Identification of Gifted Students in Culturally Diverse Populations
  • Obstacles for Educators
    • Gifted programs have traditionally focused on identifying students who display academic giftedness. Some students, e.g. those with diverse cultural backgrounds, may not match this stereotype.
      • Academic giftedness may be masked by language barriers and cultural differences (examples include wardrobe, speech pattern, and interpersonal skills).
      • Multiple forms of giftedness may arise based on a students’ background.
      • Depending on variables such as location and financial disposition of the school, students have varying levels of access to gifted programs.
      • Teachers may suffer from preconceived notions about various groups, often without realizing it. For example, in academic circles negative stereotypes still abound regarding individuals with strong Southern or urban accents.
      • Teachers may simply fail to observe gifted characteristics of students who are not part of their own culture.
      • Parents may be less likely to advocate on behalf of their children.
      • Curricular materials may not appeal to children from non-dominant cultures.
      • Assessment materials may suffer from inherent bias.
  • Tips for Identification
    • Train teachers and examiners to be aware of their own stereotypes.
    • Use multiple identification methods. This may include various paths to nomination (teacher, guardian, peer, self, advocate), interviews (in person or via electronic methods), and a wide array of testing choices.
    • Provide testing situations that mask the cultural identity of the student.
    • Include multicultural representatives as advisors and advocates.
    • Develop creative marketing and communication strategies to attract students and parents.
  • Works Cited