ERIC Number: EJ855214
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 6
Myth 3: A Family of Identification Myths--Your Sample Must Be the Same as the Population. There Is a "Silver Bullet" in Identification. There Must Be "Winners" and "Losers" in Identification and Programming
Callahan, Carolyn M.
Gifted Child Quarterly, v53 n4 p239-241 2009
The evolution of several interrelated myths reflects a combination of misinterpretation of statistics, the commendable intention of ensuring that bias and prejudice do not play roles in the provision of services to underrepresented populations of gifted students, and misapplication of programming options for gifted students. Separately, these myths might be named: (1) Your sample must be the same as the population; (2) There is a silver bullet for identification of minority or low income students; and (3) There must be "winners" and "losers" in identification and programming for gifted students. If people work backward from the myth that there must be "winners" and "losers" in the identification and programming for gifted students, they can see how the other myths have evolved. Although the field of gifted education has made great strides in its literature and in the application of theory and research in the development of identification protocols, programming options, and curricular offerings for the gifted, the persistence of the winner/loser myth is traceable to continued use of outdated practices as well as state and local policy. To dispel these myths, individually or as a set, requires a new commitment of the field of gifted education. First, although educators must acknowledge that performance on standardized instruments may be lower for particular groups of students, they can begin to examine indicators of success by looking for the highest scorers with a subgroup on traditional assessments and recognizing that such high potential given the social and economic barriers these students face is an indicator of gifted behavior. Second, they can provide the scaffolding and transitional curriculum for these students that will bring their performance in line with potential and they can be the leaders in creating talent development programs at the pre-K through primary grades that will give students from all sub-groups the opportunity to develop the behaviors that allow for success in verbal and quantitative domains. Finally, they must participate in creating programs and curriculum that are truly challenging, rigorous, and engaging for all students and then develop curriculum and offer instruction that is differentiated appropriately in depth, complexity, rigor, and challenge for those whose learning rate and level of insight and understanding demand different educational options.
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Academically Gifted, Low Income Groups, Disproportionate Representation, Minority Groups, At Risk Students, Misconceptions, Program Effectiveness, Ability Identification, Scores, Barriers, Teacher Role, Talent Development, Verbal Ability, Program Development, Individualized Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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