2-ABOUT THE AUTHORS / SOBRE LOS AUTORES
3-MY PAPERS / MIS OPINIONES SOBRE LA EDUCACION DE SUPERDOTADOS
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Clark, B. (1988). Growing up gifted (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.
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Clark, R. (1983). Family life and school achievement: Why poor Black children succeed and fail. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
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Cohen, L. M. (1988, April 21). Immigrant children need aid, study says. The Boston Globe, p 25.
___________(1990). Meeting the needs of gifted and talented minority language students. ERIC EC Digest # E480. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, CEC.
Colangelo, N. & Davis, G. A. (1996). Handbook of gifted education. Allyn & Bacon.
Coleman, L. J. & Cross, T. L. (2000). Being Gifted in School. Prufrock Press.
Coleman, M. R., Gallagher, J. J., & Foster, A. (1994). Updated report on state polices related to the identification of gifted students. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gifted Education Policy Studies Program.
Colon, P. T., Treffinger, D. J. (1980). Providing for the gifted in the regular classroom: Am I really Mad? Roeper Review, 3(2), 18-21.
Corwin, M. (2001). And Still We Rise : The trials and triumphs of twelve gifted inner-city students. Harperperennial Library.
Council Exceptional Children. (2000). Federal outlook for exceptional children: Fiscal year 2001. Council Exceptional Children.
Dannenberg, A. C. (1984). "Meeting the needs of gifted & talented bilingual students: An introduction to issues and practices." Quincy: Massachusetts Department of Education, Office for Gifted and Talented.
Davis, G. A. & Rimm, S. (1997). Education of the gifted and talented. (4th edition). Allyn & Bacon.
Delisle, J. R. (1999). Once upon a mind: Stories and scholars of gifted child education.Wadsworth Pub Co;
__________(1999). Neither freak nor geek: the gifted among us. Education Week, Ocober 27. (www.edweek.org).
ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children. (1990). Giftedness and the gifted: What's it all about? ERIC Digest # E476. ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children, Reston, VA. CEC.
Fascilla, P., Hanninen, G. E., & Spritzer, D. (Eds.). (1991). The reform movement: Where do gifted students fit? Olympia, WA: Gifted Leadership Conference, c/o OSPI.
Feldhusen, J., Hansen, J., & Kennedy, D. (1989). Curriculum development for GCT teachers. Gifted Child Today, 12(6), 12-19.
Feldhusen, J., Hoover, S. & Sayler, M. (1990). Identifying and educating gifted students at secondary level. Trillium Press.
Feldman, R. D. & Schaden, Ch. (2000). Whatever happened to the quiz kids: The perils and profits of growing up gifted. iUniverse.com.
Ford, D. Y. (1993). Black students' achievement orientation as a function of perceived family achievement orientation and demographic variables. Journal of Negro Education, 62(1), 47-66.
__________(1995). A study of achievement and underachievement among gifted, potentially gifted, and regular education Black students. Storrs, CT: The University of Connecticut, National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.
_________(1996). Reversing underachievement among gifted Black students: Promising practices and programs. New York: Teachers College Press.
_________(2000). Infusing multicultural content into the curriculum for gifted students. ERIC EC Digest # E601. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, CEC.
Ford, D. Y., Harris, J., & Schuerger, J. M. (1993). Racial identity development among gifted Black students: Counseling issues and concerns. Journal of Counseling and Development, 71(4), 409-417.
Ford, D. & Harris, J. (1999). Multicultural gifted education. New York: Teachers College Press.
_________________(2000). A framework for infusing multicultural curriculum into gifted education. Roeper Review, 23(1),4-10.
Ford. D.Y., Howard, T.C., Harris, J., & Tyson, C.A. (2000). Creating culturally responsive classrooms for gifted minority students. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 23(4), 397-427.
Ford, D. Y. & Thomas, A. (1997). Underachievement among gifted minority students: Problems and promises. ERIC EC Digest # E544. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, CEC.
Fordham, S. (1988). Racelessness as a strategy in Black students' school success: Pragmatic strategy or pyrrhic victory? Harvard Educational Review, 58(1), 54-84.
Galbraith, J. (1996). The gifted kids survival guide: A teen handbook. Free Spirit Publishing.
Galbraith, J., Vinton, K. & Espeland, P. (2000). You know your child is gifted when... : A beginner's guide to life on the bright side. Free Spirit Publishing.
Gallagher, J. J. (1979). "Issues in education for the gifted." In A. H. Passow (Ed.), The gifted and the talented: Their education and development. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gardner, H. (1993). Frames of mind. New York: Bantam Books.
Goffin, S. G. (1988). Putting our advocacy efforts into a new context. The Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 43(3), 52-56.
Good, T. L. (1981). Teacher expectations and student perceptions: A decade of research. Educational Leadership, 38(5), 415-421.
Gratz, E., & Pulley, J. L. (1984). A gifted and talented program for migrant students. Roeper Review, 6(3), 147-149.
Gross, M.U. M. (1993). Exceptionally Gifted Children. Routledge.
Guyer, B. P. & Shaywitz, S. E. (2000). The pretenders: Gifted people who have difficulty learning. High Tide Press.
Hale-Benson, J. (1986). Black children: Their roots, culture, and learning styles (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Halsted, J. W. (1995). Some of my best friends are books: guiding gifted readers from preschool to high school. Gifted Psychology Press.
Hanninen, G. E. (1994). Blending gifted education and school reform. ERIC EC Digest # E525. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, CEC.
Harris, C. R. (1988, April). Cultural conflict and patterns of achievement in gifted Asian-Pacific children. Paper presented at the meeting of the National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education.
__________ (1993). Identifying and serving recent immigrant children who are gifted. ERIC EC Digest # E520. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, CEC.
Hawk, M., Tollefson, N. (1981). A para-educator model for gifted education. Roeper Review, 4(2), 35-37.
