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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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3.6.7 Public attitudes towards the gifted: Myth and reality

Society’s “love-hate relationship” with giftedness has framed the discussion of gifted education for decades. Until recently, the nature of that relationship has been unclear. In 2015, the Institute for Educational Advancement began an unprecedented survey of public attitudes about giftedness. Together with a national polling organisation, and in collaboration with NAGC and the Fordham Foundation, data has been gathered from a stratified random sample of American citizens on several topics, including attitudes towards the term ‘gifted’ and increased public services. The results shed light on lay attitudes, and on how to approach conversations about public policy.


Elizabeth Jones
Institute for Educational Advancement
United States

Ms. Jones has been an educator, researcher and administrator of educational programs for over 20 years. Ms. Jones served as the Associate Director of The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and the Director of the Western Region for ten years prior to co-founding the Institute for Educational Advancement, a nonprofit that provides support and services for gifted youth across the country, in 1998.

Dr. Shelagh Gallagher

United States

Dr. Shelagh A. Gallagher has worked with gifted students, their teachers and parents from Charlotte to Kazakhstan. She has conducted research and published articles on topics including personality attributes and giftedness, developmental and academic needs of gifted adolescents, questioning strategies for gifted students, and twice exceptional students. Dr. Gallagher served two terms on the Board of Directors of NAGC. She has received 7 curriculum awards and Article of the Year award from NAGC. She recently received the “Person of SIGnificance” award from the National Society for Gifted Students, and she is a Yunsas Fellow with the Institute for Educational Advancement.


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