During the 19th and 20th centuries, more research has been done to understand the geniuses in the population and those who, despite being subgenius, are still a lot smarter than the majority of the normal population of humans. Children may exhibit a set of traits that are noticeable when put into the general population and require special attention. Some children need a gifted education.
These same characteristics may or not be surprising to the family since a child may be far more gifted than the parents, or may be “a chip off the old block” in which case, the traits of giftedness would not be viewed as unusual within the family context. Like with any other “different” characteristics, once apart from the family, the child may appear to be extraordinary to school teachers.
Gifted Research and the Evolution of Gifted Education
Gifted research has focused on how this happens in nature and in nurture. Intelligence can be improved during the first six years. As with much else in life, there is both nature and nurture and their relationship. These characteristics tend to run in families and to be predominantly natural, even tho intelligence can be modified thru nurturing.
The Gifted Development Center is one of the organizations in America today devoted to better understanding and caring for the minority gifted population. This organization is directed by Linda Kreger Silverman. She is prominent in the area of gifted research today. She also has a strong web presence.
The Gifted in Schools
Public education has grown increasingly adept at accommodating this minority populace. This has been legally treated as a form of special education within the schools. The gifted population is treated “differently” by the schools than the developmentally disabled children are.
Legislation has improved conditions. The laws have been made to help the society to make the most of these people. Sadly, 50% of those children not recognized as “gifted” – with IQs over 130.
Many who are not properly identified may cause trouble in regular classroom situations. These same children typically cease to be behavioral problems when they are placed into classes with their true peers, to the great relief of everyone. This is one justification for the use of special classes and differentiated curricula for gifted education. This is so that they are not held back and do not give the rest of the children trouble.
Check with the local and state departments of education to learn in greater detail what the area school systems are doing to handle this relevant matter. A differentiated curriculum within normal schools most benefits the mildly and moderately gifted — people whose IQs are over 120 but below 160. Students whose IQ is over 180 are still better accommodated by special schools designed to handle gifted education.
Gifted Education: Eduspeak
For parents and grandparents trying to understand the world of gifted education, this is a concise list of some of the Eduspeak you might encounter:
2e, or Twice Exceptional
2e is a title that means a student is both gifted and learning disabled. Many famous leaders in the fields of sports, science, politics, literature, and art have been described as being 2e, or twice exceptional, meaning that they are both gifted and have learning issues. Often times one condition masks the other.
While there are many forms of acceleration such as advancing a grade level or studying materials advanced for the grade level, it is a way to modify or differentiate the learning to best meet the needs of a gifted student.
This is a test that measures how well certain competencies have been learned. These are generally not used alone as indicators of cognitive ability as they tend to measure what has been taught at the school, and not mental strength and intelligence.
When a gifted child develops at different levels among his or her socio-emotional, physical and intellectual ages. An example would be if a ten year-old gifted child were intellectually fifteen years old, but only nine emotionally.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD
A condition in which children have a difficult time controlling their impulses to act out or in staying focused (usually in the classroom). This label can also be placed on gifted students who are bored in class.
The elimination of most of the normal activities that teachers use to prepare the students for learning to save time that gifted students can use for enrichment.
Cognitive Ability Tests
These tests are used in schools and in private educational professionals’ offices. In general, these tests measure the child’s mathematical and verbal, and sometimes perceptual abilities.
The presumption that all new learning is based on previous learning.
The actual age in years of a student.
Gifted And Talented Education
Also known as GATE. Another name for gifted classes.
Higher-Order Thinking Skills
The ability to think in the abstract and think critically.
Intelligence Quotient, or IQ
A student’s mental age divided by the chronological age, times 100. Different kinds of statistical scales are used more often today.
A test that attempts to measure a student’s capacity to learn. The most common instruments are the Wechsler WISC, the Otis-Lennon OLSAT-8, and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales SB5.
An indication of how developed a student’s brain has become that is determined by various intelligence tests.
Multiple Intelligence Theory
A theory that indicates that children can be intelligent in ways other than what can be measured on IQ tests.
National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)
The umbrella organization for all of the groups that support gifted children and their parents. The NAGC’s basic mission is to, “support and develop policies and practices that encourage and respond to the diverse expressions of gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups.”
This is a process that children who have visibly displayed they have a conflict between them, or if one student has an “issue” with another, can come together in a controlled, confidential, non-judgmental setting with a neutral moderator for the purpose of stating their concerns, listening to concerns, and coming to some kind of a concrete agreement for resolving the issues between them.
When gifted students are taken from the regular classroom once or several times a week for enriched activities.
A way of telling a story in which students play a character other than themselves.
Completing a course in a shorter period of time than normal.