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A Muse Mashup: Dabrowski’s TPD and an Eisner-esque Approach to Gifted Education
  • Vicki Boley
Vicki Boley
University of Denver

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Traditional notions of intelligence are crippling the field of Gifted Education and often, whether explicitly or implicitly, perpetuate inequity and disproportionality throughout the field in both theory and practice (Cross, 2021; Owens et al., 2018). A particular reason for this issue takes root in narrow, monocultural conceptualizations of intelligence, “casting it in singular rather than interactive disciplines and ways of representation” (Eisner as interviewed by Buescher, 1986, p. 7). As we seek to reform Gifted Education, “we will need to release ourselves from the grips of traditional stereotypes about what schools should be, how teaching is to proceed, what appropriate curriculum content entails, and how evaluation should occur” (Eisner, p. 89). Drawing from Dabrowski’s Theory of Positive Disintegration (TPD), particularly notions pertaining to the five Overexcitabilities and Development Potential, as well as Eisner’s ideas concerning knowledge acquisition through diverse forms of representation and ways of knowing, I present various ideas and implications for the field of Gifted Education. These ideas and implications inform many K-12 teaching and learning practices as well.
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