In school systems across our nation, high achievers are often invisible. The movie Gifted peers into the complicated process of educating, you guessed it, gifted children. The film is a hopeful reminder that we must not only see these children, but must understand, teach, and challenge young gifted minds for their sake and not ours.
Gifted tells the story of the struggles gifted children and their caregivers encounter when they lack access to gifted programs in their neighborhoods.
Mary Adler, the protagonist in Gifted, is a first-grader who vents her frustration when she has to sit through content she already knows. When her teacher asks, “What is three plus three,” Mary’s response is pure boredom, “Everyone knows that… What kind of school is this!?!” While Mary is fictitious, research shows that gifted children know nearly 50 percent of early elementary school material on the first day of class, meaning there are many children like Mary in our nation’s classrooms.
Fortunately, Mary’s teacher quickly understands that she is extraordinarily gifted and thrives on challenge and stimulation. Mary was fortunate to be in a classroom with a teacher who recognized her gifts and helped push for appropriate services.
Gifted children have...