the West Virginia Department of Education
Most people agree that it
is not fair to require students identified as gifted to
do more of the same kind of work to fill in time when they
have correctly finished a classroom assignment before other
students in the class. Nor is it fair to ask those students
to complete extended activities in addition to their general
assignments. The idea that all students identified as gifted
enjoy more work is misguided. Not many people want to write
a report in addition to the project when everyone else just
does the project. (The Challenge, 2008) Experts agree that
gifted students don't need more work; they need a different
kind of work that is appropriate to their individual level
of academic achievement.
is it fair to ask students identified as gifted to do a
different kind of work; work that is more challenging and
demanding; higher in content and level of thinking?
parents complain when their child is asked to complete activities
with more rigor and complexity. Is this fair? If fair means
equal; the same instruction, the same assignments, the same
scoring guides; then, no, it is not fair. But if fair means
giving assignments at the student's appropriate level of
academic achievement, then, yes, it is fair. "We don't
require students to eat the same kinds of food or to participate
in the same after-school activities." (Tomlinson and
Doubet 2006) When we ask bright students to do work that
is a bit challenging for them, we are asking them to do
exactly what we're asking every other student to do: stretch,
learn something new, grow, make progress.
a child shows an interest and talent in music, for example,
the parents would probably try to provide private lessons.
The music teacher would assign music at or slightly above
the the child's demonstrated level. If a child showed promise
as a basketball or football player, the coach would direct
the player to the appropriate exercises to develop and extend
skills. Why wouldn't we apply this same concept to academics?
Please view my first attempt
at a blog for gifted education teachers in WV at http://giftededucationwv.blogspot.com
and add a comment. I have not added all gifted education
teachers yet, but will soon. Thanks!