Gifted Education: Current Perspectives and Issues: Volume 26
Table of contents(17 chapters)
List of Contributors
Gifted education suffers from the lack of a legal definition of giftedness and federal mandate for the provision of services in schools, and also from a lack of any federal funding to provide services. These lead to a situation characterized by extreme inconsistency in provision of educational services across locations, sometimes even within the same school district. We offer a historical perspective on these issues and a view of the current status of gifted education services, followed by discussion of relevant legal issues in this context.
Providing specialized services to a specific population requires assessment and identification procedures to avoid providing services to those who are ineligible to receive them as well as ensuring that eligible individuals are provided the services intended for them. Education of the gifted is such a specialized service, and so, assessment procedures are necessary for this population. Special educational programs are not an entitlement for individuals who are gifted as they are for individuals with disabilities. Consequently, operational definitions and procedures vary widely across states and even across school divisions within states. Therefore, the present paper summarizes characteristics that are considered to be early markers of giftedness and discusses some of the ways that they can be assessed. Problems in assessment (e.g., ceiling effects on norm-referenced measures, and difficulties in assessing creative aspects of performance) are also discussed. In the absence of consistent definitions and formal measures that are able to tap aspects of the definition with reliability and validity, assessment and identification of individuals who are gifted is likely to remain an impressionistic task in which individuals are compared to poorly defined prototypes of what it means to be gifted.
Placing gifted and talented students together organizationally is not a substitute for appropriate services. The placement or program model fundamentally serves as a vehicle to group or organize students together but programming, in practice, sometimes referred to as a service delivery model, is not the same thing as service. Placement is a management strategy. It must be coupled with curriculum and instructional modifications in order for substantial and positive academic and social–emotional effects to occur for gifted and talented students. Specifically, the program placement model is only as good as the curriculum and instructional models provided within that placement. This chapter provides descriptions and research evidence of the macro program models used for serving gifted students and more commonly used program placement models for grouping gifted students together within the traditional school day and beyond. Non-negotiable components and future directions are also discussed within the context of placement.
The historian, Arthur M. Schlesinger (1999), once wrote that “a basic theme of American history has been the movement, uneven but steady, from exclusion to inclusion” – a movement “fueled by ideals” (p. 173). He might well have been talking about the United States’ public education system where it has become evident that segments of its pupil population have been overlooked or neglected. The good news is that there have been some efforts to ameliorate this problem. However, despite these efforts, there continues to be lingering problems for culturally and linguistically diverse students with gifts and talents. In this chapter, we address how to maximize the success potential of these students.
This chapter examines underrepresentation among African American and Hispanic students in gifted education using the perfect storm analogy, arguing that social inequality, elitism, and colorblindness are three forces that contribute to the poor presence of these groups in gifted education. Underrepresentation trends are presented, along with methods for calculating underrepresentation and inequity. Underrepresentation is placed under the larger issues of achievement gaps, and inequitable school practices, specifically de jure segregation. Models and discussions of social inequality, elitism, and colorblindness are presented to explain that the magnitude of underrepresentation is beyond statistical chance and a function of decision makers’ attitudes and beliefs grounded in deficit paradigms. The primary theses and admonitions are that gifted education underrepresentation is counterproductive in such a culturally different nation, and that desegregating gifted education is nonnegotiable. Suggestions for desegregating gifted education and eliminating inequities are provided.
Inclusion and Giftedness
Inclusion is meant to address the needs of all students in the classroom including those who are identified as gifted and talented. Unfortunately, this population is often excluded from funding and differentiated support. This chapter addresses the disparities of definitions and legislation for gifted students. Common characteristics including strengths and concerns of the students and gifted education in general will also be discussed. Teachers must learn to effectively implement differentiated instruction as well as choose appropriate curricular models and instructional strategies to make their classroom truly inclusive of all learners. Pull-out, push-in, self-contained setting, cluster grouping, and enrichment programs have all been found to be effective service models for gifted students. Within the environment strategies such as independent study, learning stations, tiered lessons, and problem-based learning can further individualize student learning. Final recommendations on the future of gifted education will be addressed.
African-American and Hispanic students are underrepresented in gifted education. In many cases, African-American and Hispanic students are underachieving in the classroom setting and lack interest in what is being taught. This chapter will discuss the underrepresentation of African-American and Hispanic students in gifted programs, curricula and program challenges within general and gifted classrooms, Bloom’s taxonomy and James Banks’ multicultural curriculum model. The chapter will also provide an overview of the Ford–Harris matrix, and introduce a color-coded layout of the matrix and provide pros and cons for each matrix level.
The various levels of research support undergirding effective practices are outlined. Evidence supporting specific programming, service delivery models, and curricular interventions, and a subset of research-based classroom strategies for talented learners is reviewed. Trends and innovations for effective practices in the future are suggested.
Technology and Giftedness
Technology offers great potential to gifted, talented, and creative (GCT) students, including students who are twice exceptional (i.e., students who are GCT as well as identified with a disability). However, little research exists regarding the use and evidence-base base of technologies for these populations. This chapter presents technology to support students who are GCT as well as students identified as twice exceptional, including assistive technology to support students in content area instruction. Although, an evidence-base is needed for using technology in education for GCT and twice-exceptional students, existing research supports using the Internet and Web 2.0 technologies with these students.
The need to increase the number of ethnic minority students, including Black students, graduating from colleges with postsecondary degrees in STEM areas is quite popular in public discourse. Unfortunately, Black students’ oftentimes experience unique postsecondary issues that make reaching such a goal quite difficult. It makes sense that college counselors, given their role on campuses around the country, would be involved in any intervention designed to increase Black students’ representation in STEM majors. To that end, the purpose of this chapter is to detail some of the factors related relatively low numbers of Black students majoring in STEM and interventions college counselors can employ to help them overcome said factors and prepare for success in STEM majors en route to graduating with STEM bachelor’s degrees and subsequent careers.
Family involvement in the education of children and youth is recognized throughout research and practice as critical to the success of children in schools. This involvement has been described as impactful across population and ability groups. This chapter examines contemporary literature and practice as it relates to the engagement of parents of high ability and gifted learners. These families, whose children and youth have unique learning needs, originate from a variety of cultural groups nationwide. Innovative practices specifically designed to improve connections with families and enhance services for culturally different gifted students are emphasized in this chapter.
- Publication date
- Book series
- Advances in Special Education
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN