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Cultivating Genius: Black Children and Gifted Education

African American Children in Early Childhood Education

ISBN: 978-1-78714-259-6, eISBN: 978-1-78714-258-9

Publication date: 22 May 2017


There are very few Black children in programs for gifted children when both historical and contemporary research indicate that such environments contain elements very similar to those described as advantageous for Black children. Presented here is an overview of the research regarding Black children’s learning styles, multiple intelligences, and cultural expectations around adult-child interactions and a comparison to characteristics of gifted (and potentially gifted) children. In addition, the evolution and refinement of the definition of giftedness is outlined along with the impact of those definitions on Black children. The identification, assessment, and testing processes used to place students in gifted programs are outlined along with policies (e.g., universal screening) and practices (e.g., more multicultural education and gifted education in teacher in-service and pre-service education) that can transform gifted programs into diverse and inclusive learning environments where gifted Black students learn, grow, and thrive. Finally, classroom practices that cultivate the genius and giftedness of Black children are presented – practices that give teachers an opportunity to add to their repertoire of strategies and pedagogy in order to increase their ability to create more inclusive learning environments that benefit all children in general and Black children in particular.



Sullivan, D.R. (2017), "Cultivating Genius: Black Children and Gifted Education", African American Children in Early Childhood Education (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 5), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 85-121.



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