Part I: Introduction
Gifted and talented students are so “smart” that they can be left alone with a textbook and will learn the material without much help from the teacher. Gifted and talented students are blessed with such skill, it is unfair to the average students if I spend time with the gifted students. Gifted and talented students have no problems. Gifted and talented students do not deserve more educational funding or resources.
The preceding statements are all myths about gifted and talented students. In reality, gifted and talented students need just as much – if not, more – resources and assistance than their average-by-comparison peers. Yet there exists a reluctance to grant this extra help to a set of students who are, by definition, “gifted” with higher abilities than average students. Thus, challenging and nurturing their abilities becomes less of a priority and these gifted and talented students are left to flounder in boredom in a regular classroom. Lack of recognition and a failure to acknowledge the talents and skills of students with such abilities early in their education can easily lead to negative consequences later in life. Gifted and talented students become depressed and frustrated.
(This section is unwritten, but will contain the following aspects:
- solutions to the problem with an emphasis on one specific solution
- how the solution can be implemented to solve the problem)
Part II: History of Gifted and Talented Problem
Foremost, a topic of great controversy in the world of gifted and talented education is the very definition of the term “gifted and talented”. Some educators define it by demonstrated precociousness while others cite well-known intelligence tests like the Stanford-Binet as indicators of giftedness. The National Defense Education Act (NDEA), signed into law on September 2, 1958 gave annual increases of funding to educational institutions; in 1972, then United States secretary of Education S. P. Marland felt the funds allocated to education left the nations 2 million gifted and talented students out. In his report, he defined gifted and talented students:
“Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas, singly or in combination:
1. General intellectual ability,
2. Specific academic aptitude,
3. Creative or productive thinking,
4. Leadership ability
5. Visual and performing arts, or
6. Psychomotor ability” (Marland 1972).
Marland’s description of what comprises giftedness fast became a standard across educational institutions. In this same report, Marland also detailed the flailing nature of gifted and talented programs across the country: “Gifted and Talented children are, in fact, deprived and can suffer psychological damage and permanent impairment of their abilities to function well, which is equal to or greater than the similar deprivation suffered by any other population with special needs...