“How much does a teacher’s attitude about giftedness affect their teaching of gifted students?” was the first question we considered in this chat. There seemed to be general agreement that it plays a major role in meeting or not meeting the needs of identified gifted learners. The moderator pointed out that gifted students are the ‘group’ of students making the least progress among all groups and that teachers and administrators needed to be made aware of this fact. It was also pointed out that teacher attitude towards gifted children is responsible for a great deal of friction with parents.
A lesser known issue was discussed concerning the interaction between teachers of gifted students and the rest of the faculty. Too often gifted teachers feel isolated. Teachers in Pull-Out Programs may have little interaction with faculty or staff. Negative attitudes based on misplaced views of gifted students spill over into school policy which also affects them.
Suggestions on how to improve the situation included more courses for pre-service teachers in gifted education at the undergraduate level, gifted certification for any teacher involved in teaching gifted students, providing information about giftedness to general education teachers and on-going professional development in gifted education. A full transcript of the chat may be found here.
Teaching Strategies to Educate Gifted Children (Slideshare)
Journal of the World Council for Gifted & Talented Children Aug/Dec 2011 (pdf) (multiple articles)
Pygmalion Effect (Wikipedia)