Educating Gifted Children

here’s an interesting piece from the US ASCD website looking at perspectives on giftedness and how schools should cater to the needs of their gifted children.

ASCD Article

Within TSRS we have been discussing giftedness recently in quite a lot of detail through a number of meetings over the last 2-3 months. One of the first challenges is that you have to get to a definition that all can be comfortable working with. We are clear that a definition that is narrowly defined to recognise those children who are strong on linguistic and/ or logical/ mathematical only is inadequate. It must encompass all those children at advanced stage of development in all intelligences (Howard Gardner).

Secondly, we are absolutely clear that we do not wish to finish up with a scenario in which there are special facilities/ allowances and arrangements for special needs and gifted children, whilst somehow leaving the bulk of children who fall in to neither category unfulfilled.

For me, far more comfortable is an approach based on differentiation – a set of practices and processes whereby the teacher builds knowledge and evidence of the strengths and development needs of each and every child in the classroom and, over time, seeks to provide varied and differentiated learning experiences that will meet all their learning needs.

There is no question this is challenging and a big shift for many teachers. However, there is now an increasing amount of material available to help teachers to begin the journey down this route:

Differentiated Instruction
Reflective Teaching
Andrew Pollard’s Website

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