The gifted, the genius, the talented and the creative are some of the terms used in psychology for those children who stand at the top level.
Kolinsky defines the gifted child as one who in his age-group is superior in some ability which may make him an outstanding contributor to the welfare and quality of living in our society.
Such a child is at the top, generally in intelligence. His I.Q. ranges from 130 to 140. But the term gifted should not be related to intelligence only.
Term an and Oder regard gifted children as those who rate far above the average in physique, social adjustment, personality traits, school achievements, and who have a variety of interests. In this sense the word gifted has a greater relationship with the natural endowment.
The following are the chief characteristics of the gifted children and their presence may help us in identifying the gifted child.
1. Better Physique:
The gifted child is heavier than the normal one. He learns speaking and walking 2 or 3 months earlier than a normal child.
2. Greater Capacity to Learn:
The gifted child is not only superior in , he has a greater capacity to concentrate on a particular subject.
3. Versatility of Interests:
In a gifted child there are a number of developed interests.
4. Greater Educational and Social Maturity:
The gifted child has a tolerance for disagreeable circumstances, freedom from unreasonable fear, cultivated positive emotions, and inhabited negative ones. He has an ability to make mistakes without feeling disgrace and delay the gratification of impulses.
He has greater social maturity and finds better adjustment in the society he keeps.
5. Greater Interest in Abstract Thinking:
A gifted child shows ‘an interest in abstract thinking and therefore can solve difficult problems more easily.
6. Greater Vocabulary:
The gifted child has a broad vocabulary at his command. His active vocabulary is much greater and can use a large number of words and can speak fluently.
7. Greater General Knowledge:
The gifted child has information about his environment. His general knowledge is greater because of greater interest in reading.
8. Greater Achievement:
As a gifted child is above average in intelligence and had greater capacity to study and learn his achievement is always superior to that of his classmates.
Areas for Teacher’s Intervention Nature of Education for gifted students:
The following are the major areas where your interventions will prove useful for gifted students:
Moral and social issues:
At times we do not expect students to be concerned about moral and social issues. It is not unusual to find students with superior abilities to have very strong opinions on moral and social issues.
Students with superior abilities are subject to same type of emotional problems. Their unusual abilities and other characteristics may lead to emotional problems.
Removing the feeling of isolation:
Since these students are different in physical, social and mental development, they may feel left out. At times the feelings of superiority works against their personality adjustment.
Convergent vs. divergent thinking:
Mostly school work is evaluated on conformity to one right answer. Such evaluation rewards convergent thinking but can be harmful for divergent thinking, where different answers of a problem are possible.
Self-concept refers to one’s impression about oneself. Students who generate or express unusual ideas are sometimes criticized in the group. This may result in poor self-concept.
Many gifted students have high goals and become self- criticism. They may also be communicated expectation on the part of teachers, parents as well as peers.
Teachers may expect them to always give the correct answer or be outstanding in class. This induces anxiety and stress in students.