Excerpt: Furthering a Shift in the Twice-Exceptional Paradigm — Understanding the Sociocultural Milieu of Gifted Student Development

The following is an excerpt from a piece in the Summer 2021 issue of Variations2e magazine, which is now available for purchase.

Teacher with studentsHUMAN DEVELOPMENT, identity development, and academic development represent a complex, composite system when encountered in educational applications and viewed in terms of their interconnected convergence. Complex exchange processes of ecological, cultural, and social constructs can impact the quality of education for gifted students with learning and other deficit-perceived exceptionalities. This, we contend, can lead to issues of equity and access as these gifted students are underidentified, underrepresented, and underserved. As such, a shift and expanded view for the traditional twiceexceptional (2e) paradigm is warranted.

Twice-exceptionality considers the intersectionality of giftedness and other learning exceptionalities, including but not limited to Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities, attention hyperactivity deficit disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, dysgraphia, and so on (Montgomery, 2017). Typically, the learning exceptionalities are addressed through an individual education plan (IEP) developed for students’ academic success per special education regulations. However, for accountabilitys sake, schools must address exceptionalities through a broader, more inclusive and culturally responsive lens — one that first recognizes all exceptionalities, including giftedness, as social constructs, which are termed by unobjective, comparative human interaction. Utilizing a multicultural lens, Collins (in-press) introduced a thriceexceptional (3e) model that illustrates the intersectionality of giftedness, other learning exceptionalities, and cultural exceptionalities. Here we will share the theoretical frameworks in this area of development that informed Collins’ conceptualized 3e model.

Culture and Development

United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund’s (UNICEF, 2019) Early Childhood Development Index (ECDI) operationalizes early child development into four developmental domains: literacy-numeracy, physical, learning, and social-emotional. Overall, a child is considered developmentally on track if at least three of the four domains are considered on track (UNICEF & Cappa, 2019). Exceptionalities, then, would be domains where children are either above track or below track compared to their same-age peers. …

To read the entire piece, please purchase the latest issue of Variations2e. 

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