I had a conversation with someone in the field of gifted education the other day. She told me the following stats and facts about the situation for gifted students in British Columbia:
- In 2001 there were 16,000 students of ca 600,000 (2.7%) with a gifted designation. Today there are 4,000 (0.7%).
- The decrease of students with a gifted designation can be attributed to the lack of funding. If there is no money, why bother assessing and designating students?
- Thanks to the win of the BCTF in the supreme court, there will be funding for gifted student support again. Not unlimited, but some; the timing therefore seems right for some advocacy work on behalf of gifted students in BC.
- Educational strategies in BC seem today to primarily focus on how to control gifted students who act out. It is first that student behavior is managed that teachers may show some curiosity in their gifted minds. Unfortunately, the key to behavioral issues is enrichment. Few teachers seem to be aware of this and may spend unnecessary time on behavioral issues that could be solved differently and faster.
- The brain is a living organ, with plasticity that is affected by the environment. This means that non-supported giftedness disappear over time.
- Many gifted students are twice exceptional. I have this far failed to find official stats on this, but someone told me the other day, that many families with 2e students end up home schooling them in BC. If home schooling is a personal choice, I totally support it, but I do find it tragic if many end up home schooling because of the lack of support in the BC education system.