Mississippi Gifted Education Act of 1989
The Mississippi State Department of Education defines intellectually gifted children as children and youth who are found to have an exceptionally high degree of intelligence as documented through the identification process.
The Mississippi Gifted Education Act of 1989, amended in 1993, mandates that each public school district within the state provide gifted education programs in grades 2-6.
Some Myths About Gifted Children
Gifted Kids are like cream that rises to the top in a classroom:
Not necessarily. Gifted Children can have hidden learning disabilities that go undiscovered because they can easily compensate for them in the early years. As time goes on though, it becomes harder and harder for them to excel which can lead to behavior problems and depression.
Gifted Kids are so smart they do fine with or without special programs:
They may appear to do fine on their own. But without proper challenge they can become bored and unruly. As the years go by they may find it harder and harder as work does become more challenging, since they never faced challenge before.
Gifted and Talented means the same thing:
Again, not necessarily. There is no rule that states that a child who is capable of scoring to the high ninety percentiles on group achievement testing must be considered gifted. We must remember that achievement tests like the Metropolitan Achievement Tests are "Grade Level Testing". Such a child is most definitely Academically Talented. But further individualized IQ and out of level academic testing must be given before we can define that child as "Gifted". At the same time, there is no rule that states a child identified as gifted should be Achieving to high standards in the classroom. This type of stereotyping can do serious and irreversible damage to both groups. ANY child can benefit from enrichment. Academically Talented Children can benefit from Honors (Grade Level) Classes. Intellectually Gifted children need a differentiated curriculum and possibly even a different environment.
They need to go through school with their own age mates:
Where it's true that children need to play and interact socially with other children their age, they do not need to learn with them. Especially in the case of a highly gifted child who may have a chronological age of six and a mental age of 11 who has been reading since two. To put that child in a reading class with other six year olds who are just learning to read is sheer torture for that child.
Giftedness is something to be jealous about:
This is perhaps the most damaging myth. More often than not gifted children can feel isolated and misunderstood. They have more adult tastes in music, clothing, reading material and food. These differences to other children can cause them to be shunned and even abused verbally or physically by other children. Experts in the field of gifted education are beginning to address the higher incidences of ADHD and Spelling/Handwriting disabilities in the gifted population verses those in the much larger normal population.
East Central Talented and Gifted Association
FES WINGS and HMS WINGS programs are both members of the East Central Talented and Gifted Association. ECTAG offers area schools an opportunity to compete in chess, scrabble, art, Scholar's Bowl, Spontaneous Art, and Invention Fair competitions.
Mississippi Association for Gifted Children
This organization is the forerunner of Gifted Education in the state of Mississippi. MAGC holds an annual meeting in the fall for parents, teachers, and administrators of gifted children.
MAGC also has a Parent Organization that parents of gifted children may join. Information is at MAGC, P. O. Box 3545, Jackson, MS 39207 or www.msms.k12.ms.us/MAGC
Characteristics of Giftedness
Developed by Dr. Linda Silverman:
Reasons well (good thinker)
Has extensive vocabulary
Has an excellent memory
Has a long attention span (if interested)
Sensitive (feelings hurt easily)
Has strong curiosity
Perseverant in their interests
Has high degree of energy
Prefers older companions or adults
Has a wide range of interests
Has a great sense of humor
Early or avid reader (if too young to read, loves being read to)
Concerned with justice, fairness
Judgment mature for age at times
Is a keen observer
Has a vivid imagination
Is highly creative
Tends to question authority
Has facility with numbers
Good at jigsaw puzzles