Heller, K. A. & Feldhusen, J. F. (1986). Identifying and nurturing the gifted: An international perspective. Hans Huber Publishing.
Hine, C. Y (1995). Cómo ayudar a su hijo a tener éxito en la escuela: Guía para padres Hispanos. NRC / GT
Holt, C. W. & Holt, D. (1998). Applying multiple intelligences to gifted education: I'm not just an IQ score! (Spiral edition). Gifted Education Press.
Irby, B. J. & Lara-Alecio, R. (1996). Attributes of Hispanic gifted bilingual students as perceived by bilingual educators in Texas. NYSABE Journal, Volume 11, Fall.
Jacobs, H., & Borland, J. (1986). The interdisciplinary concept model: Theory and practice. Gifted Child Quarterly, 30(4), 159-163.
Kerr, B. ( ). Handbook for counseling the gifted and talented.
Kiesa, K. (2000). Uniquely gifted: Identifying and meeting the needs of the twice exceptional student (An Avocus Advocacy in Education Title). Avocus Publishing.
Kitano, M. K. (1986). "Gifted and talented Asian children." Rural Special Education Quarterly, 8(1), 9-13.
Kluger, J. & Park, A. (2001). The quest for a superkid. Time, April 30.
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Logan, K. S. (2000). A compendium of research-based information on the education of gifted and talented students: March 1997. DIANE Publishing Co
Machado, M. (1987, February). "Gifted Hispanics under-identified in classrooms." Hispanic Link Weekly Report, p.1.
Maker, C. J. (1982). Curriculum development for the gifted. Rockville, MD: Aspen Systems Corporation.
Maker, C. J. & King, M. A. (1996). Nurturing giftedness in young children. Council of Exceptional Children.
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Parnes, S.J. (1966). Programming creative behavior. Buffalo, NY: The State University of New York at Buffalo.
Passow, A.H. (1982). Differentiated curricula for the gifted / talented. In Curricula for the gifted: Selected proceedings for the First National Conference on Curricula for the Gifted/Talented (pp. 4-20). Ventura, CA: National/State Leadership Training Institute on the Gifted and Talented.
Pirto, J. (1998). Talented children and adults: Their development and education. Prentice Hall.
Poplin, M. S., & Wright, P. (1983). The concept of cultural pluralism: Issues in special education. Learning Disability Quarterly, 6 (4), 367-372.
Porter, L. (1999). Gifted young children: A guide for teachers and parents. Open Univ Press.
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Prom-Jackson, S., Johnson, S. T., & Wallace, M. B. (1987). Home environment, talented minority youth, and school achievement. Journal of Negro Education, 56(1), 111-121.
Ramirez, B. A. (1988). Culturally and linguistically diverse children. Teaching Exceptional Children, 20 (4), 45-51.
Renzulli, J. (1986). The three ring conception of giftedness: A developmental model for creative productivity. In R. J. Sternberg and J. E. Davidson (Eds.), Conceptions of giftedness (pp. 53-92). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Rimm, Sylvia B. (1994). Keys to parenting the gifted child (Barron's Parenting Keys) Barrons Educational Series.
Rogers, K. (1991). The relationship of grouping practices to the education of the gifted and talented learner: An executive summary. Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.
Rogers, T. (2000). Fellow nerds: Lets celebrate nerdiness! Newsweek, December 11.
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Schmitz, C. C. & Galbraith, J. (1985). Managing the social and emotional needs of the gifted. Free Spirit Publishing.
Schwartz, L. L. ( ). Why give gifts to the gifted?: Investing in a national resource.
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Silverman, L. K. (1993). Counseling the gifted and talented. Love Publishing Company.
Sisk, D. (1987). Leadership a special type of giftedness. Trillium Press.
_______(1987). Creative teaching of the gifted. McGraw Hill College Div.
Sounders, J. Espeland, P. (1991). Bringing out the best: A resource guide for parents of young gifted children. Free Spirit Publishing.
Southern, S. T. & Jones, E. D. ( 1991). The academic acceleration of gifted children: Education and Psychology of the Gifted. Teachers College Press.
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Strip, C. A. & Hirsch, G. (2000). Helping gifted children soar. Gifted Psychology Press.
Subotnik, R. F. & Arnold, K. D. (1994). Beyond Terman: Contemporary longitudinal studies of giftedness and talent (Creativity Research Series). Ablex Publishing Corp;
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The Association of the Gifted (TAG). (1989). Standards for programs involving the gifted and talented. Reston, VA: The Council for Exceptional Children.
Torrance, E. P. & Sisk, D. (1998). Gifted and talented children in the regular classroom.Pieces of Learning.
Trueba, H. T. (1983). Adjustment problems of Mexican and Mexican-American students: an anthropological study. Learning Disability Quarterly, 6 (4), 395-415.
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VanTassel-Baska, J. (1989). Appropriate curriculum for the gifted. In J. Feldhusen, J. VanTassel-Baska, & K. Seeley (Eds.), Excellence in educating the gifted (pp. 175-191). Denver: Love.
________________(1989). The role of the family in the success of disadvantaged gifted learners. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 13(1), 22-36.
VanTassel-Baska, J., Feldhusen, J., Seeley, K., Wheatley, G., Silverman, L., & Foster, W. (1988). Comprehensive curriculum for gifted learners. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Vasquez, J. A. (1988). Contexts of learning for minority students. The Educational Forum, 6 (3), 243-253.
Vuong, V. (1988). Finding solutions. In New voices, immigrant voices in U.S. public schools. National Coalition of Advocates for Students. (Research Rep. No. 1988-1). Boston, MA.
Webb, J. T. (1989). Guiding the gifted child. Gifted Psychology Press
Webb, J. T. & Devries, A. (1998). Gifted parent groups: The Seng model. Gifted Psychology Press.
