What is giftedness?
To some parents, it may simply mean an advanced ability or talent they observed in their child. And the signs may be different: a musical or artistic ability not typical of same aged peers; early reading ability with comprehension in a two year old; intensely curious or sensitive; a great memory or high verbal ability.
According to the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC):
Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).
Another definition by the Javits Act (1988) states:
“The term gifted and talented student means children and youths who give evidence of higher performance capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the schools in order to develop such capabilities fully.”
PALNYC is not about a singular philosophy, or encouraging gifted children to be treated differently. All children deserve an education that supports their needs, taking into account their individual learning styles and preferences. In New York City, where overcrowding is forcing schools into lottery situations, parents want to be certain their child’s education is not compromised due to a loss of funding, programs or quality teachers.
At PALNYC, we’re not interested in a child’s IQ number or wanting to separate the smart kids from the typical learner, it’s about realistically providing an appropriate educational opportunity based on individual need. Most of us seek a gifted or advanced program simply out of necessity- our children are great debaters, curious beyond our capability to satiate them, or in need of more stimulation than a typical program provides.
PALNYC is here to begin the dialogue, a conversation with parents, experts and educators, as well as administrators, offering parents the best support we can for the benefit of all of our kids.
A few great resources for further reading: