After reading last week’s post, “Sophomoritis Cure?” concerning a New York Times article, I’ve been thinking about all of the ways students can work ahead or challenge themselves. I immediately thought of that ’90s TV show “Smart Guy” about a 10-year-old genius who goes to high school because he’s too smart for his grade.
It seems like more and more students are becoming part of gifted programs, taking high school classes in middle school and college classes in high school, or in some cases, skipping grades or graduating early. So I wondered, how long ago was it that everyone was the same?
Apparently, it’s been quite a while.
- According to the National Association for Gifted Children, movements to educate gifted students started in 1868 in St. Louis. The NAGC provides a timeline of events in gifted education.
- The Advanced Placement Program, which says it’s “designed to develop rigorous, college-level course curricula and assessments for high school students,” dates back to the early 1950s, when a pilot program was developed to cut course redundancy between high school and college, according to the program’s history.
- The International Baccalaureate Program, which started in 1968, is an organization that “works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment,” according to the program’s Web site. It began at the International School of Geneva, according to an IB timeline.
These programs and others join efforts such as grade skipping or graduating early, just like T.J. Henderson in “Smart Guy.”
In 2004, the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration published “A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students” about the lack of recognition and acceleration for gifted students and the issues it raises.
What other programs are there for the smart guys? Do you think educators hold gifted children back? Is it that kids are smarter nowadays or that there are simply more resources for those looking to accelerate?