When talking with some parents of gifted students recently, they brought up their concern about making sure their students know about the importance of voting. One parent was especially interested because her student will be voting soon for the first time. The other parent wanted her students to learn where to find objective information about voting, the issues, and how to make decisions based on critical thinking, rather than political rhetoric.
As I was considering this topic and its implications for gifted students, I thought about when I taught citizenship and civic responsibility to students with disabilities, twice exceptional students, and their teachers across the country. These students, like gifted students, wanted the facts and were interested in making their own decisions based on the facts. Gifted students often think deeply about issues and topics they hear about on TV or via other media, and for many, it profoundly concerns them. If we think of Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities, the emotional excitability may include “a heightened sense of right and wrong or injustice and hypocrisy” for some gifted students. (https://www.verywellfamily.com/dabrowskis-overexcitabilities-in-gifted-children-1449118). They are often very concerned with these emotional matters to the point of interference with daily life. That is why it is important to teach all students, including gifted students, about the facts of the responsibility of citizens to vote and to lend our voice to our democracy.
Below are some resources that provide facts about voting and how to learn about the issues in your particular area. The last resource, Voting Avenue, is a new music video about voting based on the “Schoolhouse Rock” platform. It was premiered a few weeks ago on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Yara Shahidi in the video, and may engage students and adults to learn about voting.
Gifted students often worry about important issues in our world. By educating them about their right to vote when they turn 18, they learn they can lend their voice by voting, something they can do from near or far throughout their lifetime.
If the links do not work, you may have to cut and paste the URL into your browser.
League of Women Voters Education Fund
“The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public. The League has a long, rich history, that continues with each passing year.” (https://www.lwv.org/about-us/history)
U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
“The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is an independent agency of the United States government created by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). The Commission serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Election_Assistance_Commission)
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