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special and gifted education

Special and Gifted Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (4 Volumes)

Release Date: April, 2016


Diverse learners with exceptional needs require a specialized curriculum that will help them to develop socially and intellectually in a way that traditional pedagogical practice is unable to fulfill. As educational technologies and theoretical approaches to learning continue to advance, so do the opportunities for exceptional children.

Special and Gifted Education: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications is an exhaustive compilation of emerging research, theoretical concepts, and real-world examples of the ways in which the education of special needs and exceptional children is evolving. Emphasizing pedagogical innovation and new ways of looking at contemporary educational practice, this multi-volume reference work is ideal for inclusion in academic libraries for use by pre-service and in-service teachers, graduate-level students, researchers, and educational software designers and developers.

Topics Covered

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism
  • Behavioral Disorders
  • Emotional Disorders
  • Exceptional Learners
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Response to Intervention
  • Talented Education


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10 Big Hurdles to Identifying and Educating the Nation’s Smartest Kids

10 Big Hurdles to Identifying and Educating the Nation’s Smartest Kids

1. Just 8.8 percent of U.S. students are classified as “high achievers” in mathematics, according to the most recent international assessments. That’s well below the average of 12.6 percent for affluent nations.

2. No Child Left Behind, the 2001 federal law, incentivizes “just getting kids over a bar,” Finn says. “In the public policies affecting our schools — state and federal — there’s almost no incentive to boost a smart kid up the scale or take someone who’s ‘proficient’ and push them to ‘advanced.’ ” [We’ve written before about proficiency and the tendency, under high-stakes testing, for schools to focus resources on kids who are “on the bubble.”]

7. One promising practice from overseas is screening all kids at third or fourth grade — after they’ve had a few years of school — and directing special resources to the top scorers. Here in the U.S., all third-graders are tested, but the high scorers don’t get anything. Meanwhile, screening for gifted programs usually happens in kindergarten, which creates a heavy bias toward those who come from more affluent homes.

more on gifted education in this IMS blog

personalized learning in the digital age

If This Is the End of Average, What Comes Next?

By Daniel T. Willingham     Jun 11, 2018

Todd Rose, the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has emerged as a central intellectual figure behind the movement. In particular, his 2016 book, “The End of Average,” is seen as an important justification for and guide to the personalization of learning.

what Rose argues against. He holds that our culture is obsessed with measuring and finding averages—averages of human ability and averages of the human body. Sometimes the average is held to be the ideal.

The jaggedness principle means that many of the attributes we care about are multi-faceted, not of a whole. For example, human ability is not one thing, so it doesn’t make sense to talk about someone as “smart” or “dumb.” That’s unidimensional. Someone might be very good with numbers, very bad with words, about average in using space, and gifted in using of visual imagery.

Since the 1930s, psychologists have debated whether intelligence is best characterized as one thing or many.

But most psychologists stopped playing this game in the 1990s. The resolution came through the work of John Carroll, who developed a third model in which abilities form a hierarchy. We can think of abilities as separate, but nested in higher-order abilities. Hence, there is a general, all-purpose intelligence, and it influences other abilities, so they are correlated. But the abilities nested within general intelligence are independent, so the correlations are modest. Thus, Rose’s jaggedness principle is certainly not new to psychology, and it’s incomplete.

The second (Context Principle) of Rose’s principles holds that personality traits don’t exist, and there’s a similar problem with this claim: Rose describes a concept with limited predictive power as having none at all. The most commonly accepted theory holds that personality can be described by variation on five dimensions

Rose’s third principle (pathways principle) suggests that there are multiple ways to reach a goal like walking or reading, and that there is not a fixed set of stages through which each of us passes.

Rose thinks students should earn credentials, not diplomas. In other words, a school would not certify that you’re “educated in computer science” but that you have specific knowledge and skills—that you can program games on handheld devices, for example. He think grades should be replaced by testaments of competency (my note: badges); the school affirms that you’ve mastered the skills and knowledge, period. Finally, Rose argues that students should have more flexibility in choosing their educational pathways.

more on personalized learning in this IMS blog

over-achieving students ignored

Age-Based, Grade-Level System Ignores Huge Numbers of Over-Achieving Students

By Dian Schaffhauser 08/23/16

How Can So Many Students Be Invisible? Large Percentages of American Students Perform Above Grade Level,” produced in the Institute of Education Policy at Johns Hopkins University, examined data sets from five sources: the Common Core-based Smarter Balanced assessments in Wisconsin and California, Florida’s standards assessments, the Northwest Evaluation Association’s (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

between 15 percent and 45 percent of students enter elementary classrooms each fall learning above grade level. The result is that they’re not challenged enough in school, and teacher time and school resources are wasted in trying to teach them stuff they already know.

The entire report is available on the institute’s website.


more on gifted students in this IMS blog