As the legislature convenes in special session and school districts across New Mexico build budgets for funding the 2017-2018 school year, the New Mexico Association for Gifted would like to highlight the need for a range of quality gifted education programming in our state.
A wide range of needs
New Mexico’s student population contains a wide range of gifted students – children of immigrants, research scientists (and immigrant research scientists!), artists, farmers; speakers of Spanish and English, Navajo and Tagalog; students whose lives outside of school are incredibly enriched in ways that support school learning, as well as those who care for siblings instead of doing homework, so that their parents can work multiple jobs.
At current funding levels, schools across New Mexico struggle to identify giftedness with equity and serving the wide range of needs. Yet, thanks to the promises made in Individual Education Plans, our gifted students may receive a range of services to meet their needs, including small group services that help students who will be the first generation in their family to attend college, whole-day programming for the highly gifted, acceleration in talent areas, and special thinking skills instruction. Continue reading
As a New Mexico public school art teacher turned teacher of gifted students, I’ve long been interested in the overlap of artistic and academic talent. It was satisfying to learn of positive reviews from both professional fields of the recent ESEA reauthorization. The Every Student Succeeds Act has been praised for revisions that will benefit advanced and gifted learners in the public schools It has also been recognized for including the arts as essential, no longer peripheral, to a “well-rounded education.” This reorientation prompted me to consider again what I can do to help develop the talents of gifted visual artists on my caseload.
I’d like to know if anyone in New Mexico is currently providing artistic talent development for students with a demonstrated very superior ability in the domain of visual art. If so, what instruments are used to demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual arts and to show the need for services, and what services can be designed to meet these needs?
The Impact of Disadvantage on Potentially Eminent Visual Artists
By Daesherri (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
I have no doubt there are students with high potential in the visual arts who, without support, will not be prepared to succeed in post-secondary visual arts training. Without such credentials, they are not likely achieve positions of leadership in the arts and influence the work of museums, galleries, and higher education institutions. They have great potential but may be poor, recent immigrants, or racially, culturally, or linguistically marginalized. Unlike the young artists of families with more resources and connections to invest in talent development through clubs, lessons, mentorships, and arts activities, these disadvantaged students may lack affirmation of their artistic talents while young. For college and careers in the arts, they might lack the preparedness of better resourced peers. Can New Mexico’s gifted education programs support young, high-ability visual artists who lack their own connections and resources?