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Our mission is to identify and serve students with demonstrated gifts and talents as well
as those who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate
educational experiences. In order to support this mission, our objectives are:
Provide an equitable system to identify and serve gifted children.
Provide quality, appropriate programs for gifted and talented children.
Ensure that every school site has a gifted endorsed teacher on staff who will serve
as an advocate for gifted children.
Provide ongoing, meaningful, and relevant professional development for teachers
of gifted children.
Provide gifted and talented students with real world experiences outside-of-the-
Ensure that “students of promise” who do not qualify for gifted programs are given
opportunities for challenge and acceleration.
Imaginary Schools have developed the following definition of “Giftedness:”
A person may be considered a “gifted” child, adolescent, or adult who
demonstrates an extraordinary aptitude(s), ability(ies), and/or talent(s) in any
one, or more, intellectual, functional, and/ or undefined (as of yet)
domain(s). Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol
system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills
(e.g., painting, dance, sports).
Giftedness may occur in persons from all cultural groups, across all economic
strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.
Children and adolescents who demonstrate extraordinary aptitudes and/or
abilities and/or creativity, but under perform or have poor task commitment , may
need additional support outside of typical gifted support services to realize fully
his or her gift(s).
Gifted Child Quarterly
Official publication of the NAGC offering the latest research in gifted education.
Gifted Child Today
Directed at both teachers and parents. Provides practical advice, research, ideas, and more.
Gifted Education International
Official publication of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children
Journal for the Education of the Gifted
Official publication of the Association for the Gifted, (TAG) aimed at the experienced reader of research
The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education
Focuses on building an effective education program for adolescents and young adults who are gifted.
Addresses the unique needs of middle and high schoolers who are gifted.
Parenting for High Potential
Designed to help parents of children who are gifted and talented.
Focuses on the ―philosophical, moral, and academic issues relating to the lives and experiences of the gifted
Understanding Our Gifted
Encourages a wide range of viewpoints on education and the gifted.
Association for the Gifted - http://cectag.org/
Center for Creative Learning - http://www.creativelearning.com/
Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank Center for Gifted Education -
College of William and Mary Center on Gifted Education - http://cfge.wm.edu/
Davidson Institute - http://www.davidsongifted.org/
Duke TIP Program - http://www.tip.duke.edu/
Hoagies' Gifted Education Page - www.hoagiesgifted.org
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted - www.SENGifted.org
Florida Department of Education - http://www.idoe.org/bii/Gifted_Ed
National Association for Gifted Children - http://www.nagc.org
National Research Center on Gifted and Talented - http://nrcgt.org/
National Parent Information Network - http://www.einet.net/
Working on Gifted Issues - http://www.unfwogi.com/
Desco, M. (2013). Quantitative Neuroimaging: What You can Say and What You can Believe About the Brain. In
Without Bounds: A Scientific Canvas of Nonlinearity and Complex Dynamics (pp. 693-704). Springer Berlin
Eskine, K. J., & Kaufman, S. B. (2013). Grounding Creative Giftedness in the Body. In Creatively Gifted Students
are not like Other Gifted Students (pp. 153-165). SensePublishers.
Jung, R. E., & Ryman, S. G. (2013). Imaging Creativity. In Creatively Gifted Students are not like Other Gifted
Students (pp. 69-87). SensePublishers.
Pfeiffer, S. I., & Thompson, T. L. (2013). Creativity from a Talent Development Perspective. In Creatively Gifted
Students are not like Other Gifted Students (pp. 231-255). SensePublishers.
Prescott, J., Gavrilescu, M., Cunnington, R., O'Boyle, M. W., & Egan, G. F. (2010). Enhanced brain connectivity
in math-gifted adolescents: an fMRI study using mental rotation. Cognitive Neuroscience, 1(4), 277-288.
McCormick, K. M., & Plucker, J. A. (2013). Connecting Student Engagement to the Academic and Social Needs
of Gifted and Talented Students. In Creatively Gifted Students are not like Other Gifted Students (pp. 121-
Sternberg, R. J. (2013). “The Intelligence of Nations” Smart but not Wise—A Comment on Hunt (2012).
Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8(2), 187-189.
Pallier, C. (2013). 1 6 Age Effects in Language Acquisition and Attrition. Birdsong, Speech, and Language:
Exploring the Evolution of Mind and Brain, 317.
Sample Letter to the Editor
Potential Survey Questions for Gifted Educational
Sad, but True
Brains on overdrive
What is appropriate education anyway?
That other shoe drops…
To the editor(s):
Not all public special educational programs, teachers, and so on, fail gifted children. For every poor teacher, there are hundreds of poor parents. For every poor teacher there are
hundreds of great teachers. It is too easy to tell a story of failure and blame a system. Although we can applaud this parent for advocating for her son, often are the parents
who fail their exceptional children.
As a parent and teacher/therapist of twice-exceptional children (children who are both gifted and have specific learning disabilities), it is my job to advocate for my children and my
students. It is my goal as a teacher and therapist to teach children to advocate for themselves, parents to advocate for their children, and teachers to advocate for their
students, children, and parents, and so on. According to a NAGC Position Statement: Twice-Exceptionality (2009)
Professionals still are unsure of the prevalence of twice-exceptionality because no federal agency gathers base-rate data for this group of students. Estimates made through various
sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, suggest that there are approximately 360,000 twice-exceptional students in America’s schools (National Education
Association, 2006), making the call for awareness and understanding about twice-exceptionality critical for educators nationwide. (¶ 1)
Furthermore, in my experience many children on the autism spectrum (ASD) are exceptionally gifted. The NAGC (2009) position paper states,
Increasingly, scholars and clinicians are recognizing that students with this developmental disability can also be cognitively and academically gifted. In fact, some broad
characteristics of highly gifted children overlap with characteristics of students with ASD (e.g., focused interest on a topic). It is, therefore, crucial that a professional who is
familiar with giftedness and ASD so that there is neither misdiagnosis, nor missed diagnosis (Neihart, 2008; Webb, Amend, Webb, Goerss, Beljan, & Olenchak, 2005) make a
diagnosis only. (¶ 8)
I am curious if your paper would be willing to tell the story of one of my students, a beautiful seventh grade girl with Autism (and BTW, it is not okay to describe a person by their
disability. We say, “A young man with ASD” or “a children who is on the spectrum.”).
Ellie: Speaking a Silent Language
At the beginning of her sixth grade school year in a public school that relies on public funding for her therapy, “Ellie,” would hardly speak. However, she demonstrated extraordinary
tenacity in all of her academic task. By the middle of this school year (2012-2013), she writes and speaks using figurative language and expression. She understands humor,
expresses enthusiasm, and easily shows affection towards her parent, teachers, and peers. She even wrote parts of her individual education plan (IEP) and made it very clear in
her yearly meeting that she intended to be a sign language teacher for people who are hearing impaired. Since school has finished in May, she has mastered the American Sign
Language (ASL) alphabet and has wide range of phrases in her repertoire. It seems Ellie is also Gifted; she has kinesthetic and interpersonal gifts.
I challenge parents, teachers, and the community at large, to considered the possibility that a student could have more than one diagnosis. We need to advocate for our children and
students by looking for patterns of strengths and weaknesses, using the Response to Intervention process to determine social-emotional issues related to being misunderstood,
and encourage parents and teachers with stories of success! It is time for us to do some real research on children who are twice exceptional.
Alexandria W. Zettler
Ms. Zettler holds degrees in the following PhD-ABD in Art Therapy, MS in Art Therapy, MA in Elementary Education/Special Education, BA in Studio Art, and AA in Industrial
Design and has taught school-aged children in Washington State and Florida since 1996.
