Research Says Recommended by National Association for Gifted Children, edited by Jonathan A. Plucker & Carolyn M. Callahan, a service publications of the National Association for Gifted Children
The definitive reference book for those searching for a summary and evaluation of the literature on giftedness and gifted education.  Topics include Neural Bases of Giftedness, Early Childhood and Identification, Academic Competitions and Creativity, Writing, Science, Social Studies and Mathematics, and nearly 40 others; each evaluation is written by the leading researchers in the specific field...
 
A Defining Moment Recommended by Jim Delisle
Jim begins... "The inborn traits of gifted children—as natural to them as their eye color—are what make a gifted child…well, gifted. Which is why I am so disturbed with the new definition of giftedness adopted recently by The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).  Calling it “a bold step” in her 2011 Presidential address to NAGC, Dr. Paula Olszewski-Kubilius presented this new definition..."
Response to A Defining Moment Recommended by Kristie Speirs Neumeister
As a member the NAGC Task Force who assisted in the construction of the definition, as well as an active member of the field of gifted education, I would like to offer my comments regarding these points...
 
Do Grades or Standardized Test Scores Make the Student? Recommended
If you have a very bright student, home-school him. My son was reading a college-level book in third grade. Academically, we figured he'd learn and grow regardless of the environment. We believed childhood should include high school sports teams and clubs... We decided to leave him in public school.  To minimize frustration, we focused my son on learning, not grades. If he could get a 100 on an exam without doing the homework, we believed his time was better spent doing another activity in which he actually learned something...
 
ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education Recommended
Now available directly on Hoagies' Gifted Education Page...
Education Research Information Clearinghouse (ERIC) provides digests (research summaries) on a wide variety of topics related to the education of gifted children, plus FAQ's, bibliographies, and more
 
Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Students: An Underserved Population Recommended by Miraca Gross
Our task as educators is to place the extremely, gifted child in the environment that will least restrict her opportunities for socialization. Research suggests that the inclusion classroom, with age peers, may not be the most appropriate environment
 
Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds Recommended by Jan and Bob Davidson, with Laura Vanderkam
The Davidsons offer an absorbing look at how our nation is neglecting children of exceptional intelligence. They make a compelling case for re-approaching giftedness as a potential disability (to give more attention to gifted kids) and an even stronger argument for parents, teachers and citizens to consider the potential loss to American society in the costliest imaginable terms.  For excerpts and review, visit Genius Denied.  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
Gifted Education Left Behind Recommended The School Administrator, February 2007 feature issue
This complete issue of The School Administrator, journal of the American Association of School Administrators on Gifted Education includes articles by administrators, gifted researchers, and gifted education advocates.  There are a variety of successful ways to serve gifted students.  Administrators, you can make the difference between serving and failing the gifted...
 
Gifted Education: Let's Do It Recommended a YouTube advocacy piece
An overview of the importance of programs for young people who are gifted and talented. Educators, administrators, and professionals from across Kentucky weigh in on what needs to be done to support this important population of students... but it applies in every state and country!
 
Gifted Education Professional Development Package Recommended by Miraca U.M. Gross, Caroline Merrick, Ruth Targett, Graham Chaffey, Bronwyn MacLeod, Stan Bailey
Essential information a teacher needs to understand the nature of giftedness and talent; what the terms mean; levels and types of giftedness; subjective and objective identification procedures; social and emotional characteristics and needs of gifted students; underachievement;  teaching strategies and methods of curriculum differentiation to enhance the learning of gifted students in the mainstream classroom; practical strategies for the establishment and monitoring of ability, achievement or interest grouping in classes, and the many forms of accelerated progression through schooling...
 
GT is NOT... Recommended Tamara Fisher, in Unwrapping the Gifted
A number of people hold misconceptions and misperceptions about what Gifted and Talented Education is all about. These misunderstandings about GT are – sadly – common.  Each of these begins with a misunderstanding – a statement of what GT is NOT (or should not be), followed by a statement of what GT actually IS (or should be)...
 
High-Achieving Students in the Era of NCLB Recommended the Fordham Institute on results of NAEP studies, by Tom Loveless, Steve Farkas and Ann Duffett with forward by Chester Finn and Michael Petrill
While the nation’s lowest-achieving youngsters made rapid gains from 2000 to 2007, the performance of top students was languid.  This pattern—big gains for low achievers and lesser ones for high achievers—is associated with the introduction of accountability systems in general, not just NCLB.  In spite of teachers' own personal beliefs, low-achieving students receive dramatically more attention from teachers.  Low-income, black, and Hispanic high achievers were more likely than low achievers to be taught by experienced teachers... (requires Adobe Reader)  Also read Laura Vanderkam's blog on the report Did NCLB hurt gifted students?
 
Leave No Gifted Child Behind Recommended by Susan Goodkin, Washington Post
Conspicuously missing from the debate over the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is a discussion of how it has hurt many of our most capable children. By forcing schools to focus their time and funding almost entirely on bringing low-achieving students up to proficiency, NCLB sacrifices the education of the gifted students who will become our future biomedical researchers, computer engineers and other scientific leaders...
 
