Published on October 16, 2007
IDENTIFICATION OF GIFTEDNESS AND TALENT By Angi Temburu
IS IT NECESSARY? • We readily identify those with special needs: why not also identify those with special abilities? • The purpose of identifying a gifted child is to provide appropriate learning experiences for them.
CONSERVATIVE DEFINITIONS OF GIFTEDNESS • These are the traditionally recognised definitions of giftedness. • Singular by nature. • They tend to focus only on one area – usually academic intelligence. • Identification based on high IQ scores. • Very limiting – only a small number of students would be placed in the category of giftedness. • May act as a barrier to students reaching their full potential.
LIBERAL DEFINITIONS OF GIFTEDNESS Much broader in their base and therefore a lot more inclusive. • Allow for a much higher percentage of students to be labelled as • gifted or having special abilities. Joseph Renzulli (1978): • General performance areas Eg. Maths Above Social sciences average Creativity Languages intelligence Brought Music to bear upon Specific performance areas Task Eg. Film making commitment Electronics Sculpture
LIBERAL DEFINITIONS OF GIFTEDNESS • Howard Gardner (1993): Multiple intelligences – multicategorical approach – eight separate intelligences: linguistic, logical- mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and naturalist. • Gagne (2003): Transforming gifts into talents. Giftedness = natural abilities, aptitudes or intelligences; talent = outstanding achievements of human endeavour.
PETERHEAD SCHOOL’S DEFINITION Gifted and Talented students are those who have potential (gifted) or are performing (talented) well above average in any of the following domains: general intellectual or social, specific academic, cultural traditions, values or ethics, creative or productive thinking, leadership, visual or performing arts, and psychomotor ability. Peterhead School, 2005.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY • Giftedness is not limited to one cultural group. • What a particular culture values will determine what is considered to be ‘giftedness’ within that culture, and will in turn generate diverse expressions of ability.
FAMILY BACKGROUND • Home background influences students’ responses to own giftings. • Students from lower socio-economic backgrounds may be disadvantaged and difficult to identify. • Diverse methods of identification will enhance the accuracy of identification. • Early identification is best.
GENDER BOYS GIRLS Intensity, curiosity and • •More social knowledge and high energy levels better adjusted Asynchronous development • •More like gifted boys than may lead to difficulties average girls with expressing emotions, •High career goals forming friendships with •Strongly influenced by mothers peers, and athletics •Often loners – little need for Conflicts between • recognition expectations of masculinity •High academic achievers and love of learning •Indifferent to pressures or Risk of ‘shut-down’ – under • encouragement achievers Often loners by choice •
DEVELOPMENTAL RATE • ‘Dyssynchrony’ = internal and external unevenness in development and their consequences. • Intellectual-psychomotor dyssynchrony • Language-reasoning dyssynchrony • Intellectual-affective dyssynchrony
PERSONALITY AND TEMPERAMENT – Social and Emotional Needs • Perfectionism • Boredom
PERSONALITY AND TEMPERAMENT – Social and Emotional Needs • Underachievement • Anorexia • Depression and Suicide
GIFTEDNESS AND DISABILITY • ADHD • Learning Disabilities
MINISTRY EXPECTATIONS • In Term 1, 2005 it became mandatory for all schools to identify their gifted and talented students and develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of these students. • NAG 1: (iii) on the basis of good quality assessment information identify students and groups of students…(c) who have special education needs (including gifted and talented students) . (iv) develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students and aspects of the curriculum identified in (iii) above. Ministry of Education (2004)
WHERE TO FROM HERE? • Identification –Standardised tests - Teacher observations -Anecdotal information – use rating scales on checklist -Information from contributing schools -Parent information – enrolment form • Provisions -Programming -Cross-grouping -IEPs -Withdrawal options -In-class provision -Outside resources (eg One Day School)
Points to Ponder •Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read. •Isaac Newton did poorly in grade school. •When Thomas Edison was a boy, his teachers told him he was too stupid to learn anything. •F.W.Woolworth got a job in a dry goods store when he was 21. His employers would not let him wait on a customer because he ‘didn’t have enough sense.’ •A newspaper editor fired Walt Disney because he had ‘no good ideas’. •Caruso’s music teacher told him, ‘You can’t sing, you have no voice at all.’ •Leo Tolstoy flunked out of college. •Louis Pasteur was rated as mediocre in chemistry when he attended the Royal College. •Abraham Lincoln entered the Black Hawk War as a captain and came out as a private. •Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade. Recognising the Characteristics of Gifted Children (1985) . ERIC
References: Cathcart, Rosemary (2005). They’re Not Bringing my Brain Out (3rd ed.). Auckland: Hachette Livre NZ Ltd. Cohen, L., & Frydenberg, E. (1993). Coping for Capable Kids. Australia: Hawker Brownlow Press. ERIC Clearinghouse (1985). Recognising the Characteristics of Gifted Children. From the World Wide Web: http://www.ri.net/gifted_talented/character.html McAlpine, D. and Moltzen, R. (2004). Gifted and Talented: New Zealand Perspectives. Palmerston North:ERDC Press. Ministry of Education (2000). Gifted and Talented Students: Meeting Their Needs in New Zealand Schools. Wellington: Learning Media. Ministry of Education (2004). Sharpening the Focus. Issue 9, June 2004. Peterhead School (2005). Gifted and Talented Policy Statement.
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