Wei, T. (1983). The Vietnamese refugee child: Understanding cultural differences. In D. Omark & J. Erickson (Eds.), The Bilingual Exceptional Child. San Diego: College-Hill Press.
Whitmore, J. R. (1985). Developing individualized education programs (IPEs) for the gifted and talented. ERIC EC Digest # E359. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, CEC.
_____________(1980). Giftedness, conflict, and underachievement. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Whitmore, J.R. & Maker, C. J. (1985). Intellectual giftedness in disabled persons. Rockville, MD: Aspen Systems Corporation.
Winebrenner, S. & Espeland, P. (2000). Teaching gifted kids in the regular classroom: Strategies and techniques every teacher can use to meet the academic needs of the gifted and talented (Revised and Updated Edition). Free Spirit Publishing.
Winner, Ellen (1997). Gifted children: Myths and realities. HarperCollins.
Yahnke, S. & Perry, S. K. (1991). The survival guide for parents of gifted kids. Free Spirit Publishing.
Note: Part of the information about the following authors was taken from Nature and Needs of Students who are Gifted, edited by the Bureau of Education for Exceptional Students, Florida Department of Education.
Dr. James R Delisle is an assistant professor of special education at Kent State University in Ohio. He is an editor for the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Association for the Gifted (TAG) and he serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Reoper Review, Gifted Children's Monthly, and Journal for the Education of the Gifted.
Ms. Pamela Espeland is senior editor for Free Spirit Publishing. She has authored or coauthored 15 books for children and adults. She has edited nearly 200 titles on a variety of subjects, specializing in nonfiction for young people, parents, and teachers. She graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Dr. John Feldhusen is a leader in the field of gifted education. He is the director of the Gifted Education Resource Institution (GERI) at Pardue University in Indiana and is currently the editor of Gifted Child Quarterly published by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).
Dr. Donna Y. Ford (http://www.coe.ohio-state.edu/dyford/): Professor of Special Education at the Ohio State University (OSU). She teaches courses in gifted education, and focuses extensively on students in urban communities. Prior to coming to OSU, she was an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia, and a researcher with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. Dr. Ford also taught at the University of Kentucky. Professor Ford earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Urban Education (educational psychology) (1991), Masters of Education degree (counseling) (1988), and Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and Spanish (1984) from Cleveland State University.
Ms Judy Galbraith is the founder and owner of Free Spirit Publishing Co., which specializes in books for and about youth who are gifted, talented and creative. She has a Bachellor of Arts degree in education and Master of Arts degree in guidance and counseling of the gifted.
Dr. Barbara Kerr is Professor of Psychology in Education at Arizona State University. Her Ph.D. (University of Missouri) and M.A. (Ohio State University) are in Counseling Psychology. Dr. Kerr was Associate Director of the Belin National Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa and established a guidance center for gifted youth at the University of Nebraska.
Dr. C. June Maker received her doctorate in gifted education and education of the learning disabled from the University of Virginia. She is currently a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Dr. Sylvia Rimm (http://www.sylviarimm.com/): Dr Rimm directs Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Families come from all over the United States for help. Dr. Rimm speaks and publishes nationally on family and school approaches to guiding children toward achievement. She is a dynamic speaker who fascinates audiences, speaking on many topics, tailoring her educational talks to the special themes of the audience.
Dr. Dorothy Sisk currently at Lamar University, Texas, received her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). From 1976 until 1979, she served as the director of the Office of the Gifted and Talented in Washington, D.C. From 1983 until 1985, she served as the executive director of the World Council for the Gifted and Talented. She was a key factor developing programs for the gifted at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Dr Lewis Terman (1877-1956), Psychologist who received his Ph D. in education and psychology from Clark University in 1905. In 1910, he joined the faculty of education at Stanford University, where he remained until his retirement in 1942. He contributed the term"IQ" to the American language. He developed a version of the test for measuring intelligence created by Binet-Simon, subsequently known as the Stanford-Binet Test. He is known as the father of gifted child research in the U.S.
Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska (http://www.wm.edu/education/Faculty/VanTB/): She is a professor of education at the College of William and Mary and Director of the Center for Gifted Education. Formerly she initiated and directed the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University. She also has served as state director of gifted programs in Illinois. She is the editor of Gifted and Talented International, a Journal of the World Council for the Gifted and Talented Children.
Dr. James T. Webb is professor at the School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. Professor Webb directs the SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of Gifted) program which provides diagnostic and counseling services for gifted children and their families and trains doctoral psychologists.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children. (1990). Giftedness and the
gifted: What's it all about? ERIC Digest # E476. ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped
and Gifted Children, Reston, VA. CEC.
The article explains the definition of giftedness, describes the major traits of
gifted students and the different areas of giftedness. It also includes a list of frequent
behaviors observed in gifted children. Another important issue addressed by the
authors is the concept of intelligence, how to measure it, and its relationship with
giftedness. The authors mention repeatedly our textbook Growing up Gifted
(Clark, 1988) and the works / opinions of other important scholars like Howard
Gardner and Joseph Renzulli.
When analyzing the concepts of giftedness and intelligence and the
relationship between the two, the authors dont address something so important as
how these aptitudes depend on the genetic heritage of the individual and / or the
environmental influence he / she received: nature vs nurture, and whether human
talents and capabilities are fixed or not. Nothing is said about brain research and
how it has shown that gifted children and adults are different, not at birth, but
mostly as the result of environmental opportunities. They suggest that ...you
wrestle with the terms in your own way, ... and you should not ...become bogged
down in probing into the concept of intelligence. Its intricacies and mysteries are
fascinating, but it must not become a convenient synonym for giftedness. However,
our textbook (p. 26-27) recognizes a relationship and defines giftedness as a label for
a high level / development of intelligence. They say nothing about the highly and
exceptionally gifted individuals
I agree with the way the authors present the definition of giftedness showing
how broad, intricate, and controversial it is and also agree with their brief analysis
with regard to elitism / gifted education. I missed some mention to the fact that the
road to social acceptance for gifted children is a tough one, maybe because of the
issue of elitism, and that our culture is intolerant of unseen yet obvious human
differences, perhaps as a result of the struggles for equal rights for all, high
standards for all, etc, etc. This problem is even more serious among the students
who identify gifted children as nerds, freaks, and / or geeks. I hope well all reach a
better understanding about these topics for the benefit of our
gifted and talented.