Mayhem in the Middle: How Middle Schools Have Failed America - and how to make them work Recommended by Cheri Pierson Yecke, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Those [middle schools] that embraced middle schoolism have lost their way. Middle schoolism is partially based on the now-discredited theory... that teaching complex material during that period will have damaging effects. It is time for a thorough reform of middle grade education, including a new focus on high standards, discipline, and accountability for student achievement.  .. (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Meeting the Needs of High Ability and High Potential Learners in the Middle Grades: A Joint Position Statement of the National Middle School Association and the National Association for Gifted Children Recommended
Curriculum and Instruction: Advanced middle grade learners thus require consistent opportunities to work at degrees of challenge somewhat beyond their particular readiness levels, with support necessary to achieve at the new levels of proficiency... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Myths about Gifted Students Recommended by Joyce VanTassel-Baska
Top ten myths and their realities, including references and resources.  #1 They are aloof, proud of their own abilities, and care little for others.  #3 They do not need special programs as they will be able to perform at high levels regardless.  #5: They benefit from being the second teacher in the room, tutoring others in greater need than themselves. And, Myth #6: They work well in randomly assigned groups to ensure that the work gets done correctly... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
The Myths of Gifted Education: A Contemporary View Recommended an issue of NAGC's Gifted Child Quarterly (FREE for a limited time)
More than 25 years after myths about gifted education were first explored in GCQ, all 15 myths of 1982 are still with us and new ones have been added. ...
 
A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students Recommended The Templeton National Report on Acceleration
Acceleration is a powerful educational ally, but it’s a strategy that requires participation of parents as well as sensitivity to individual needs and circumstances. For that reason, this report is designed not only to persuade readers of the value of acceleration, but also to help schools administer acceleration programs effectively...
Now available in 8 languages! Click for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. (requires Adobe Reader)  Also read the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) reply Acceleration in Schools: A Call to Action
 
The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy Recommended
The U.S. must mobilize for excellence in mathematics and science education so that all students — not just a select few, or those fortunate enough to attend certain schools — achieve much higher levels of math and science learning. Over the coming decades, today’s young people will depend on the skills and knowledge developed from learning math and science to analyze problems, imagine solutions, and bring productive new ideas into being. The nation’s capacity to innovate for economic growth and the ability of American workers to thrive in the global economy depend on a broad foundation of math and science learning...
 
A Response to the "All Children are Gifted" Comment Recommended A speech delivered at the Indiana Association for the Gifted 1998 Annual Conference, by Michael C. Thompson
These are the times that try gifted educators’ souls.  These are the times when gifted education is under attack as never before.  It is not unusual for gifted education to come under attack. Gifted education has frequently been the target of opposition and misunderstanding, such as the confounded idea that equity is threatened by the excellence of gifted education, when everyone knows that historically, excellent minds have always been in the vanguard of the demand for equity.  What is unusual, what tries our souls at this moment in the history of gifted education, is that gifted education is under intellectual attack...  Also read All Children Are Gifted Recommended also by Michael C. Thompson
 
RtI and the Gifted Child: What Every Parent Should Know Recommended by Michael Postma, Dr. Daniel Peters, Barbara (Bobbie) Gilman, & Kathi Kearney, in June 2011 Parenting for High Potential (NAGC)
Response to Intervention (RtI) is yet another approach to ensure services for children who demonstrate special needs in the classroom. Neither NCLB nor RtI were designed with gifted children in mind. However, NCLB had sweeping ramifications for how money was spent in schools, and RtI may govern how gifted children—with and without accompanying disabilities—are identified and served...
 
Seeking Teachers for Gifted Children Recommended by Tamara Fisher, in Unwrapping the Gifted
If you are a teacher, chances are extremely slim that you learned any extensive information about or strategies for gifted students when you were in your teacher-prep classes.  Of our thousands of higher education institutions in America, only seventy-seven of them offer coursework in gifted education... Then read Seeking Teachers for Gifted Children Part 2
 
Smart Child Left Behind  Recommended by Tom Loveless and Michael J. Petrilli, in the New York Times
The new study, by the independent Center on Education Policy, showed that more students are reaching the “advanced” level on state tests now than in 2002. This led the authors to conclude that there is little evidence that high-achieving students have been shortchanged.

If only that were so. But like many miracle-drug claims, this conclusion is deeply flawed...
 
TED Ed Recommended Lessons Worth Sharing
TED captures and amplifies the voices of great educators around the world, by pairing extraordinary educators with talented animators to produce a new library of curiosity-igniting videos. A new site, which will launch in early April 2012, will feature these new TED-Ed Originals as well as some powerful new learning tools...
 
What Makes a Great Teacher? Recommended by Amanda Ripely, in The Atlantic
We have never identified excellent teachers in any reliable, objective way. Instead, we tend to ascribe their gifts to some mystical quality... For this story, Teach for America allowed me access to 20 years of experimentation. The results are specific and surprising. Things that you might think would help a new teacher achieve success in a poor school—like prior experience working in a low-income neighborhood—don’t seem to matter. Other things that may sound trifling—like a teacher’s extracurricular accomplishments in college—tend to predict greatness...
 
