Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gifted Education Around the World

If you live in the U.S. and are the parent of a gifted child, you may have given little thought to how parents in other countries cope with their gifted children and their education. In fact, you probably haven't even considered that there are gifted children elsewhere with the exception of foreign students who come to study at our universities. Hopefully, this post will open your eyes to the incredible resources that can be found outside the U.S. and inspire you to want to learn more.

Today, I want to discuss how people approach gifted education within their own countries. In the upcoming weeks, there will be conferences on giftedness in Al-Ahsa, Saudia Arabia and in Sydney, Austrailia. Also, there is a National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) in the U.K. The countries may be different, but the challenges are remarkably similar. The symposium in Saudia Arabia will focus on pre-school and early gifted education programs and identification practices. The Asia Pacific Conference will cover learning communities, dual exceptionality, curriculum, and advocacy among other topics. In addition to NAGC in Britain, a national Gifted Students Academy will open in September of this year. This program will work in conjunction with secondary schools offering enrichment opportunities, student workshops, and teacher training to name just a few of their objectives. The program is sponsored by a consortium of over 20 training companies and individuals.

Many countries have no policy on gifted education and devote little to no resources for educating gifted children. However, parents are working to raise awareness and to petition their governments and departments of education for assistance. They have utilized the Internet to find information and encouragement from parents around the world. These parents have found success in forming advocacy groups for their children.

Ultimately, the more parents continue to communicate and network using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook, the more advances will be seen in gifted education. If you would like to share your experience in parenting or teaching gifted children, I encourage you to leave a comment here at my blog.

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