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Volume 10, Number 4
July/August 1994

Creating a Vision of an Inclusive Future

Why we need a new definition of "giftedness"


It is science time in Ms. Sanderson's second-grade class. The students, in groups of five, are hard at work designing animal habitats. Manuel, who has been in the country only two months, is working with Kara to prepare a chart of animal names and pictures in English and Spanish. Later they will teach the Spanish names to the whole class. One group has just come back from a walk outside where they gathered materials (twigs and leaves) to put into their display of the forest habitat. For Nicole, who has cerebral palsy, the excursion provided an opportunity to work on gross motor skills: walking, stooping, picking things up, carrying.

One of the small groups is coloring a mural for their display. John, who has difficulty staying on task and requires ongoing support and encouragement, has been assigned the blue crayon—he is responsible for coloring both the sky and the water, and other students continually call to him: "John, we need some blue over here, over here."

Jennifer, who is academically advanced and interested in writing, has been given the job of interviewing each group and preparing a newsletter about animal habitats. This task encourages her to listen well to her classmates, which is sometimes difficult for her, and to work on notetaking and paraphrasing.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.


Also by this Author

    For Further Information

    For Further Information

    P. George. How to Untrack Your School. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1992.

    S. Reis et al. An Analysis of the Impact of Curriculum Compacting on Classroom Practices: Technical Report. Storrs, CT: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, 1992.

    J. Snow. "Giftedness." In J. Pearpoint, M. Forest, and J. Snow (eds.), The Inclusion Papers: Strategies to Make Inclusion Work. Toronto: Inclusion Press, 1992.