‘Gifted’ teaching leads to gifted students

Low-income children taught with “gifted” techniques were more likely to be identified as gifted a few years later in a pilot experiment in high-poverty North Carolina elementary schools. Project Bright IDEA trained K-2 teachers in techniques used for gifted students.

The study found that within three years, the number of children identified by their school districts as being academically and intellectually gifted ranged from 15 percent to 20 percent, compared to just 10 percent of children in a control group. The year the project began, no third-graders from the schools in the study had been identified as gifted.

Black and Latino students are more likely to get “dumbed-down instruction,” said William “Sandy” Darity, professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. “So one of the exciting things about Project Bright IDEA is the premise that you provide this high-level curriculum and instruction to all the kids.”