Monday, December 22, 2014

Ten best Gifted Education articles of 2014: Informative, controversial and enlightening

Whether aimed at defining giftedness, championing educational rights, or understanding what enhances or limits academic growth, the internet was flooded with powerful articles in 2014. The best of the bunch targeted advocacy and what it means to be gifted. I have selected the ten articles that I felt were the most meaningful and enlightening. Some were controversial. Others were straightforward and informative. Still others were heartfelt and moving.


Here they are (in no particular order):


Ending our neglect of gifted students
"It's time to end the bias in American education against gifted and talented pupils and quit assuming that every school must be all things to all students, a simplistic formula that ends up neglecting all sorts of girls and boys, many of them poor and minority, who would benefit from more challenging classes and schools."
Practice does not make perfect
"If we acknowledge that people differ in what they have to contribute, then we have an argument for a society in which all human beings are entitled to a life that includes access to decent housing, health care, and education..."
The poor neglected gifted child
"...among young people with off-the-charts ability, those who had been given special accommodations - even modest ones, like being allowed to skip a grade, enroll in special classes, or take college-level courses in high school - went on to publish more academic papers, earn more patents, and pursue higher-level careers than their equally smart peers who didn't have these opportunities."
The ultimate plan to help gifted education (and improve education for all kids in the process)
"Gifted education is not going to fix itself. No matter how many gifted people talk to each other about how much their children need different educational experiences, we still cannot move the mountains of politicians and corporations who stand in our way."
Too many kids quit science because they don't think they're smart
"When students thought of their intelligence as a thing that's just fixed, they were vulnerable. They were not willing to take on challenges that might test their intelligence, and they weren't resilient when they came into obstacles." 
Yes, IQ really matters
"...the bottom line is that there are large, measurable differences among people in intellectual ability, and these differences have consequences for people's lives."
Talent vs. practice: Why are we still debating this?
"They found that sheer amount of deliberate practice does not, in fact, explain most of the differences in expert performance. Additionally, there were huge differences between fields..."
Gifted men and women define success differently, 40-year study says
"Researchers spent four decades studying a group of mathematically talented adolescents, finding that by mid-life they were extraordinarily accomplished and enjoyed a high level of life satisfaction. Gender, however, played a significant role in how they pursued - and defined - career, family and success."
Where is the outrage about the pipeline to prison for gifted students?
"There is much indignation over the school to prison pipeline that funnels children into the criminal justice system, especially regarding the large number of special educaton students within this population... Lamentably overlooked, though, is the other at-risk population, gifted and talented students."
Smart is not a dirty word
"It's impossible to deny that persistence and hard work are important life lessons... But in the rush to add grit to the lesson plan, we risk leaping from anecdote to antidote, and making assumptions about the correlation, or not, between effort and intelligence."

There were so many great articles this year. I apologize for the many I may have overlooked. Please add your favorites in the comments section below. Thanks!