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Published Waco, Tex. Language English. Physical Description xii, p.

PDF Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students EBook

Subjects Gifted children -- Education -- United States. Children of minorities -- Education -- United States. Linguistic minorities -- Education -- United States. Contents Second language acquisition Giftedness in the CLD student CLD representation in gifted programs Blending of programs: models and design Curriculum and instruction Professional development Family and community Program evaluation.

Notes Includes bibliographical references.

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Dewey Number View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Curtin University Library. Open to the public ; The fact that too many of our most talented students are not receiving the services they need to turn their untapped potential into tremendous achievement is not just a problem for gifted educators, but challenges all educators, policy makers, and our society at large to take action in to reverse this failing. The United States educational system does not compare favorably to other countries in terms of producing students who demonstrate very high levels of academic achievement.

Although many students in the U. Additionally, schooling does little to increase the progress of high-achieving students and may not even support students to maintain high achievement. Economic disparities between groups of individuals, even within generally affluent societies and countries, compromise educational opportunities and outcomes. Using multi-nation mathematics data from the PISA study, Dennis Condron 7 found that countries with a more even distribution of economic resources among its citizens have higher average levels of achievement and, importantly, produce higher percentages of very highly skilled students and lower percentages of very low-skilled students compared to countries with larger income disparities.

The United States, with a high income disparity, has a very low percentage of high-scoring students and has one of the highest percentages of low-scoring students compared to other relatively affluent countries. The term achievement gap typically has been used to refer to disparities between subgroups of students reaching minimal levels of achievement compared to their White counterparts. Research indicates that these gaps exist at every level of achievement, including the very top levels.

Vast excellence gaps for low-income students. Extremely few students who qualify for the reduced lunch program and even fewer of those who qualify for free lunch are among top scorers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress NAEP exams. And although our national attention continues to focus on closing the gaps in learning at the lower end of the achievement spectrum, the proportion of low-income students performing at the advanced level is shamefully low and has remained stagnant or grown only slightly in the last decade:.

Current schooling does not improve or sustain top student performance. Xiang, Dhalin, Cronin, Theaker, and Durant 18 tracked the performance from elementary to middle school and from middle school to high school of students who scored at the 90th percentile or above in the initial year of the study on reading or math subtests of the Measure of Academic Progress test. Research has also found that not only are there scant, if any, achievement gains for top students over time, but also in many cases, top achievers actually lose ground as they progress through school.

Xiang et al. Current schooling does little to close gaps in higher education graduation rates. At most levels of the educational system, high-achieving minority students do not perform at comparable levels to high-achieving White and Asian students.

Cultural Diversity in 21st Century Gifted Learners

Wyner et al. Not only are there scant, if any, achievement gains for top students over time, but also in many cases, top achievers actually lose ground as they progress through school. That is, success in closing achievement gaps among lower achieving students does not appear to impact gaps among groups of top students, which continued to grow during the NCLB era. Lack of access to rigorous curriculum. The U.

Advanced Learning

And, too often, efforts to increase access do not go far enough. For example, a recent report from the College Board 30 shows that although more low-income and underrepresented minority students are taking Advanced Placement AP classes in high school, they are not earning passing scores on the AP exams at commensurately higher levels. It is important for all stakeholders to realize that increased access alone does not ensure greater competency or preparedness for future learning.

Tenuous commitment to gifted education programs. Whether and how these students receive services in their local schools is dependent on state law and local policies and practices. There is wide variability across states on the presence of laws and policies regarding student identification, provision of gifted program services, teacher training, and other areas crucial to ensuring high quality gifted education.

Numerous states leave virtually all decisions about serving gifted students to local districts, compounding the variability. Families who move from one state to another, one district to another, or even one school to another within a district cannot be assured that their gifted children will be eligible for, or receive the same, if any, services as before.

Diversity and Gifted Children: Are We Doing Enough?

In addition, state-level funding for gifted and talented programs is on the decline, which, coupled with small local school budgets, puts more gifted education services at risk. In —, only four states fully funded state mandates for gifted services, and between and , 14 states decreased state funding for gifted education programs and services. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act 33 to support research focused on underserved and under-identified gifted learners, including low-income, high-ability children. Collectively, large income disparities in our country that put more poor children at risk for optimal development, a national singular focus on minimal levels of achievement, and reduced investment in gifted education at the state and federal level, in combination with an increased demand for high-level skills, makes it even more important to focus our attention on low-income, high-ability learners.