# E510. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education, CEC.
This article adequately shows the fact that gifted children, because of their
personal and unique needs, require a differentiated curriculum through which they
can learn / experience ...more advanced or complex concepts, abstractions, and
materials., ...more advanced learning activities, not more of the same activity. It
has been confirmed by many scientific studies that assigning gifted students to
regular classes leads to the loss of their abilities, to a regression. The author, even
when she doesnt analyze the issue in-depth, mentions in the first paragraph the
existence of different ways to provide that special curriculum. She puts the emphasis
in the acceleration programs disregarding the value of enrichment programs. I think
that you need to combine both in order to really meet the needs
of these students.
According to other readings, one of the first things you should do is to identify
the distinct needs, preferences, learning styles and personal talents or abilities of
each student and then develop individualized education programs (IEPs) for every
one of them; later, you and them have to determine the goals and objectives to
achieve during the year. The curriculum must be designed to address and satisfy all
of this. I missed this part in the article. Another missing element is the
homogeneous grouping according to personal abilities / talents in regular
classrooms or in gifted programs, following the experiences accumulated by the
promoters of cooperative learning.
The author suggests the use of an interdisciplinary approach, a thematic,
broad-based, and integrative content, a ...more elaborated, complex, and in-depth
(set of) concepts and ideas... for middle and high schools with which I agree, in
order to expose them to a more challenging learning experience. She briefly
mentions the convenience of flexible pacing and guided self-management, but I
didnt see an analysis of the role of independent study, mentorships and internships as
important components of a differentiated curriculum. The proposed choices for
alternative assessment are really limited. The importance and characteristics of
effective teachers in developing and enforcing a differentiated curriculum for the
gifted was ignored in the article. However, I think she makes her point with regard
to the need of developing special programs for the gifted and talented and that these
programs should be appropriate for addressing the individual needs of those
Cohen, L. M. (1990). Meeting the needs of gifted and talented minority language
students. ERIC EC Digest #E480. ERIC Clearinghouse on Disables and Gifted
As part of the nature and needs of the gifted child, a very important element
to consider is the special characteristics and needs of the minority language gifted
student, including in this group those children that just arrived: the recent
immigrants. I think this topic is particularly relevant for us because many of our
students are in that category. Thats why I chose this article. One of the major issues
within this theme is the identification of the minority language students who are
gifted and the most important consequence when we dont do this: many of those
gifted children become underachievers, troublemakers, and/or
The author states very clearly and directly that Giftedness is not a trait
inherent to native English speakers..., that you can find gifted and talented
students in every culture. She also explains that there are special talents that are
more important in some cultures than in others and that some of these youngsters
have different learning styles and ways to demonstrate their knowledge. Another
important fact mentioned in the article, which is affecting minority language gifted
students, is that the standardized tests used to measure giftedness are in English.
This is the major reason why these children are underrepresented in gifted
programs; Table 1 is a solid proof of that. Fortunately, the policy of Miami-Dade is
to test Hispanic students in Spanish or Haitian students in Creole. I also agree with
the authors recommendation of using multiple assessment measures to give these
students more opportunities to show their talents. Once in the gifted program, she
suggests the use of alternative instructional strategies to address the needs of these
students that do require the mastery of the language, such as visits to museums and
the availability of a resource room in the school. She recommends the creation of
bilingual gifted programs which is a great idea. Another proposition in the article is
the use of mentors and I would add mentors who come from the same culture and
that speak the language of the students. The author also advises about the lack of
research on gifted and talented minority language
I consider that this is a really good article. However, one issue left out is that
many minority language students not only have to struggle with the problems
derived from speaking a different language but with the economic limitations that
result from being an immigrant. Many of these children live in poverty, have to
work after school to help their families and provide for themselves. Some of them
develop cross-cultural stress and conflicts of self-identity as a result of the process of
adapting to a new environment, new friends, etc., etc. These are only some of the
reasons that could lead to the transformation of gifted students into underachievers
and school troublemakers. We already know that poor self-esteem, frustration and
low academic and social self-concepts contribute significantly to poor student
achievement. We as teachers and the society must be aware of this reality and do
our best to identify and help these students to succeed, to overcome their problems. I
also consider that promoting a multicultural education would be an important
element to support gifted minority language students in our classrooms. That will
make the regular students more sensitive and it will develop the self-esteem of the
Webb, J. (1994). Nurturing social emotional development of gifted children. ERIC
Digest E527, Council for Exceptional Children.
