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The New Myths Of Gifted Education

November 3, 2009

A special issue of Gifted Child Quarterly

More than 25 years after myths about gifted education were first explored, they are all still with us and new ones have been added, according to research published in the current Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ), the official journal of National Association for Gifted Children.

Providing specialized and organized gifted education courses was a relatively new concept in 1982 when an article entitled “Demythologizing Gifted Education” was first published in GCQ. Research at that time found that certain myths were widely believed, such as the idea that the gifted constituted a single, homogeneous group of learners, or that just one curriculum would serve all equally.

In “The Myths of Gifted Education: A Contemporary View,” the journal takes a new look at the current state of gifted education. Researchers found that all 15 of the 1982 myths are still with us, though some have been modified over time, and several new ones have emerged. A few of the now 19 myths in this special issue of GCQ include:

    * Creativity is too difficult to measure
    * Gifted education means having a program
    * High ability students don’t face problems and challenges
    * It’s “fair” to teach all children the same way
    * Advanced Placement (AP) is an adequate secondary program

“Our hope is that this issue will stimulate lively discussion, critical thinking, and creative research in the field,” writes guest editor Donald J. Treffinger. “We hope to help ‘shake loose the grip’ of some common myths and suggest promising directions for more productive foundations for inquiry and practice.”

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