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Common Refrains Against Using Gifted & Talented as a Schoolwide Approach for All Students! Yeh, But…

Presented with evidence that a School-wide Advanced Academic/Gifted & Talented approach has multiple benefits for students and teachers, some educators have a ready and substantial list of “yeh, but…” statements which just don’t support the research and evidence…Here are a few that we have heard...

· We can’t do this because have too many students who don’t have a gifted label. This is only for gifted students.

· We can’t do this because we are already too busy.

· We can’t do this because we don’t have the resources.

· We can’t do this because the parents of the students with a “gifted label” want their child in a separate class.

· We can’t do this because our colleagues, our district, our Superintendent won’t go got it.

· We can’t do this because you know some kids are just “smarter” that others and that’s just the way it is.

· We can’t do this because we will get into trouble by treating each kid as if they had a gift.

Yes! this has been said!

· We can’t do this because we have too many English Learners.

· We can’t do this because there will always be a Bell Curve.

· We can’t do this because it’s watering down our expectations.

· We can’t do this because you know only 3%-5% of students are gifted! Everyone can’t be


Where are you in your thinking when it comes to creating a school-wide/label-free approach to Gifted and Talented/Advanced Academics for ALL Students!

Ignorant: I don’t know the evidence and preponderance of latest research on the brain and learning.

Status Quo Position: I respond knowing the evidence and preponderance of latest research on the brain and learning but want to ignore it and hold on to the status quo because it benefits my interest only or one that is close to me.

Enlightened: I am willing to change my thinking and the way I have done business because I am a professional educator who is a continuous learner. And when I know better, I am willing to do better. Now that I have read and studied new research from experts such as Carol Dweck, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Eric Jensen, Yvette Jackson, Reuven Feuerstein, Zaretta Hammonds, Gholdy Muhammad, Joseph Renzulli and others. I understand that brain research/science is ever emerging, and we know a lot more than we did previously. I now know that IQ is not fixed and can change and realize that I may have held onto attitudes, beliefs and behaviors that were assumed and not validated by research and/or evidence.

Don’t beat yourselves up if you say Ignorant – we are all ignorant of some things.

If you hold a Status Quo Position, I will ask you to consider “why” you are holding onto a position that does not benefit “all” kids and only a “chosen few.”

Want to create a school in which you cultivate the gifts of all students? Start by learning together around the latest research (Understanding “The Why”)! Then create a collaborative culture in which staff take collective responsibility for every child and then get started in figuring out “How” to make this a reality!

Question: Would you want this for your own child? If so, you should want it for every child!

Is there a school that’s making this a reality for every child and educator! Absolutely! Check out 2016 DuFour Award Recipient Mason Crest Elementary School!

Kildeer Countryside CCSD 96 is an excellent district to contact!

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