It is imperative that we develop program models, best practices, and policies that will support these students. As Summit attendees discussed the key issues in developing and promoting services for low-income, high-ability students, a number of barriers to success emerged. Barriers center on issues related to identifying the often overlooked talents of these students and features of programs that may inhibit qualified students from participating.

These barriers are particularly detrimental for children who depend solely on the public schools to meet their educational needs. Too often, giftedness is viewed exclusively as a trait that is manifested in high performance on ability tests, and as something that is inborn, fixed, and unchangeable. A high-performance view of giftedness sees the formal identification of gifted children through testing as the first step, followed by the development of ability and talents through school-based and outside-of-school programs.

This process often fails to identify children who are less likely to live in a literacy-rich home and community where reading, writing, and language are understood to be critical for academic success.

In many cases, otherwise capable children may not be able to demonstrate their advanced learning potential on tests or other performance assessments until after they have access to challenging curriculum and enriched learning opportunities. Summit participants agreed that one of the most significant barriers to the identification of low-income, high-ability learners and the development of their abilities and talents is inaccurate perceptions held by teachers and school administrators about the capabilities of these students and the strengths of their families.

Inequalities in teacher nomination for gifted programs and a lack of use of performance assessments and other qualitative data may be the most significant reasons why culturally and linguistically diverse students and low-income children are underrepresented in gifted programs. It involves viewing individuals or members of a different group as inferior because of their culture or language. It is a viewpoint that focuses on what students do not have instead of the strengths they bring to school and learning.

Diversity and Gifted Children: Are We Doing Enough?

Most gifted children receive all of their instruction within heterogeneous classrooms from teachers with little or no formal training in gifted education. Because of this lack of training, teachers underestimate the capabilities of gifted children and thus, just how advanced curricula must be to engage children, elicit high achievement, and further develop their abilities.

However, bright children who enter school behind or with some academic weaknesses still can learn at a faster rate and with less repetition than typically developing children.

Instruction that proceeds slowly with small increments of knowledge will neither engage nor motivate these students, nor will it allow their advanced problem solving and reasoning abilities to become obvious to teachers. Cultural diversity and differences undervalued.


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As the population of the United States becomes more diverse 42 and more socioeconomically divided, our schools and classrooms must respond to that diversity by offering students a truly multicultural education. Ford 43 states that a multicultural education includes giving students culturally responsive curriculum and instruction in all subject areas, recruiting and retaining a more racially and culturally diverse teaching force, and ensuring that multicultural education is integrally related to the educational process rather than merely an add-on or only superficially related.

When students feel that their experiences, cultural heritage, language, and values are recognized, appreciated, and reflected in the curriculum and instruction they receive at school, they are more likely to demonstrate the necessary motivation, effort, and attitude needed to become high achievers. This curricular relevance applies not only to minority groups, but also to majority cultures living in geographically depressed areas where the norms and beliefs of a geographic area are not necessarily valued in school, and vice versa. Summit participants noted that school practices regarding identification of students for services can act as barriers to the participation of low-income, high-ability learners and culturally and linguistically diverse students in gifted programs.

Suspect practices can include:. Compounding the above, other aspects of identification practices may inadvertently suppress the participation of low-income and culturally and linguistically different students in gifted programs. For example, asking parents to nominate their children for a program or to attend meetings in order for their child to participate, or not having materials about the program available to parents in their native language can serve as disincentives and barriers for these students. Schools need to reevaluate and re-craft their identification systems to ensure that they are responsive to and appropriate for all gifted learners.

Summit participants discussed some gifted program policies that can be impediments for diverse and low-income gifted learners. For example, district-wide gifted programs that require students to leave their neighborhood school in order to attend a magnet school or special program may be a barrier for students whose cultures value close ties to and investment in their immediate community. Other issues, such as long bus rides or inability to afford or provide transportation to schools across town, also prevent participation.

The general lack of school or district policies regarding the use of all forms of acceleration e. For many students, being identified as gifted affirms student abilities, achievements, and hard work to others, including teachers and family members. But, according to Summit participants, the label may also set one apart from peers resulting in unintended negative consequences such as isolation and bullying. If qualifying for the gifted program engenders fear of rejection by peers, 45 students will resist the label and the opportunities that come along with it.

If students worry that participation in high-stakes testing and academic achievement situations will confirm negative stereotypes about the achievement of their racial, cultural, or gender group, 46 they may choose not to be involved. If students know that participating in advanced and accelerated classes means that they will be one of only a few minority students within the class, they may opt out of these opportunities.

In addition to anti-bullying programs, such support can include counseling, group talks, bibliotherapy, as well as mentors and role models. Many of the students in the Wai et al.