COMMON GIFTED EDUCATION MYTHS

Myth: Gifted Students Don’t Need Help; They’ll Do Fine On Their Own


Truth: Would you send a star athlete to train for the Olympics without a coach? Gifted students need guidance from well-trained teachers who challenge and support them in order to fully develop their abilities. Many gifted students may be so far ahead of their same-age peers that they know more than half of the grade-level curriculum before the school year begins. Their resulting boredom and frustration can lead to low achievement, despondency, or unhealthy work habits. The role of the teacher is crucial for spotting and nurturing talents in school. More information: While gifted students do have an extraordinary level of potential and ability, their high aptitude for learning can easily go to waste if it is not fostered properly. The facts clearly show that gifted students need teachers who will challenge them. According to a 1991 study, between 18 and 25% of gifted and talented students drop out of school. Gifted dropouts were generally from a lower socio-economic status family and had little or no access to extracurricular activities, hobbies, or technology. Following are some statistics, books, articles and links to webpages that will help to dispel the myth that “gifted students will be fine on their own.” • Visit "Why We Should Advocate For G/T Students" to learn more about how classroom experiences and teacher qualifications and abilities relate to gifted students and their success. • Visit "Gifted Education Works" for information about a range of gifted education strategies and their success. • The "Equity In Excellence" webpage contains information about the achievement gap that has developed between subgroups of high-ability students due in part to lack of quality instruction. • Studies have shown that as they progress through school, American children are falling further behind their foreign counterparts. At the 4th grade level only seven countries have higher average Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) scores in mathematics than the United States, but by 8th grade that number is nearly tripled with 20 countries having higher average scores than the U.S. In the 12th grade advanced math level, not one country has lower average scores than the United States. The science achievement scores are equally unnerving. These numbers indicate that all of our students need help in school; if they are left to learn on their own, they will continue to fall behind. For more details visit the "Pipeline of STEM Talent" webpage. • When young high-ability children are placed in classrooms that are designed for low or average-ability students, they typically experience boredom, frustration, and decreased motivation. For more information read
Neihart, M., Reis, S. M., Robinson, N. M., & Moon, S. M., (Eds.). (2002). The social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know? Waco, TX • Gallagher, J. J. (1991). Programs for gifted students: Enlightened self-interest. Gifted Child Quarterly, 35(4), 177-178.




Myth: Teachers Challenge All the Students, So Gifted Kids Will Be Fine in the Regular Classroom


Truth: Although teachers try to challenge all students, they are frequently unfamiliar with the needs of gifted children and do not know how to best serve them in the classroom. The National Research Center on Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) found that 61% of classroom teachers had no training in teaching highly able students, limiting the challenging educational opportunities offered to advanced learners.[1] A more recent national study conducted by the Fordham Institute found that 58% of teachers have received no professional development focused on teaching academically advanced students in the past few years. Taken together, these reports confirm what many families have known: not all teachers are able to recognize and support gifted learners. More information: Our nation’s teachers are incredibly hard working and provide a remarkable service to our children. Unfortunately, the majority of teachers receive little or no training on the needs of gifted students, and once in a K-12 classroom, they typically are not provided with the additional resources and training required to effectively teach all of their students. In 2006, only four states required gifted and talented training in initial teacher preparatory programs, and just four states required annual staff development in gifted education for regular classroom teachers. Training is important! A 1993 study found that classroom teachers make only minor modifications on a very irregular basis in the regular curriculum. This result remained consistent for all types of schools, in all areas of the country .[1] A Fordham Institute study found that 81% of teachers said that struggling students were the ones most likely to received one-on-one attention. [2]. Below are additional resources that explain why it is important for teachers to have proper training to meet the needs of their gifted students. • The NAGC “teacher training makes a difference” webpage has research-based information about teachers’ experiences in gifted education training and teaching. • The “Teacher Expertise in Meeting Student Needs” portion of the "Why We Should Advocate for Gifted and Talented Students" webpage contains information about teacher training and classroom practices, along with what they mean for gifted students. Brighton, C., Hertberg, H., Callahan, C., Tomlinson, C., & Moon, T. (2005). The feasibility of high end learning in academically diverse middle schools (Research Monograph 05210). Storrs: University of Connecticut, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Kaplan, S. (2009), Layering differentiated curricula for the gifted and talented. In F. Karnes & S. Bean (Eds.), Methods and materials for teaching the gifted (pp. 107-145). Wac Prufrock Press. Moon, T.R., Brighton, C.M., & Callahan, C.M. (2003). State standardized testing programs: Friend or foe of gifted education? Roeper Review, 25, 49-60.

