Faculty Publications


Creating Inclusive Environments for African American Children and Youth with Gifts and Talents

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Brenda L. Townsend Walker

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While African American children in general have been widely discussed in the literature, those with academic gifts and talents have not (Frasier, 1989; Patton & Baytops, 1995). In comparison with their cognitive development, even less attention is placed on these children's sociocultural and psychosocial development (Ford, 1992; Shade, 1990; Patton & Baytops, 1995). Increasingly, African American learners with gifts and talents are being educated in general class settings. For these settings to be genuinely inclusive, the sociocultural and psychosocial needs of African American children and youth should be addressed. Hence, this discussion identifies several sociocultural and psychosocial needs unique to gifted African American learners. Classrooms aiming to be inclusive should respond to those needs. Thus, strategies are suggested to create inclusive environments for African American learners. The authors believe that inclusive environments for gifted African American learners result when educators become knowledgeable of African American cultural traditions and history and translate that knowledge into effective pedagogy. In addition, inclusive educators can be equipped to forge collaborations with other professionals, the learners' families, and their communities. These deliberate actions are hallmarks of inclusive environments for gifted African American children and youth.


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