Advocates Say Bill Leaves Gifted Students Behind by Lisa Fine, Education Week
"Some advocates for gifted and talented students fear that the Senate version of President Bush's education plan to "leave no child behind" would not help the students with the highest academic ability get ahead."
 
Acceleration: Is moving ahead the right step? APA Monitor on-line journal
But some psychologists' research shows that acceleration--skipping grades or working ahead in a particular subject--can be one of the best methods to meet the needs of gifted youth. While not a panacea, acceleration gives students access to true peers and challenging work...
 
Advocates Say Bill Leaves Gifted Students Behind by Lisa Fine, Education Week
"Some advocates for gifted and talented students fear that the Senate version of President Bush's education plan to "leave no child behind" would not help the students with the highest academic ability get ahead."
 
The age of educational romanticism: On requiring every child to be above average by  Charles Murray, in The New Criterion
Many laws are too optimistic, but the No Child Left Behind Act transcended optimism. It set a goal that was devoid of any contact with reality.  The schools try to teach everyone, but some kids can’t handle the material. That’s just the way the things are; it is not a problem that can be fixed.  For the good of our children, educational romanticism needs to collapse, and quickly. Its effects play out in the lives of young people in devastating ways. The fourth-grader who has trouble sounding out simple words and his classmate who is reading A Tale of Two Cities for fun sit in the same classroom day after miserable day, the one so frustrated by tasks he cannot do and the other so bored that both are near tears...
 
The application of an individual professional development plan to gifted education by Elizabeth Shaunessey
Research indicates that ongoing, high-quality staff development is essential to achieving significant standards-based reform (Sparks, 2002). Currently, the majority of teachers do not regularly participate in staff development practices in the United States...
 
Asynchrony: Intuitively Valid and Theoretically Reliable by Glenison Alsop, in Roeper Review
The Columbus Group definition of giftedness is considered within a wider framework of theories of self.  It is argued that, as described in the definition, asynchrony represents this interaction, with implications for self-definition... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Basic Educational Options for Gifted Students in Schools by Joyce VanTassel-Baska
...there is a real need to consider nonnegotiable options for this population regardless of age or grade considerations as well as general program organizational approaches employed to effect sound service delivery.
 
Being Gifted in School: An Introduction to Development, Guidance, And Teaching by Laurence J. Coleman & Tracy L. Cross
For educators, includes definitions and models of giftedness; identification of the gifted; teaching methods and best practices; creativity; counseling and guidance; administrative arrangements; and program prototypes and evaluation...
 
Bright pupils let down by state schools by Tony Halpin, Education Editor, The Times and The Sunday Times, U.K.
Thousands of comprehensive schools are still failing Britain’s most able children, Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, has been told.  Research, commissioned by a key government adviser, shows that pupils rated among the brightest prospects at primary school go on to under-achieve... also read Britain 'wasting talent of its brightest kids'
 
Check-Plus Plan to Recognize Schools That Go Above and Beyond by Linda Michael, TAGT Teacher of the Year
Schools are rewarded when their students successfully meet basic
skill levels. Why not institute a plan to recognize schools that also provide the attributes of an enriched learning environment? A learning environment that is merely sufficient is not enough...
 
Cognizance of gifted education among elementary-education professors from MCREL member states in Roeper Review
The level of awareness of gifted education among educators is not at a desirable level. Clinkenbeard and Kolloff suggested that pre-service teacher preparation poorly prepares undergraduates for instructing the gifted. If this is true, it should not be surprising that the awareness of the needs of gifted children is inadequate among practicing teachers...
 
Controversy flares up over 'gifted student' education in central area by the China Post staff
The controversy over the education of "gifted" students became wide open after the Ministry of Education (MOE) declared the nullification of "joint examinations" held by local governments in central Taiwan to pick "talented" students while the county and city governments decided to ignore the MOE decree...
 
The Cost of Equality by Jeannie Alford Hagy (EdWeek registered guests can read up to 2 articles per week)
Genius is not always recognized, understood, or appreciated, particularly in a child...
 
Cultivating otherwise untapped potential by Deborah Smith, APA Monitor on-line journal
But that talent doesn't flourish on its own, [Psychologist Frank Worrell] says: "People have talents in various areas, but if those talents aren't developed, they're not going to mean anything." Without extra supports, many children with potential are left behind...
 
Davidson Institute's Educators Guild
Free national service for active elementary, secondary and post-secondary educators, as well as other professionals who are committed to meeting the unique academic needs of gifted students, including online community, consulting services, newsletters & brochures, staff development, and more...
 
Discrimination against Excellence by Kathi Kearney
"Education's Responsibility to The Highly Gifted" In Hippocrates's words, "First, do no harm." School personnel must read the literature on extreme giftedness, arid take the time to understand the individual child..."
 
