So many adults have mystified gifted and talented children who don’t fit the profile norms of average children. It is easy to make quick and generalized remarks about gifted children in the era of mass production of compliance and mediocrity taken root since the Industrial Revolution. It is even more common for many adults to make deficit-laden remarks of gifted children who are Black & brown, poor, multi-lingual, or Twice-Exceptional. I breathe, smell, and eat them every day.
We can do a better job of proactively disrupting the deficit-driven language used to describe gifted children from diverse backgrounds.
Goings and Ford (2018) found out that even the research done by various scholars of gifted & talented programs for the past decade didn’t reach that far to change the deficit narrative. Instead of dedicating their research on what the children’s experiences with the gifted program were like and examining how the school system can shift to develop their potential, most of them focused on what these gifted children lacked and how to “lift them up” to fit what was inequitable and inaccessible in the first place.
Here are some practical ways I have tried to start disrupting the deficit-narrative embedded in my community:
- who the faces of gifted children from diverse backgrounds are in school and community. Who are the faces of underrepresented gifted children in your school or district? They can be students of color, poverty, learning disabilities, and multilingual. Reach out to specialists or coordinator of advanced programs and gifted services for more information
- the ways in which gifted students from diverse background experience gifted services in your school. What kind of gifted services are they receiving? How are they served? What acceleration, enrichment opportunities, or after-school activities are they involved? How can you help as a stakeholder?
- how you can attend public meetings, parent-conferences, open houses, and other events to advocate for them
- affinity groups or organizations for mentor or apprenticeship support
- work with school administration, counselors, or psychologists to refer students to screen and identify them for gifted services
- more about scholars of gifted and talented children who are equity-driven and follow them on Twitter. Listen to what they have to say and what research they do: @davis_joy, @donnayford, @JonathanPlucker, @JosephRenzulli @RamonGoings @realScottPeters