Providing Access for Culturally Diverse Gifted Students: From Deficit to Dynamic Thinking

Few school districts in the United States have successfully recruited and retained culturally diverse students in programs for gifted students. Black, Hispanic, and Native American students are underrepresented in gifted education programs nationally, with underrepresentation ranging from 50-70%. This article addresses two questions that are at least as old as gifted education itself: Why are diverse students underrepresented, and how can we recruit and retain more diverse students in our gifted programs? Factors contributing to the persistent underrepresentation of Black students in gifted education are presented, along with suggestions for changes. The central premise of this article is that deficit thinking held by educators about diverse students hinders access to gifted programs for them.