Education is important in American society, and from pre-school through twelfth-grade, there are three types of educational programming: regular education, special education, and gifted education. This post explains “gifted education.”

Currently, there are no uniform standards for gifted education in all situations, and the makeup of gifted education differs from state to state. However, the No Child Left behind Act of 2001 defines gifted children as students who show advanced aptitudes for intellectuality, creativity, or leadership and need services, not normally offered by schools, in order to enhance their aptitudes.

There is a misconception among some parents who feel that their child is suited for his or her school’s gifted education. Nevertheless, only about 6% of all American K-12 students are considered academically gifted. There are differences between smart children and gifted children: Smart children know the answers to questions, like learning, compose good ideas, enjoy being with their classmates, and show good memorization and recall abilities. But gifted children may possess advanced imaginations, may prefer to accompany older kids or adults, may display a vast wealth of knowledge, may enjoy complex challenges, may utilize previously learned information to acquire greater knowledge, and crave learning and gaining more knowledge.

Common tenets of gifted education include educational acceleration, curriculum compacting, grouping, identification, and specialized programming. Educational acceleration determines what learning opportunities best suit a gifted child’s general skills and particular abilities. Curriculum compacting decreases the risk of learners relearning old material and enables them to learn more new material. The National Association for Gifted Education describes grouping as putting similarly-talented students together in one room, ensuring that they develop their abilities much faster in the best setting. Identification is also important; like a special education method benefits one child but not another, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work for gifted students. Different gifted education programs affect gifted children in different ways and are often quite effective. Sadly, many gifted children are often placed in general education classes, and do not receive the services that they need. More training for teachers of gifted children is needed to identify and properly teach gifted children in general education classes.

If your child’s school has no gifted education programming, suggest it to the school officials. If they say yes, get involved, help start it, stay active in it, and keep it going. If the school refuses to create it or accommodate your gifted child, there may be laws that could work in your favor. An experienced lawyer can help and answer questions. Contact Attorney Perry A. Craft for answers and help.