Does No Child Left Behind Require that No Child Can Get Ahead?
Our brightest students are not learning in school. The fact is that No Child Left Behind is promoting underachievement among our nation’s brightest students, denying an appropriately challenging education to millions. That is because although the plan promises that every child will learn how to read by the third grade, it does nothing to ensure that students who already knew how to read in kindergarten will continue to learn. For these exceptionally gifted students, No Child Left Behind means no child can move ahead.  Students cannot learn unless they are being taught something new. Focusing on minimum performance standards to the exclusion of everything else neglects students who learn faster than the minimum standards...

The Dumbing Of America by Susan Jacoby, The Washington Post
Just imagine: "We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain . . . and that government of the folks, by the folks, for the folks, shall not perish from the earth." Such exaltations of ordinariness are among the distinguishing traits of anti-intellectualism in any era....
 
Educating the Very Able by Joan Freeman
It is clear from the evidence that excellence does not emerge without appropriate help.  Up-to-date research findings about the development and education of very able pupils, and so improve communication between researchers and those who make and carry out practical educational decisions...
 
Exceptionally High Intelligence and Schooling by Ellen Winner
Exceptionally intelligent children differ qualitatively from their peers and often are socially isolated and underchallenged in the classroom. Research on educational options for these children shows existing programs to be effective. Little money is spent in the United States on education for gifted children, and distribution of special programs varies widely... (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Failing Our Geniuses by John Cloud, in Time Magazine
In a no-child-left-behind conception of public education, lifting everyone up to a minimum level is more important than allowing students to excel to their limit. It has become more important for schools to identify deficiencies than to cultivate gifts.  What's needed is a new model for gifted education, an urgent sense that prodigious intellectual talents are a threatened resource. That's the idea behind the Davidson Academy of Nevada...
 
Gifted and Talented Students Sam Litzinger, filling in for Kojo Nambi on WAMU Public Radio (Real Audio)
Conversation with Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, , Executive Director, Center for Gifted Education, College of William and Mary and professor of education, College of William and Mary; President-elect of the National Association for Gifted Children, Carol Horn, Coordinator, Gifted and Talented Program Office, Fairfax County Public Schools, and Mara Sapon-Shevin, Professor of inclusive education...
 
Gifted Children: Are Their Gifts Being Identified, Encouraged, or Ignored? by Julia B. Osborn
How experts define giftedness and what parents and educators can do to support a child's special abilities.  Gifted children, like other children, need appropriate education, satisfying friendships and supportive parenting. Problems encountered may be due in part to the common and mistaken belief that children endowed with remarkable intelligence and/or talents have no special educational needs...
 
Gifted Education by Jim Lehrer, The NewsHour on PBS.org, with link to read the script and watch the program
Gifted students - there are about 3 million in the US - are not getting what they need from the public education system. Programs for the gifted are disappearing in districts across the country because of budget cuts, shifting priorities and, some allege, because of the federal "No Child Left Behind" act. Critics of "No Child Left Behind" claim that the law's emphasis on the lowest performing students is leading districts to ignore gifted children...
 
Gifted Education in 21 European Countries: Inventory and Perspective by Franz .J. Mönks & Robin Pflüger
Support for educating the gifted is booming in many European countries. The generally held opinion during the previous century was that highly able students did not need special attention or extra facilities; the gifted in schools were completely neglected. Only within the past couple of decades has it become more widely recognized and accepted that all children need support that is adjusted to their level of ability, whether low or high, in order to develop their potential to the fullest... (requires Adobe)
 
Gifted Education Policies Davidson Institute
Includes states gifted education policies, number of students identified, funds provided to gifted, and much more...
 
Gifted elementary students languishing in regular classrooms, studies suggest by Millicent Lawton (EdWeek registered guests can read up to 2 articles per week)
Gifted elementary-school students are languishing unchallenged by regular-classroom practices and would be better served if they were freed from covering up to 70 percent of the standard curriculum or were grouped by ability, a federally funded research project concludes.  Such pupils typically are not receiving instruction or curriculum that differs from that presented to academically average students, and they are usually asked to revisit material they have already learned...
 
The Development of Giftedness and Talent Across the Life Span edited by Frances Degen Horowitz, Rena F. Subotnik and Dona J. Matthews
For years, academically gifted children were thought to fit neatly into a category. If they took a test and landed above a predetermined score, a menu of enrichment activities and accelerated classes would open up to them.  But developmental psychologists are learning that people who are gifted are not categorized quite so neatly.  Academic talents can wax and wane, the latest thinking goes. Instead of being innate and immutable, giftedness can be nurtured and even taught—and if ignored...  Or read EdWeek's interview with the book's editors... The Evolving Definition of Giftedness
 
Gifted Students Shortchanged in the Philadelphia Inquirer
It is honorable that we stretch ourselves financially to provide education and opportunity for everyone. Our society would be much worse off if we did not take special care of our disabled children.  But gifted children are special, too. It would be nice if we had shining academies for them, places where they could be challenged and nurtured and encouraged. We do not. Instead, we throw them into the triage of the public school system and hope they'll fend for themselves and turn out OK...
 
