TEACHING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL GIFTS AND TALENTS

 

MODULE 7

TEACHING STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL GIFTS AND TALENTS

Lesson Outcome

  1. Discussed the basic concepts of Giftedness.
  2. Identified common characteristics of learners with special gifts and talent
  3. Described effective inclusive practices, and classroom adaptations to learners with gifts and talent

 

ACQUIRE:

Who is Gifted and Talented? Gifted: having extraordinary intellectual ability and creativity Talented: having exceptional skills and ability in a specific area such as art, music, science, and language

“The term ‘gifted and talented,” when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.“Children and youth with outstanding talent perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment. These children and youth exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields. 

Characteristics of Gifted and Talented

According to McAlpine & Reid, 1996, the characteristics of gifted and talented students can be studied in various sections

Learning Characteristics displays logical and analytical thinking is quick to see patterns and relationships ,masters information quickly, strives for accurate and valid solutions to problems, easily grasps underlying principle likes intellectual challenge, jumps stages in learning seeks to redefine problems, pose ideas, and formulate hypotheses, finds as well as solves problems, reasons things out for her or himself , formulates and supports ideas with evidence, can recall a wide range of knowledge  independently and  seeks to discover the why and how of things.

Self- Determination Characteristicsis skeptical of authoritarian pronouncements,  questions arbitrary decisions, pushes teachers and adults for explanations,  displays a precocious interest in ‘adult’ problems, is reluctant to practice skills already mastered, is easily bored with routine tasks, expresses ideas, preferences, and opinions forthrightly, relates well to older children and adults, and often prefers their company

Creative thinking Characteristics produces original ideas,displays intellectual playfulness, imagination, and fantasy ,creates original texts or invents things, has a keen sense of humour and sees humour in the unusual, generates unusual insights, enjoys speculation and thinking about the future, demonstrates awareness of aesthetic qualities, is not afraid to be different, generates a large number of ideas, is prepared to experiment with novel ideas and risk being wrong and  seeks unusual rather than conventional relationships

Social Leadership Characteristics takes the initiative in social situations, is popular with peers, communicates well with others, actively seeks leadership in social situations ,shows ability to inspire a group to meet goals, persuades a group to adopt ideas or methods, is self-confident, is adaptable and flexible in new situations,  actively seeks leadership in sporting activities, is socially mature, is willing to take responsibility and synthesises ideas from group members to formulate a plan of action

Motivational Characteristics strives for high standards of personal achievement ,is self directed, is highly self motivated and sets personal goals, is persistent in seeing tasks to completion ,becomes committed to and absorbed in tasks, tends to be self critical and evaluative, is reliable  and  prefers to work independently

What Causes Giftedness?

  1. Biological Factors
  2. Social/ Environmental Factors regardless of where the child is raised, a gifted child will demonstrate the gifts at some point for example, there are accounts of children with extraordinary gifts that could have an innate basis, such as the musically gifted. No particular environment appears to have stimulated the gift.

3.Psychologically, giftedness is believed to be an gift that has a genetic origin and is at least partly innate which may not be clear at an early stage but rather an inclination that the child may possess the gift. Studies have indicated that individuals with extremely high mathematical abilities have frontal lobes of the brain which are more differentiated compared to average students. Neuropsychological studies claim that in information processing, gifted individuals have enhanced brain activity localized in the right hemisphere.

 

Types of Giftedness

According to Betts and Neihart there are 6 types of giftedness:

Type 1: The Successful Most Easily Identifiable: May account for up to about 90% of the identified gifted students in schools. Learn and adapt well with the system, Are well adjusted to society, Generally have a high self-concept,Are obedient, display appropriate behavior, and are high achievers, therefore, loved by parents and teachers. However; they can also get bored at school, learn the system fast enough so as to use the minimum effort to get by, are also dependent on the system, thus less creative and imaginative, and lack autonomy.

