Mapping Out Diverse Gifted Programs

Leading Culturally Responsive Gifted Programs: A Roadmap for Change
By Robin M. Greene and Michelle Pacheco Dubois
(Routledge/Prufrock Press, 2023 – Learn more)

Reviewed by Katie Galayda

Leading Culturally Responsive Gifted Programs fell into my reading list seemingly at a perfect time. As of my writing this review, the American K-12 education system is experiencing multiple crises while grappling with society’s expectations of growth and development for all the students we serve.

As a teacher who is teaching in a gifted and talented program for the first time and as a person who has always prided herself on having culturally relevant and responsive teaching practices, I am glad to have the book’s information on how to add culturally responsive pedagogy and intention within my gifted classes.

Robin M. Greene and Michelle Pacheco Dubois wrote this book as a foundational roadmap for educators who want to create culturally, linguistically sustaining gifted education policies, practices, and programming that are antiracist.

The authors state the reader’s role is to be willing to develop their cultural competency, critically examine their education setting (specifically the gifted program), actively examine and work to dismantle institutionalized and systemic barriers affecting gifted students from historically marginalized populations, and recognize their own role in perpetuating systems of oppression. In short, the reader needs to be open to antiracist philosophy and aware of their role in continuing those systems.

The authors’ roadmap is very much a well structured model. The book introduces readers not only to what is culturally responsive teaching, but also to the urgency and need for these programs. From there the book instructs readers on how to create culturally inclusive learning environments, culturally responsive leadership, data driven approaches, the creation of systems of support, commitment to families, and equity for the sustainability of the program’s future.

While this book can be read cover to cover, I found it helpful to pull specific chapters as needed. Each chapter is full of guided reflection prompts as you work through the content. Every chapter also ends with the key points bulleted after the concluding paragraph. I found this helpful when I was flipping through and trying to remember what section a concept was from and being able to remember at a glance the chapter’s goals and messages.

Though the book is written explicitly for gifted education programs, the context and structure could be extended and applied to a variety of classroom environments.

I believe this book is great for those educators who are familiar with or new to antiracist ideology and looking to create a more responsive learning environment for all of their students.

Katie Galayda is an eighth-grade educator in Western North Carolina with a background in Social Studies and English Language Arts. With an emphasis on a growth mindset, social-emotional learning, and culturally responsive teaching, she focuses on the growth of the whole child and not just the academic student. As a lifelong learner, Katie is a voracious reader on a variety of topics and enjoys learning about new educational practices to implement in her classroom via her teacher Instagram community @msgalayda.



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