Friday, December 12, 2008

How Important is Gifted Education?

In difficult financial times, schools tend to carry an undue amount of of the burden of cutbacks. Art and music often get cut quickly because we view education through such a utilitarian lens that anything that enriches children intellectually, but not likely to enrich them monetarily is deemed useless. We train workers instead of creating interesting people.

But what of our more intellectually endowed students? These are kids who generally are going to excel no matter what we do. With educational resources limited should we spend less on gifted education since we know they will get good, if not maximal educations without the spending while others need it more than they? Or are these kids special in that they are more likely to play a greater role in the culture and therefore it is a societal investment that would pay increased dividends? Or are both of these warped ways of looking at the question?