Underrepresentation of Black Children in Gifted Education Programs: Examining Ethnocentric Monoculturalism

Underrepresentation of Black Children in Gifted Education Programs: Examining Ethnocentric Monoculturalism

Delila Owens (University of Akron, USA), Tanya J. Middleton (University of Akron, USA), Marie M. Rosemond (University of Michigan, USA) and Maryann O. Meniru (University of Akron, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3041-1.ch006

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss ethnocentric monoculturalism and how it contributes to the underrepresentation of Black children in gifted education programs. Ethnocentric monocultural bias is pervasive in all systems. Because it is so pervasive, it often operates outside of our conscious awareness. The authors specifically address it in the gifted education arena. They also offer recommendations for teachers and school counselors seeking to change the narrative about Black children in gifted education programs.
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Background

For decades, scholars have examined the use of standardized tests in connection with Black children. William (1972) wrote that test bias and standardized testing have adverse effects on the self-esteem of Black children. There have also been concerns raised about the fairness of the entire standardized testing process. More specifically, Ford & Grantham 2003; Kauffmann, 1994 have stated that attention must be paid to the inherent bias used in the development of testing instruments. Many testing instruments were developed and normed on the White middle class. Thus, it is inequitable to assume a universal reality when administering these instruments to children of color

To address the issue of underrepresentation, some districts are using additional nonbiased measures to test for gifted and talented programs. For example, exams such as the Raven’s Matrices, the Nagileri, which is a non-verbal ability test, and the Cog-At, or cognitive ability test, are all used as alternative measures to test for gifted students. However, a standard uniformed nonbiased way to test students for gifted and talented programs has not been developed.

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