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Issues and Practices in the Identification and Education of Gifted Students From Under-represented Groups

James H. Borland

In this monograph, I discuss the current and historic under-representation of economically disadvantaged students, students of color, students from ethnic minorities, and students with limited English proficiency in programs for gifted students. I examine the likely causes of the under-representation of these students, drawing on research and theory from psychological, sociological, anthropological, and critical theoretical perspectives. I then present some ideas and practices that show promise for redressing this chronic imbalance. These include both changes in practices that fall within the range of typical gifted program activities (e.g., identification practices) and changes in policy and practice that may enable us to educate more potentially and manifestly gifted students through reconceptualizing the theory and practice of gifted education.

Reference:
Borland, J. H. (2004). Issues and practices in the identification and education of gifted students from under-represented groups (RM04186). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.


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Issues and Practices in the Identification and Education of Gifted Students From Under-represented Groups
James H. Borland

Conclusions

  1. Identification is at the crux of the problem of under-representation, and modifying identification procedures can improve performance with respect to equity in the field of gifted education.
  2. New conceptions of giftedness that are culture-fair or equitably multicultural must be developed.
  3. Worrying less about who is "truly gifted" and more about making curriculum and instruction truly differentiated for all students would do more to meet the goals of the gifted child movement than would a mandate for pull-out enrichment programs.
  4. Extending gifted education to all students would eliminate the possibility of any kind of discrimination.