Whither Gifted Education?!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2002
Whither Gifted Education?!
Wed, 03-13-2013 - 4:44pm

On this subject, I have heard from SPED classes, schools, principals, teachers, and parents (well, maybe overheard).  There seems to be a consensus that gifted education is too neglected.  There are problems identifying and serving them from the school's standpoint.  And while there is huge amounts of money given to educating other learners with differences, time and again, the gifted are neglected.  I was a gifted learner, and while my school district had a gifted program, I do not think my learning strengths or weaknesses were properly addressed.  What do you all think?  Do you agree that the gifted are unjustly neglected?  What would you do to change things?  If you don't agree, why?

First of all, I would make sure that the gifted are properly identified, because often they are not (recognizing school achievement doesn't work for this, for example.)  Then, I would give each an IEP and STICK TO IT.  While the gifted can be strong in one or more areas, many also have weaknesses schools ignore, and those consequences can be devastating (kids dropping out, etc.)  I know this is vague, because this is a huge task.  But we have to start somewhere, don't we?


Beth "Petrouchka"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2000
Wed, 03-13-2013 - 6:59pm

I agree with most of your points. I especially feel that teachers  and the system want to focus on those kids that seem to be strong in all areas. Some kids are gifted in language arts for example but are just average in math. Some are gifted in analytical skills but that often doesn't show up in our drill and test focused classrooms. A student gets nothing  in most schools if they are gifted in music or art. 

My grandaughter was coming down with strep on the day they tested her in kindergarten. Within that building she missed by 1 point. In others because of the population and variances in score range she would have been placed. They would not retest her when she was well and refuse to retest anyone, even new enrollments until fourth grade. This policy surely isn't about providing the best learning environment for all kids.