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In Search of the Dream
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In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms That Work for High Potential Students From Diverse Cultural Backgrounds
by Carol A. Tomlinson, Donna Y. Ford, Sally M. Reis, Christine Briggs, & Cindy A. Strickland

Creating and fostering environments to leverage diversity in the classroom and school.

Table of Contents:
1- An Introduction to the Topic of Cultural Diversity and Giftedness
2- Guiding the Success of Students of Color: Themes from General Education Literature
3- Curriculum and Instruction for Culturally Diverse Gifted Learners
4- Case Studies of Exemplary Gifted Education Programs
5- Gifted Programs of Note for Culturally Diverse Learners
6- Exemplary General Education Programs for Culturally Diverse Learners
7- Conclusions and Recommendations

About This Book:

Gifted program coordinators, parents, adminstrators


  • Teachers, administrators: a guide to assist in the development of a multicultural responsive environment and curriculum for gifted students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Parents: a resource to help identify programs that recognize and offer programming for those from diverse cultural backgrounds.

 In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms That Work for High Potential Students From Diverse Cultural Backgrounds offers guiding principles for culturally diverse environments and curricular choices to support multicultural inclusiveness. Case studies provide examples of exemplary gifted education programs, emphasizing the aspects of the program that best respond to diverse student populations.

Subsequent chapters on gifted and general education programs for culturally diverse learners provide an extensive resource for educators and parents seeking programs that are sensitive to the needs of diverse learners. Program descriptions include contact information, curriculum emphasis, identification, grade levels served, and the uniqueness qualities of the program.


Authors: Tomlinson, Ford, Reis, Briggs, & Strickland
Publisher: NAGC & National Research Center on Gifted & Talented/2004
Pages: Spiral-bound, 121



About The Authors

Christine J. Briggs, Ph.D., completed her doctorate in gifted education and talent development at the University of Connecticut in May 2003.  Her dissertation focused on exemplary programs and practices that meet the needs of diverse gifted students.  She worked in the public schools for 15 years, as a teacher, teacher coach, and a district administrator.  She is an assistant professor in curriculum and instruction at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is co-chair of the NAGC Curriculum Studies Division curriculum awards program.  Her research interests include gifted education and diverse populations, multicultural education, and curriculum development.

Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., is a Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University.  She conducts research primarily in gifted education and multicultural/urban education with a focus on recruiting and retaining culturally diverse students in gifted education; multicultural and urban education; and minority student achievement and underachievement.  Dr. Ford has authored more than 80 articles and is also the author of Reversing Underachievement among Gifted Black Students and Multicultural Gifted Education.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association for Gifted Children and on numerous editorial boards, including Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal of Negro Education, and Roeper Review.  Dr. Ford presents extensively at professional conferences and consults with school districts and educational organizations locally and nationally in the areas of gifted education and multicultural/urban education.

Sally M. Reis, Ph.D., is Department Head and a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut where she also serves as Principal Investigator of the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.  She was a teacher for 15 years, 11 of which were spent working with gifted students on the elementary, junior high, and high school levels.  She has authored more than 100 articles, eight books, 30 book chapters, and numerous monographs and technical reports.  She has traveled extensively across the country conducting workshops and providing professional development for school districts on enrichment programs and gender equity programs.  She is co-author of The Schoolwide Enrichment Model, The Secondary Triad Model, Dilemmas in Talent Development in the Middle Years, and a book about talent development in females entitled Work Left Undone: Choices and Compromises of Taltented Females.  Dr. Reis serves on the editorial board of the Gifted Child Quarterly, and is a past president of the National Association for Gifted Children.

Cindy Strickland has been a teacher for 30 years and has worked with students of all ages, from kindergarten to master’s degree candidates. Over the past 12 years, Strickland’s consulting work has taken her to 46 states, 5 provinces, and 3 continents, where she has provided workshops on topics relating to differentiation (including using the Common Core State Standards to up the ante for all students and integrating the Understanding by Design® framework and differentiated instruction), the Parallel Curriculum Model, and gifted education. 

Carol Ann Tomlinson, Ed.D., is a retired faculty member at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education where she was Professor of Educational Leadership, Foundations and Policy.  Dr. Tomlinson's career as an educator includes 21 years as a public school teacher, including 12 years as a program administrator of special services for struggling and advanced learners.  She was Virginia's Teacher of the Year in 1974.  Special interests throughout her career have included curriculum and instruction for struggling learners and advanced learners, effective instruction in heterogeneous settings, and encouraging creative and critical thinking in the classroom.  Dr. Tomlinson is a reviewer for eight journals and a section editor for one.  She is author of over 100 articles, book chapters, books, and other professional development materials.  She has authored seven books in conjunction with ASCD including How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed Ability Classrooms and The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of all Learners, a professional inquiry kit on differentiation, and facilitator's guides for four video staff development sets.  Dr. Tomlinson is a co-author of The Parallel Curriculum Model: A Design to Develop High Potential and Challenge High Ability Learners.  She was a past president of the National Association for Gifted Children.