Giftedness and Egalitarianism in Education: A Zero Sum? by Ellen Winner & Catya von Károlyi (free for NASSP and/or Athens subscribers)
It is unreasonable to deny that some students are outstanding or have exceptional potential for excellence in one or more areas. With or without a "gifted" label, some students are atypical. The more atypical they are, the less the standard curriculum will address their educational needs. They will not just need something more. They will need something different...  Schools can meet the needs of gifted students without violating egalitarianism. Schools cannot be truly egalitarian unless they acknowledge learning differences, including those differences possessed by students of high ability... (requires Adobe)
 
Handbook of Gifted Education by Nicholas Colangelo and Gary A. Davis, editors
This book is a must-have for teachers, administrators and parents of the gifted. The diversity of articles includes all the hot topics of gifted education written by some of the best known experts in the field. This book is especially good for the serious reader who has some background in gifted.  Also available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca
 
How Did It Ever Come to This? by Ralph A. Raimi
The phenomenon is briefly described as a galloping anti-intellectualism, a “dumbing-down” of the curriculum for all students – but in the name of improved “understanding”...
 
Immigrants' kids: Nation's brainy superstars by Scott Stephens, Plain Dealer Reporter
Give us your tired, your poor . . . your scientists and your mathematicians. The children of immigrants are becoming the top math and science students in the United States, dominating academic competitions and representing the strongest hope the nation has of keeping an edge in high-tech and biomedical fields, according to a study released Monday.
 
Read the full report: The Multiplier Effect from National Foundation for American Policy
 
In Era of Scores, Schools Fight Over Gifted Kids by Daniel Golden, The Wall Street Journal
In a test-driven U.S. educational system, gifted students — and their test scores — are becoming a valuable and sometimes misused commodity. Spurred by performance standards set by the 2001 "No Child Left Behind" law, many schools are trying to keep their top students, rather than send them on to special programs designed to challenge them...
 
In Many Classrooms, 'Honors' in Name Only by Jay Matthews, Washington Post
As High Schools Offer More Advanced Courses, Educators Fear Content Doesn't Always Earn the Label
A company selling an orange-colored beverage under the label 'orange juice' can get in legal trouble if the beverage contains little or no actual juice," said a February report from the National Center for Educational Accountability, based in Austin. "But there are no consequences for giving credit for Algebra 2 to students who have learned little algebra."...
 
In Praise of "Thought Competition by Rebecca Wallace-Segall, The Wall Street Journal
Why, one might wonder, do these kids need an extracurricular creative writing coach? The answer is simple, though twisted: Their schools -- while touting well-known athletic teams -- are offshoots of the "progressive education" movement and uphold a categorical belief that "thought competition" is treacherous.  Administrators of these schools will not support their students in literary, science or math competitions...
 
Initiative to Leave No Child Behind Leaves Out Gifted by Daniel Golden, The Wall Street Journal
To make sure even the most disadvantaged students learn the three R's, Congress two years ago passed a law known as No Child Left Behind. National test scores suggest it is indeed helping the weakest students.  There's just one problem: It may be leaving behind some of the strongest.
 
Intelligence in the Classroom: Half of all children are below average, and teachers can do only so much for them
What's Wrong With Vocational School? Too many Americans are going to college
Aztecs vs. Greeks: Those with superior intelligence need to learn to be wise
a three-part series by Charles Murray, W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in the Wall Street Journal
Of the simple truths about intelligence and its relationship to education, this is the most important and least acknowledged: Our future depends crucially on how we educate the next generation of people gifted with unusually high intelligence...
 
Intelligent Life in the Classroom: Smart Kids & Their Teachers by Karen Isaacson & Tamara Fisher
Written to assist teachers in their journey teaching gifted children, Isaacson and Fisher combine humor and insight to offer teachers tons of ideas on dealing with gifted children's' curiosity, intensity, asynchrony, sense of humor, creative and divergent thinking, and many more traits...
 
An Interview with Frances R. Spielhagen: About Gifted Ed in the New Millennium by Michael F. Shaughnessy, Eastern New Mexico University
Q:  You have recently spoken out against cuts in gifted education. Your "seven stupid arguments" are receiving much attention in the educational community. What are these 7 stupid arguments and why do you feel so strongly about them?  A: I have devoted a lot of time and energy responding to the reluctance of the general education community to acknowledge the very real needs of highly able students to grow intellectually, academically, and affectively.  The seven stupid arguments are...
 
Is Gifted Education Elitist? by Carolyn K.

People advocating against gifted education claim that gifted education is elitist.  And you know what?  Sometimes they're right!  But it shouldn't be...

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity a TED talk
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity...
 
