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Myths About Gifted Education

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Dispelling Myths, Serving Students

“Myths are created and continue to exist because they  explain phenomena that are not easily understood or appear to validate ambiguous ideas with ambiguous evidence” (Kaplan, 2009)

For decades, myths related to gifted education have had detrimental effects on providing quality instruction for our nation’s high-ability learners. These myths have affected every facet of the field, and in turn have distorted the perception of not only what gifted students need in the classroom, but also what they can offer the nation now and into the future.

Persistent belief and the subsequent response associated with gifted education myths contribute to an overall lack of attention and challenge for high-ability students in our schools. As a result, gifted education programs remain underfunded, achievement gaps continue to widen, and too many children across the nation who require “something different,” have no place to thrive.

In 1982, Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ) presented a special issue relating to the myths associated with gifted education, and a similar effort to reexamine and dispel these and emergent myths has recently been published in the Fall 2009 issue of GCQ. The closing challenge presented in 1982, and again in 2009 remains the same: “If we allow ourselves to challenge, question, and probe some of gifted education’s myths, we can develop new models and approaches that will be practical, cost-efficient, and readily implemented in the schools” (Treffinger, 2009).  In short, it’s up to gifted education advocates to continue our efforts to rebut myths, dispel doubts, and showcase successful models and practices in order to retain and expand programs and services for our gifted and talented youth.

NAGC has compiled a list of the most prevalent myths in gifted education, complete with supporting links with evidence explaining why the myth is untrue. Information contained on subsequent pages provides you with the arguments and facts needed to rebut, and hopefully dispel, these myths.  

To read the myths and learn the facts, Click here to continue to "Common Myths In Gifted Education." 

Go to "Advocacy Toolkit" 

Kaplan, S. (2009). Myth #9: There is a single curriculum for the gifted. Gifted Child Quarterly, 53(4), 38.

Treffinger, D. (2009). Guest editorial. Gifted Child Quarterly, 53(4), 4.