gifted youngsters. More specific needs for better and more specific leadership at the State and Federal levels were mentioned primarily by administrators and others who know the structure of the educational system at first hand. Parents and teachers generally focused on the quality of the immediate delivery of services to the gifted student.

Special Classes.-Under organizational needs, testimony stressed the need for partial separation for a part of the educational program to allow gifted youngsters to work with one another and to allow for necessary freedom to explore. There was a general rejection of a complete separation for the entire day in either special schools or special classes.

Society's Needs.—The societal need for gifted leadership in a complex society was stressed by the witnesses. Interestingly enough, very few of the witnesses mentioned the need for the gifted to provide us with protection against hostile powers that seemed the major impetus to some educational movements, such as the NDEA in the late 1950's. The threat of a technologically superior Russia caused a great flurry to improve our educational program for talented students. Do we have to have this kind of bogeyman to thrust in front of the public in order to force it to act ? Must we create a crisis, artificial or real, so that the problems of the gifted can get the same level of attention as the disadvantaged child and the handicapped child?


The recommendations for the testimony generally took the form of requests for general support for the gifted and talented rather than specific proposals. The structure and time limits of the hearings were not conducive to major innovative ideas. They did, however, underline several major points.

1. A strong need was expressed for additional funds and higher priority for gifted programs. A clear accompanying sentiment was that such funds would have to come from the Federal Government. Over 55 percent of the witnesses stressed the need for Federal funds. Those closest to the school finance position-administrators and school board members were overwhelming in expressing need for Federal assistance.

2. Nineteen percent of the witnesses spontaneously noted that funds needed to be earmarked for specific spending on the gifted. They indicated vehemently that unless funds were earmarked for the gifted, they would be siphoned off into other problem areas.

3. Request for more training support from the Federal level follows up the need for better prepared teachers. Over 25 percent of the witnesses wished for more teacher training help in both inservice and preservice programs.

4. The major request for specific State and Federal action was maintaining a higher priority for the gifted in the State and Federal decision making channels. The Federal Government would be more of a catalyst, providing funds and such special services as training fellowships. The State would retain leadership responsibilities for the basic program and would help tailor the program to local and regional needs.

In looking at possible differences between testifiers from different regions of the country, two regions that had few developed programs for the gifted were compared with two other regions relatively far along in their developmental programs for the gifted. The former placed their primary concern on the need for teachers and supplementary personnel to deal directly with the talented student while the latter stressed the need for more State and Federal leadership.

Students expressed more interest in greater opportunities for creative work, and for partial segregation of the talented, rather than full segregation in their school program. Administrators paid more attention to administrative concems and teachers to issues surrounding the immediate instructional program. Parents, not knowing the complexities of the school system, merely stressed their great desire to get something moving

The most frequently mentioned specific recommendations were: 1) leadership persons in visible positions at the State and the Federal level. (Specific earmarking amendments to title V ESEA were mentioned quite often); 2) model and demonstration programs to bring greater visibility to efforts for the gifted; 3) training fellowships and scholarships to improve the educational preparation for teachers and other specialists who want to spend more time working with the gifted; +) more research and development efforts earmarked for the gifted, particularly in specific new curriculum advances and reforms; 5) a major information exchange of program ideas and materials.

The overall portrait has been one of a great desire for educational leaders and citizens to modify somehow the crisis orientation that controls educational decision making today and to add some specific, definable plans and resources allocated for maximizing our societal assets our talented children. REPRESENTATIVE QUOTES FROM TESTIMONY-REGIONAL HEARINGS

ON EDUCATION FOR THE GIFTED With confidence that our children are our greatest single national asset, we feel that every investment in them is an investment in our national future. Without a doubt, they who will make the greatest contribution to society, they who will provide the leadership and the brainpower ... they are the gifted. As responsible parents, educators, citizens, yes, as taxpayers, we must invest in our national future.

(Parrino-Region V) Conformity is precisely the cross upon which special education for the gifted hangs supine.

(Beer-Region X) One of the things that concerns me is that practically none of the teachers we have been able to hire have had any preservice experience, either in courses for the gifted or experience with talented groups.

(McGuire-Region VII) Unless the initial development comes from the Federal Government, we cannot rely upon State and local governments to bring from their limited resources, that thrust which is necessary to get these programs off the ground.

(Weintraub-Region III)

Quality programs develop where one person, usually not a line administrator, sees it in his interest to become an advocate for the gifted program. He organizes a group of people around himself and together they forge the climate essential to the development of the program. The more outside money the advocate has, the more help he can muster from outside and inside the district, and the stronger his position, the better the program.

