by Roxanne Myers Spencer (Associate Professor and Coordinator, Educational Resources Center, Western Kentucky University Libraries)
and Rebecca L. Nimmo (Library Assistant, Western Kentucky University Libraries)
Column Editor: Jack G. Montgomery (Professor, Coordinator, Collection Services, Western Kentucky University Libraries)
Column Editor’s Note: Gifted and Talented Education is an area of intense research interest among educators and scholars. The field changes, often dramatically, as new studies — and popular opinion — exert influence on the best methods to nurture, teach, and support gifted and talented children and young adults. For this column, we selected short articles, university-affiliated research institutes, professional organizations, and popular sites that provide many lists of links for parents, teachers, and students. Some of the items listed include companies that develop and administer curricula for advanced blended, online, and multimedia learning. These are not listed as endorsements, but are included for informational purposes. These primarily U.S.-based Websites are intended to give librarians and patrons a starting point for the vast number of resources on gifted and talented education — many of which, inevitably, have overlapping or state-specific resources. — JM
We begin with a few online articles on Gifted and Talented definitions, characteristics, and issues, which we hope will be useful to interested librarians, parents, and educators.
Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented — txgifted.org/ — Offers definitions and characteristics of gifted and talented children (txgifted.org/what-giftedness/), among other state-specific resources.
Time Online: In “Gifted and Talented Programs Dumb Down Our Students” — time.com/3698686/gifted-and-talented/ — Matthew Mugo Fields, founder of GiftedandTalented.com argues for focusing on the greater potential of all students to develop their abilities, and urges parents and educators to refute the idea of intelligence as “a fixed trait.” An earlier piece by Andrew J. Rotherham, “The Illusion of the ‘Gifted’ Child: Why Our Policies for Good Students Really Aren’t that Smart” (ideas.time.com/2013/04/25/the-illusion-of-the-gifted-child/), looks at the limitations of standardized testing in predicting intelligence and offers suggestions to school administrators and policymakers for positive change.
Thomas B. Fordham Institute — Within the debates, pro and con, about the Common Core State Standards, Jonathan A. Plucker’s brief, “Common Core and America’s High-Achieving Students” (bit.ly/1Mg9QWU), addresses issues on high-ability students.
Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development — www.gifted.uconn.edu/ — For an overview of developments in the field, see the issues noted in “Major Turning Points in Gifted Education in the 20th Century” (www.gifted.uconn.edu/general/faculty/reis/Major_Turning_Points.html), by Sally M. Reis, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut.
California Gifted Network — www.cagiftednetwork.com/ — While focused specifically on gifted and twice-exceptional students in California, several of the resources available are not region-specific, including online learning, books, and postsecondary educational opportunities for gifted individuals.
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) — www.cec.sped.org/ — Advocacy and resources for exceptional/gifted and talented education throughout the United States. List of resources for Gifted and Talented here: www.cec.sped.org/Special-Ed-Topics/Specialty-Areas/Gifted/CEC-Resources.
Education Commission of the States — www.ecs.org/ — A non-partisan organization that “tracks state policy trends, translates academic research, provides unbiased advice and creates opportunities for state leaders to learn from one another.” The ECS State Policy Database
Special Populations — Gifted and Talented (bit.ly/1EjUXfH) is a frequently updated list of states’ educational legislation, selected rules and regulations, and executive orders with significant changes.
Mensa for Gifted Youth — www.us.mensa.org/learn/gifted-youth/ and Mensa for Kids — www.mensaforkids.org/ — Mensa for Gifted Youth provides resources for gifted youth, parents, and educators (regardless of Mensa membership); as well as contests, scholarships, and an Honor Society for Young Mensans (Mensa members under 18).
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) — www.nagc.org/ — Includes National Standards for Gifted and Talented Education (www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/national-standards-gifted-and-talented-education), and an overview of Gifted Education in the U.S. (www.nagc.org/resources-publications/resources/gifted-education-us and by state: www.nagc.org/resources-publications/gifted-state).
National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT) — www.nsgt.org — NSGT is an advocacy and support group for gifted and talented youth in the United States. They also sponsor the Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG), a program to provide students with engaging programming outside of school (www.giftedstudy.org).
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) — sengifted.org/ — Gifted and talented children and adults often grapple with emotional intelligence issues and experience anxiety and depression from an early age. SENG is an important resource, fostering caring, understanding, and acceptance of the diversity and challenges of gifted and talented children and adults.
World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) — www.world-gifted.org/ — The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children is an international organization known for its biennial conference, which brings together scholars, leaders, parents, and educators who support and advocate for gifted and talented children. International resources can be found here: www.world-gifted.org/Resources.
