Overlooked Children: Topics of Equity and Access in Gifted Education

EDUC 290S.01

The underrepresentation of certain groups in gifted programs persists. This course will examine the enrollment disparities that exist in gifted and advanced programs, critically review the assessment practices used to identify gifted students, and explore educational policy designed to reconcile equity and access issues in education.

In this course, students will gain foundational knowledge about Durham Public Schools (both contemporary and historical issues) and also an understanding of how policy decisions are made, operationalized, and implemented within schools—particularly those policies that address gifted and talented identification and programming. 

Students will be required visit schools as observers for the purpose of gaining familiarity with the ecosystem of a public school in Durham. Guest speakers who represent various roles within the school system will also be invited to speak during class time.

Course goals that connect with service-learning experiences within Durham Public Schools:
Students will be able to…
  • apply historical and theoretical perspectives to understand how educational inequalities are constructed or framed by government and society.
  • understand the process and rationale by which policies, decisions and actions  addressing inequality are made and implemented at the school, district, state, and federal levels.
  •  examine ways that schools contribute to social inequities AND also the ways schools reflect broader social inequities.
  • understand the relationships between culture and schools.
  •  evaluate the underlying reasons why inequalities persist despite efforts to overcome disparities.
  • explore causal mechanisms, including theoretical constructs (i.e., social stratification, cultural capital, effectively maintained inequality, critical and relevant pedagogy, etc.) that may influence access to and the effectiveness of advanced educational programs for certain groups of students.
  • develop the ability to empathize with, or "understand," a diversity of philosophical perspectives or points of view.
  • develop the ability to support one's views with well-reasoned, articulate arguments.
  • think reflectively and critically about course content.



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