Gifted girls in school were often overlooked for advanced learning opportunities for most of the history of the education system in the United States. Those that showed interest in increasing their knowledge were often encouraged to turn to more “feminine” pursuits that would help them to become homemakers and little else. There has been some shift in recent years to encourage gifted girls in school to explore their talents and excel in the fields of their choice. This is a great change in the focus of education.
Gifted Girls and the Sciences
It is widely known that young girls in school have often been discouraged in learning the hard sciences. Not only were they often relegated to home economics courses or overlooked by science teachers, the information presented in class was often dominated by topics that were more geared towards boys. Science is one of the most important subjects in the modern world. Girls that are encouraged to learn more about science can provide greater insight and perception when they enter into science related fields.
Gifted girls in school can also have great contributions into the field of mathematics. Because of the differences in how male and female brains process information, women who have been given the opportunity to learn more about science can have unique contributions both as individuals and on team projects. This makes them an invaluable part of the future. In the past, many thought that girls in school were not good at advanced mathematics but, this has often been due to discouraging teachers and a society intimidated by bright women.
These are the two most common subjects that young girls in school have been told are too complex for them to understand. However, that is simply not the case. Girls in school need and deserve the same opportunities as boys to learn everything they can in school, from kindergarten up. The more gifted girls are taught to believe in themselves, the greater the chance for them to explore their own unique gifts to offer the world.
Challenges Continue to Exist in School
There are certain challenges that gifted girls in school face. Teachers may feel less comfortable dealing with girls who want to learn more about the world around them or that challenge the teaching materials being presented. Boys in class may feel intimidated by the bright girls in school, leaving gifted girls feeling socially awkward when it comes to dating situations. Their female peers who are less academically inclined may also make fun of them, calling them names or discounting them from group activities.
Gifted Girls Need Encouragement
It is very important that everyone in our society understand the need to encourage gifted girls, and girls in general, to reach their full potential. As global communication and interactions increase, the country needs every youngster to reach their highest level of capability. This positive self-esteem needs to be encouraged at home, even by parents who do not have a particular interest in academics. Teachers need to encourage all of their students to spark their learning adventures through any means possible. Everyone else simply needs to support and understand that gifted girls are valuable members of society.
Girls Who Code
My Gifted Girl
External Barriers Experienced by Gifted and Talented Girls and Women
Harnessing Gifted Girls’ Emotional Strengths
Middle Matters: Guiding Gifted Girls Through the Middle School Maze