Reis, S. M., Westberg, K. L., Kulikowich, J. K., Caillard, F., Hébert, T. P., Plucker, J., et al. (1993). Why not let high ability students start school in January? The curriculum compacting study (Research Monograph 93106). Storrs, University of Connecticut, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Renzulli, J. S., Gentry, M., & Reis, S. (2007). Enrichment cluster for developing creativity and high end learning. Gifted and Talented International, 22, 39-46.

Robinson, A. (2008). Teacher characteristics. In J.A. Plucker & C.M. Callahan (Eds.) Critical issues and practices in gifted education: What the research says (pp. 669-680). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Starko, A.J. (2008). Teacher preparation. In J.A. Plucker & C.M. Callahan (Eds.) Critical issues and practices in gifted education: What the research says (pp.681-694). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Swanson, J. (2006). Breaking through assumptions about low-income, minority gifted students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 50, 11-24. Tomlinson, C. (2003). Fulfilling the promise of the differentiated classroom: Strategies and tools for responsive teaching.Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Van Tassel-Baska, J., MacFarlane, B., & Feng., A. (2008). A cross-cultural study of exemplary teaching: What do Singapore and the United States secondary gifted class teachers say? Gifted and Talented International, 21, 38-47. Westberg, K.L., Archambault, F.X., Dobyns, S.M., & Salvin, T.J. (1993). An observational study of instructional and curricular practices used with gifted and talented students in regular classrooms (Research Monograph 93104). Storrs, University of Connecticut, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Westburg, K., & Archambault, F. (1997). A multi-site case study of successful classroom practices for high ability students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 41, 42-51. [1] Archambault, F. X., Jr., Westberg, K. L., Brown, S., Hallmark, B. W., Emmons, C., & Zhang, W. (1993). Regular classroom practices with gifted students: Results of a national survey of classroom teachers (RM93102). Storrs: University of Connecticut, the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. [2] Farkas, S., & Duffet, A. (2008). High-achieving students in the era of NCLB: Results from a national teacher survey (p 53). Washington, DC: Fordham Institute




Myth: Gifted Students Make Everyone Else in the Class Smarter by Providing A Role Model or A Challenge


Truth: In reality, average or below-average students do not look to the gifted students in the class as role models. They are more likely to model their behavior on those who have similar capabilities and are coping well in school. Seeing a student at a similar performance level succeed motivates students because it adds to their own sense of ability. Watching or relying on someone who is expected to succeed does little to increase a struggling student’s sense of self-confidence. [2] Similarly, gifted students benefit from classroom interactions with peers at similar performance levels. More information: Like most of us, students are generally more comfortable around others who are similar to themselves. Average students often feel uncomfortable taking on a challenge in the presence of gifted students who already seem to “get it.” Average students are more likely to be motivated by the successes of like students than they are by their gifted classmates. Studies show that working with intellectual peers at school increases ability, performance, and comfort for the entire spectrum of student achievement and ability. The positive benefits of grouping by ability for instruction have been demonstrated in a variety of research studies. Results show increased achievement scores for all groups of students. The following webpages and articles about grouping reveal the success of grouping strategies. The word “grouping,” does not connotate “tracking” and should be instead thought of as a flexible strategy with grouping decisions being made for various projects and subjects. • Explore the "Grouping" webpage to see what the research has to say about the effectiveness of grouping. • Visit NAGC’s position page on grouping to learn more about grouping, and why it is an effective teaching strategy. • Gentry, M. & Owen, S. V. (1999). An investigation of the effects of total school flexible clustering grouping identification, achievement, and classroom practices. Gifted Child Quarterly 43(4), 224-243. • Neihart, M. (2007). The Socioaffective impact of acceleration and ability grouping: Recommendations for best practice. Gifted Child Quarterly, 51(4), 330-341. • Rogers, K. B. (2006). A menu of options for grouping gifted students. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.




