Helping Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Identify Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Students
Helping Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Identify Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Students E. Susanne Richert (1991)
Helping Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Identify Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Students
Helping Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Identify Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Students Susanne Richert. These negative traits are associated with creativity because creative students have high tolerance for ambiguity, are independent, divergent thinkers, are risk takers, and are imaginative and sensitive
Helping Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Identify Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Students Professor and author of The Universe in a Nutshell. Holds 12 honorary degrees.
Helping Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Identify Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Students Mattie has always had three wishes: to have his poems published, to meet his hero Jimmy Carter and to share his message of peace on The Oprah Winfrey Show . Why? “Because they last forever”
Helping Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Identify Characteristics of Gifted/Talented Students First Ms. America with a disability (1995). Deaf at age 18 mo. Due to reaction to diphtheria vaccine
•Uses advanced reasoning skills•Has extensive and detailed memory•Answers questions in detail•Wants to learn and is very curious•Makes logical inferences, drawsconclusions based on soundreasoning•Understands abstract ideas andcomplex concepts•Learns new information quickly•Applies prior knowledge to problemsolving
I.Q. ScalesHighly Gifted student 145-159Moderately Gifted student 130-144Mildly Gifted student 115-129The average I.Q. is 100.
•Has an intense, sustained interest•Completes academic workcorrectly/unassisted•Contributes to academic discussions•Excels in one or more subject areas•Has hobbies/collections related to field•Has an inquisitive nature andasks relevant questions•Demonstrates knowledge of facts inone or more academic areas•Demonstrates knowledge about currentevents
•Has active imagination•Is emotionally sensitive (i.e. to beauty)•Brings inventive/innovative approach toproblems•Generates “what if” questions•Experiments with ideas•Is a nonconformist, uninhibited inexpression, adventurous•Is a risk taker•Comfortable not having the “correct”answer•Constructs jokes, clever plays onwords, ironic observations
•Produces imaginative/original art•Appreciates subtle variations in artisticproducts or performances•Seems to pick up skills in the arts with littleor no instruction•Art performance/products marked bydetail, complexity, richness•Concentrates for long periods of time onartistic projects•Expresses emotion in art•Communicates effectively via artisticmedia
•Acts responsibly in social situations•Has a cooperative attitude•Projects positive image to peers•Earns respect and trust of others•Is self-confident•Gets others to work together•Maintains on-task focus•Takes charge in group situations•Is visionary – has a holistic view•Can do backwards planning
•Shows pride in work•Wants to perform at highest possiblelevel•Reacts to challenges enthusiastically•Approaches situations expecting to dowell•Places high value on mastery•Works tenaciously, not easilydiscouraged•Sets challenging goals•Strives to improve•Attempts tasks above current skill level
How Can I Tell The DifferenceBetweenHigh Achievers&Gifted Students?
HIGH ACHIEVERS…Know the AnswersEnjoy SchoolGrasp MeaningCopy AccuratelyHave Good IdeasAbsorb InformationAchieve Mastery in3-8 RepetitionsGIFTED STUDENTS…Ask the questionsEnjoy LearningDraw InferencesCreate New DesignsHave Unexpected IdeasManipulate InformationAchieve Mastery in1-2 Repetitions
Negative Characteristics• Some characteristics of giftedstudents often keep them out of G/Tprograms. This can be related toteacher misidentification.• Teachers tend to identify “teacher-pleasers” as gifted and ignore somegifted kids with “annoying” behaviors.
General Definition of a Teacher PleaserA Teacher Pleaser is a student who hasand/or does all the nice, pleasing, helpful,and considerate things in class as well asbails you out of uncomfortable situationswhen possible. This student achieveshigh grades in class AND scores in the90thpercentile or above on standardachievement tests. Teacher Pleasersmay vary from class to class.
“Teacher Pleaser or Gifted?Where isPlymouth Rock?I am not Presently atLiberty to Divulgethat Information, as itmight Compromiseour agents in theField.I understand my Testsare Popular reading inthe Teachers’ Lounge.
“The extremely bright or the creative, curious, and questioningstudents, who may be stubborn, rule-breaking, egotistical or otherwisehigh in nuisance value, may not be the teachers’ favorites, but theysometimes are the most gifted.” Gary Davies and Sylvia RimmWhen did thePilgrims land atPlymouth Rock?1620As you can see, I’veMemorized thisutterly useless factlong enough to passa test Question. Inow intend toForget it Forever.You’ve taught menothing except howto cynicallymanipulate thesystem.Congratulations.A more thoughtprovokingAnswer wasDefinitely Called For.
Negative Characteristics of Creativity• Being bored with routine tasks,refusing to do rote homework.• Not being interested in details,handing in messy work• Making jokes or puns at inappropriatetimes
Negative Characteristics of Motivation• Being emotionally sensitive,overreacting, getting angry easily, orcrying if things go wrong
Negative Characteristics ofCritical Thinking• Being self-critical and impatient withfailure• Being critical of others, even of theteacher
General Definition of a PotentiallyGifted StudentA Potentially Gifted student is a studentwho is pleased with original work, right orwrong, and who is strongly opinionatedregarding moral issues. This studentmay also possess all, some or none ofthe labels associated with the TeacherPleaser.
Teacher Pleaser…KnowledgeableCompletes all workWrites wellOne of the first to respondAsks “safe” questionsTime is importantPotentially GIFTED STUDENT…Has much factual informationMay not show neatness or orderin workAnticipates outcomesMay disagree with teacher ortextbook answersMay frequently respond in anelaborate mannerMay not want to stop workingon a task
OVER-AchieversAre TypicallyTEACHER-PLEASERS(They turn in homework…)…Many Gifted KidsAre NOT!(Homework? What homework?)
