Culturally Gifted Learners

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by stingler
Last updated 6 years ago

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Culturally Gifted Learners

Strategies toImprove

According to Davis and Rimm, it has been statically proven that as many as half of the gifted population do not perform to their full potential in the school setting. Underachievement in this context means that the student’s school performance and actual ability (intellectual, creativity, achievement, and/or observation data) do not align. This is observed when there is a difference in potential and productivity.

Include, but not limited to:* Distracted* Does not like practice assignments* Daily work is turned in incomplete or messy* Focused only when personal interests are present* Low self-esteem *Avoids new activities

Characteristicsof Underachievers

Special Populations

Why ?

*Make sure that home and school expectations are consistent*Build self-efficacy * Make Learning Meaningful*Use a variety of assessment methods*Make sure that communication is clear between all parties (student, parents, teacher)


In gifted children, we can see a gap in test scores and class work. This can be due in part to a teacher’s lack of understanding of gifted characteristics. The teacher must know what to expect based on the student’s gifted ability. The expectations of parents and teachers can cause conflict when they are not synthesized. This is the same for students that have two or more parents that do not share the same expectations for their child.

The identification of culturally gifted students is not easily done, due to standardized test bias, and other procedures that obscure their abilities. Children of cultural diversity should be administered various tests to determine gifted abilities. Intelligence tests may be given, however the scorer should keep in mind that low scores reflect the language, family background, and cultural differences of the student. This is the same when giving achievement test. Creativity tests usually do not present the same biases, but they should never be used to eliminate students from gifted programs.



Underachievement may occur for various reasons. Some of which can be listed as low self-esteem, cultural differences, parental counter identification, family environment, and school environment. Students can become underachievers based on school factors as well as outside factors. Cultural differences and family environments can affect student achievement in a negative way. Students may develop low self-esteem and become resilient when they are in situations such as these.

When servicing culturally diverse gifted students, curriculum options such as ability grouping, enrichment, and acceleration should be implemented. However, there are more factors to be considered. The program should:

•Maintain ethnic identity (positive focus on ethnicity)•Provide extracurricular ethnic enrichment (add knowledge and depth to experiences)•Respect learning style differences (purposeful modification)•Provide counseling as needed (peer pressure not to achieve is strong)•Provide parent support (Understand child’s gift and opportunities)

Teacher nominations may serve as a valid indicator, if the teacher is sensitive to the student’s culture and highly attune to gifted characteristics. The Gifted Minority Student Project is a program that uses the dynamic approach to identify students as gifted. This model relies on student profiles rather than cutoff scores, which appears to be less culturally biased than others.


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