How Does School Culture Affect Gifted Students?

gtchat 04182017 Culture

A school’s culture – particularly how it views gifted education – can have a profound effect on a gifted student. It is a concern for parents who are looking for an environment where their child will thrive academically as well as socially.

Before choosing a school (if they are fortunate to have a choice), there are a few things parents can do to assess the school’s culture. Of course, they should visit the school to meet with administrators and teachers. They can ask questions about gifted programming K-12 and school policy on identification of gifted students. Parents should try to attend after-school activities, athletic events, and parent group meetings to talk to other parents. Also, don’t forget to visit the school’s website and social media sites.

School culture most often reflects the values and interests of the community in which it is located. Rural, suburban and urban areas may exhibit different cultures while being in the same part of the country. A school’s location may benefit from nearby colleges and universities – opportunities for gifted students.

What affect does teacher’ attitude toward gifted programs have on a school’s culture? Gifted students are often highly perceptive of other’s attitudes – this can affect their self-esteem. An atmosphere where gifted programs aren’t valued can diminish gifted programs.

Conversely, gifted students can have a positive effect on school culture. Gifted students can model excellence in learning; exhibiting the benefits of academic success. They often serve in leadership roles in school groups/clubs/competitive academic challenges.

Socio-economic factors can have a major effect on a school’s culture and how its gifted programs are crafted. The effects of low-ses factors must be recognized and all should strive for equitable identification.

School culture can have a significant impact on a student’s mental health. Parents should be on the lookout if a school’s culture is having a negative impact on their student. Gifted students can slip under the radar; become underachievers;  or even drop out. It is important to be vigilant when considering a school’s culture. A transcript of the chat may be found at Storify.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at Noon NZST/10 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


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Photo courtesy of Pixabay   CC0 Public Domain

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Posted on April 29, 2017, in Bullying, Education, gifted and talented, gifted education, parenting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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