Nurturing a Gifted Child
MYTH: The same programs that work for other kids will work for my gifted learner.
REALITY: Just as star athletes train with skilled coaches, gifted students need guidance from well-trained specialists who challenge and support them in order to fully develop their abilities. Source: National Association for Gifted Children
Helping Children and Teens Understand, Develop and Value Giftedness
It is important to recognize giftedness because, in order to persist, it needs to be nurtured, encouraged and supported. Without support for their unique needs and an appropriate learning environment, gifted learners will have a difficult time realizing their potential.
Gifted learners see or perceive the world differently because of the complexity of their thought processes and their emotional intensity and sensitivity. They show differences in how they think and process, even when compared to high achieving children. Gifted learners require a differentiated, more individualized curriculum which offers flexibility in the pacing and depth of learning, as well as in complexity and challenge.
Stargate curriculum and instruction for the gifted provides:
- Content delivery that allows for flexible pacing and depth
- Learning processes designed to promote creativity
- Higher level thinking skills and problem-solving
- A learning environment that is open and supportive of diverse learning styles and needs
- An atmosphere that is calm and supportive, as well as stimulating, imaginative and colorful
- A variety of resources that support the development of gifts and talents
- Opportunities to make choices among challenging materials
Stargate seeks to help gifted learners find inspiration and personal meaning in their study by allowing them to generate their own observations, inquiries and investigations. Providing a more integrative, interactive learning environment is especially appropriate for gifted learners because of their exceptional ability to make connections rapidly and understand relationships and patterns. The use of flexible, multi-age ability groupings, as well as differentiated and customized instruction focused on best practices in gifted education creates a learning environment which is better able to provide a relevant learning experience for gifted learners.
In the Stargate classroom, learning is active. Students are encouraged to follow an interest area and express learning in their own way. They regularly engage in a number of interesting activities through:
- Cooperative learning
- Learning centers and labs for choice learning
- Independent research projects
- Tiered learning assignments for differentiated learning
- Integrated curriculum units with product choices that might include creating an art piece or writing and performing a play
Stargate School and its community provide a framework within which gifted learners can learn to understand, develop and value their giftedness.