While it is true that gifted children have strong potential to perform well in school, assuming that this means that they do not need an engaging educational experience that enriches their gifted minds is unfounded. All children deserve an enriching educational experience, not one that serves the children who struggle at the expense of the children who naturally excel.
More evidence for the need to directly teach and enrich our gifted students can be found in looking at the research comparing American children to their foreign counterparts. While American children excel in the younger grades, these scores drop drastically as the child ages. In twelfth grade, America is ranked last on performance scores in advanced math and science courses (NAGC, 2009). While the studies do not discuss possible causes for the decline, one could argue a correlation between support offered to gifted students and performance.
Gifted children placed in traditional classrooms that do not differentiate for their exceptionalities typically experience a level of boredom and frustration that can have very negative long-term impact (Neihart, Reis, Robinson, & Moon, 2002). This frustration can then lead to a host of more negative outcomes, including underperformance and dropping out. In fact, at least 5% of children identified as gifted drop out of high school – surprising considering their potential (Renzulli & Park, 2000).
I don’t know about you, but it sure seems like they need support to me!
What are your thoughts on this???