1 Winona State University (UNITED STATES)
2 Marymount University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 5216-5225
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
In January 2002, the National Academy of Sciences in United States released a report on the overrepresentation of minorities in special education and underrepresentation of those students in gifted education. The National Research Center reported that, nationwide, 7.47% of all Caucasian students and 9.9% of Asian students are placed in gifted programs. Meanwhile, 3.04% of African-American students, 3.57% of Hispanic students, and 4.86% of Native American students are classified as gifted (NRC, 2002). Since research hypothesizes that gifted attributes are distributed across ethnicities, these statistics demonstrate that urban minority gifted students are being neglected by the current education system (Olszewiski-Kubiluis and Thomson, 2010). Gifted students in minority groups not only remain unidentified, but those identified are not being serviced well enough to enable them to achieve their full potential since there is a lack of able teachers, faulty assessment techniques, social and psychological barriers.

Significant demographic shifts in metropolitan areas have resulted in “magnet” schools where student bodies are increasingly multiracial, multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural (Frey & Fielding, 1995; National Center for Education Statistics, 2004; Census 2010). Moreover, federal and state government initiatives, such as No Child Left Behind are commanding public attention and directing funding toward increasing minority participation in programs trying to close the achievement gap and developing America's talent (U.S. Department of Education Press Releases, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010). The country’s economic crisis makes it more imperative that educational institutions utilize innovative methods, that are efficient but effective, to develop the potential of urban minority gifted students.

The present paper explores how distance learning blended with traditional schooling can serve this purpose by overcoming the barriers to academic achievement that urban minority gifted children face, such as fewer support networks, lack of preparation, lower self esteem and social rejection.
e-learning, urban minorities, K-12, distance learning, distance education, blended learning.