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Children in Special Education Using Artmaking for Social Change
Editor: Christa Boske
School communities identified these children as the “throwaways”-children who often experienced bullying, abuse, foster care, juvenile detention, and special education services. In this book, children with learning differences engage in artmaking as sensemaking to deepen their understanding of what it means to live on the margins in U.S. public K-12 schools. Their artmaking calls upon educators, school leaders, and policymakers to actively engage in addressing the injustices many of the children faced in school. This book is revolutionary. For the first time, children with learning differences, teachers, staff, and school leaders come together and share how they understand the role artmaking as sensemaking plays in empowering disenfranchised populations. Together, they encourage school community members to examine pedagogical practices, eliminate exclusive policies, and promote social justice-oriented work in schools. Their artmaking inspires new ways of knowing and responding to the lived experiences of children with learning differences. They hope their work encourages school communities to make authentic connections to improve their learning, capacity to love others, and of most importantly, to value oneself. Authors’ first-tellings capture the human experience of navigating through oppressive educational systems. Authors urge us to consider what it means to be empathic and to engage in the lives of those we serve. Their truths remind us to that standing still should never be an option.
Research, Theory, and Practice
This book focuses on the needs of creatively gifted students and how schools can meet those needs. Creatively gifted students show exceptional levels of creativity. These students may or may not have developed other talents and abilities, yet. Even when their abilities and talents are apparent, the needs of creatively gifted students may not be recognized by current gifted education programs. Regardless of whether a creatively gifted student is included in these programs, schools often inadvertently ignore their special needs. The goal of this book is to share the newest research about the attributes and needs of creatively gifted students and the kinds of programs that best address those special needs.
The overarching goal of this book is to share with scholars, educators, and practitioners the latest research on creatively gifted students and the kinds of programs that best meet the unique needs of these students. Through the knowledge and experiences shared here, we hope to help close the gap between what these children need and what they are getting.
A Model for Holistic Development of High Ability
How can we design schools that energetically promote intellectual development while also attending to the social, emotional, and ethical growth of students? In today’s frenzied climate of accountability driven school reform it is difficult to establish anything more than achievement of superficial knowledge and skill.
Fortunately, there is a vibrant example of holistic, student-centered education that engenders dynamic, multidimensional student growth. The Roeper School enables students to develop strong intrinsic motivation as they discover aspirations and develop talents consistent with those aspirations. Simultaneously, from a very young age students take considerable responsibility for their own actions and for the processes that go on in their school.
Following the Roeper philosophy each student generates a long-term sense of purposeful direction, a strong sense of intrapersonal awareness, impressive creative and critical thinking skills, and a finely tuned sense of ethical responsibility. Upon graduation Roeper students are well prepared to find or create highly productive niches in the world of work and rewarding personal lives while serving as mature, ethical citizens of a complex, 21st-century, globalized society.
This book includes descriptions of the multidimensional education the Roeper School provides. The perspectives in the volume are diverse, coming from leading researchers and theorists in the field of gifted education as well as teachers, administrators, alumni, and current students from the school itself. Overall, the book provides a beacon of hope for 21st-century education.

“We hope you enjoy reading this volume as much as we enjoyed pulling it together. Consistent with the Roeper philosophy, this has been a work like no other. It has been enriched by the insights of leading scholars from the field of gifted education. But the conceptual and emotional glue that holds the project together comes from the students, alumni, faculty, administrators, and board members who contributed their perceptive responses and insights. As editors for the project, we conclude that the Roeper School truly is a luminous gemstone that can shed light on gifted education and, more broadly, on the development of a more creatively intelligent, humane society.” — From the Introduction by Don Ambrose