Social Emotional Needs

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After 30 years in the field of gifted education, and, more specifically, 30 years of studying the psychology of gifted students, author Tracy Cross has come to believe that the single greatest threat to the psychological well-being of gifted students is the mismatch between the school's curriculum and the student's needs. Cross argues in this opinion paper that educators have acted like ostriches by sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that there is no connection between the curriculum and pedagogy that underpins gifted students' educational experiences and their psychological well-being. He wants educators, administrators, and, most importantly, politicians to agree that beneficence is the number one ethical and moral obligation that underpins all schools. He posits that since the creation of public schools, people have been willing to risk the psychological well-being of students by engaging in educational practices that are malnourishing gifted students. This outcome is logical when one factors in the chronic and constant meddling of nonexperts. He writes for example, that some of the concerns about the Common Core are so irrational and uninformed that they illustrate the danger of having schools influenced by nonexperts. All people go through life experiencing some degree of malnourishment in some area. Few, people, however, deal with the degree and chronic nature of educational malnourishment as do gifted students. Cross closes the article by calling for a recommitment to the educational nourishment of all students, including those who are gifted students, which will in turn secure the future of the United States of America.

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  • Tracy L. Cross

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