Special education is education designed by special method of teaching appropriately, to meet the requirement of children whose physical, intellectual, emotional and social development cannot in the opinion of educational authority be adequately provided by ordinary method of teaching. Special education is a broad term and caters of all kinds of disabilities but this article will focus only on gifted learners, their traits and how to cater for their education for learning to take place effectively.
Gifted learners or children are those children whose calculated or perceived intelligence quotient (IQ) is more or above the average performance of the ordinary child, in most cases they possess a calculated intelligence quotient of 130 and above. They may pose a challenge to a teacher and the following are their traits.
They learn faster
These learners are born with the ability to grasp the concept of the situation faster than their peers and solve problems faster than an average child who may take some time (Educational department, 2000). In class they usually put their hand up immediately the teacher asks a question and they finish exercises or task faster than their peers.
They possess insatiable curiosity
Curiosity, curiosity, it is the strong desire to know something. This is what they possess, they have an insatiable desire/thirst for information that why they are highly inquisitive and will try all sort of experiment to see what will happen; like touching a pot of boiling water, know all functions the phone, buttons on the remote control at an early age and in the absence of adult may even unscrew electrical appliance to check the inside (Ramsom, 1978).
Meta-cognition is the ability of thinking about the way and how oneself is thinking (or it is simply thinking about think) (Educational department, 2000)most gifted learners know and monitor their own thinking strategies and adjust them whilst engaged on a task, at times they may be observed to appear to be talking to themselves when in the actual sense they are just analyzing their thought.
This can be defined as the aspect of modifying something to create a new one example wood is modified to chairs, tables, bed…etc. and most learner or children are very creative; in the way they do thing, play and make objects, they also articulate millions of ideas and options about something advanced for their age group (Pirto, 1999).
Their language development and ability is advanced as compared to their peers. They usually enjoy reading, studying; books, magazines, internet articles and the scope of the content of books they read are broad for their level age group often nick named as “bookworm” by their friends because of been found with books most of the time.
Dislike the curriculum
They may lack interest in the ordinary curriculum has it may not be catering for their intelligence level and their ideas/concept may be seen as fallacy by their peers which would make them feel frustrated and gradually become estranged from their classmate hence mostly solitude.
Perfectionist may be defined as one’s ability or desire to make something very, very nice and good looking without any blemish features. That’s another strong character they possess, they normally have high expectation for both themselves and others and are seldom satisfied with their own performance hence pursue perfection and this often leads to frustration, disappointment and making it difficult to making development good friendship and relationship (Educational department, 2000).
Good leadership and very observant
At a tender age they already make good leaders, they love to lead others and will perform with a high degree of confidence and are greatly admired by their peers for their intelligence (Ramsom, 1978). They are also very observant to everything that happening in the environment they are first know the teacher weaknesses.
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Helping a gifted learners
Educational department (2000) explains that as a teacher you are expected to perform the following tasks in the process of helping children born giftedly:
- Understand and analyze the gifted learners personality traits, strength, interest, and learning style. In addition provide them with appropriate learning opportunities which are geared to meet individual needs.
- Provide more challenging learning materials with rich content and a variety of topics, meanwhile design teaching material to vary the grade and plan a personalized program to him/her for growth.
- Set aside resource room or learning corners in the school library or classroom which provide book, teaching materials, computers and let the learners explore a variety of topics.
- Adopt divergent teaching strategies to enhance gifted learners learning interest and mastering of various skills and abilities.
- Forster communication and cooperation with their parents to understand more about the child.
Further Reading and Books cited
Educational department. (2000). Understanding and helping children with special education (a guide for teachers). Hong Kong: Hong Kong printers.
Pirto, J. (1999). Talented children and adults, their development and education (2nd ed.). Upper saddle River: NJ; Merrill.
Ramsom, G. A. (1978). preparing to teach.Boston: Little Brown and company.