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Tuesday's Tip: Gifted Scholars Learn Differently


Gifted scholars learn differently and require special education supports in order to grow academically and achieve their potential. This includes:

  • Appropriate identification

  • Academic field exploration with the field and study in-depth learning

  • Accelerated and enriched academically challenging curriculum.

  • Instruction tailored to unique abilities and needs, interests and learning styles.

  • Opportunities to use and develop their creativity.

  • Persistent and committed engagement in learning.

WHY DO WE NEED GIFTED PROGRAMS?

  • Gifted and talented scholars are not challenged in regular classroom settings.

  • They do not thrive in general education programming.

  • They need to be provided with enrichment and accelerated programs to meet their educational needs.

  • Gifted programming positively influences post-secondary /graduate school.

  • Gifted programs increase participation in interest areas over time and into adulthood including creative accomplishments by publishing, receiving patents, scientific-technical innovation, and national awards.

  • General education teachers lack the training in talent development in gifted and learning disability teaching to address the twice-exceptional scholars.

  • Many scholars are denied the opportunity to maximize their potential.

  • There are inaccurate identification practices in most gifted education programs.

  • Denied access to gifted education increases the Black-White achievement gap crisis.

  • Gifted education has important, lifelong implications.

    • Those with high scores on cognitive tests get benefits of:

      • Access to the best colleges

      • Prestigious careers

      • Highest salaries

      • Standardized tests (Stanford Binet and the SAT) are culturally biased against scholars of color.

      • Scholars from poverty score lower due to their lack of opportunities.

      • Class privilege


GIFTED SCHOLARS ADVOCACY IS NEEDED

Gifted scholars need advocates to assist them in meeting their educational, emotional, and social needs at home, school, and in the community. This is done through:

  • Collecting information about educational options regarding:

    • Gifted and IEP vocabulary.

    • Day-to-day programming

    • Dual enrollment

    • Researched based supportive learning environments.

    • Social cognition/skill training

    • The school district’s options for advanced learners

    • Limitations within the system that exist.

    • Twice-exceptional identification testing and accommodation development

    • Differentiation of instruction

    • Modifications to curriculum

    • Collect information and data about your scholar’s education:

    • Go to school open houses and curriculum nights.

    • Observe in the classroom.

    • Talk with the teacher and gain insight into the curriculum, teaching style, and philosophy.

    • Document the scholar’s reactions to the school environment.

    • Document the scholar’s reactions to homework.

    • Inform the school of your concerns.

    • List the scholar’s concerns.

    • Analyze work samples.

    • Know the scholar’s needs and strengths.

    • Find an Advocate who understands Gifted Education


KNOW what your goal is, what your options are, and what to ask for related to:

  • Required testing for inclusion in gifted programming

  • State requirements for Gifted Education (they are NOT all the same)

  • Opportunities for challenging work in a specific discipline, skill or category

  • Supports needed (soft skills missing)

  • Executive functioning or emotional support

  • Find Gifted Education Mentors and get educated –

    • Parents are the BEST advocates for their scholars!

  • Get defined next steps with timetables.

    • Join a parent support group – beware of where information comes from

    • Assess programming with the National Association for Gifted Children’s Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standard for Learning and Development

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