Full inclusion was first used in regards to special education; a situation in which parents pushed for and sought legal solutions to compel schools to not place their children in separate classrooms. Full inclusion for gifted education means that GT students are kept in the regular classroom and the classroom teacher is responsible for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students.
Most reasons for insisting on full inclusion of GT students are based on myths which claim these students will be fine on their own. School personnel often cite personal biased reasoning for why students should be kept in the regular classroom; that these students already possess intellectual advantage and no further accommodation should be needed.
What are some of negative impacts of full inclusion for GT students? It doesn’t take long to see the negative impact of mixed ability classrooms on GT students. Teasing and outright bullying can lead to being socially ostracized by age-peers. In classrooms where teachers are expected to meet the needs of wide-ranging abilities, GT students are generally a low priority. When these students are not challenged, they are unprepared to face challenges when they do come.
Curriculum differentiation has the potential to work for high ability students, but few educators receive adequate training to provide quality differentiation that meets these students’ needs. The academic needs of high ability students go well beyond curriculum. GT students learn best when educated with intellectual peers and by teachers trained to work with them.
What are some alternatives to full inclusion that work? Some of the best alternatives are multi-age, standalone programs where GT students are challenged by ability. Many forms of acceleration are excellent alternatives for GT students and cost-effective for schools with tight budgets. Some options include early entrance, dual-enrollment, subject and whole grade acceleration.
What approach can parents take to seek real solutions when inclusion isn’t working? Parents must engage in well-informed advocacy; know school district policy and finances, learn about possible alternatives, attend school board meetings, and know who the decision makers are at the state level. Most parents soon learn that there is power in numbers when trying to influence school policy decisions, availability of programs for GT learners, and potential extra-curricular activities. Parent advocacy groups are essential. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZST/11 AM AEST/Midnight UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
Future Trends in Gifted Education (TEMPO – pdf)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
Virtually all national and state organizations provide resources via their websites and during conferences. Please note that 2e resources are generally listed under parent resources. We will include an extensive listing in our weekly blog post. In recent years, organizations that serve the gifted community and schools also provide both free resources and fee paid resources. We will also include these in our blog post.
There are several publishing companies which cater to the GT community and provide excellent curriculum resources. General education websites also include resources specific to gifted and talented; such as, edutopia. Also, universities which offer gifted education certification have resources available on their websites and for purchase.
The Legacy Book Awards from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a great resource for book recommendations. Modern Curriculum for Gifted & Advanced Academic Students from Todd Kettler is a good resource.
What are the best tech resources/online programs for GT teachers? We like Brian Housand – a former #gtchat Advisor, who has a great tech website for GT educators. A4 Of course, we like resources from our very own #gtchat Advisor Ginger Lewman and her website.
On our @gtchatmod Twitter account, we have a list for ‘Who to Follow’ on Twitter and a list of Texas GT educators on Twitter Also, on gtchatmod’s personal account @ljconrad – there are lists for U.S. gifted education on Twitter and Global gifted education on Twitter.
Where are the best places to network for GT educators? Conferences and conventions for gifted organizations are great places to network. TAGT Leadership Conference will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX. Edcamps are also good places to network as well as during professional development opportunities. A transcript of this chat may be found at Wakelet.
TAGT Leadership Conference from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented will be help April 14th to 16th this year in Georgetown, TX.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 2PM NZST/Noon 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 Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners (SlideShare)
GT Strategies and Resources (Corsicana ISD)
Raisin’ Brains (GPP)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.