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), 2009. NAGC Position Statement: Twice-Exceptionality. Retrieved from http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=5094&terms=gifted+and+sld
Boy genius diagnosed with autism has IQ higher than Einstein http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/autistic-boy-genius-iq-higher-einstein-article-1.1340923
By Carol Kuruvilla/New York Daily News
Posted Friday, May 10, 2013, 7:59 PM
Autistic Boy with Higher IQ than Einstein Discovers His Gift after Removal from State-Run Therapy http://wakeup-world.com/2013/06/04/autistic-boy-discovers-gift-after-removal-from-state-run-therapy/
By Carol Wright/Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Posted Tuesday, June 4 2013
In general my experiences with gifted children have been a little heartbreaking. I taught ESE and Art in high school in a rural county, where the gifted students
were "released into the wild" after 8th grade. We had an extraordinary middle-school gifted teacher that found ways to incorporate all kinds of community
events into her social studies curriculum. The students participated in the local Medieval fairs, art and music events, and so on. The kids LOVED her!
At the time, district administrators were responding to a study that indicated the county jails/prison system housed a lot of young adults that were previously
identified as "gifted." My students gravitated to my art classes in hopes of fulling some sense of creative accomplishment ("an oasis," as my vice-principal
used to say). I avoided the teacher lunchroom, because I would hear comments like, "they just don't make gifted kids like they used to!" It was hard to stay
off my "Gifted DOES NOT necessarily mean high-achieving and vice-versa" soapbox! My students had little interest in following directions exactly or
executing someone else's ideas. Over the years I found that differentiating instruction and encouraging students to follow their thoughts was imperative.
Every student who applied to a 4-year art school (college/university) was accepted.
This was great, except that these students were children of "gifted" parents who mostly were unable to follow their dreams/impulses because of the attitudes of
their teachers. Many parents were hiding out in the rural county as alcoholics and the like (I am NOT generalizing). These parents did not support their
children's dreams. They would not help me or their children fill out scholarship or financial aide forms. The cycle continues. I realized that 2-3 years with me
for 1-4 hours a day was fairly meaningless in terms of their overall family experience. In fact, this very issue became the thesis of my dissertation.
Recently, I experienced one of the most challenging moments of my teaching career. I defended one of my most beloved students in court. As an 11th grade art
student, I discovered this brilliant kid could not read beyond a third grade level! I was flabbergasted! He was soooo intelligent, he picked up everything
"around" reading and was able to squeak through school thus far. He was identified as "gifted" in the third grade... but not SLD or Language Impaired. His
self-concept was so low, he struggled in his first year of college, dropped out, and hung with his buddies. He was charged with accessory to aggravated
robbery, assault, and kidnapping because he couldn't/wouldn't stand-up to his idiot friends and GET OUT OF THE CAR (small communities = everyone is
family). With my testimony, He was sent to prison with a reduced charge. However, he will still be 27 years old when he gets out of prison ::sigh::
So, what do I think are barriers, if any, exist for gifted students in schools today? I believe our attitudes and behaviors cause tremendous barriers. Most gifted
students do not demonstrate a zeal for learning, success, or a tenacious ability to perform academically across the curriculum. When screening for gifted
students in our county, I believe a lot of kids are being missed because they do not demonstrate achievement across all of the academic
spectrum. Additionally, the schools do not offer enough social-emotional and/or family support for gifted students. I am so tired of the high-achieving
mantra for gifted students. What happened to the Seven Intelligences (now eight are identified)?
In reference to Betts and Neilhart's (1988) matrix, Profiles of the Gifted and Talented, I suggest that all
but Type 1 (the Successful) and Type VI (the Autonomous Leaner) would demonstrate a significant
difference between potential and/or giftedness and performance and/or academic achievement.
Although both types (I & VI) may appear to have a positive self-concept, Type I may have an external
locus of control and Type VI may have an internal locus of control. However, the fundamental
difference between these two groups and all the others (Types II, III, IV, and V) seems to be poor self-
concept. In fact, Yates (1975) published a dissertation entitled, The Relationship between Self-
Concept and Academic Achievement Among Gifted Elementary Students." Using the Piers-Harris
Self-Concept scale, he measured the self-concept of 153 children gifted children (Full Scale IQ =/>125).