Myth: All Children are Gifted


Truth: All children have strengths and positive attributes, but not all children are gifted in the educational sense of the word. The label “gifted” in a school setting means that when compared to others his or her age or grade, a child has an advanced capacity to learn and apply what is learned in one or more subject areas, or in the performing or fine arts. This advanced capacity requires modifications to the regular curriculum to ensure these children are challenged and learn new material. Gifted does not connote good or better; it is a term that allows students to be identified for services that meet their unique learning needs. More information: The label “gifted” for a child is a comparative term indicating that the child has different educational needs and services than those presented to other students his or her age.The term “gifted” is an adjective, and should be used as such. For example, when we say that someone is tall, it is comparing their height to someone else’s height. When we say that someone is gifted it compares their capacity to learn and apply what they learn to that of their same-aged-peers. When a student’s academic abilities vary widely from the norm, the student most likely requires modified educational instruction. Failure to provide this may inhibit his/her learning. Educating each person at a certain age in the same way is like giving everyone the same size shoe: While a size 7 shoe may be wearable for a short time by people who need a size 6 or 8, at some point the shoe just doesn’t fit. Similarly, at some point, a standard education just doesn’t fit certain children. In those cases, a label is often required so that these students can receive an appropriate education. Following are webpages that discuss the notion that all children are gifted.
• An article at giftedkids.about.com provides a discussion of why all children are not gifted. • An article written by Michael C. Thompson rebutting the notion that all children are gifted can be found hoagiesgifted.org •Assumptions Underlying the Identification of Gifted and Talented Students by Scott W. Brown, Joseph S. Renzulli, E. Jean Gubbins, Del Siegle, Wanli Zhang, & Ching-Hui Chen •The Identification of Students Who are Gifted by Mary Ruth Coleman




Myth: Acceleration Placement Options are Socially Harmful for Gifted Students


Truth: Gifted education programs are meant to help all high-ability students. Gifted learners are found in all cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. However, many of these students are denied the opportunity to maximize their potential because of the way in which programs and services are funded, and/or flawed identification practices. For example, reliance on a single test score for gifted education services may exclude selection of students with different cultural experiences and opportunities. Additionally, with no federal money and few states providing an adequate funding stream, most gifted education programs and services are dependent solely on local funds. This means that in spite of the need, often only higher-income school districts are able to provide services, giving the appearance of elitism. More information: The idea that gifted education is elitist derives in part from the label. Many people reject the notion that some of us are “not gifted.” While philosophically, everyone has gifts and is in their own way, special; when the term gifted is used in education, not everyone is gifted. NAGC defines a gifted person as someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression. People also think of gifted as elitist because so often it is only associated with white upper-class populations. In fact, this could not be further from the truth. A lack of funding for programs and services in low-income neighborhoods, coupled with false expectations about children of poverty and inappropriate assessments for identification has led to an under representation of this population. Gifted students come from all backgrounds, including English Language Learners, economically disadvantaged children, and even special education classrooms. • There are many challenges in assessing, identifying, and serving gifted students from diverse backgrounds. The following webpages illustrate the steps being taken, and that need to be taken to serve high-ability students from diverse backgrounds. Equity in Excellence Identification and Assessment for Service of Diverse Learners Classroom Instruction and Teacher Training • Below are articles and books that discuss the lack of a single homogenous group of gifted children and adults and how giftedness is not fixed at birth, but rather is developmental: Baum, S.M., & Owen, S. V. (2004). To be gifted and learning disabled: strategies for helping bright students with LD, ADHD and more. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press. Borland, J. H. (2005). Gifted education without gifted children: The case for no conception of giftedness. In R. J. Sternberg & J. E. Davidson (Eds.). Conceptions of giftedness (2nd ed.) (pp. 1-19). Cambridge University Press. Borland, J. H. (2009). Gifted Education without Gifted Programs or Gifted Students: An anti-model. In J. S. Renzulli (Ed.). Systems and models for developing programs for the gifted and talented (2nd ed.) Frasier, M.M., & Passow, A.H. (1994). Toward a new paradigm for identifying talent potential. Storrs: University of Connecticut. National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Gardner, H. (1983). Frames of mind: The theory of multiple intelligences. Needham Height, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Neihart, M.; Reis, S. M., Robinson, N.M., & Moon, S. M. (Eds.). (2002). The social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know? Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Reis, S. M., & McCoach, D. B. (2000). The underachievement of gifted students: What do we know and where do we go? Gifted Child Quarterly, 44, 152-170. Renzulli, J. S., & Reis, S. M. (2003). Conception of giftedness and its relation to the development of social capital. In N. Colangelo & G. A. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of gifted education (pp. 75-87). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Renzulli, J. S. (1978). What makes giftedness: Reexamining a definition. Phi Delta Kappan, 60, 180-184, 261. Renzulli, J. S. (1982). Dear Mr. and Mrs. Copernicus: We regret to inform you . . . . Gifted Child Quarterly, 26, 11-14. Renzulli, J. S. (1986). The three-ring conception of giftedness: A developmental model for creative productivity. In R. J. Sternberg & J. E. Davidson (Eds.), Conceptions of giftedness (pp. 53-92). Boston: Cambridge University Press. Ross, P. O. (1993). National excellence: A case for developing America’s talent. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Education. Sternberg, R. J., & Davidson, J. (2005). (Eds.). Conceptions of giftedness (2nd ed.). Boston: Cambridge University Press.