These two articles discuss the social, emotional and behavioral problems
experienced by gifted children and the need for awareness and the appropriate
treatment by teachers, counselors and administrators. Among these problems, the
authors mention experiencing ridicule, excessive self-criticism, poor self-esteem,
perfectionism, social isolation, alienation, avoidance of risk-taking, boredom, and
uncertainty. Some of these situations are the result of the response of the other
students and teachers to the intellectual ability, outspokenness, and nonconformist
attitude of the gifted children. Some other reasons observed by Mr Alvino are the
facts that gifted children are ...supersensitive to issues and concerns not considered
by most of their peers. (...) and they ...display high standards of truth and
morality. This author also says that ...there is a lack of formal counseling taking
place in even the most established gifted programs in this country. Far more
attention is given to the gifted childs cognitive development than to his / her
emotional needs. In addition to that, Mr. Webb says that gifted children are
unusual by definition; they are more creative, do not conform and challenge
traditions and expectations, and frequently suffer depressions. Webb also sentences
that Teaching, no matter how excellent or supportive, can seldom counteract
inappropriate parenting. Finally they offer a set of guidelines prevent or solve
Personally, I think that we as teachers should take care of the cognitive and
affective needs of our students. Every day we see more and more resources that the
students can use to learn content matter; the Internet is opening almost unlimited
sources of knowledge for every child. However, the social and emotional problems
affecting our children are increasing and being more complex every day; from
divorce, busy parents, youth violence, drugs to global terrorism and war. I totally
agree with Mr. Alvino about the fact that counselors in our schools do everything
but counseling. They are overloaded with bureaucratic assignments (registering,
scheduling, and / or taking care of referrals). Today, the true essence and most
important function of modern teaching should be counseling; the social and
emotional needs of the students should be at the core of that counseling. In my
particular case, I believe that Social Studies teachers like myself have to play a key
role dealing with these issues. We have to rethink the whole thing, the definition of
what a teacher is suppose to do and what schools are for. This is why I disagree with
Mr Webb when he overstates the importance of the role of parents and diminishes
what we as teachers can do.
Some great students, many of them gifted, have observed that their schools
are places in which ...you have to be in silence, accommodate and retreat, live in a
pervasive and debilitating servility, suffer the cruel indifference of the system...;
...an environment that values conformity of behavior and punishes deviation,
designed to promote standardization... (something close to the assembling line);
places where young people are ...treated as students, as things, as raw materials, as
creatures of the system..., instead of as human beings full of emotions and personal
circumstances. They argue that even if they are gifted, they are still human and
make mistakes, and have problems; that being gifted doesnt necessarily mean being
happier, healthier, more successful, socially adept, or more secure. I agree with those
who believe that teaching is more than following the rules of school boards or
administrators, more than transmitting information; teaching is understanding your
students, trying to help them, loving them. Unfortunately, teachers are more and
more vulnerable to different types of liabilities like lawsuits and the teaching
profession -like many others- is more and more restrained by the bureaucracy ruling
over it. It is unfeasible to even know the names and personal weaknesses of your
students when you have 200 of them.
It is true that idealism, self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, perceptiveness,
sensitivity, high levels of inner conflict, tendency to look for perfection, deep
concerns with morality and justice, desperate needs for understanding, acceptance,
and love are disturbing issues for the gifted children and for many other young
people too. Girls are exposed to even more difficult situations as a result of
deep-seated cultural taboos and social assumptions. Traditionally, the affective
domain has been seen as part of the responsibilities of parents and the school has
been charged with the cognitive domain. But, I dont think that is valid any more.
Underachieving students, young people consuming drugs, youth violence,
frustration, suicide, and rejection of school are some of the consequences of this
misunderstanding. Most of the times, the children are not to blame for these
problems, but we are. Some scholars are suggesting the creation of a counseling
consortium within the school district, made up of mental health specialists in the
community, social workers, psychologists, and counselors to provide the services
(social and emotional) that our students need; they propose the establishment of
parent education services and counseling seminars. I dont think that more
institutions or agencies are needed, but to allow the teachers to be teachers, to play
the role they should play; to treat the students as young human beings instead of as
parts, customers or patients. I believe that we have to accept the objective
limitations of parents struggling with their lack of time to invest in their children,
mostly in poor neighborhoods like ours.
We as the teachers of the new millennium should have the time and real
possibilities to fulfill our duty as mentors, role models, facilitators, and counselors of
our students, to help them to grow as the natural result of understanding and
managing their emotions and social needs, to link the knowledge they are acquiring
with their personal lives and the society around them, to overcome their problems.
Of course, we should receive a special training to do this job. If we fail to provide
this, we may produce a society of emotional disturbed people, and with regard to the
gifted kids in particular, we may lose our most advanced
Carlos J. Diaz
Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education (ERIC EC). The Council for
Exceptional Children. ED321495.
The author explains how difficult the process of choosing a college and a career
is. He argues that gifted students have more problems than most other students
going through this situation. The essence of the article is the need for a coherent and
long-range college planning program that should start in seventh grade. Ms Gerger
suggests that in the initial period (7th & 8th) guidance activities should focus on
career awareness. During the second level (9th & 10th) students have to identify and
persue their particular interests, to find out how their academic subjects, interests,
and goals relate to careers. Finally, during the last stage (11th & 12th) guidance
activities should be directed toward mentor relationships and internships. Also,
students have to learn how they will be evaluated, how colleges make selections, how
the admission process works, and so on. Next, the author discusses the process that
students should go through to learn about the different colleges. According to what I
understood, the article is mostly focused on the work of counselors and it is very
Personally, I see vocational guidance as a very important and neglected field in
our schools, not only for the gifted students but for all of them. We do some things,
but that is not enough. As I have said before, our counselors have an overwhelming
bureaucratic burden on their shoulders and in real life, the least work they do is
about counseling. In high school we offer many vocational / elective courses like auto
mechanics, typing, home economics, cosmetology, driving, and many others. But I
feel that we need a more comprehensive course to explain and prepare our students
for the thousands of choices they have after they finish high school. Perhaps, one for
those who are planning to go to a four-years college, and another for those who
prefer or need to learn a trade or technical career in a two-years period. We should
teach them in a classroom and following an structured curriculum about schools,
programs, and courses available, requirements, tests, paperwork, applications, costs,
scholarships and financial aid, jobs related to those courses, historical statistics
about the demand for those professionals, salaries, and possibilities for professional
development after graduation. We should organize field trips to the universities,
technical colleges, factories or corporations related to the different careers. And, of
course, we must use the mentorships and the internships
Subject matter teachers can and should help, but we have not even enough time
to cover our particular contents and in most of the cases we dont have the
information either. Vocational teachers are also specialists in their own field only.
