Online Professor Sally Krisel Speaks Out About Gifted Learners

In an article recently released by the District Administration, Dr. Sally Krisel, a professor within the online UGA Ed.S. in Educational Psychology, Gifted and Creative Education program, contributed to a discussion about gifted learners and their treatment within the U.S. school system. Due to the focus on struggling students, many people don't know the common obstacles that gifted students face in school, assuming that their title as "gifted" means that they have a natural aptitude for everything academic and don't need the same support and nurture that struggling students do. 

It is assumed that gifted children will excel in school, achieving many intellectual feats. This is not the case, however. Almost no states require general education teachers to have gifted education training, and this provides a very difficult environment for gifted children, many of whom become underachievers without the necessary support. Many gifted children are very good at one thing, but not at every subject. Or they are gifted in a way that is not supported within a regular school construct. In any case, without the proper nurturing, these students very regularly struggle and fail. 

This discrepancy between the attention given to struggling students and the lack of attention awarded to gifted learners has been the topic of much discussion recently among the academic community. It is a gap that needs to be bridged, but the general societal stigma of talking too much about kids who already seem to be intellectual privileged persists yet."There's an unfounded sense that it's somehow elitist to place emphasis on our highest-ability kids," says Dr. Krisel. "We need to be committed to kids across the board. It's a basic equity issue. If we believe all kids deserve to come to school and engage in a curriculum targeted to their current level of development, then gifted programs are as necessary as special services." 

Information for this article taken from a District Administration article written in June 2015.