In evaluating your childís giftedness, you are likely to run across all types of programs schools provide to assist students who work above grade-level. Pull-out gifted programs are still popular in many smaller schools, though they are controversial.
Pull-out programs involve including gifted children in a regular classroom setting for much of the day but sending them to a gifted program for a specific subject. In some cases, the children may go to a higher grade-level classroom. Either way these children are spending some portion of their day outside the regular classroom.
Opponents of the pull-out programs claim that they make gifted children stand out and can make these children targets. The opponents also argue that a pull-out program cannot meet the needs of highly or profoundly gifted children because these children will not be well-served in a regular classroom at any point.
People who support these programs point to positive results of such programs. According to studies the National Association for Gifted Children researchers compiled, children in pull-out programs typically perform better on standardized tests and other measures used to evaluate students.
Whether a pull-out program will work for your particular child depends on a variety of factors. Consider these issues:
Does your child mind being singled out because of her giftedness?
Pull-out programs arenít something kept quiet to other students. They will see your child come and go and may ask questions. Children who use these programs need to be confident enough to understand.
Does your child excel in all subjects or just a couple?
A pull-out program can be a great way to assist a child who is reading two grade levels ahead but on target for math, for instance. Children who are not gifted in all subjects can benefit from the pull-out method, especially if thereís a choice about which courses your child takes through this program.
Does your child do well socially with age-level peers?
Some gifted children will do better in programs that provide them with all-day interaction with children who share their intellectual abilities, rather than their age. Be sure you understand well how your child adapts socially with other children before making a decision.
As with other programs for gifted children, pull-out programs will not benefit every child. The key to deciding whether you should seek out other educational options or additional accommodations for your child is gauging your childís reaction to the program. If your child dislikes going or begins to have problems in the regular classroom, then you may need to alter your approach to his educational path. Otherwise, a pull-out program could be just the right amount of intervention to ensure a good educational experience.