We need teachers of vocational guidance and this must be a require course for all
high school students. A formal counselor serving 400 students from an office,
giving interviews of 20 minutes once a year is not the solution. The multiple options,
the complexity of the process, and the importance of this for our students are crying
for a real answer to such a significant issue. Deciding about your future when you
are only 17 is a very difficult thing. If you dont have the resources to pay for your
education and you dont know about your options, you will probably decide
wrongly. This is the case of the majority of our students; this is not a problem
affecting gifted students, but all of our students.
According to my experience, the following practices and ideas may be useful
when teaching gifted students:
can not be avoided by the teacher. Considering that counselors have a heavy
bureaucratic burden, we are the closest school professional they have. Each one
of them is a different human being, with different
designed and push more and more to promote standardization. Frequently,
students are treated as things, as raw materials, as creatures of the system,
instead of as individual human beings full of emotions and personal
circumstances. Gifted students are still human and make mistakes, and have
problems; because they are gifted, it doesnt necessarily mean that they are
happier, healthier, more successful, socially adept, or more secure. I agree with
those who believe that teaching is more than following the rules of school boards
or administrators, more than transmitting information; teaching is
understanding your students, trying to help them, loving
them that is OK to get a C from time to time, that every person makes
mistakes. I believe and try to teach my students that what is really important is
doing your best in anything you do. Sometimes you cant be the best or achieve
great results and thats OK. Nobody is good in everything. Frequently, people
are not going to recognize or reward what you do, and we have to learn to live
with that. I also believe that effort, dedication, and tenacity are even more
important or at least so important as intelligence.
question what we say or disagree with us. These are children with opinions.
Teachers should be proud of having students like these instead of being afraid or
upset. Debate and disagreement are the best source for learning. However, I
believe that we all need certain structure for learning. Its wrong giving these
students too much freedom. But of course, they should have
options and choices.
drills and activities used for killing time. Lecturing for long periods of time is not
a good idea. We must look for interesting academic materials, use technology,
audiovisuals, and challenging exercises.
can do a lot to stimulate their self esteem. Personally, I select the best students
and best teams in all my classes every month and give them awards; I publish
their names in my webpage and put them in the classroom Honor Roll. In
general, teenagers are very sensitive to recognition, rewards, and being cool. For
gifted students this feeling use to be even stronger.
relations. I ask them to work in teams, but they are free to join the team they
prefer, to name their teams, even to change teams if some of them decide to do
so. The more gifted the student, the more evident this situation. Ive noticed that
these children enjoy being useful to their teams, being
recognized by their peers.
of doing research projects. Some of the more advanced gifted students in my
classes frequently prefer to present their projects in web pages they design or
power point presentations particularly created for this purpose, instead of using
the traditional poster boards. I really enjoy this. They always do great in pop
quizzes, readings and standard tests. Then, we have to design more challenging
ways of assessment.
reject illogical and impositions. I believe this is good and we must promote the
idea of creating a better world, but we should also prepare them for real life, and
many times life is not fair or logical. This is a major part of
the Social Studies.
learning subject matters. We can be tutors, mentors, advisors and counselors for
our students. We should try to help them with their dilemmas and concerns like
we help our own children, of course not forgetting the limitations and liabilities
inherent to our legal system. Permanent contact with parents is a powerful tool,
even in the case of very busy parents.
motivation and other qualities typically found among these children. Because
schools receive additional money for this program, mistakes may be done
selecting how many students should be part of it. I think that teachers must
identify and propose the exclusion of those interfering with the good functioning
of this great program.
Carlos J. Diaz
Torrance, E. P. (199?). A national climate for creativity and invention. Gifted Child
Today. No.??, Month ??, pp. ??-??.
Some of the key issues addressed in this article are: many inventors were school
dropouts and their creativity was never recognized in school; creativity can not be
measured using IQ tests; during the late 50s and early 60s the US government
promoted and funded studies and research about creativity, science, invention, etc.
as a result of the space race with the former Soviet Union; in Japan (and
Germany) the government promotes a more favorable climate for creativity than in
the USA; most of prominent scientists and inventors have their interests aroused by
the age of 12; there is a lot of controversy with regard to the teachability of
invention skills or with the idea that people can be trained to invent; many
educators believe that inventive talent may be encouraged by adequate programs
and that we can help gifted youth to develop future career images of themselves as
creators and inventors; if the society encourages some type of activity, profession, or
finding answers for a particular problem or social need, the people and the solutions
will appear; western creative process is a linear process; in Asia, people prefer
intuitive over logical thinking.
In order to create a national climate for creativity and invention in the USA, the
author proposes to value ...adventurousness, willingness to try difficult tasks,
independence in thinking and judgment, courageousness of convictions,
industriousness, high energy level, determination, persistence, self-confidence, sense
of humor, versatility, willingness to take a risk, and curiosity. He says that these
characteristics were essential components of the pioneer
I believe that America has been the most creative and inventive nation in human
history or at least in modern times. This is a young country, attracting and receiving
the best minds of the world and the fresh blood of millions of immigrants; our
environment of freedom of ideas, democracy, law and order, spirit of
entrepreneurship and competition, and individualism has been a powerful pulling
factor for all these people. The own nature of America has promoted creativity and
inventiveness. This was our key advantage defeating Communism. Today, we are the
most powerful nation on earth, the only superpower in a new
The social mood in these new era is different from the one moving people to the west
and fighting against the forces of nature. We are more obese today, more concern with
the stock market and our 401(k)s and our children waste hours playing video games.
During the last 10 years we hadn't a significant enemy to defeat; now we have terrorism.
Since the 1960s, education hasnt been a priority for our government; we are ranking
in the last places in every international competition related to educational / academic results.
