This is an interesting article examining the differences between gifted learners and high achieving students. It highlights some of the joys and the challenges in parenting and teaching gifted thinkers.
In the Stage 3 Newman English group we are investigating how Freedom and Identity are connected. As part of this unit we have been learning about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Here are some ways we have responded to this topic.
The Sydney Catholic School Gifted Education Policy adopts Gagné's definitions of giftedness and talent as identified in his Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent. This video provides a good introduction to this model.
Characteristics of Gifted Children
Every gifted/highly able child is different but some of the common characteristics are:
Humour: Keen sense of the absurd; understands subtleties of humour beyond age level
Great intellectual curiosity: Intense desire to know, do, feel, create or understand; sometimes described as a ‘sponge’ who absorbs knowledge easily and enthusiastically
Knowledge: wide general knowledge of topics beyond peer group level
Interests: passionate interests, sometimes fleeting but sometimes long-lived
Communication / Expressiveness: Extraordinary ability to convey meaning or emotion through words, actions, symbols, sounds or media;
Vocabulary: extraordinarily well developed oral language skills and vocabulary
Inquiry: Probing exploration, observation or experimentation with events, objects, ideas, feelings, sounds, symbols or media
Problem-solving: Outstanding ability to bring order to chaos through the invention and monitoring of paths to a goal; enjoyment of challenge
Sensitivity: Unusually open, perceptive or responsive to experiences, feelings and to others; has a strong sense of social justice
Intensity: Often feels very deeply and will be concerned about issues beyond what is usual for their years
Perfectionism: can set very high standards for him/herself –this can be positive but often becomes
Intuition: Sudden recognition of connections or deeper meanings without conscious awareness of reasoning or thought
Reasoning: Possess superior powers of reasoning, of dealing with abstractions, of generalising from specific facts, of understanding meanings, and of seeing relationships.
Imagination/Creativity: Extraordinary capacity for ingenious, flexible use of ideas, processes or materials
Memory/Understanding: Unusual capacity to acquire, integrate, retain and retrieve information or skills
Learning: Ability to acquire sophisticated understandings with amazing speed and apparent ease. Requires very little repetition or re-enforcement of new learnings
Concentration and alertness: Shows alertness and quick response to new ideas; Has a long attention spanwhich allows him/her to concentrate on and persevere in solving problems and pursuing interests (not
necessarily school related).
Interaction with others: Can tend to dominate others or direct their activities. Can sometimes appear poorlysocialised with chronological age peers (a child’s social peers correspond more closely to mental, rather than
age peers )
Sometimes has a fantasy friend
not all children will have all these characteristics
these characteristics may not be reflected in school performance
underachievement is quite common in gifted children which can make identification difficult
it is possible for a child to be gifted whilst having a specific learning disability