University-Related Centers and Institutes
Acceleration Institute, Belin-Blank Center, College of Education, University of Iowa — www.accelerationinstitute.org — Collects, synthesizes, and reports on curricular acceleration, the “cognitive and affective characteristics that moderate students’ success with different forms of academic acceleration” with value for parents, educators, policymakers, and researchers.
Center for Youth Enrichment and Talented and Gifted Education (YE/TAG), University of Oregon — uoyetag.uoregon.edu/ — YE/TAG is an outreach program through the University of Oregon’s College of Education which provides support and resources for high ability children and youth while offering practicum experiences for undergraduate and graduate students specializing in gifted education.
Duke Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) — tip.duke.edu/ — Duke TIP provides services to meet the individual needs of gifted children, focusing on exceptional students who are more likely to go unrecognized, including minority students and those from low-income families.
Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth — cty.jhu.edu/ — A 2007 research overview, “What We Know about Academically Talented Students” (cty.jhu.edu/research/docs/pub/What%20We%20Know.pdf), provides annotated citations on ability grouping and acceleration; social, emotional, and personality considerations; and self-perception, motivation, and metacognition, along with related topics.
National Center for Research on Gifted Education, University of Connecticut — ncrge.uconn.edu/ — Through research partnerships, the NCRGE studies gaps in gifted and talented programs and advocates for greater oversight and provision of advanced education for underrepresented minority and rural learners.
Popular General Resources
Davidson Institute for Talent Development — www.davidsongifted.org/ — Created to nurture profoundly gifted students and to provide information for parents, educators, and other professionals who work with this special population. Includes the Davidson Database of Gifted and Talented resources — www.davidsongifted.org/db/ — an Educators Guild, and information on individual state policies and resources. An annual three-week THINK Summer Institute for teens aged 13-16 is held in Reno, Nevada.
Exquisite Minds — www.exquisite-minds.com/ — This is a collection of resources for parents, teachers, and children and is the brainchild of Stacia Garland, a gifted and talented teacher for 16 years. The site includes links to online articles, gifted and talented resources, including brain-games, testing, child development, and more.
Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page — www.hoagiesgifted.org/ — A useful collection of articles and resources for parents, educators, and others interested in gifted education, wrapped up in an old-style Webpage.
KidSource Online: Gifted and Talented Students — www.kidsource.com/kidsource/pages/ed.gifted.html — Contains links to articles, ERIC Digests, and other online resources on nurturing and developing gifted children. Includes information on “dual exceptionality”: gifted and talented students with special needs.
Commercial Curriculum Platforms
Renzulli Learning — renzullilearning.com/ — a division of CompassLearning (http://compasslearning.com), provides accelerated learning platforms to help students improve at all levels of K-12 education.
GiftedandTalented.com — giftedandtalented.com/ — a division of Redbird Learning (redbirdlearning.com/): Programs of online accelerated learning for advanced learners, which grew out of 25 years of educational research at Stanford University. The programs are available worldwide, combining online multimedia courses and expert tutors to challenge high-potential students.
Khan Academy — www.khanacademy.org/ — Perhaps the best-known free, advanced individual learning site online.
Open Education Database (OEDb) contains a list of resources, “48 Essential Links for the Parents of Gifted Children” — oedb.org/ilibrarian/50-essential-links-for-the-parents-of-gifted-children/ — This list includes the typical organizations and parent resources as well as blogs and Twitter feeds related to gifted education.
TED — www.ted.com/ — Originally a conference to discuss Technology, Entertainment, and Design (hence the name), TED presents short talks on nearly every topic imaginable.
YouTube — www.youtube.com/ — YouTube is one of the top video platforms online; there are over 1 billion users, thousands of whom create educational content. A list of ten high-quality, regularly updated channels can be found at mashable.com/2013/04/04/youtube-education/.
Assouline, S. G., Colangelo, N., Vantassel-Baska, J., & Lupkowski-Shoplik, A. (Eds.). 2014. A nation empowered: Evidence trumps the excuses holding back America’s brightest students. 2 vols. Available from www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Empowered/.
Ford, D. Y. (2013). Recruiting and retaining culturally different students in gifted education. Austin, TX: Prufrock Press.
Roberts, J. L., & Inman, T. (2014). Strategies for differentiating instruction: Best practices for the classroom, 3rd ed. Austin, TX: Prufrock Press.
Siegle, D. (2012). Underachieving gifted child: Recognizing, understanding, and reversing underachievement. Austin, TX: Prufrock Press.
Webb, J. T., Gore, J. L., Amend, E. R., & DeVries, A. R. (2007). A parent’s guide to gifted children. Tucson, AZ: Great Potential Press.