The years when president Theodore Roosevelt was the hero fighting against the evil
monopolies trying to control our country or the years when another Roosevelt used the
powers of the federal government to regulated corporations and redistribute the wealth,
helping the poor, those days, are long gone.
Today we stand in the doorstep of a new millennium..., quoting a recurrent phrase
used in a satirical movie (Bulworth); this is the era of the global corporations, not of
the small businesses; this is a period of centralization, not of free competition. This is
the era of Microsoft and the collapse of the dot coms.
Our education is not a system; its not consistent and persistent, but a stained-glass
formed by many different ways of teaching, many distinct forms and methods, and
the practice of constant experimentation and the permanent search for new things.
Most teachers promote memorization instead of critical thinking; the prevailing type
of assessment used in schools is the multiple choice test, instead of essay questions;
we teach subjects that are irrelevant for advancing creativity and scientific
innovation in detriment of the core subjects; we have more content to teach and less
time to teach it every year; the classrooms of the average American school are more
overcrowded every year; schools are more concern with the quantity of their
graduates than with the quality.
I see an era of revolutionary technological changes and innovations controlled by
powerful corporations and a large dose of political rhetoric always promising a
better education for everyone, but not providing an effective and real national
climate promoting higher academic standards, but cutting social funds and
eliminating good programs instead; I see that the common American is becoming less
creative, more conforming, less independent and more vulnerable (like those poor
guys working for ENRON). I see that after the 1920s we are trying to push back
immigrants instead of attracting them.
Today, as always, there are many smart children out there, gifted individuals
hungry for knowledge and for having the opportunity to become scientists,
inventors, artists, etc. I believe that we as teachers should struggle against all the
adversities and give our students the best, should fight against mediocrity and
conformity, promote creativity and independence, teach that it is possible to be
better human beings and that history has always been an evolutionary process of
continuous improvements. At least, I will try to do it
Carlos J. Diaz
Torrance, E.P. & Goff, K. (1990). Fostering academic creativity in gifted students.
ERIC Digest # E484. ERIC No. ED321489.
The article defines academic creativity as a way of thinking about, learning, and
producing information in school subjects...; as ...the ability to sense problems,
inconsistencies, and missing elements.... It also says that creative individuals are
...aware of the special excitement (of being creative). and that ...creative learning
occurs when people become curious and excited... (motivated?). However, the
authors explain that most teachers and standardized tests prefer to use learning by
authority instructional strategies and types of assessment (recognition, memory,
and logical reasoning); that ...teachers and administrators sometimes believe that is
more economical to learn by authority. They say that ...children prefer to learn in
creative ways, that they are naturally curious and wonder about people and the
world; but they add that ...we (parents and teachers) place many restrictions on
childrens desire to explore the world.
The authors dont mention the real reasons why most schools and their teachers are
limited to promote creativity in their students: overcrowded classrooms; too much
content to cover and other activities to take care of in less time every year; students
with socio-economic problems that the school cannot solve, but still seriously affect
those students learning; student that dont belong in a high school because of lack of
interest in academic subject matters or because they are placed there by age and not
according to their real school level which provokes frustration when they cant deal
with the academic burden; students with disciplinary problems that are sent back
again and again to the classrooms and teachers have to deal with them every day
instead of teaching those who really want to learn; administrative and curriculum
constrains (resources, time, procedures and rules) that limit the possibility of using
creative instructional strategies; the good ideas of some teachers are kept in their
classrooms because of professional isolation; schools have to keep teachers without
professional motivation and interest of improvement as long as they do not seriously
violate some law; some students are placed in special programs (Honors, Gifted, AP)
not because their real academic excellence and motivation, but to increase the
numbers and receive more funds. The article doesnt mention the problems affecting
parents who live in neiborghoods like ours, just trying to survive and without the
time, resources and mood to help their children to be academic
I agree with the authors when they say that wise teachers can offer a curriculum
with plenty of opportunities for creative behaviors; that (we) teachers should be
respectful of students questions and ideas and appreciate their creative efforts; that
covering too much material with no opportunity for reflection interfere seriously
with the effort to promote creativity among the students. However, I also believe
that the idea of Less is More is being used to excuse the negligence of some
teachers that dont care about teaching, that students have the right to be exposed
and receive all the content of the subject matter they are supposed to learn and not
half or one third of it depending on the will and desires of each teacher, using
creativity or any other philosophy as an excuse. The whole problem is that the
time assigned to teach core subjects is insufficient in the first place, to give time to
many electives introduced in high schools as part of some other
The authors mention that parents and teachers promote ...conforming behaviors
such as being courteous and obedient, following rules, being like others. While these
are desirable traits to some extent, they may also destroy a childs creative
potential. I agree that when you are teaching real special students (gifted, honors)
in small classes, you should sacrifice, to certain point, structure, order and other
constrains, in order to allow and promote creativity, ingeniousness and academic
excellence. But thats not the case in most high school classrooms. Then, in a regular
environment, teachers have to enforce standard classroom rules if they are to be in
control, keep discipline, and try to cover their curriculum (all mandatory things
established by most school boards and whose violation may cause a teachers
I think that in most types of classes, motivated teachers can and should encourage
curiosity, fantasy and questioning, prepare children for new experiences, try to find
ways to change some students destructive behavior into constructive, should teach
their students that there is not only one right way to do things and urge them to find
new and different ways. I believe that teachers must teach and be compassionate, be
motivated and real professionals. I strongly believe that our educational system has
to guarantee the right environment to keep these qualities alive in all teachers and
get rid of those who lose them.
Carlos J. Diaz
Scott, M.S., Perou, R., Urbano, R., Hogan, A., and Gold, S. (1992). The Identification
of giftedness: A comparison of White, Hispanic and Black families. In Gifted Child
Quarterly, 36(3), 131-139.
