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Abstract

The use of service learning and community service with students at all levels of ability is becoming increasingly prevalent, especially with gifted students, because of their need to prepare for college applications. These applications often require a range of activities including community service as well as straight academic success. However, the distinction between community service, a reactive activity, and service learning, a proactive process in which students take leadership roles in their community, is not always emphasized. The role of structured decision-making processes, like those in Talents Unlimited and Future Problem Solving, to enable gifted students to take proactive leadership roles in service-learning experiences, along with the benefits of these programs for both gifted and non-gifted students, is the focus of this paper.

Author's Biographies

Elizabeth A. Romey is Assistant Professor of Gifted Education at the University of South Alabama. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut’s gifted education program in 2006. Her research interests include psychobiological correlates of giftedness, the socio-emotional nature and needs of gifted students, and depictions of giftedness in fiction and literature. In her (purely hypothetical) spare time, she writes science fiction and fantasy, with an emphasis on gifted characters and issues. Her first three novels are available from Royal Fireworks Press.

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