NCAGT has a really good post about the myths that come along with giftedness.
It's a great read that we highly recommend. But, one of the most basic myths that is the foundation of most of the other myths involves identifying gifted kids. Most people would look into a classroom, see the child in the front row, hand in the air after every question like Hermione Granger, getting straight As, never getting in trouble and think: that right there! I've found the gifted learner in this room! Job complete!
The problem with people misunderstanding giftedness itself and which students are likely gifted results in putting kids into the wrong educational situations for their particular needs. And isn't that what we'd all like to avoid? The bright student who is thriving in her regular classroom may be thrust into accelerated or gifted classrooms that could be stressful to her. Meanwhile, the two actually gifted learners in her classroom who were not identified continue to struggle in the regular classroom. Gifted girls often get overlooked. Gifted boys (especially students of color) get misidentified as troublemakers rather than gifted!
All gifted advocacy should have a partial focus on education (especially for anyone tasked with identifying gifted students). Otherwise, all of the programs and differentiated learning will be developed and utilized with the wrong audience of students.
What are your experiences with identification or misidentification? Do you feel it is leading to the current backlash against gifted programs themselves? Indeed, if a resource is misapplied and given to those who do not need it, we might expect to see the resource taken away. In what ways can we ensure the students who need the differentiated learning are those who receive it?