Because advanced learners are in every American classroom and only three states require teacher pre-training programs to include advanced pedagogy, teachers are not prepared to address the needs of advanced learners.
The 2008 Fordham Institute teacher survey found:
• 65% of teachers reported that their education courses and programs focused very little, or not at all, on how to teach academically advanced students.
• 58% of teachers say that they have had no professional development over the past few years teaching advanced students.
• 32% of teachers say advanced students are a low priority in schools.
Research shows that talent development must begin early and be ongoing to support student growth potential and achievement. The NAGC State of the States report recommendations teachers must be prepared to recognize talent, to differentiate up, and to support advanced growth in their classrooms. Because advanced learners spend most of their time in the regular classrooms, they deserve teachers who are prepared to support them academically!
We must take action to deal with this national educational problem and improve the system now for advanced learners and foster greater student achievement in our nation!