Education of the Intellectually Gifted

By Milton J. Gold | Go to book overview
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Chapter 15
Guidance

There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

-- Shakespeare

Most of the normal functions of a school guidance program have particular relevance in education of the gifted. Identification of strengths and weaknesses, assistance in arriving at educational and vocational decisions, counseling in the face of emotional and social problems, providing information to the faculty as a basis for curriculum adaptation, helping the student to understand and to accept himself and others, evaluating growth -- all of these have specific significance for the gifted learner because he shares the common problems of his age group and faces still others that arise from the uniqueness of his gifts.

Widespread concern has been expressed by national commissions, professional societies, and individuals over the failure of a large proportion of students with high ability to continue their education after high school. Of the 40 per cent of students who do not complete high school, a significant proportion are in the top 10 per cent of ability as measured by aptitude tests ( Wolfle, 1954). One fifth of the top third of students taking the National Merit Scholarship examinations in 1958 did not enter college as full-time students ( Holland, 1962).

There is a tendency to attribute this loss of potential to inadequate guidance services. Terman and Oden ( 1954b), noting that 15 per cent of their top percentile group did not enter college and that 30 per cent did not graduate, cited the following as the two most important reasons: (1) failure to identify ability, (2) failure to provide an appropriate school program when high ability was discovered. Passow ( 1956)

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