ERIC Number: EJ863663
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 48
A Resuscitation of Gifted Education
Jolly, Jennifer L.
American Educational History Journal, v36 n1 p37-52 2009
Since its inception in the 1920s, the field of gifted education has remained in a constant ebb and flow. Public understanding and support, as well as, federal aid has mirrored this pattern, waxing and waning in response to national interests and concern from private institutions and foundations. Discourse between excellence and equity also has created a tension regarding the education of gifted and talented students. Often mirroring the pendulum swing of society's priorities of "critical need to its elitist luxury" (Jolly and Kettler 2008, 427), gifted and talented students become a national priority when excellence is sought and a critical need is perceived. However, as equity becomes the predilection, gifted students' needs are seen as an elitist luxury and are replaced with the priorities of students within other subpopulations. The launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik and subsequent passage of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) is a central example of "a revival of concern ... to building better school programs for youngsters with outstanding ability" (Passow 1960, 141). Gifted education remains negligent in its retrospective examination of its own history. This article attempts to place in historical context the impact of the NDEA on gifted education by specifically examining the identification and conceptions of giftedness and talent, school programming, and professional development of teachers.
Descriptors: Federal Aid, Academically Gifted, Educational History, Equal Education, Public Opinion, Student Needs, Talent Identification, Creativity, Educational Quality, Special Needs Students, Teacher Competencies, United States History
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: National Defense Education Act