Myth: That Student Can’t be Gifted; He’s Receiving Poor Grades


Truth: Underachievement describes a discrepancy between a student’s performance and his actual ability. The roots of this problem differ, based on each child’s experiences. Gifted students may become bored or frustrated in an unchallenging classroom situation causing them to lose interest, learn bad study habits, or distrust the school environment. Other students may mask their abilities to try to fit in socially with their same-age peers. No matter the cause, it is imperative that a caring and perceptive adult help gifted learners break the cycle of underachievement in order to achieve their full potential. See ERIC digests on underachievement in gifted boys; underachievement of minority students. More information: Gifted students, just as any others, may underachieve. There are a number of reasons for why a student may be underachieving including a lack of motivation, lack of resources, learning disabilities, and social, economic, or psychological pressures. Regardless of why a gifted student may be underachieving, or to what extent he/she is underachieving, the child is still gifted, meaning he or she has the potential, based on a range of assessments, to achieve at high levels. Like others, high-ability students need to be motivated and taught in an appropriate manner suited to their needs so that they can reach their maximum potential. Below is a list of resources discussing underachievement in gifted students.
• Visit the "ED Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often" for an explanation of why some young boys do not perform as well as they are capable of performing, particularly discussing reading habits. • Visit the "ED Underachievement Among Gifted Minority Students: Problems and Promises" webpage to learn about factors affecting the achievement of gifted minority students, with particular attention to Black students, and problems associated with underachievement definitions and the influence of social, cultural, and psychological factors on student achievement are discussed. Suggestions and recommendations for reversing underachievement among gifted minority students are presented. • Visit our "Why We Should Advocate for Gifted and Talented Students" for information on the lack of appropriate resources and support gifted students are receiving and their need for a well-qualified teacher to motivate them. Baum, S. M., Renzulli, J. S., & Hébert, T. (1995). The prism metaphor: A new paradigm for reversing underachievement (CRS95310). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut. Borland, J. H. (2008). Identification. In J. A. Plucker and C. M. Callahan (Eds.), Critical issues and practices in gifted education: What the research says (pp. 261-280). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Lubinksi, D. (2004). Introduction to the special section on cognitive abilities: 100 years after Spearman’s (1904) “‘general intelligence,’ objectively determined and measured.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 96-111. Moon, S. (ed.), (2004). Essential Readings in Gifted Education: Volume 8 Social/Emotional Issues, Underachievement, and Counseling Gifted and Talented Students Neisser, U., Boodoo, G., Bouchard, T. J., Jr., Boykin, A. W., Brody, N., Ceci, S. J., et al. (1996). Intelligence: Knowns and unknowns. American Psychologist, 51, 77-101. Reis, S. M., & McCoach, D. B. (2000). The underachievement of gifted students: What do we know and where do we go?Gifted Child Quarterly, 44, 152-170. Treffinger, D. J. (1982). Myth: We need to have the same scores for everyone! Gifted Child Quarterly, 26, 20-21. Walton, G. M., & Spencer, S. J. (in press). Latent ability: Grades and test scores systematically underestimate the intellectual ability of negatively stereotypes students. Psychological Science. Retrieved August 5, 2009, from http://www.stanford.edu/~gwalton/home/Publications_files/Walton%20&%20Spencer-Latent%20Ability.pdf Webb, R. M., Lubinksi, D., & Benbow, C. P. (2005). Spatial ability: A neglected dimension in talent searches for intellectually precocious youth. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 397-420. Worrell, F. C. (2009). What does gifted mean? Personal and social identity perspectives on giftedness in adolescence. In F. D. Horowitz, R. F. Subotnik, & D. J. Matthews (Eds.), The development of giftedness and talent across the lifespan(pp. 131-152). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.




