It is an often repeated statement that the past foretells the future; this statement is true in gifted education as well. For decades, gifted education has moved from the past into the future by asserting that “a program’s focus must be on recognizing and accepting individual differences,” and the twenty-first century has proved that there are so many layers to this assertion.
I’ll preface this final entry with credit to Professors Emeritus Dr. Robert E. Clasen and Dr. Donna Rae Clasen for their wise persistence, intelligence, wisdom, and generosity of time, talent, and expertise to the field of gifted education. The article below was originally published by the Department of Public Instruction in Education Forward in February of 1985 - nearly 40 years ago. Better yet, it’s based on activity sparked by the Marland report of 1972 - now 50 years old! Stay strong, my friends; progress takes time!
“The surge of interest in education of gifted, talented, and creative students was fomented by a 1972 Office of Education report to Congress, and has caused many Wisconsin school districts to consider developing a gifted program. Large and medium-sized districts have, generally, been able to proceed with developing one or more such programs. Small school districts, on the other hand, have greater trouble finding the human and fiscal resources to implement gifted programs. Yet, the need will continue to exist.
Because resources are scarce, small districts must be both efficient and effective in deploying those resources that are available.The following guidelines may help small districts assure that available resources are utilized to their fullest:
The following mixed media gifted and talented education resources are available through the University of Wisconsin (UW) Extension-Education:
● Clasen, Donna Rae. Teaching for Thinking: Creativity in the Classroom. Madison: UW Extension, 1985
● Clasen, Robert E., etal. Programming for the Gifted, Talented & Creative. Madison: UW Extension 1981
● Clasen, Robert E., et. al. Simple Gifts. Madison: UW Extension, 1981
Note that these books of readings, study guides, and instructor’s manuals, some with multiple publication dates, are being preserved in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library Archive. We hope the video programs will be preserved there in some form also.
The past does indeed inform the future. As we continue to evolve as an important and necessary part of education, we in gifted education can and must use ideas from the past to guide our future. We stand on the shoulders of knowledgeable giants!
Ruth Robinson, WATG Past President 2003-04
The WATG Board would like to thank Ruth Robinson, President of WATG from 2003-2004 for her generous gift of time and talent in compiling these Gifted Meanderings, and archiving all of WATG’s important history. Thank you, Ruth, for your outstanding contributions! You are one of our giants!