CHARACTERISTICSOF Giftednessin Persons with Disabilities… and other challenges
Characteristics of Intellectuallyand Academically Gifted/Physically Disabled Youth• Advanced lexicon• Broad knowledge base• Advanced memory skills• Excellent abstract-thinkingskills• High level of determination• Curiosity• Creative problem-solving skills• Nontraditional means ofexpression to convey intellectualability• Ability to compensate fordisability• Preference for gifted programs• Forceful personality• Perfectionism• High level of emotional stress,self-criticism, and dissatisfactionwith societyStephen Hawking
Characteristics ofCreatively andArtisticallyGifted/ PhysicallyDisabled Youth• Sense of humor• Adjustment skills• Swift comprehension ofnew ideas• Active imagination• Artistic/Visualappreciation• Precocious ability to gainnew theoreticalperspectivesMattie Stepanek
Characteristics ofGifted/Visually ImpairedGifted Youth• High task commitment• Perceptive to theenvironment• Precocious ability to learnBraille/Computer Skills• Love of reading• Creative thought process• Tendency to work on gradelevel• Strong communicationskillsHelen Keller
Characteristics ofGifted/Hearing ImpairedYouth• Tendency to work ongrade level• Good sense of humor• Intuition• Poor speaking ability• Ingenious problem-solving skills• Clearly symbolic languagecapabilities• No literal explanationsnecessaryHeather Whitestone
Characteristics ofGifted/ADHDYouth• Inattentiveness• Impulsive/hyperactiveconduct• Eagerness• Compassion• Fidgetiness• Minimal need of sleep• Strong-mindednesssince early childhood• Difficulty with lengthyassignments
Many Characteristics Of The Highly CreativeAre ALSO Characteristics of ADHDInattention and DaydreamingSensation SeekingInability to Finish ProjectsHyperactivityEnthusiasm and PlayfulnessDifficult TemperamentDeficient Social SkillsHypersensitivity to StimulationMood Swings
General Characteristics ofGifted/Low Socio-EconomicYouth• High mathematical abilities• Imaginative storytelling, usinglanguage rich in imagery• Sense of humor• Resourcefulness: the ability tosolve problems by ingeniousmethods• Alertness, curiosity•Originality and creativity inthinking• Leadership ability in peer group• Ability to generalize learning toother areas and to showrelationships amongapparently unrelated ideas• Initiative and eagerness to donew thingsBarbara Clark, Growing Up Gifted, sixth ed.Maya AngelouPhoto/David (News Service Umberger)
Gifted Characteristics Associated withESL (English as Second Language) Students• Reads two grades above in native language• Has advanced knowledge of idioms and native dialects withability to translate and explain meanings• Keeps busy and entertained, especially by imaginativegames and ingenious applications• Exhibits leadership ability, although in an unobtrusivemanner; often best observed in non-traditional settings, e.g.playground, church, home, sports, clubs• Accepts responsibilities at home normally reserved forolder children• Enjoys intelligent and/or effective risk-taking behavior, oftenaccompanied by a sense of drama• Demonstrates a strong sense of pride in cultural heritage• Eagerly shares native culture
“If it can’t beperfect I won’tdo it at all, orI’ll intentionallydo a poor job.I’d rather havea “zero” than a“B” or “C.”Perfectionism
In the Classroom Some Gifted Kids –•Can easily become bored with routine assignments.•May want to do things his/her own way—why not?•Can become a real pest.•May notice the teacher’s lack of inconsistency with“But you said we should always…”•May not always pay close attention to directions.•Can make jokes at adults’ expense. Not everyoneappreciates this.• Sometimes TOO innovative.
•Restless, inattentive, disturbing others• Poor in Spelling, careless in handwriting,inaccurate in Math because they areimpatient with details requiring rote learning ordrill.• Lackadaisical in completing or handing inassignments and can be indifferent toclassroom work when not interested.• Outspokenly critical of both themselves andothers, an attitude which often alienatesadultsas well as peers.• Can become too bossy and be unwilling to listento the opinions of others.
The ChameleonThis student masks his abilities for many reasons –peer pressure, fitting in, the “Sport’s JOCK” syndrome.Sadly, many of the chameleons secretlylong to learn and pursue their unique interests.
Underachievementis commonaffecting 20% to50% of giftedstudents
Most Potentially Gifted Students WhoUnderachieve -• Encounter external and internal barriersin school and self• Have not had opportunities to understandtheir interests, strengths, styles, anddeficits• Fear failure so do not take risks• May feel powerless due to age andmaturity to make changes
The child who does well in school,gets good grades, wins awards,and “performs” beyond the normis considered talented.The child who does not, no matter whathis innate intellectual capacitiesor developmental level,is less and less likely to be identified,less and less likely to be served.More and more, “gifted” is perceivedas synonymous with (and limited to)academic achievement.
There is no ONE indicator ofgiftedness.Gifted and talented children arefound in expected AND unexpectedplaces.However, it is important toalways remember that…
Acknowledgements• Patricia Hesse – Gifted/Talented Coordinator, grades 2-12 forWeiner Public Schools, Arkansas (slide format)• Shirley Kohl – CMS Elementary Talent DevelopmentSpecialist (revision, editing)• Sally Reis – Professor & department head of EducationalPsychology at the University of Connecticut (research)• Linda Silverman – Leading expert in the field of giftededucation and author of Counseling the Gifted and Talented(research)• Susan K. Johnsen – Professor in Department of EducationalPsychology at Baylor University. Director of Ph.D. Programand programs related to gifted and talented education.(research)• E. Susanne Richert – Director, federal contract on nationalidentification methods (research)
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