In line with his New Year resolution, that in 2014 he will increase his efforts to bust the myths surrounding giftedness and advocate for acceleration and ability grouping opportunities for gifted students, and in preparation for a webinar and Global GT chat on Twitter for the next two weeks, Columbus Cheetah is updating his myth busting presentations.
Columbus Cheetah’s discussion of the myths surrounding giftedness are based in his own brand of cheetah logic and the wonderful analogy of the cheetah to the gifted person given in Stephanie Tolan’s wonderful article ‘Is it a Cheetah?’
This myth is used as an excuse for not providing
for the needs of gifted students.
It claims that gifted students are receiving extra benefits and that this is
unfair to other students.
However special education for gifted students is not about giving extra – it is
about giving suitable provisions for all students and therefore gifted students
receiving the educational provisions such as acceleration or extension that
Every child has the right to an education which meets their needs.
It is not considered inappropriate to provide specialist coaching to promising
sportsmen or musicians. Why should providing suitable education to meet gifted
students needs be any different?
Columbus Cheetah says this myth can be easily refuted by common sense cheetah logic. Playing a simple game of matching the animal students to the education that would suit each one best would show that each group has specific needs. It is appropriate for each to receive the sort of education they need.
Sometimes the claim of elitism of special education for gifted students is used to describe the fact that gifted education is offered to students from higher socio economic groups more often than it is to poorer groups. Often this means that certain racial and societal groups miss out on the opportunities.
However Columbus Cheetah says gifted students are found in every socio-economic group and they should all be able to access suitable education. The fact that they cannot does not mean that special education provisions for gifted students are elitist. It means that some groups are not being given adequate opportunities to receive a suitable education.