Should students be labeled as gifted?

Yes. Gifted students are a reality of education. Acknowledging them as such encourages them to work to their potential and ensures that they will receive the more challenging work that will keep them engaged.
51% (199 votes)
No. As long as schools provide advanced course work for students who work at a higher level, there is no need to label such students as gifted, which can be demoralizing for students who are not identified this way.
45% (173 votes)
None of the above. (Comment below.)
4% (16 votes)
Total votes: 388

Comments (58)

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Parent of 2E/PG 6th grader in Los Angeles

Becky, Excellent points. It

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Becky, Excellent points. It is the degree that is often lost in translation. In gates jargon kids get a title change every 20 IQ points or so to reflect the degree increase. I wish we had better/more teachers who truly understood the needs of gifted students.

Parent of 2E/PG 6th grader in Los Angeles

So Susan, I'm interested how

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So Susan, I'm interested how would you refer to a child who is doing college level work in 4th grade and how would you meet that child's needs in a mainstream classroom? How do you describe the needs and challenges that go along with such a level of precocity so that his/her needs are adequately met? Just wondering.....

Gifted Education Specialist

All children are gifts - but

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All children are gifts - but not all children are gifted. Gifted denotes a qualitatively different way of thinking. To say all are gifted is no more meaningful than to say all are disabled. Each individual has unique strengths and weaknesses, but they do not necessarily rise to the level of gifted Nor disabled. The handicapped parking space is for those whose weakness rise to the level of disability. Just because I have weaknesses does not mean I have a right to their parking space. Just because a child has a strength, doesn't mean it rises to the level of giftedness. If the educational services are appropriate for all students, then they aren't gifted education. The label, whatever it is, helps the child understand why and how they are different. One isn't better or worse, but one is different and understanding that difference goes a long way toward helping the child understand that they are different, not wrong.

4th grade Georgia

I think we should label all

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I think we should label all of SPED - Exceptional !!
All kids have a gift at something - :)

Parent of 2E/PG 6th grader in Los Angeles

In much the same way a fast

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In much the same way a fast sprinter might be labeled fast and a slow runner who may need help completing the track might be deemed to have special needs

The thing is that most 'gifts' do not stick out and arouse the same level of raw green eyed jealousy from peers and even adults as intellectual jealousy. For a student who is on the higher end of the spectrum there are a heap of 'side effects' that can be problematic. Ie, unusual sensitivity, asynchronous emotional development that isolates them from their age peers. Kids with athletic ability are celebrated for their gifts, same with visual and performing artists. Why should someone who is intellectually advanced pushed aside, or worse- advised to blend in, don't be so obvious. Do we not applaud when the band plays? Cheer at a touchdown? Who applauds when a gifted kid does something exceptional in their field? It's such a double standard.

Gifted Education Specialist

Gifted students exist. When

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Gifted students exist. When we pretend they don't, we send the message that there is something wrong with them. I ran across this quote a while back: "Some degree of 'labeling' is essential if gifted children are to grow up understanding how and why they experience the world differently from others." (Kauffman)

Author, The Middle School Student's Guide to Ruling the World!

Why Label?

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If a label is all the school or district has to offer these students why bother? It's a sad fact that many gifted students are at-risk due to failure to meet educational and emotional needs. The labeling of "gifted" is in most cases an empty gesture.

As long as the government

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As long as the government insists on labeling Special Education students, we must label gifted students, if for no other reason, to be equitable.

It would be a good thing if we evaluated students for eligibility as 'gifted' as extensively as we do for SpEd, requiring a category for their 'gift'.

It is the height of folly to think that all students have the same capabilities and interests. After elementary school, a student should self select at least some of their curriculum.

If we differentiate our instruction within our classroom, is it not reasonable to differentiate our classes?

MYP Coordinator and School Librarian at the Wroclaw International School

I voted "None of the above"

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I voted "None of the above" because all children are gifted in their own way. As a teacher, we must find what excites our students and we should tap that enthusiasm and guide them to achieve more than they thought they could. Labels as "gifted, special needs, special education, socially maladjusted, etc" create the cage in which students are placed. Our role is to help them to break free from those cages, discover their passion, and follow their bliss.

Secondary Education student in Chicago

All children are born with gifts

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Wow, this is a hot topic! I voted no, not because I'm against special curricula and resources for academically advanced students, but because I believe the label "gifted" wrongly suggests that some students do not have gifts. I have yet to meet a child who doesn't have innate gifts -- that is, passions and capacities he or she is uniquely able to bring to the world. Some of the most academically and socially challenged students I've met also have some of the most stunning talents in music, visual art, and other arenas of human endeavor that we somehow overlook when deciding who is "gifted and talented," which in the schools means significantly better than average at reading or math.

"Accelerated Math" or "Accelerated Reading" are not merely politically correct labels for "gifted" education -- they are accurate.

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