What separates these type of learners from others?
- Highly-able or gifted students master concepts quickly. They do not need redundancy in instruction. They are capably of processing information more rapidly because they “get it” in the first round of instruction.
- The typical or average student requires practice to solidify their understanding.
- The below average child needs repetition and extensive time dedicated to helping them overcome any disabilities to reach their goals.
Combining these students in a traditional homogeneous classroom is like combining oil and water. Without individualized and differentiated instruction, the students at the top get bored and the students at the bottom get lost, this is called “achievement gap.”
So what is a parent who suspects their child is gifted to do? The first step is to decide if your child falls into the highly-able or gifted category. In my article recently published in the March 2015 edition of the Khaas Baat, “Identifying the Genius in Your Child”, I discuss at length identifying characteristics of the young gifted child.
The second step is to identify what type of program you believe will be the best fit for your child. Although many schools have a gifted teacher visit the regular class to offer additional opportunities, this is not always enough to offset the lack of pace throughout the rest of the school day. There are schools with an alternative teaching style specifically structured for “special” learners.
Lastly, be an advocate As parents, we DO know best. Gather all the information you can to make an informed decision and trust your judgement. No one knows your child better than you.
Enjoy the journey, the future is in our hands.
Are you an information junkie and need more? Check out this CNN post Ten Myths about Gifted Students and Programs for Gifted or this Scholastic.com article Understanding the Needs of Gifted Kids
Reproduced with permission. The Khaas Baat is a publication for Indian Americans in Florida. To learn more, visit their website www.KhaasBaat.com