Labels Aren't What Kids Need by Patrick Welsh, in the Washington Post
"The school keeps saying, 'Don't worry. Your child's needs will be met.' Then his teacher says she can't because 'We were told not to assign above-grade-level work to anyone who isn't labeled TAG.' "  Students are relegated to the "regular" curriculum, where the emphasis is on ensuring that lower-income children who lag far behind in basic skills will pass [the tests.] The school administration was probably trying to fix that situation. But the solution isn't to mark fewer students as gifted and talented. It's to challenge all our kids, all the time...
 
A Love for Learning: Motivation and the Gifted Child by edited by Jonathan A. Plucker and Carolyn M. Callahan
Gifted children are susceptible to many de-motivating factors, which can lead to depression and academic underachievement. Learn concepts and techniques to counteract those factors, allowing a child's motivation to skyrocket...
 
A message to new teachers of gifted children by Jim Delisle
Some things worth knowing from a veteran educator who learned them the hard way: Gifted Child Education is Layered with Politics; Don’t be Misled by Academic Achievement; Advocate, Advocate, Advocate; Don’t Believe Everything You Read; and It’s Okay to be “Awed”
 
Methods And Materials For Teaching The Gifted by Frances A. Karnes & Suzanne M. Bean
Comprehensive textbook introduction to gifted education curriculum planning, instructional unit design, evaluation, and teaching methods. Chapters include differentiated curricular design, process skills development, instructional practices.  Expands upon earlier editions with new chapters and fully updated information and research...
 
NCLB Exposes Need for New National Gifted Legislation by Caryn Talty
As Congresslooks at reauthorization of Public Law 107-110, we need to consider one very small population of public school children that is being left behind...  There are currently no provisions for such a child, nor is there funding, as the NCLB act has forced many states, including Illinois, to reallocate funds from gifted programming toward achieving better test scores among at risk populations...
 
The Myths of Gifted Education: A Contemporary View, an issue of NAGC's Gifted Child Quarterly (FREE for a limited time)
More than 25 years after myths about gifted education were first explored in GCQ, all 15 myths of 1982 are still with us and new ones have been added. ...
 
'No Child' Law May Slight The Gifted, Experts Say by Daniel de Vise, Washington Post
Analyzing fifth-grade test scores in the Chicago public schools before and after enactment of the law in 2002, found that performance rose consistently for all but the most and least advanced students.  Robert Slavin found that achievement can rise for all students when teachers "regroup" students by ability within a classroom or in separate classrooms. Grouping students across grade levels -- with children sorted by ability, regardless of age -- is particularly effective...
 
The ‘No Child’ Law’s Biggest Victims? An Answer That May Surprise by Margaret DeLacy, Education Week
Question: What group of students makes the lowest achievement gains in school?  Answer: The brightest students.  There is overwhelming evidence that gifted students simply do not succeed on their own
 
National Association for Gifted Children Position Statements
...on Ability Grouping, Acceleration, Affective Needs, Teacher Competencies, Cooperative Learning, Differentiation, Fine Arts Education, GLBT Students, Graduate Programs, Inclusion, Concomitant Gifts and Learning Disabilities, NAGC-NMSA Joint Position Statement, Mandates, Pre-service Teacher Programs, and Tests...
 
National Security and Educational Excellence by James J. Gallagher
The dual and desirable educational goals of student equity and student excellence have often been in a serious struggle for scarce resources. Equity ensures all students a fair shot at a good education. Excellence promises every student the right to achieve as far and as high as he or she is capable. Because the problems of equity have greater immediacy than does the long-term enhancement of excellence, this struggle has often been won by equity...
 
No Child Left Behind? Ask the Gifted by Michael Winerip, The New York Times
Despite all the talk about America losing its edge in the global market, programs for the gifted and talented are threatened on several fronts.  There are fewer classes for gifted elementary and middle school children today than there were a decade ago.  The federal No Child Left Behind law was "eroding support for gifted services." "It's important to help the kids who are struggling," Ms. Clarenbach said, "but it's important to challenge the kids on the other end, too."
 
No Child Left Behind: gifted children and school counselors by Marcia Gentry, Professional School Counseling
These are troubled times in education, and even more troubled times in gifted education, with the narrow focus brought to education by NCLB.  Intervention for individual students and quality education for identified gifted, at-risk, and underidentified gifted and at-risk students begins with one educator and one child at a time. It seems that school counselors are in a unique position not only to work with children, but also to bring to the table conversations concerning some of the issues raised herein...
 
Nurturing the Life of the Mind by Kathleen Vail, American School Board Journal
"If schools don't value intellect, who will?"  Children with advanced intellectual ability often are not given the tools they need to succeed. Ridiculed by classmates, resented by teachers, unchallenged by the standard curriculum, they're often ostracized, unhappy, or just plain bored
 
Parents as Instructional Partners in the Education of Gifted Children by Mary Radaszewski-Byrne, in Gifted Child Today ($)
The most important elements in a professional/parental partnerships is one in which parents and teachers are truly instructional partners; they have a joint focus on the abilities and interests of an individual child, a willingness to work together, a communication on assignments, and a commitment to responsibilities. Together, professionals and parents can extend the professional's capacity and provide the type of individualized education gifted children need when placed in a regular classroom...
 
