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Gifted students are a reality of eduction; however gifted does not equate to high achieving. Identification allows us (parents and educators) to better understand an individual student's abilities and learning style, so we can provide a learning environment both at school and outside of school that supports their social, emotional, and academic needs. We need to differentiate for all students, and we can not standardize differentiation. Identification is just a part, but a necessary/critical part of the process to begin to understand the gifted student.
I vote no. We can talk semantics: What defines gifted? Is a WISC score culturally biased? Etc.
I'm going to react to this one from my gut. We all live in Lake Wobegone where all of the children are above average. Even if you take a standard IQ score of 130+ as a descriptor of "gifted," in many parts of the country *well more* than 2% of the student population lies right there in the gifted segment of the bell curve. It means so little, especially in relation to hard work, and in the context of multiple intelligences.
It's also a political hot potato. As a former private school admissions director and as a parent, I could not be more fatigued with this topic!
All children rare gifted. It is our responsibility, as parents and educators, to remind them of this everyday!
The entire systems is forced, coerced for favor, non-self inspired nor recognizes the various potential of each individual. The "gifted" we describe refers to those best at following instructions in the current system. This said we should also get rid of "Instructors," "class," compulsory-curriculum, grades and testing and move to a constructive, more integrated and in context approach. Project and self based learning are examples. We should emphasize the ability to self educate.
Maybe we should start asking the students what they think...as Anderson says, the students do know who they are and whether they are "gifted" or not. They also know the way the social networks work at their particular school and in general for their generation, way better than adults do. We should be asking them whether they'd like a special "label" and if so, what that label is.
Labels are the shorthand we use to explain what services and accommodations a child may need to experience optimal growth. It refers to children who need extra help as well as extra challenge and some kids will need both. Labels can be used too broadly... to say that 2/5ths of children are gifted may be statistically accurate, especially when you look at multiple intellegences, but they can also imply that nobody has taken a good look at the students in that lower 3/5th. Typically, children with learning disabilities are not considered for giftedness, African American children, nor English Learners, nor economically disadvantaged. When you take this into consideration, giftedness distribution would be corrected to show more proportionate giftedness among these subsections.
Of course there are kids who excel so drastically in one or more area that the usual coursework is no longer appropriate for them. When a child is doing work many years ahead of thier peer group, they will suffer if forced to work at that level with no outlets. Like putting a cheetah in a kennel for 7 hours every day... my son is about 4 years ahead in math... that is beyond reasonable for a teacher to be able to differentiate without completely different curriculum or instruction. Likewise, he can complete college-level work in science when he was 5yo. Can you imagine forcing 9 year old Motzart to sit in a 3rd grade music class? It becomes truely painful.
Labelling the students with gifted and general is seems to illogical. Why do you catagorize? God created every one with some gifts. Man is not able to identify them and for he is being lazy or imcapable of finding the hidden gifts he simple labelled with out-shined students as gifts and the hidden ones as general.
Only in certain country such a labelling exists.
On other hand man always learnt to catagorize the people with religion,caste, race and also with color. So it is not suprising the studentys to catagorize.
How, then, do you/we determine who is gifted? Relying on an IQ test for children between 4 - 6 years of age is very inadequate. I have had students labeled "gifted" because of the a preschool IQ test who were not more inquisitive, ahead, etc. than any so-called "average" student. Talent is dynamic - just as ability. While there are a few exceptionally intellectually talented children, often in a particular subject area, most children with a "gifted" label are no more of a "standout" than the child who, for whatever reason, does not score well on an IQ test.
I think it doesn't really matter what we call kids who have high levels of thinking. As long as they get what they need (programs where they can do the type of thinking level they are on) I think they will be ok. Some kids might get bored with the regular work and need something extra to keep their mind busy. :)