Mindsets in the Classroom: Gifted Education and a Growth Mindset

Chapter 7: Can gifted education and a growth mindset belief coexist?

Wow, what a powerful chapter!  When I saw the title, I won't lie, I cringed a little.  I struggle with the "gifted" label and don't always agree with how gifted education is handled (in general, not any one school specifically).  This chapter left my feelings validated and my philosophy challenged at the same time, which is a good thing!
"Doesn't telling a child that she is "gifted" manifest a fixed mindset?" Mindsets in the Classroom, Ricci
The gifted LABEL.  Why do we do this?  It's not really polite or constructive or politically correct to label people anyway right?  This may be where my negative feelings about the whole gifted education comes in.  Students are being identified gifted as early as Kindergarten in some schools.  Kindergarten!  All children's needs should be responded to within the course of instruction at this age level and all students should be viewed as "high-potential learners".

Gifted = Smart.
He's the smart kid.
Ask her, she's the smart one.
Sound familiar?  I've heard students say this on more than one occasion.  On the flip side I have witnessed a "gifted" child have a meltdown because they didn't get something right away.  As soon as we put that label on a child (or don't) we automatically steer them towards a fixed mindset.  Instead we should be differentiating for all students and being responsive to their individual needs.  All children are gifted and talented in some way and as educators it is our responsibility to recognize the potential in every child.

Excellent chapter.  I'm definitely forwarding this book to my administrators in hopes of getting it on the PD schedule this year!
If you would like to link up with Hello Sunshine you can click on the button or add you link at the bottom of the page.  Thanks for stopping by today!
Hello Sunshine!