I recently wrote a blog piece entitled, “Are gifted students really an underserved population?” and received some very positive feedback; several educators and former gifted/talented students reached out to me indicating that I had “hit the nail on the head” of the plight commonly faced by today’s advanced learners. Thanks to everyone who contacted me—it inspires me to keep doing what I do on behalf of all underprivileged and underrepresented students everywhere.
To continue the conversation, I recently came across a piece written by Maryann Woods-Murphy that focused on keeping advanced students engaged. A teacher of the gifted, Woods-Murphy provides four key things teachers and parents/caregivers can do to help meet the needs of this often-underserved population: (1) Accelerate math; (2) Find hard books at the right developmental level; (3) Offer project-based options; and (4) Personalize learning with technology. Her recommendations were spot-on and align what I talked about in my prior blog. Ms. Woods-Murphy stated so beautifully, “School, for many of our advanced learners, begins to feel like a kind of prison where they feel trapped, misunderstood, and bored.” So very true, and so unnecessary!
The bottom line:
Educating gifted and talented learners does not require lots of additional funding or specialized equipment. What it does require is a desire to meet their needs, to touch their lives, and a commitment to helping them fulfill their purpose.
Dr. Roberta Ross-Fisher is a national leader in educator preparation, accreditation, online learning, and academic quality assurance. An accomplished presenter, writer, and educator, she currently supports higher education and P-12 schools in areas such as competency-based education, teacher preparation, distance learning, and accreditation through her company, Global Educational Consulting, LLC. Her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.