Gifted Education and Varsity Athletics: How They Are the Same, But Treated Differently

In athletics, we seek out the best performers and we give them the best coaches, the best equipment, and individualized instruction. We encourage them to excel in competition, and we nurture them so they will continue to grow and become the best that they can be.  We value their sports talent and athletic abilities.

Much the opposite is true in the classroom. In academics, we mostly seek out those who are struggling and give them the specialized instructors, the supplemental educational tools, the individualized instruction, the funding, and we nurture them so they will become more proficient and get caught up to the average.

What if, in athletics, we let the advanced athletes fend for themselves, and we only devoted the best coaching and financing to those who were struggling to throw a ball, swing a racquet, or run a lap?  What if we spent more time with the underachievers on the team and let the best athletes fend for themselves because they obviously already know how to do it. Would that be fair to the athletes who are excelling and are waiting to be recognized for what they are doing right?  Would that be the best use of our resources? Would teams be better for it? No, because our society values advanced athletic ability – winners.

Our society needs to put a higher value on advanced academic ability. Those who already excel in academics are often left to chart their own course. Or worse, they stop studying, or stop going to class, because it’s…

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