Proficiency Is Not Enough by Carol Ann Tomlinson
Balancing these twin commitments, to equity and to excellence, is a challenge. But it is a nonnegotiable one if we are to become who we wish to be.  At times, we have come close to setting the fulcrum at a point of balance, but rarely have we done so. The "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001 appears to be another missed opportunity...
 
A Quiet Crisis is Clouding the Future of R&D by Joseph Renzulli, Education Week
What about support for the highly gifted, creative, and innovative young people whose ideas will create the products and jobs that start the wheels of productivity turning?
 
Reflections from Julian Stanley: Supplementing the Education of Children with Exceptional Mathematical or Verbal Reasoning Ability by Julian Stanley
Americans don't seem to have any problem with teenagers who show genius in sports (LeBron James) or entertainment (Hilary Duff). But we have a deeply ambivalent relationship with intellectually gifted kids. For every lovable Doogie Howser, M.D., we fear there's also a William James Sidis...
 
Resources Run Short For Gifted Students by Del Siegle
Being a gifted young learner should not mean you lose your right to a quality education.  Unfortunately, the current system of accountability in education epitomized by the federal No Child Left Behind Act creates an environment in which the individual right to a quality education has been all but revoked for bright students, particularly those from underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds...
 
SASP Interviews: Arthur R. Jensen by A Alexander Beaujean, University of MissouriColumbia
Teachers should also notice pupils who are especially exceptional at the high end of the ability spectrum; they often need a different educational program than that offered to their more typical age-mates... Standardized [individual IQ and achievement] tests, can get a much better estimate of a pupil’s standing in academic ability related to peers of his/her own age than is possible for a teacher to estimate using the more informal assessment procedures...  Tracking (homogenous ability grouping) allows more pupils to receive more relevant instruction in keeping with their rate of progress during their time in school than when the teacher has to pitch the instruction mostly at just the average level of the pupils in a mainstream class, or when the teacher’s attention and effort has to be divided between widely differing ability groups within the same classroom...  (requires Adobe Reader)
 
Saving the Smart Kids: Are schools leaving the most gifted children behind if they don't allow them to skip ahead? by John Cloud, in Time Magazine
Americans don't seem to have any problem with teenagers who show genius in sports (LeBron James) or entertainment (Hilary Duff). But we have a deeply ambivalent relationship with intellectually gifted kids. For every lovable Doogie Howser, M.D., we fear there's also a William James Sidis...
 
Secretary Spellings Delivers Remarks at the Davidson Academy Opening in Reno, Nev. August, 2006
By denying children access to rigorous classes, we waste their potential... and we deny them the opportunity to improve their lives as well as ours. We must challenge our students and create a system that demands they step up to the plate—and to do so, we must challenge ourselves...
"A Gates Foundation study showed the lack of challenging coursework is one of the top reasons students drop out of high school. Many left school because their classes were boring and not relevant to their lives—not because they weren't passing, and certainly not because they didn't have the ability to succeed. In fact, it's estimated that 1 out of every 5 dropouts could qualify as gifted."
 
Schools failing to nurture gifted children by Julie Henry, The Telegraph
Although this study was conducted in England, the results are likely to be similar world-wide.  Almost a quarter of the 140,000 children who achieve an above-average level 3 (high) in assessments at the age of seven do not go on to score high marks in tests at 11...
 
Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade? by Kathleen Kingsbury, in Time Magazine
High school sophomores should be ready for college by age 16. That's the message from New Hampshire education officials. Students who pass will be prepared to move on to the state's community or technical colleges, skipping the last two years of high school.  Those who want to go to a prestigious university may stay and finish the final two years, taking a second, more difficult set of exams senior year...
 
Smart and Bored: Are we failing our high achievers? by Samantha Cleaver in Scholastic Instructor
In the current rush to get every student on the same “proficient” page, those who could excel are bored or worse, and we are losing high-potential students from day one.  Ignore high-achieving students and they may end up frustrated, disciplined for bad behavior, or even depressed. At best, they’re bored; at worst, they won’t make it to graduation. If high-achieving kids aren’t challenged in elementary school, they turn off...
 
A Smarter Brain by Marc Lallanilla
A recent study of adolescents with above-average math abilities found the right and left halves of their brains are apparently better able to interact and share information than the brains of average students...
 
Students at Risk: How High-IQ Kids Are Neglected in School by Wendy Pollack, in Wall Street Journal Informed Reader Blog
Although many people assume that the highly gifted will find their own way, with or without extra attention from the school system, super-smart kids often flounder if they feel alienated or unchallenged in the classroom. “Giftedness requires social context that enables it,” Abraham Tannenbaum, a Columbia University professor of education has written. In other words, raw intelligence, like muscle, needs exercise...
 
Talented Children and Adults: Their Development and Education by Jane Piirto  (or from Amazon)
Comprehensive textbook of talent development from birth to adult, with chapters on young children, elementary, middle school, high school and college, and adult talent development, and subjects including identification, program development, and curricula development...
 
