Who Are Gifted Children? By: Caitlin SherwoodG if te d Ed uc ati on Ad v oc acy Projec t: LAI 800
Imagine.. Your an 8 year old boy in third grade. Your teacher is introducing your class to fractions and she gives your class the following word problem: “If two friends go out for dinner and they order an 8-cut cheese pizza, how many pieces would each of them get if they split it in half?”Immediately you know it is 1/2, in fact you know that 1/2 of 1/2 is 1/4 and you can apply fraction and other math skills at a 6th grade level. Your finished with the in-class practice sheet in 5 minutes and your bored, waiting for your classmates to finish. Imagine there is no where that you can go within yourschool where you are challenged based on your intellectual ability and not your age.
Gifted Students: Unnoticed Unfortunately, gifted students like these go unnoticed and aren’t given the proper education that they deserve.“When it comes to leaving no child behind, highly gifted students are the most likely to fall through the cracks in American classrooms,” (Davidson 2004).
How Can We Make A Change? The first, most important thing in helping gifted children is proper identification. The following are a few examples (taken from page 5 of Parenting andTeaching the Gifted by Rosemary Callard-Szulgit) of characteristics that gifted children possess. 1. Accomplished across a broad range of skills 2. Easy recall of facts and mastery of knowledge presented3. Intense concentration and attention in area(s) where interested; can become highly focused and absorbed 4. Questioning, curious, inquisitive 5. Sets high goals and standards for self
Multiple IntelligencesChildren can be gifted in many different domains. It is important to be familiar with these domains so that identification can be made. The areas align with Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI).
Gifted Children Have RightsGifted children are entitled to special instruction.Gifted children should be educated based ontheir intellectual ability, not by their age or gradelevel.Gifted children deserve to have educatedteachers who understand them and giftededucation as a whole.
Gifted Education Programs“During the past two decades, significant numbers of gifted programs have been dropped in districts, some due to budget cuts and others due to the controversy and misunderstandings surrounding gifted programs.” (Callard-Szulgit 2012) Similar to special education programs, gifted education programs are and/or should be an important part of any school district. Gifted programs are specifically designed to meet the needs of highly- abled students who need to be challenged based on their advanced intellectual abilities. Gifted programs are lead by gifted education professionals whose sole purpose is to enrich the lives of gifted students and allow them to meet their fullest potential.
Meeting Their NeedsIdeally, gifted children should have their own schools to go to where itwas normal to be inquisitive, curious and truly passionate about learning.There are schools like this, but they are few and far between.In regular education classrooms, differentiation, ability grouping,enrichment, curriculum compacting, acceleration, etc., are all ways inwhich teachers can meet the needs of gifted children within theirclassroom. (Callard-Szulgit 2012)Pull-out programs can be used as a place where gifted students go for acertain amount of time each week. They are challenged intellectuallyusing a specific curriculum that meets their needs. (NAGC)
Enabling SuccessIn order for gifted students to be successful they need: Proper identification of their abilities A place in which they can be challenged based on intellectual ability Educated teachers who scaffold their learning and embrace their passions Supportive families and teachers who understand what it means to be gifted
Gifted Children Need You! Gifted children need advocates who will fight for the proper educational resources, schools, teachers and programs that they are entitled to. The following link is to the website for the National Association for Gifted Children. http://www.nagc.org/It is a great resource for information on gifted children and the importance of gifted education.
"You can teach a studenta lesson for a day; but ifyou can teach him tolearn by creatingcuriosity, he will continuethe learning process aslong as he lives." – Clay P. Bedford
ResourcesCallard-Szulgit, Rosemary. Parenting andTeaching the Gifted. Lanham, MD:Scarecrow, 2003. Print.Callard-Szulgit, Rosemary. Perfectionismand Gifted Children. Lanham, MD:Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2012.Print.Davidson, Jan, Bob Davidson, and LauraVanderkam. Genius Denied. New York:Simon & Schuster, 2004. Print."What Is Gifted?" NAGC. N.p., n.d. Web.18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.nagc.org/>.