One of the biggest obstacles that gifted education faces is anti-intellectualism, which Richard Hofstader defined as “a resentment and suspicion of the life of the mind and those who are considered to represent it; and a disposition constantly to minimize the value of that life.”
Anti-intellectualism is most damaging to our young gifted students, who face disrespect and even ridicule for what we as a society should consider good things – excitement about new ideas, high test scores, and good grades.
What can we do about it? Schools can display student accomplishments not only in sports, but also in academics, music, and art. Teachers and parents can recognize gifted programs not as undemocratic or elitist, but as a way of accommodating individual student needs. Finally, we can recognize that anti-giftedness is anti-intellectual and ignores individual differences in abilities.