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Gifted, Talented Program Limits Opportunities, Shows Few Results

Gifted+and+Talented+programs+are+meant+to+put+students+on+the+path+to+success+but+instead+can+negatively+impact+those+involved.+%28Sarah+Crowder+%2F+The+Talon+News%29.
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Gifted, Talented Program Limits Opportunities, Shows Few Results

Gifted and Talented programs are meant to put students on the path to success but instead can negatively impact those involved. (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News).

Gifted and Talented programs are meant to put students on the path to success but instead can negatively impact those involved. (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News).

©The Talon News | Sarah Crowder

Gifted and Talented programs are meant to put students on the path to success but instead can negatively impact those involved. (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News).

©The Talon News | Sarah Crowder

©The Talon News | Sarah Crowder

Gifted and Talented programs are meant to put students on the path to success but instead can negatively impact those involved. (Sarah Crowder / The Talon News).

Sarah Crowder, Reporter

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Schools across the country have Gifted and Talented (G/T) programs filled with “naturally gifted” kids who receive special attention and curriculum. The Texas Education Code defines one of these students as “exhibiting high-performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; possessing an unusual capacity for leadership; or excelling in a specific academic field.”

The way these programs are set up can hurt both the participants and those excluded from them.

Constantly telling kids that they’re smart and are inherently talented can lead to them feeling like they have a giant burden placed on them. From an early age, gifted kids can have difficulty asking questions as they think other people need the help more, and that they should already be able to understand the issue. When students are praised for their natural abilities, they can come to see having to work hard or struggle as a sign of incompetence. It can also come as a shock to these students when things don’t come as easy later on, often leading to increased levels of anxiety and potential depression.

The students who are denied access into G/T programs can also be impacted negatively. Being rejected can cause students to consider themselves lesser or not good enough because they didn’t make the mark. The distinction between the so-called gifted and nongifted students is often seen as uncrossable, despite entrance into these classes not necessarily being a good indicator of future successes. Rejection can be a serious blow to intelligent students, especially when parents frequently have a lot riding on G/T programs.

G/T Programs are important and can be good places for kids to explore new things and get one-on-one attention, but a study done by Scott Imberman, Sa A. Bui, and Steven G. Craig shows that they may not have as much of a positive effect. The study watched the standardized test scores of 14,000+ fifth graders, with a focus on students who had barely gotten into the program and those who had barely missed the mark. After following these students for a year and a half, the test scores of the two groups of students showed very little differences. Based on these results, Imberman didn’t find many benefits to gifted and talented classes.

Kids learn at different speeds and rates, so this should be taken into account when deciding classes. The idea of having G/T programs isn’t the problem, but the class and kids being put on a pedestal is. The way we perceive these “gifted” students, alienates them from those not in the class. We now have access to enough technology that each student can get a more specialized curriculum and attention, helping each student at their own pace.

 

Sources:

http://time.com/3698686/gifted-and-talented/

https://www.seebs.net/log/articles/565/gifted-child-syndrome

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/do-gifted-programs-improve-learning/282532/

https://www.txgifted.org/what-is-gifted

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About the Writer
Sarah Crowder, Reporter

Sarah Crowder is a reporter and writer for The Talon News. This is her second year involved with the Talon and UIL Journalism, and she has won multiple...

The student news site of Argyle High School
Gifted, Talented Program Limits Opportunities, Shows Few Results