Type 2: The Divergently Different/ Challenging are the divergently gifted; the ones who possess high levels of creativity, do not conform to the system, often have conflicts with teachers and parents ,get frustrated, as the school system does not recognize their abilities ,may be seen as disruptive in the classroom ,at risk of dropping out of schools for unhealthy activities, like getting involved in drugs or exhibiting delinquent behaviour

Type 3: The Underground  Refers to gifted students who deny their talents or hide their giftedness in order to feel more included with a non-gifted peer group. They are generally females, who are frequently insecure and anxious as their belonging needs rise dramatically at that stage. Their changing needs often conflicts with the expectations of parents and teachers. These types appear to benefit from being accepted as they are at the time

Type 4: The Dropouts  angry and frustrated students whose needs have not been recognized for many years and they feel rejected in the system ,express themselves by being depressed or withdrawn and responding defensively, are identified very late; therefore, they are bitter and resentful due to feelings of neglect ,have very low self-esteem and thus counseling is highly recommended

Type 5: The Double labelled gifted students who are physically or emotionally handicapped in some way, or have a learning disability, Are not easily identifiable; do not show behaviors of giftedness that can be identified in schools., show signs of stress, frustration, rejection, helplessness, or isolation ,are also often impatient and critical with a low self-esteem, are easily ignored as they are seen as average.  School systems seem to focus more on their weaknesses, and therefore fail to nurture their strengths

Type 6: The Autonomous learner learners who have learn to work effectively in the school system ,they do not work for the system, but rather make the system work for them, are very successful and are liked by parents, teachers and peers, have a high self-concept with some leadership capacity within their surroundings ,accept themselves and are risk takers, which goes well with their independent and self-directed nature, able to express their feelings, goals, and needs freely and appropriately.

 

 

 

 

Here are a few instructional strategies and activities to use with gifted students:

  1. Design your lessons with Bloom’s Taxonomy in mind. For gifted students, construct activities from the two upper levels: creating and evaluating. For example, activities could include conducting an experiment, designing a game or musical composition or writing an editorial about a current events topic.
  2. Assign independent projects. When your gifted students finish class assignments early, allow them to work on special projects. Assign topics that are of special interest to your students and have them explore the topic in depth.
  3. Ask intellectually stimulating questions. When constructing your lesson plan, write questions that are open-ended and require more thoughtful responses.
  4. Find mentors. Gifted students need guides just like other students. Find an adult who can help your student explore a subject of interest more deeply. This mentor can serve as an advisor, counselor and role model to the student. Ask other teachers and parents for recommendations or contact a local organization.
  5. Organize cluster groups. Research shows gifted students of the same grade benefit from being grouped together. As a way to combine resources, teachers can shift gifted students from different classrooms into one group to learn about a specific topic in more depth. This method works best with teachers who are specially trained to work with gifted students and have minimal distractions from other students in the class.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TEACHERS:

