One of the mantras espoused by Center for Gifted Education (CFGE) Executive Director Dr. Tracy L. Cross is the importance of “serving gifted children globally.” To this end, he supported the idea of devoting two issues in Volume 36 of Journal for the Education of the Gifted, which he edits, to international practices in gifted education: "Special Issues: International Perspectives on Gifted Education and Talent Development, Parts I and II."
CFGE Founder Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska was the guest editor for the first special issue in this series, JEG 36(1). Countries included in the issue were: the Netherlands, England, Finland, Spain, Ireland, and Poland.
The guest editor for the second special issue, JEG 36(3), was CFGE Curriculum Director Dr. Kimberley Chandler. It featured articles about gifted education in 8 countries: Cyprus, Austria, German-speaking Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Peru, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
The idea for these special issues arose due to Dr. Chandler’s experiences in the doctoral program at William and Mary. As a student in the EPPL program in gifted education and as a practitioner in the field, she had benefitted from the expertise of many people both in this country and abroad. Because of her concern that some of the graduate students in the United States did not have the same opportunity to see the many burgeoning and established programs that exist globally, she approached Dr. Cross about sharing the work of foreign colleagues with the readers of the journal. The purpose for the special issues was to provide a glimpse into some of the varied practices that colleagues have developed in their contexts.
The invited authors were asked to follow a template in order that they would address similar information about their countries:
- What talents are valued? How are they developed in schools and other contexts?
- What is the primary conception of giftedness?
- What beliefs do people have about gifted individuals?
- What are the most difficult issues that need to be addressed in order to provide appropriate programs and services for gifted learners?
- In your view, what are the most important contributions to gifted education that have been made in your country?
- What have been the most important research findings that have emerged during the past ten years?
- What do you see as future directions for research and program development?
These manuscripts highlighting such different contexts and varied programming can provide the basis for additional investigations, discussions, and sharing in the field of gifted education.