Category Archives: Education
The idea of a Bill of Rights for Gifted Children is nothing new. As early as 2000, various versions of such a statement have been around. But why do they need one? The general perception that gifted kids have it all … they don’t. Ask any parent; any gifted adult … they need a bill of rights. Without national policies regarding gifted education, gifted students must be protected from myths and misperceptions. A bill of rights is for some the only way they can have a basis for advocacy; both at school & in society at large.
There are consequences for not having a bill of rights for gifted kids. Gifted children continually face misinformation about what it means to be gifted; consequences can be devastating. Lacking a bill of rights, gifted kids have little support to grow and experience success.
What rights should gifted children be accorded? Gifted children have a right to learn something new every day and at the same time to be able to fail without fear of repercussions. Gifted children have a right to chart their own course based on their passions; not the a path planned by someone else. Gifted children have a right to be respected for their abilities; not ridiculed.
Gifted students’ rights can be intentionally or unintentionally violated. Gifted students’ rights are frequently violated by being required to do extra work rather than differentiated assignments. Their rights can be minimized by comments beginning with “if you’re so smart, why can’t you …”. Twice exceptional students’ rights are ignored when disabilities are addressed, but abilities neglected. Teachers must be vigilant in recognizing when gifted students are mistreated and/or bullied by age peers and intervene.
Should children identified as gifted be expected to have a greater sense of social responsibility? A level of social responsibility should be cultivated in all children; but expectations for gifted children must be individualized based on the child. Placing extraordinary expectations can backfire when gifted kids are made to feel overly responsible for curing the world’s ills. Take a moment and check out the links below to several versions of a bill of rights for these kids. A transcript 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gifted Kids’ Bill of Rights (Lingen 2000)
The Gifted Students’ Bill of Rights (Shaine 2014)
Gifted Children’s Bill of Rights (Siegel 2007)
Turn the Myths Around: A Gifted Child’s Bill of Rights (pdf Duncan and Haase 2013)
Know Your Legal Rights in Gifted Education (1997) (pdf)
The Law on Gifted Education (2005) (pdf)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.