Talented Students, on Hold by Kristen Stephens and Jan Riggsbee
NCLB, as it is currently implemented, largely ignores another important group that is struggling -- gifted and talented students.  Our society typically views struggling students as those who are disadvantaged by ability or demonstrated achievement level -- those students not meeting proficiency levels for their respective grade.  Gifted and talented students struggle because they sit in our classrooms and wait. They wait for rigorous curriculum. They wait for opportunities to be challenged. They wait for engaging, relevant instruction that nurtures their potential.  And, as they wait, these students lose interest in their passions, become frustrated and unmotivated from the lack of challenge their schools' curricula provide them. They become our lost talent...
 
Teacher Education Standards for the Field of Gifted Education: A Vision of Coherence for Personnel Preparation in the 21st Century by Susan K. Johnsen and Joyce VanTassel-Baska, in Gifted Child Quarterly
Teacher standards for gifted education are a necessary feature of ensuring that the top learners in our society are adequately identified and nurtured in the context of school settings. To ensure equity and systematic talent search and programming, it is essential that teachers are educated in the relevant theory, research, pedagogy, and management techniques.  New standards emphasize state-of-the-art, research-based best practice in the field of gifted education...
 
Teaching Strategies in Gifted Education edited by Susan K. Johnsen and James Kendrick
Practical advice about teaching gifted kids, including specific teaching strategies such as divergent-thinking instruction and independent study. Also covers differentiated curriculum, classroom management, dealing with underachievement, and professional development and total school improvement...
 
Too Smart to Be a Teacher by James R. Delisle (scroll down, second essay)
Of the many naysayers in our profession I kindly ask a favor: resign or retire or retrain or do whatever it takes to reignite the idealism that brought you into the field in the first place. Leave education until such time that you once again believe anything is possible in the life of a child... (requires Adobe)
 
What Does Research on Child Prodigies Tell Us About Talent Development and Expertise Acquisition?
Research on child prodigies in general and the cognitive-developmental theory of the child prodigy phenomenon in particular shed light on the nature of talent development and expertise acquisition. According to the theory, this phenomenon is a result of an exceptionally accelerated mental development during sensitive periods that leads to the fast growth of a child’s cognitive resources and their construction into specific cognitive experience. This is how human expertise is acquired. The cognitive experience is a psychological basis of extraordinary intellectually creative achievements, which expresses itself in the prodigy’s unique intellectual picture of the world. The psychological nature of the prodigy phenomenon is thus formed by the sensitive periods – which explain prodigious development and talent development – and by cognitive experience, which explains prodigies’ exceptional performance and achievements...
 
What gift? The reality of the student who is gifted and talented in public school classrooms in Gifted Child Today ($)
Incumbent upon educators remains the challenge to resolve these lingering obstacles in order to best serve the students who are identified as gifted and therefore entitled to gifted education services...
 
What makes a "good" teacher "great"? by Kathy Hargrove, in Gifted Child Today ($)
First, they created a "natural critical learning environment."  They learned that it is important to grab students' attention and keep it focused.  ...high expectations, not only of the students, but also for the teacher him- or herself...
 
What My Daughter’s 5th Grade Teacher Taught Me About Being a Gifted Adult by Elisa of gifteduniverse.com
A teacher who changes who we are and how we look at life.  This year, my daughter was fortunate enough to have such a teacher. This man had a profound impact on my daughter.  And, by association, he also affected how I understand myself giftedness as a gifted adult...
 
What Parents Want Teachers (and Professionals) to Know compiled by Sarah Sheard
My child really is that way! It’s not me “pushing” him.  My child needs challenge. We care about our child's happiness... more than we care about her grades, her acceptance into an Ivy League college, her earning potential, or how competitive her generation will be with the overseas competition (the Russians, the Japanese, the Indians) of the moment... and lots more!
 
Who Are the "Gifted" Children --- and How Should Schools Handle Them? by Glori Chaika, Education World
A "gifted" child in one community might not be "gifted" in another community. Should the "gifted" label be standardized across communities? Do "gifted" children deserve the same extra attention that other children with special labels get?
 
Who Needs Education Schools? by Anemona Hartocollis, in The New York Times
It [Emporia State College] is also a reminder of how many teachers' colleges have strayed from the central mission of the normal school. For decades, education schools have gravitated from the practical side of teaching, seduced by large ideas like "building a caring learning community and culture" and "advocating for social justice,"...
 
Why Prodigies Fail: Talent isn't enough. Commitment, perseverance and innovation help prodigies make a lasting mark by Psychology Today staff
Betting on a prodigy is anything but a sure thing. The majority of childhood prodigies never fulfill their early promise.  No one teaches the prodigies about task commitment, about perseverance in the face of social pressures, about how to handle criticism...
 
Why talent is overrated by Geoff Colvin
So if specific, inborn talent doesn't explain high achievement, what does? Researchers have converged on an answer. It's something they call "deliberate practice," but watch out - it isn't what most of us think of as practice...
 

Last updated April 08, 2014

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