This article presents the findings of a study about the underrepresentation of
minority students in gifted programs. The authors wanted to determine whether the
causes of this problem are in the referral process or in the assessment process. They
sent a survey to White, Hispanic and Black parents of children in a gifted program
of large urban schools, asking key questions about the identification and referral
process. Major differences were found with regard to the percentage of minority
parents requesting an evaluation of their children for possible placement, even
though they knew, like the White parents, that their children were gifted. At the
same time, they knew from other studies that Black and Native American children
were over represented in special education programs.
We all know that the socio-economic circumstances, culture and legal status play a
very important role in how a family is aware, gets involved and actively participates
in the school affairs of their children, in other community activities, and in politics.
We all know that as a result of centuries of racism and discrimination in this
country, minority groups have lower economic status and lower academic levels as
well. Its very common that parents struggling to provide for the basic needs of their
families, working two jobs, dont have time for anything else. Recent immigrant
parents dont know the language, dont know how the school system works here, are
afraid to make mistakes or being embarrassed, or are illegal aliens, scared to be
deported to their countries.
Its pretty obvious that we must expect big differences in the level of awareness and
possibilities to be involved of White middle-class and poor minority parents. I
believe that the government at every level, using the media, the mail, flyers and
other resources, as well as school districts and every single school should offer
information about the different academic programs available, including those for
the gifted. This information should be bilingual. Its very important for the society as
a whole and for every particular community to offer different choices and place
their children in the right program and/or school for each one of them, according to
their individual interests and potential. If we fail doing that, we could be wasting our
most precious resources, creating frustration, and promoting future social problems.
Even when this article doesnt address the issues related to the assessment process,
cultural bias in the standardized tests used for this purpose is another major
problem. I really believe that education and this particular issue are not priorities in
our society. We are even cutting funds and canceling important programs; we are
trying to privatize public schools instead of solving the problems they have. Its sad
to see the most powerful nation on Earth with one of the poorest educational systems
in the western world. I hope that, some day, this will change.
Carlos J. Diaz
Winebrenner, S. & Berger, S. ( 1994). Providing curriculum alternatives to
motivated gifted students. The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted
Education. The Council for Exceptional Children. Digest # E524.
The central idea in this article is how to get the best performance from every
student, how to challenge and motivate them to perform to their full capacity.
Organizing interesting lessons, relevant for the students, is one important way to
achieve that; combining cooperative learning and competition to exploit some of the
major natural traits of human nature and particularly of teenagers could help too;
adding rewards for those obtaining the best results, may be another important
component. Providing alternatives and flexibility with regard to the content and
types of assessment should be a condition to promote the development of the
individual skills of these students.
Most of the ideas in the article were conceived for gifted students receiving a
regular curriculum as part of mainstream classes, which is not the case in our
school. We have special classes where they work together and have a distinct
treatment; thats why the concept of compacting does not apply to us. In addition
to this, the idea of allowing the students to do independent study during school
time, at home or some place else (out of the classroom), may be valid for older
students, but not for nine graders. I believe that we should allow them to advance at
their own pace, to incite them to go beyond what we see in class, to look deeper into
the issues we are covering, but they need to receive the basics first and to share
together the ideas and concepts we discuss in class. The rest must occur during their
own time, after school, as part of their homework.
The idea that we should give the students, at the beginning of the year, an outline
describing what the students will learn, how they will learn it, in what period of
time, and how they will be evaluated, is something essential for them to be prepared
and to know in advance what is going to happen, its part of respecting them as
students; this allows them to participate in the decision-making process, to decide
whether this is the class for them or not, and in case they accept to be part of it, this
will constitute a compromise. In addition to this and as part of the web site I created
for them, my students also have bilingual study guides with the essentials for every
unit we will cover during the year and reviews with all the questions they are
suppose to master.
I totally agree with giving the students a variety of alternative or extension
activities from which they may choose. They always have the opportunity in my
class of selecting military history, history of art and literature, history of philosophy
and religions, and many other fields within history to go deeper and do their
research papers, video analysis, or projects. They also have open opportunities with
regard to the way they present their work: power point presentations, designing a
web page, oral presentations, using a regular poster board, etc. In this way, students
can link their personal interests with the required curriculum.
This is a very interesting and informative article. I enjoyed reading it.
Mr Carlos J. Diaz
Smutny, J. F. (2002). Integrating the arts into the curriculum for gifted students.
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Disabilities and Gifted Education. The Council for
Exceptional Children. Digest # E631.
It is a fact that the arts can significantly advance and enrich the academic and
creative abilities of the students; the arts have also the potential of increasing the
skills of observation and abstract thinking. I believe that when you study history,
you inevitably need to relate the political and economic events to the way artists and
writers have represented those events in their works. Before the 19th century, when
the first photos appeared, paintings, carvings and other art forms were some of the
most important ways to know how people lived, dressed and looked, to know what
were the prevailing ideas, moral values and customs. Trying to understand the
feelings and intentions of an artist looking at his / her work is a way to expand the
interpretative skills of the students; making the students to relate the history of a
period with the works of art and literature produced during that time, will help
them to understand the connections and complexities of human life.
The article provides many good ideas of how to link reading and art and writing
and art. I particularly liked the one about showing the students a work of art and
asking them to imagine and write about what they think happened before and after
the scenes depicted. The idea that a good picture is worth one thousand words is
valid here. When a teacher is trying to explain what did happen in certain period in
history, using the paintings of the classics may be the best way to offer them a visual
example. In contemporary history is impossible to teach without the support of
photos and cartoons. According to the theory of multiple intelligences, some people
learn better with the use of audiovisuals. Films are great tools to teach history and
science; through them the teacher can show the students thousands of things
impossible to reproduce in the classroom and difficult to understand just with the
teachers explanation. All these are solid points showing the convenience of using the
arts as an important part of teaching any subject, but mainly social studies. I found
the article very helpful.
Carlos J. Diaz