Why choose a gifted and talented program? The gifted and talented programs (G&T) were developed to keep the middle class in New York City instead of flocking to suburban schools. All G&T teachers are certified to teach gifted education, and the programs are specially designed to meet the needs of children with special talents. Most G & T programs have an accelerated curriculum, particularly in math and reading. Perhaps the greatest advantage of G&T programs is that students are grouped with peers of similar intellectual abilities, providing a stimulating academic environment. However, there are a few disadvantages to these programs. Students have to take standardized tests to be admitted to a G&T program. These G&T classes tend to serve a less diverse student population than are found in general education classes. Finally, while some children may shine in a general education class, others may merely be “average” in a gifted program.
Why choose a general education program?
The philosophy of general education programs is that every child is talented in some way and that gifted, average and slow learners can all benefit from learning from one another. Gifted students can tutor slower learners, and in turn improve their communication skills, compassion and mastery of any given subject. The classes are heterogeneous by nature, thus exposing children to all types of personalities and talents. These programs also tend to serve a more diverse student population. Perhaps the largest advantage, particularly for parents who hesitate to test their children at a young age, is that there are no required entrance exams for general education programs.