Are gifted students slighted in schools?
Are gifted students slighted in schools?
According to the article “Are Gifted Students Slighted in Schools?” by Alison Denisco, American educational system has faced a real problem regarding the gifted students and education in general. As a new guidebook has mentioned, this issue impacts the whole country, so it surely needs immediate actions. This is not a problem which American associations can ignore. The issue will probably not be limited by concerns over international competitiveness and furthermore it is not about it. For some reason, the policy support has vacillated between gifted and struggling students as if it has to choose between them, whereas it should support both of them equally.
There is no doubt that struggling students get much more attention than gifted ones since we deal with totally different types of students. That is why nowadays gifted children are an afterthought at best. Furthermore, they are at risk of dropping out of schools. A 2011 Fordham Institute study already found that from 30 to 50 percent of gifted children descend and no one doubts that this number will only increase. If such statements as “who give evidence of high achievement capability” and “who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school to fully develop those capabilities” will not be reinforced with decisive actions, people will make a big mistake leaving brightest talents without attention. As Nancy Green said, “Without federal funding, you end up with a patchwork quilt of services across the country that are very different state by state”. So what are they waiting for? Are Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma someway better than the other states? Undoubtedly, every child deserves to be challenged in schools, so there is a need for fully-funded mandates in every state and in every educational institution.
Partnering with local community colleges in order to offer students dual enrolment programs is a good idea, but it is not enough even at no cost. Such courses will surely give advanced students an opportunity to do college-level work. However, the problem will still not be solved completely. Letting gifted students do college-level work, using ability grouping, allowing courses and grades will stay just as a camouflage for a real solution.
Supplementing the curriculum with online coursework can be considered as a good idea, since every student can find its own level online and work at his/her own pace. Alison Denisco’s article tries to assure that the problem has nearly found its solution, but it has not. These measures are not enough to give children what they need, even considering the fact that teachers have more resources than the required curriculum.
American government makes a huge mistake when it cares only about international competitiveness. It should also think about students' individuality and respect their own opinions and points of view. If the country considers itself as a serious one, it has to care about all categories of people living in it. As for the educational system, it is an underlying thing, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Educational system with its features greatly influences a child's mind. All is beginning from the childhood. Providing the children with happy childhood will most likely guarantee healthy and happy future person, which will be able to kick back to his/her country. Every person needs care, and our world is missing it. Any educational process pursues at least two goals. On the one side, the child takes comprehensive knowledge he needs in everyday life and in his future profession. On the other side, he learns to think by himself. Supporting growth of the child or teenager means not only improving his common intellectual capabilities; it also means supporting his growth in particular areas as mathematics, humanities and arts. The problem related to gifted children lies in their special needs. Gifted students can acquire material much faster and deeper than the majority of their coevals; they also need some other teaching methods.
Some gifted children of 13-15 years old are already able to study even university curriculum, but in the same time current social situation which is not appropriate to the age can turn into the burden for these kids. Especially 13-15 years old boys are not able to find themselves among the adult students. Considering the problem of mixed classes, which include some number of gifted children, we can note one factor: any gifted children studying in this class can have knowledge in a particular sphere. Some can be inclined to the natural sciences, the others to the languages or art. Some other class can include children with capabilities to techniques, handworks, social relationships, sports etc. All of these gifted children and teenagers have significant differences between each other and those differences should be assessed as accurately as possible.
In a common class, it is barely possible for the teacher to work with every of these children properly. In addition, one teacher cannot meet requirements of every child. To solve this educational problem, it is necessary to entrust the education of these children to specific teachers. Specific teachers should work with groups of gifted children in particular areas. Hence, this will allow teachers to work with them harmonically. In such circumstances, expression of the real child’s or teenager’s intellectual potential will be neither suppressed nor restrained. The capabilities of gifted children will be supported as it should be with all kids.
As for the school for gifted children, such institution has to involve the possibility of “different rates”. For successful work with gifted students, such school has to find strengths and give them the possibility to show it, to feel the taste of success and to believe in their capabilities. Only thanks to such things, the child will be interested and motivated.
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