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Enrichment For All Kids?

Gary says he hopes his column on enrichment programs “generates some conversation”.

Enrichment is derived from Latin for “children of rich parents who complain.” In many cases, enrichment becomes its own course for children fortunate enough to gain entrance. Enrichment is too often a pull-out program where a very small number of kids leave their regular classroom to engage in the sorts of enriching activities that would benefit every child, while disrupting the child’s classroom. My informal research and experience suggests that enrichment is where lucky students experience project-based learning, read books they enjoy, play games and take field trips. Sometimes any child (who can afford it) may elect to be part of enrichment.

I don’t know about conversation but that alone should upset more than a few people.

In our overly-large school district, the programs Gary discusses are called GT and any talk of modifying or cutting them ranks right up there with boundary changes as third-rail topics for school administrators.

However, aren’t we living in Lake Wobegon (where all the children are above average).

So, why not eliminate GT and make all classes “enriched”?


  1. Jenny

    We ought to eliminate GT to a certain extent. If we truly believe in immersion we ought to be including ALL students in every classroom. However, that also means that we have to support ALL students in every classroom. GT students (at least the truly gifted ones) do have special needs, just as do our special education students. We need to have specialists in those areas supporting classroom teachers just like we have special education and ESOL teachers doing now.

  2. Louise Maine

    I agree. Being tagged gifted and talented means nothing. I teach an academic bio class that is pretty rigorous. The best indicator of success is the wanting to be there. Better opportunities need to be there for all. Back in the day (wow – I am getting old), gifted and talented was after school or during a study hall/activity period.

  3. Scott McLeod

    why not eliminate GT and make all classes “enriched”?

    Because a vast majority of educators (and parents) still believe that non-drill-and-kill learning is something you have to ‘earn’ rather than recognizing that the kinds of activities more academically successful students get to experience are better suited to long-term mastery and retention of subject material…

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