LSU Education Faculty Member Releases New Book on Diversity in Teaching Gifted Children

09/26/2012 02:20 PM

BATON ROUGE – Jennifer Jolly, LSU associate professor in elementary and gifted education, released her book “A Teacher's Guide to Working With Children and Families From Diverse Backgrounds” in collaboration with the Association for the Gifted, a division of the Council for Exceptional Children, or CEC-TAG, this summer. The work is co-authored by Julia Roberts, a professor of gifted studies at Western Kentucky University.


The book provides information and strategies to all levels of educators on tackling the challenges of increasingly diverse student populations. These populations can include children who are culturally, linguistically and ethnically diverse.


“Frequently, educators overlook diverse children for gifted and talented identification and services, resulting in their strengths going unnoticed, or being underdeveloped or misunderstood,” said Jolly. “Advanced abilities will not have a chance to reveal themselves unless the learning experiences and expectations give children opportunities to demonstrate their advanced thinking.”


The book also emphasizes the necessity of collaboration between parents and teachers to promote talent development and excellence.


“Educators must ensure that they provide opportunities for all children to learn new things every day,” said Jennifer Robins, senior editor and permissions coordinator of Prufrock Press. “There is an immediate need to embrace the goals of talent development and excellence in education for children and youth from diverse backgrounds and to shift thinking to establish talent development and excellence as priorities. This can only happen if parents and educators work together.”


Desiree Cho, Jolly’s graduate assistant on the book and a doctoral candidate in the LSU School of Education, stressed how the material could impact diversity in the education of gifted and talented children.


“Jennifer’s book not only ways to work with students from a variety of backgrounds, but also how to look beyond societal barriers and constructs that hinder us from seeing giftedness and talents in children,” said Cho.


“CEC-TAG has been in existence for more than 50 years serving and advocating on behalf of gifted and advanced learners,” said Jolly. “It is exciting to work with a group of individuals who want to make school a better place for a group of learners who are often unidentified and underserved.”


“A Teacher’s Guide to Working With Children and Families From Diverse Backgrounds” can be ordered through Prufrock Press at, or


CEC-TAG seeks to help professionals and parents work more effectively with gifted children by sponsoring activities to develop the field of gifted education, support specialized professional preparation for educators, and collaborate with other groups or individuals who seek to support its mission.


For more information on CEC-TAG, visit


The LSU School of Education offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction and in Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling. These programs prepare P-12 education professionals to become reflective practitioners, effective professionals and inquiring pedagogues.


The School of Education is one of six schools realigned to form the new LSU College of Human Sciences & Education, joining the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School.


For more information about the LSU School of Education, visit


For more information about the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education, visit

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2012