Published Online: May 6, 2014
Published in Print: May 7, 2014, as 'Gifted' Label Is Crucial to Ensure Access to Much-Needed Services

Letter

'Gifted' Label Is Crucial to Ensure Access to Much-Needed Services

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

Although the authors of the Commentary "Gifted Ed. Is Crucial, But the Label Isn't" make some very good points about the mismatch between gifted students' abilities and the educational services they receive, I find their premise—that the gifted label is unnecessary—to be quite naive.

Labels in special education (and yes, gifted children are special-needs students) provide access to educational alternatives that align with the students' unique learning needs. Simply put: No label, no access. Instead of advocating elimination of the gifted label, the authors should argue for its strengthening. Perhaps when the label is celebrated instead of discarded, identified gifted students will receive more than the minimal services that most schools now provide.

The authors' views of the benefits of gifted programs are shortsighted, as they focus entirely on enhanced academic growth. While such growth is both expected and beneficial, it is seldom the reason that graduates of gifted programs recall these programs so fondly. Rather, it is the social and emotional connections that gifted kids forge with other students who are as smart as or smarter than they are that make these programs so memorable.

Gifted kids are more than academic superstars, but the authors of the Commentary perceive them from a one-dimensional vantage that does a disservice to the gifted students they presumably support.

James R. Delisle
North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The author, now retired, was a distinguished professor of education at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

Vol. 33, Issue 30, Page 34

Related Stories
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login |  Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Commented