An excellent example is one of my gifted students. Up until his senior year of high-school, he was a
4.0++++ student. He completed as many AP courses as she could in both English and Math. At the
beginning of her Senior year he was recruited by several out-of-state Fine Art Schools and exclusive
colleges, with generous scholarships. Then he missed 15 days of school after the fall break and failed
his first semester exams. He became lethargic, withdrawn, and made several MySpace posts regarding
his state of mind. Very concerned, I had several discussions with him over time and eventually with
his mother. It seems shortly after he began receiving college acceptance letters, his father would
berate her with her "worthlessness" and the the "dangers of society." He threw her computer against a
tree, telling him "the MAN" was reaching through the technology and corrupting his mind, making
him think she could "BE SOMEBODY."
Good old dad spent hours discussing financial obligations, how college campuses were full of rapists and
users that would steal his ideas.... bla bla bla. It turns out both of his brilliant parents were/are
alcoholics and his older brothers (both adults) lived at home. As each child neared graduation, the
father would go into a yearlong tired. This student did not ever attend college but he did get away
from her parent's house in the woods.
"You are not showing me enough respect!," shouted my daughter as she slammed her bedroom door in my face. "Wow,"
you're probably thinking... "13-year old girls can be such a pain!. and they can be, except my daughter was 18 months
old! She has always been an extraordinary example of a child who is gifted in language. Math? She was definitely a good
mathematician, but she would smack her hand on her head (yes, she was 13 years old at THIS) and go into some long
dramatized story beginning with.. "I am such an idiot! I canNOT do math! I don't know what this problem is about,
and so on." Meanwhile, she easily whizzed through various math assessments, scoring well in math on the FCAT, PSAT,
ACT, and SAT. The problem was that she THOUGHT she was doing poorly in math because language was sooooo easy.
When she was three, she was a "model" for a program at the Washington State CDMRC. She said every little thought she
had in head, so she was part of a pre-school program that mixed percentages of "typical" kids with kids with language
and other types of disabilities. Suddenly she began to stutter. I was worried. The developmental psychologist on staff
assured me that this was a pretty typical event for kids who were/are very smart. They're brains are working faster than
their motor-skills. In other words, the physical process of speaking couldn't keep up with her cognitive process. The
psychologist told me to just give her some time, good eye-contact (and other behavioral supports) and the skills would
come together again.
This has continued on in many aspects of her development, although the most difficult was, and always has been, the
emotional asynchronous development. Additionally, she did not seem to learn from her mistakes as most typical
children do/did. She would repeat risky behaviors (walking across the street without looking, and so on) despite my
jumping up and down and screaming in terror!
In cognitive theory, we can only hold so much in working memory. I guess her mind in so busy working on her thoughts
about .... whatever... that she doesn't have time to worry about safety, common sense, or math facts. By the way... she is
23 now and is still alive.
Is an excellent resource for helping parents understand the social-emotional needs of their gifted children. In my
experience with my own daughter, and with my "gifted," and SLD and typical students throughout the years, if we
focused on their strengths and abilities... eventually the other skills would/will come along. This seems like just good
parenting and good teaching, to me.
"If our children do not get the opportunity to learn all they are able to learn, it is because not enough people insist on appropriate
education for them. As parents we must organize to become a respected and sizable force which can make a difference."
Gina Ginsberg Riggs, "A Call for Parent Advocacy," Understanding Our Gifted, March/April 1996. Retrieved from
In my opinion, those who "speak for the gifted" are parents, guardians, teachers, administrators, the community, AND the individuals who are
gifted. In thinking about advocacy and the ability too "speak," it might be best to a dialectical constructivist approach. As we interact socially
and intellectually with others, we educate ourselves and others, perhaps arrive at a definition and begin to identify those who have "gifted"
characteristics around us. It will never be enough to just define, identify, and go on. Like all human traits, characteristics, needs, wants, and
so on... we will have to consistently monitor and adjust our ideas.
An advocate may be a person or group of people who are concerned with social justice for all. Teachers must "stand in the constructivist" river and
continually challenge the status quo or current definition of "giftedness," especially where standardized testing and achievement are the
primary tool for identifying these characteristics. We were on such a good track in the '90s with Gardner's Theoery of Multiple
Intelligences... and now we are back into TEST TEST TEST.
