a review by William A. Plummer (a)
Teaching Culturally Diverse Gifted Students gives detailed information and instructional techniques for building an education program and developing practices that meet the needs of students who are both gifted and culturally diverse. This is one of twenty-four books in the Practical Strategies Series In Gifted Education series from Prufrock Press which provides a useful, to the point introduction to topics critical to the education of gifted children.

Central Theme

As we have witnessed increases in diversity in our nation as well as in our schools, this change has not been reflected into gifted education programs. Culturally diverse and linguistically diverse students are underrepresented in gifted program participation. These changes suggest important considerations for gifted education in terms of the implementation of new policies and practices.

The field of Special Education (Student Exceptionality) exists because of student differences. The rationale for gifted education is the need to meet a variety of needs of students who are different. Culturally diverse gifted students have the same cognitive, affective, creative, and instructional needs as White gifted students, but also have additional needs that are addressed in the study of multicultural education.

The strategies described in the book are borrowed from both gifted education and multicultural education. A marriage of these two fields of education brings forth promising strategies and practices that meet the dual needs of culturally diverse gifted students. These strategies focus on modifications in content, process, product, and learning environment. The model used is described using the following Venn diagram (a):


The Differentiation Strategies in Four Areas for Gifted Education and Multicultural Education

For Gifted Education
Use more advanced or complex concepts and materials

For Multicultural Education

Include greater focus on multicultural concepts, issues, themes, events, and people

Process Modifications
For Gifted Education
Incorporate high-level thinking, problem solving, and inquiry-based learning

For Multicultural Education
Match instructional strategies more closely with the learning styles of culturally diverse students

Product Modifications

For Gifted Education

Students share learning with work that is authentic, addresses real issues, and has real audiences

For Multicultural Education
Students share learning with work that addresses issues and solves problems relevant to culturally diverse populations

Learning Environment Modifications

For Gifted Education

Create an environment that encourages intellectual and creative risk-taking as well as respects and values gifts and talents

For Multicultural Education

Create a learning environment that confirms the student's cultural identity by using cultural characteristics of diverse groups

About the Authors
Donny Y. Ford (b)
Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., is Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. She teaches in the Department of Special Education. Dr. Ford has been a Professor of Special Education at the Ohio State University, an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Virginia, and a researcher with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. She also taught at the University of Kentucky.

Professor Ford conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Specifically, her work focuses on: (1) recruiting and retaining culturally diverse students in gifted education; (2) multicultural and urban education; (3) minority student achievement and underachievement; and (4) family involvement. She consults with school districts, educational, and legal organizations in the areas of gifted education, Advanced Placement, and multicultural/urban education.

She is the author/co-author of several other books, including Reversing Underachievement Among Gifted Black Students (1996, 2010) Multicultural Gifted Education (1999, 2011), In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms that Work for High Potential Students from Diverse Cultural backgrounds (2004), and Diverse learners with exceptionalities: Culturally responsive teaching in the inclusive classroom (2008). Professor Ford has written over 120 articles and book chapters; she has made more than 600 presentations at professional conferences and in school districts.

Dr. Ford's work has been recognized by various professional organizations: Research Award from the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies; the Early Career Award and the Career Award from The American Educational Research Association; Senior Scholar Award and Early Scholar Award from The National Association for Gifted Children; the Esteemed Scholarship Award from The National Association of Black Psychologists; the Outstanding Service Award from the Council for Exceptional Children-The Association for the Gifted.

The following video is an interview with Dr. Donna Y. Ford, discussing the achievement gap between minority students and white students, and minority underrepresentation in gifted education (c).

H. Richard Milner (d)
H. Richard (Rich) Milner, IV is the Betts Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning. He earned the doctor of philosophy degree and master of arts degree in educational policy and leadership from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He also earned the master of arts degree in teaching and the bachelor of arts degree in English from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Milner has published more than fifty journal articles and book chapters, and he has published three books. He serves or has served on the editorial board for Teaching and Teacher Education, Educational Foundations, Urban Education and the Journal of Curriculum and Supervision and has served as a guest editor for the journal, Theory into Practice. In addition, he has volunteered with the Nashville YWCA GED program, the YWCA NewStart program, the Hadley Park Tutorial program for students of Nashville's Pearl-Cohn High School, and the Room in the Inn Homeless Shelter in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He is also an adviser to the newly established Association of Black Graduate Students at Peabody.


(a) Book Cover Images and Venn Diagram:Ford, D.Y. (2005). Teaching culturally diverse gifted students. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press, Inc.(b) Dr. Ford's Photo:LeadScape, . (Producer). (2008). Forddonnay.jpg. [Web]. Retrieved from
(c) Dr. Ford's Video:
Vanderbilt University, . (Producer). (2008). Closing the achievement gap: donna ford . [Web]. Retrieved from
(d) Dr. Milner's Photo:
Learning In Afterschool, . (Photographer). (2011). image.png. [Web]. Retrieved from

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