Myth: Gifted Students are Happy, Popular, and Well Adjusted in School


Truth: Many gifted students flourish in their community and school environment. However, some gifted children differ in terms of their emotional and moral intensity, sensitivity to expectations and feelings, perfectionism, and deep concerns about societal problems. Others do not share interests with their classmates, resulting in isolation or being labeled unfavorably as a “nerd.” Because of these difficulties, the school experience is one to be endured rather than celebrated. It is estimated that 20 to 25% of gifted children have social and emotional difficulties, about twice as many as in the general population of students. [4] More information: This myth is attractive because, if true, it alleviates the need for school officials to recognize the existence of gifted children as a special population, thereby dismissing them from their responsibility to address the learning needs of gifted children. However, school leaders are well-advised to take a careful look at this special population of children. While many gifted students thrive in school and their community, some do not fare as well. Due to pressure from a number of sources including motivation and achievement issues, perfectionism, a lack of intellectual and interest peers, identification problems, and other stressors and difficulties, some gifted students experience emotional and social difficulties that require support from school personnel. Below is a list of resources addressing the myth that gifted students are happy, popular, and well adjusted in school, and its implications.
Gallagher, J. J. (1991). Programs for gifted students: Enlightened self-interest. Gifted Child Quarterly, 35 (4), 177-178. Grobman, J. (2006). Underachievement in exceptionally gifted adolescents and young adults: A psychiatrist's view.Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 17, 199-210. Jackson, S. M., & Peterson, J. S. (2003). Depressive disorder in highly gifted adolescents. Journal for Secondary Gifted Education, 14, 175-186. Mendaglio, S., & Peterson, J. S. (2007). Models of counseling gifted children, adolescents, and young adults. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Neihart, M., Reis, S. M., Robinson. N. M., & Moon. S. M. (Eds.). (20002). The social and emotional development of gifted children: What do we know? Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Peterson, J. S. (2008). The essential guide to talking with gifted teens. Minneapolis: Free Spirit. Peterson, J. S., & Ray, K. E. (2006). Bullying among the gifted: The subjective experience. Gifted Child Quarterly. 50, 252-269. Peterson, J. S., & Rischar, H. (2000). Gifted and gay: A study of the adolescent experience. Gifted Child Quarterly, 44,149-164. VanTassel-Baska, J. L., Cross, T. R., & Olenchak, F. R. (Eds.). (2009). Social and emotional curriculum with gifted and talented students. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Webb, J. R., Amend, E. R., Webb, N. E., Goerss, J., Beljan, P., & Olenchak, F. R. (2005). Misdiagnosis and dual diagnosis of gifted children and adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger’s, Depression, and other disorders. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.

Winner, E. (1996). Gifted children: myths and realities. New York: Basic Books.




Myth: This Child Can’t be Gifted, He Has A Disability


Truth: Some gifted students also have learning or other disabilities. These “twice-exceptional” students often go undetected in regular classrooms because their disability and gifts mask each other, making them appear “average.” Other twice-exceptional students are identified as having a learning disability and as a result, are not considered for gifted services. In both cases, it is important to focus on the students’ abilities and allow them to have challenging curricula in addition to receiving help for their learning disability. [5] More information: Students who have outstanding gifts and talents, and the potential for high performance may also have a disability that affects their learning. These “twice-exceptional” or “2e” children are often denied access to gifted education services. Sometimes the gift and disability mask each other, and the child appears to be performing at an “average” level. Other times access to gifted services is denied due to institutional obstacles separating special education and gifted services. These children can surprise you with their ability to remember numbers, even as they struggle with their math or English homework. Both the gift and disability need to be uncovered so the child can receive an education that not only enhances his/her abilities, but recognizes them for who they are. Following are a few resources to explore to learn more about twice-exceptional education. • Olenchak, F. R., & Reis, S. M. (2002). Gifted students with learning disabilities. In M. Neihart, S. M. Reis, N. Robinson, & S. Moon (Eds.), The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children (pp. 177-192). Waco TX: Prufrock Press. • Ralabate, P. (Ed.). (2006). The twice-exceptional dilemma. National Education Association.




