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ERIC Number: EJ855203
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 21
ISSN: ISSN-0016-9862
Myth 10: Examining the Ostrich--Gifted Services Do Not Cure a Sick Regular Program
Robinson, Ann
Gifted Child Quarterly, v53 n4 p259-261 2009
More than 25 years ago, the myth that a small gifted program compensated for a "sick" regular education program took its place in the "Gifted Child Quarterly" special issue pantheon. The myth was framed from the perspective of school districts who implemented limited, part-time programs for gifted students to "comfort themselves" that the needs of these learners were met effectively. In other words, according to this author, a district behaved like an ostrich by hiding its head in the sand of an identifiable, but limited program and by ignoring the larger, looming problem of an inadequate total school environment for gifted learners. The 1982 refutation of the ostrich myth argued that small, separate and identifiable gifted programs resulted in more problems than they solved. In its present form, says Robinson, the myth is more nuanced because educators' understanding of programming options and policies are more elaborated. The original ostrich myth, that the existence of a small, token service to talented learners will cure schools unresponsive to their needs, is reduced in salience. First, the availability of specialized services to talented learners appears to have declined and is in danger of collapsing from a lack of funding and program infrastructure. Thus, the myth may have little purchase because fewer programs and services of any size appear to exist. Second, the focus of the reform movement and its policy tool, No Child Left Behind, has been on struggling learners. Thus, neither resources nor attention in the last decade have been directed toward learners who are already proficient. Finally, the national failure with the vulnerable population of low-income, high-achieving learners has been particularly acute from preschool to graduate school. Thus, the suggestion that a small, severely underresourced, and low-priority effort on behalf of talented learners in the schools will by some miracle correct the larger educational picture for them and somehow serve to revitalize the educational opportunities for the general cohort of learners in a school is extraordinarily naive
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001