Gifted and Talented Education in the United States

Topics: Gifted education, Intelligence, Intelligence quotient Pages: 8 (2457 words) Published: January 19, 2013
Gifted and Talented Education in the United States

The purpose of this research is to find the best way for selecting and teaching gifted children for Gifted and Talented Education Programs in the United States. It explores who exactly are defined as "gifted students" and what their characteristics are like compared to regular students. Then it explains main ways of selecting and teaching them and listing pros and cons of each method. Finally it concludes that in order for Gifted and Talented Education in America to give full scope to gifted students' ability, it is best to select children by using a set of Measures of Academic Progress Test, Otis Lennon School Ability Test, and Structure of Intellect and teach them in the method called cluster grouping.

Although school districts in the United States recognize that gifted and talented students are children with unique advantage and excellence, state laws, local policies, and available funding vary widely in each state. Therefore each school has their own services and curriculum for gifted students and also there is uneven protection for gifted and talented students under the law. This holds back the progress of gifted students which means that the disparity of school districts is taking away the children’s capability, potential, and their future. Therefore, it is important to unify the selection method and the broad idea of how to teach gifted students. There are many ways of selecting and teaching them, but the best way to select children is to use a set of Measures of Academic Progress Test, Otis Lennon School Ability Test, and Structure of Intellect and teach them in the cluster grouping method because these are the most effective way to select and teach gifted students in order to cultivate unique their skills and expand the possibilities for their future. In this paper, it will define what Gifted and Talented Education Program and who gifted students are, and explain what kind of entrance exam for gifted education is the best. After that, according to the characteristics of gifted students, it will explore the best way of teaching them.

Gifted and Talented Education Program
Gifted and Talented Education is a broad term for “special practices, procedures and theories used to educate children who have been identified as gifted or talented”. National Association for Gifted Children, NAGC, estimates that approximately 6% of the student population is gifted and talented” (“National Association for Gifted Children”). The detailed aim of this education program differs from district to district, but the common aims that all school have are to develop students’ merits by following the lead of the gifted students since they have different speed of learning, most of the time faster, than regular students. Most of the decisions on gifted education are made at the state and local level.

The Definition of Gifted Students
There is no standard global definition for gifted students to this day. US Department of Education defines them as “children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment” (“US Department of Education”). However, there are many controversies among researchers over the definition of gifted students. In most school districts all over the United States, “students who generally score high scores on aptitude tests or on periodic examinations were offered a test to receive Gifted and Talented Education Program” (Maker and Nielson 5). However in this measurement, the students are selected based only on their general intelligence, which is a scholastic performance on coursework such as mathematical calculation capabilities and reading abilities in English. Therefore, in the past several years, the researchers have been challenging the theories and the definition of the gifted students....
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