(House-Region V) The neglect of the education of this gifted child, whether he or she comes from a white middle class family in Forest Hills, Queens, or from a poor black or Puerto Rican family in Harlem, is a problem as great as any of the ills facing our society.

(Feit-Region II) Every individual is unhappy unless he can exercise his outstanding talents. He is frustrated and this is the situation, I think, with many of our children today.

(Guilford-Region IX)



The major thrust in American education today is to free all students to learn at their own pace--and to place on them more responsibility for their education.

Such arrangements as flexible scheduling, independence of mobility in learning decisionmaking and planning by pupils, the planning of curriculum

based on pupil interests, use of community specialists, research seminars, and flexible time blocks have been successfully used. As educators study and evaluate various arrangements, they learn of their value for children with exceptional learning needs.

Information on productive approaches to gifted education is cited in several sources in Volume II of this report. The common denominators of successful programs for the gifted have been support for a given plan, inservice assistance to teachers, continuity of the program, and opportunities for the student to develop genuine relationships in the school setting.

Programs of a few weeks' duration have been less fruitful than a sustained effort. The least productive results come from regular classes, although elementary teachers and administrators initially favor this arrangement.

From all available evidence, some kind of grouping is needed for the nurture of the abilities and talents of the gifted, accompanied by quality control with well prepared teachers and staff members, consultant assistance, and careful evaluation. Special grouping and special planning, carefully conceived and executed, provide opportunities for the gifted to function at proper levels of understanding and performance. Those who oppose grouping have relied on opinion or poorly designed studies rather than available evidence. Recent studies have shown that simple administrative arrangements alone produce no change. If it is to succeed, any plan must include active and appropriate intervention.


In all of the data gleaned from the research, from testimony at the regional hearings, and from the State Survey, one fact is clear. Every respondent started with the premise that special programs for the gifted and talented are essential. But the consideration of substantial investment in such special programs requires a closer look at this assumption. One must also ask whether special programs do, in fact, expand the child's ability to perform in accordance with his innate gifts and talents.

The four case studies in chapter VI provide a record of experience over the last 10 years for a sizable population. The following excerpt from the review of research (appendix A) presents a broader, more general law.

Special provisions, including acceleration and various special groupings, have been beneficial to gifted children. Studies have shown that gifted children can condense school requirements and cover them faster with no difficulty and with superior performance.

Followup studies of pupils who had participated in special classes have measured academic achievement, social adjustment, health, and personality factors. Clear support for special groupings was found in New York, in the Major Work Classes of Cleveland, in Los Angeles, and in numerous other locales. Participants showed improvement not only in academic areas but also in personal and social areas.

Special experimental classes have shown that gifted students can meet any standard requirements and simultaneously absorb the meaning, history, and symbols of a given discipline; study pertinent biographical data ; apply principles and insights from the discipline to other fields of knowledge; and display more originality in their performance than control groups.

Interage groups have produced beneficial results when accompanied by special planning and special teacher preparation. The attitudes of teachers, administrators, pupils, and parents who have participated were generally favorable. Better teaching has produced a higher level of thinking, questioning, self-reliance, and classroom relationships.

Special adaptations to improve learning opportunities have produced favorable social results as well. Special workshop experiences helped to develop and reinforce friendships among the gifted both in and out of school. Most of the Cleveland Major Work Class pupils adjusted well and approved of their special class experiences. Pupils from rural schools who attended Saturday classes in the California State program gained significantly in social status within their regular classrooms, despite the fact that their peers were completely unaware of the special work.

This growth is true of the elementary grades and junior and senior high school levels as well. Gifted high school pupils who had participated in special programs gained in personal and social maturity, compared to equally gifted nonparticipants. All of the evidence from the assessment of personal, social, and psychological factors indicated that gifted pupils who participate in programs do so with no damage and many gains.

Recent research has concentrated on specialized studies, and intervention or analysis in areas of talent and creativity as well as academic ability.

Specialized counseling for able disadvantaged students has proved beneficial. Students were found to improve scholastically and to earn more diplomas. Students who participated in special counseling sessions for a year or more showed improvements in self-attitude, relationships with others, and achievement.

À recent study produced significant gains in tests of fluency, adaptive flexibility, and originality. The gains were in divergent response (related to creativity) rather than in convergent or cognitive areas.

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