While some English learners and students of color may be striving to attain minimal academic competency, others are likely to be high-ability or gifted/talented students who are not receiving appropriate support for their needs, and therefore are less engaged and have lower levels of participation in programs suitable for them.

English learners and students of color are persistently underrepresented in advanced classes and in programs for students identified as gifted, according to research presented during a recent edWebinar led by professors Julia Nyberg and Misty LaCour of Purdue University Global. Dr. Nyberg and Dr. LaCour then identified effective ways to improve the number of students participating and the extent of their engagement, through the use of outreach programs and classroom strategies.

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The underrepresentation of English learners and students of color may be due to a lack of technical measures that can be used to identify high-ability and gifted students, or the incomplete application of such measures across diverse student populations.

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Whatever the cause, the lack of participation is not just an equity and social justice issue, it’s also an economic issue because our society’s full range of creative and critical thinkers are needed to fuel the growth of local economies and maintain our global competitiveness.

About the Author:

Robert Low has worked in educational publishing for more than 30 years. His experience ranges from editing and product management to online advertising and content development. He also works with edWeb.net to write articles on their professional learning edWebinars.


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