Gifted Education Philosophy
"Principles of Differentiation", presented by the National/ State Leadership Training Institute on the Gifted and Talented Curriculum Committee, are designed to assist educators in modifying and developing curricula for gifted learners in the areas of content, process / thinking skills, and product outcomes. They include the following:
- Present content related to broad - based issues, themes, or problems.
- Integrate multiple disciplines into the area of study.
- Present comprehensive, related, mutually reinforcing experiences within an area of study.
- Allow for in-depth learning of a self-selected topic within an area of study.
- Develop independent or self-directed study skills.
- Develop productive, complex, abstract, and/or higher level thinking skills.
- Focus on open-ended tasks.
- Develop research skills and methods.
- Integrate basic skills and higher level thinking skills in the curriculum.
- Encourage the development of products that challenge existing ideas and produce "new" ideas.
- Encourage the development of products that use new techniques, materials, and forms.
- Encourage the development of self-understanding; i.e., recognizing and using one's abilities, becoming self-directed, appreciating likenesses and differences between oneself and others.
- Evaluating student outcomes by using appropriate and specific criteria through self-appraisal, criterion referenced, or standardized instruments.
Children who are gifted often, but not always display intellectual and emotional characteristics which are beyond the usual level of peers.
Some of the intellectual traits may be:
- An unusually large vocabulary for the chronological age of the child
- The ability to read early, often before attending school
- Comprehension of the subtleties of language
- Unusual sense of humor
- Learns basic skills easily, with little or no practice
- Wide range of interest
- Highly developed curiosity, limitless supply of questions
- Interest in experimenting and doing things differently
- Tendency to put ideas or things together in unusual ways
- Ability to retain a great deal of information
- Longer attention span, persistence, intense concentration in areas of interest
Some of the affective traits may be:
- Uneven development of mental, emotional, and chronological age
- Heightened sensitivity to interpersonal relationships
- Tendency to challenge authority figures
- High activity level
- Increased intensity of feeling
- Feeling "different" and "alone"
- Independent thinking
- Need for recognition and acceptance
- Tendency to overestimate abilities
- Deep concerns about morality, justice, and world issues