So far, I have addressed concerns of public education A through F. I have discussed various topics from various points of views. Today, I would like to address gifted students. This concern is more of a personal concern for me. I hope that this issue is not a concern to everyone or every school system. Therefore, my concern for G is gift students.
Our public school systems seem to do a pretty good job at meeting the needs of struggling students. There are 504 and federal laws to protect students with special needs. There are schools, such as mine, that have intensive tutoring systems in place and monitor students very carefully. However, I am not sure how effective the public school systems are at meeting the needs of gifted students.
Most systems, including mine, have gifted programs. My concern is that the programs only add more work for gifted students. I do not feel that pulling a child from a regular classroom and doubling the work is meeting the needs of the gifted student. Gifted children do not need more spelling words or more math problems. They need higher-level thinking problems and tasks.
Gifted students complete work sooner because it is easy for them. I am concerned that teachers then feel that the logical answer is to give the students more of the same work. Gifted students need a program designed to increase thinking abilities. They need projects and an integrated curriculum where they can use all of their knowledge into completing one lengthy task. Gifted students need assignments that strengthen vocabulary and language knowledge. They need to be engaged in discussions and open-ended conversations.
If anyone has a child in or knows of a system that has a well-designed program for gifted students, I would love to hear comments from you.