Myth: Our District Has A Gifted and Talented Program: We Have AP Courses


Truth: While AP classes offer rigorous, advanced coursework, they are not a gifted education program. The AP program is designed as college-level classes taught by high school teachers for students willing to work hard. The program is limited in its service to gifted and talented students in two major areas: First AP is limited by the subjects offered, which in most districts is only a small handful. Second it is limited in that, typically, it is offered only in high school and is generally available only for 11th and 12th grade students. Coupled with the one-size-fits all approach of textbooks and extensive reading lists, the limitations of AP coursework mean that districts must offer additional curriculum options to be considered as having gifted and talented services. More information: While AP programs across the country have been beneficial to many students in offering rigorous courses where they may not have been offered before, and in providing a stepping stone for implementing K-8 gifted education programs, they are only one component of a complete and effective gifted education program. They lack the comprehensive, differentiated continuum of services necessary to meet the wide-ranging needs of gifted students. AP programs by themselves cannot substitute for gifted education services. They were designed to make college more accessible and appealing for high potential secondary students, offering college credit without college costs. While the classes are rigorous, the goal is not focused on maximizing potential. Many school districts are pressing nearly all their students, even those who are under-prepared, to enroll in AP classes, creating concerns about teachers' ability to cover all the course materials necessary to perform well on the AP exams. Below is a list of resources about AP programs. Breland, H., Maxey, J., Gernand, R., Cumming, T., & Trapani, C. (2002). Trends in college admissions: A report of a survey of undergraduate admissions policies, practices, and procedures. Tallahassee, FL: Association for Institutional Research. Commission on the Future of the Advanced Placement Program. (2001). Access to excellence: A report of the Commission on the Future of the Advanced Placement program. New York: College Entrance Examination Board. Dounay, J. (2006). (Policy brief:). High school: Advanced Placement. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States. Espenshade, T., Hale, L., & Chung, C. (2005). The frog pond revisited: High school academic context, class rank, and elite college admission. Sociology of Education, 78, 269-293. Furry, W. S., & Hecsh, J. (2001). Characteristics and performance of Advanced Placement classes in California.Sacramento, CA: California State University Institute for Education Reform. Gallagher, S. A. (2009). Our evolving relationship with AP and IB. In F. Dixon (Ed.), Issues in secondary programs in gifted education (113-132). Waco, TX: Prufrock Press. Geiser, S., & Santelices, V. (2004). The role of Advanced Placement and honors courses in college admissions.Retrieved May 5, 2007, from http://repositories.cdlib.org/cshe/CSHE-4-04/. Hertberg-Davis, H., Callahan, C. M., & Kyburg, R. M. (2006). Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs: A "fit" for gifted learners? (RM06222). Storrs: University of Connecticut, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Sadler, P. M., & Tai, R. H. (2001). Success in introductory college physics: The role of high school preparation. Science Education, 85, 111–136. Vanderbrook, C. (2006). Intellectually gifted females and their perceptions of lived experience in the AP and IB programs. Journal for Secondary Gifted Education, 17, 5-20.




Myth: Gifted Education Requires An Abundance Of Resources


Truth: Offering gifted education services does not need to break the bank. A fully developed gifted education program can look overwhelming in its scope and complexity. However, beginning a program requires little more than an acknowledgement by district and community personnel that gifted students need something different, a commitment to provide appropriate curriculum and instruction, and teacher training in identification and gifted education strategies. More information: Resources such as program funding, teachers licensed in gifted education, materials, equipment, and an administrator with advanced work in gifted education are not the driving forces behind a successful gifted education program. While having all of these factors provides a boost, they are not determinants for what makes a gifted education program successful. What makes a gifted education program ideal, is having clear goals and a clear process for identifying and executing the program that are aligned with general education, having a committed, quality administration working hard to oversee the program, and having effective communication among everyone involved. Listed below are a number of sources related to creating a gifted education program in the absence of an abundance of resources. Curl, C. D. (1982). Myth: Waiting for Santa Claus. Gifted Child Quarterly, 26, 47-48.

Gentry, M. L., & Mann, R. L. (2008). Total school cluster grouping and differentiation: A comprehensive, research-based plan for raising student achievement and improving teacher practices. Mansfield Center, CT: Creative Learning Press.

Purcell, J. H., & Eckert, R. D. (2006). Designing services and programs for high-ability learners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Tomlinson, C.A. (2003). Fulfilling the promise of the differentiated classroom: Strategies and tools for responsive teaching. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Winnebrenner, S., & Devlin, B. (2001). Cluster grouping of gifted students: How to provide full-time services on a part-time budget: Update 2001. ERIC EC Digest #E607 Video - Top 10 Myths in Gifted Education The Maryland State Department of Education has unveiled a powerful video debunking the myths of gifted education; rebutting misconceptions that students who are gifted will excel without addressing their unique learning needs. Spearheaded and performed by students, the Top Ten Myths in Gifted Education eight minute video provides insight into the challenges that many students with gifts and talents address in accessing services and supports.





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Rockingham County Schools

511 Harrington Highway

Eden, North Carolina 27288

Phone:  (336) 627-2600  

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rshotwell@rock.k12.nc.us