As a professional in the field, my responsibilities are:
to educate myself, guardians, teachers, administrators, the community, AND the individuals who are gifted
to identify potential children with gifts and talents
to support teachers, families, and the students' social, emotional, and educational needs
to provide the best programming possible for my students, stay in compliance with school, district, state, and national rules and standards
and to HAVE FUN being creative!
After all, our school's shared values are: Justice, Integrity, and FUN!
At my school, only 3 out of 420 children are identified as gifted. This will be my first year as the Teacher for the Gifted (while also being an
advocate for ESE and Art), I am obviously going to be the advocate for my school. However... I have planned a lot of IN-SERVICE moments,
so maybe I will drag more people into my River of Dialectical Constructivism.
One of the most significant events in the identification and education of people who have exceptional abilities (the Gifted and Talented) was the first federal definition of “giftedness”
or The Marland Report (1972). Prior to that date, giftedness was determined by an Intelligence Quota (IQ) test, whereas two standard deviation above the mean (IQ = 130) or
more was considered “genius.”
The report noted that only a small percentage of this population was benefiting from established services and the majority of educators equated gifted with academic achievement.
The report broadened the definition of giftedness to include creative, psychomotor, as well as academic abilities. As a result, the Office of Gifted and Talented Education was
established, as well as various organizations, to support the development of methods and models for teaching children with exceptional gifts and talents, such as Howard
Gardner’s theories around Multiple Intelligences.
Unfortunately, the category of “psychomotor” giftedness was discontinued and currently, the definition of giftedness, although still multidimensional, is still largely based on IQ
scores and academic achievement in most states. Perhaps this is because schools are generally not equipped and teachers are not trained to work with social, emotional,
creative, interpersonal issues, and so on. Additionally, racism was/is a prevalent issue in government and higher education, perhaps the fear of “who might be considered
gifted” may be why psychomotor giftedness category was discontinued.
One of the truly fabulous methods and models for teaching children with exceptional gifts and talents that came out of this period, was Dr. Sandra Kaplan’s Differentiated Instruction
“Grid.” This model is based on cross-curricular thematic instruction that is scaffold to the learner’s needs. Specifically, when using Kaplan’s Grid, the teacher identifies a
relevant theme, appropriate content, processes (e.g., productive thinking skills, research skills, and basic skills), and products or evidence of student learning. Additionally,
reflections or “affective concerns” from the learner are important. This opportunity for metacognition allows students to choose how they demonstrate their learning.
Kaplan has gone on to work with colleges to further the concept of differentiated instruction with the Parallel Curriculum Model. This model has 10 key components, including pre-
assessments to establish areas of need, which may includes both remediation and extensions help teachers focus on strengths rather than weaknesses.
ascending levels of intellectual demand
Differentiated instruction and Parallel Curriculum methods have not only impacted the teaching of the exceptional children with gifts and talents, but also those children with
specific learning disabilities. These methods of instruction offer opportunities for schools and teachers to work with a broader range of student abilities in a single classroom as
well as students who may be gifted in some categories, subject areas, and so on, but perhaps disabled in others.
What is “gifted” anyway?
I believe a person defined as "gifted," may be someone with an extraordinary
ability (ies) and/or talent(s) in any one, or more, intellectual, functional, and/
or undefined (as of yet) domain(s). Measuring "giftedness" is a very "tricky"
Gifted students often stand out as "very and/or too focused on.... (fill in the blank
here with negative or positive attributes). As a parent, you will often receive (1)
that dreaded phone call from a teacher about three weeks into the quarter with
something like, "your child isn't living up to his/her potential" and/or "you
child is a behavior problem, he/she is fidgety, finishes work and then distracts
others" ..., (2) comments about inconsistent performance on progress reports,
and so on, and/or (3) exclamations of joy indicating that your child "is an
outstanding and creative student who consistently goes above and beyond
what is needed." Lucky you!
In any case, YOU WILL hear from your child's teacher(s)!