  1. Compact the curriculum and provide enrichment activities. Provide environments that are stimulating, and address cognitive, physical, emotional, and social needs of gifted children in the curriculum. Let the students move quickly through the required curriculum content and onto more advanced material. Allow for academic rigor.
  2. Implement a multi-level and multi-dimensional curriculum. Differentiate the curriculum in order to address differences in the rate, depth, and pace of learning. This will enable all students in the class to learn about a specific area by creating projects at their own ability level. For example, if students are learning about the state of Delaware, students of different ability levels can be assigned to different types of tasks. At the conclusion of the class, all of the students can present what they have learned to the entire group.
  3. Be flexible with the curriculum. Take advantage of real-life experiences that can be translated into problem-solving academics for all students. For example, an impending snowstorm can be used to instruct students. Students of different ability levels can be given different tasks, such as figuring out what snow is made of, predicting the amount of snowfall, or determining how many snow plows will be needed if 8 inches fall.
  4. Make the curriculum student-centered. Engage gifted students in the curriculum decision-making process, giving them an opportunity to learn how to take responsibility for their own learning. Draw the curriculum from the students’ interests and educational needs.
  5. Allow students to pursue independent projects based on their own individual interests. Independent projects can be assigned on the basis of ability level. Encourage creativity and original thinking among gifted students. Allow them to explore ways of connecting unrelated issues in creative ways.
  6. Allow gifted children to assume ownership of their own learning through curriculum acceleration. Instruct them to work ahead to problems of skills that they do not know. To help children learn the value of attaining knowledge in their lives, encourage learning for its own sake, rather than emphasizing the end results or accomplishments. Teach research skills for accessing information; higher level thinking skills for processing it; creative thinking and problem-solving skills for flexibility in approach and generation of information; and communication skills for sharing it.
  7. Try to maximize your students’ potential by expecting them to do their best. Encourage them to advance as quickly as they can. Assist in developing projects that allow them to achieve success one step at a time.
  8. Teach interactively. Have students work together, teach one another, and actively participate in their own and their classmates’ education. Note: This does not advocate gifted children being peer tutors in the classroom; the gifted student should be challenged as well. Emphasis should be on working together in the classroom. Cluster gifted children together as a table within the regular classroom and utilize advanced materials, as well as other suggested resources and modification, to meet their exceptional needs.
  9. Explore many points of view about contemporary topics and allow opportunity to analyze and evaluate material. Allow open forums and debates in the classroom about controversial issues. As a teacher of gifted children, take an active stance. Be an advocate for gifted students. Utilize specialized training to ensure the ability to meet the needs of gifted students. Share personal interests with all students, to enrich and expand their world.
  10. Consider team teaching, collaboration, and consultation with other teachers. Use the knowledge, skills, and support of other educators or professionals in the schools.
  11. Provide opportunities for gifted children to interact with other gifted children across grade levels and schools through competitions or collaborative projects.
  12. Encourage gifted students to participate in extracurricular activities that involve academic skills. Examples include math and debate teams. Because gifted children are often natural leaders, it is important to invite them to use their talents and abilities in beneficial, rather than disruptive, manners. For example, encourage the gifted student to run for office in student council, or another extracurricular activity in which he/she is involved.
  13. Involve students in academic contests. Gifted students tend to be competitive by nature. Therefore, participating in regional and national competitions such as spelling bees, science fairs, and essay competitions will be fun challenges.
  14. Allow gifted children to create and publish a class newspaper to distribute. This consists of assisting students in understanding their special capabilities and the training necessary for them to reach their full potential.
  15. Set individual goals. Help guide students in creating their own goals and set goals that are specific, measurable, aggressive, realistic, and within a reasonable time frame. Be sure not to place expectations that are too high or too low.
  16. Consider parental input about the education of their gifted children.
  17. Always remember that gifted children are similar in many ways to the average child in the classroom. Do note place unrealistic expectations and pressures on gifted children.
  18. Address the counseling needs of each student to support emotional growth, as needed. Some gifted students have issues regarding anger, boredom, bullying, delinquency, isolation, depression, peer relations, perfectionism, dropping out of school, stress, frustration, and underachievement. About 20-25% of gifted students have emotional difficulties.
  19. Remember that gifted children may not excel in all areas. They may be ahead of other students in some areas and behind in some areas. Become aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the children in your class.
  20. Do note assign extra work to gifted children who finish assignments early. This is unfair and frustrating to them. Simply offering more of the same only restricts further learning. Instead, allow those children to work on independent projects or other unfinished work when they finish an assignment early.
  21. If a child attends resource rooms, communicate with the specialist for suggestions on how to enrich daily classwork. Avoid penalizing the child for special class attendance. Have another child in the regular classroom take notes and assignments for him/her.
  22. Provide plenty of opportunities for gifted children and average children to engage in social activities. Some gifted children may need help in developing social skills.
  23. Try to find the joy and uniqueness in each child. Children may exhibit their gifts on non-typical levels, rather than in general intellectual aptitude of specific academic abilities. Keep in mind that every child will have different needs.
  24. Organize resources in order to free yourself to work with individual children and give the children greater control of the learning situation. Supplementary books and learning tools, community resources, and the use of community members with specific skills as mentors can be helpful.
  25. Establish and maintain a warm, accepting classroom. Teach your classroom community to embrace diversity and honor differences. Provide an environment in which the child can demonstrate his or her potential or aptitude to learn and perform. Teachers should strive to establish a noncompetitive, individualized, and open classroom, which allows all students to advance at their own rate of learning.

Remember that implementing some of these strategies will benefit all of the children in the classroom, not just the gifted ones.

APPLY:

Do you consider yourself Gifted? Talented?. In what way. Make a list of your giftedness and talents.

ASSESS:

Look for other teaching strategies suited to gifted and talented learners based on your major subjects.

References:

https://pediaa.com/difference-between-gifted-and-talented/

How to Engage Gifted and Talented Students in the Classroom

https://www.education.udel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/GiftedStudents.pdf

 

 

Discussion Forum for Modules 4-7

  1. Watch Candy Pangilinan’s vlog together with her special child Quentin on her you tube channel “ A Special Love.”
  2. I’l be sending/ Share links only on selected vlogs you are going to watch.I’ll send it thru messenger.
  3. MAKE SURE YOU WATCH THEM.
  4. Choose ONE vlog and make a Reflection Paper about the vlog you have watched.Make sure that you cite the title of the vlog.
  5. Choose from modules 4-7 which you think the vlog is appropriate.
  6. The reflection paper will cite content/ lesson from the module by citing its implication to you as a future teacher.You can also cite your experiences ( if there is) or readings that will support your reflection.
  7. Limit your reflection in to five (5) paragraphs ONLY.

 

 

 

ENJOY working!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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