Monday, September 19, 2016

The U.S. Fails to Maximize Gifted Education for Economic Development

Gifted people are often left out from full development and this has an impact on the American economy. Our economic development and growth comes from innovation and new product creation. Failing to develop policies that further their advancement leaves a major source of intellectual capital untapped and wasted.

A study in the Journal of Advanced Academics found that description of gifted students is lacking, current students may not fit the appropriate definition, and the programs are not truly maximized (Kettler, 2016). Many students in these programs are not "gifted".  The author further makes the argument that such programs are not studied by economists in a way that encourages better policy development.

The problem many educators face is that smart and gifted are not exactly the same thing. Smart people give you the answers you want while gifted give you the truest answers you may not be aware of. This means that gifted people may not actually be entering the programs or be developed for a nation because they are not straight A students with text book answers.

As a nation we don't want students to give us text book answers; at least not always. It is new ways of perceiving and doing things that will make a difference. Text book answers are beneficial but active interest in how the student constructed their understanding is more important. One leads to innovation the other continues down predefined knowledge paths.

Groundbreaking research and new developments that can impact our economy need new ways of understand the world. Gifted students may actually be left out of development and marginalized in society only because administrators, professors, and teachers can't select appropriately. Our human and intellectual capital suffers when our best and brightest don't have an opportunity to come forward.  

Kettler, T. (2016). Why are economists evaluating the impact of gifted education? Journal of Advanced Academics, 27 (2). 

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