Friday, 22 February 2013

So is my child gifted? Part 2

Liam may be a special case and be higher then most students but the same problems occur constantly in classrooms all over the world. Disengaged children will play up or will simply start to retreat. This is not what want for any of our children.

In my last post I spoke about a checklist that I give to parents. It sets out clearly the differences between being gifted and being bright. I often say to parents that there is nothing wrong with being bright. In actual fact in a lot of cases this is a much easier road for children to go down. It is our gifted students that are often the ones disengaged in the classroom and often later in life don't reach their potential.

This is the checklist. Please note that your child does not to have ticks in every box to be gifted. Bright vs Gifted.

Another thing I use to help identify potential Gifted and talented students at my school is Michael Sayler. You need to ensure that you are really honest with this checklist. Take your time to really think of specific examples of your child demonstrating some of these characteristics. Some parents often feel they have to fill in every section with a 10. The reality is that not even the identified gifted will get perfect 10s. This wont help you either as giftedness is complex and some students will be gifted in one area but not in others. Depending on the age of your child will determine which checklist you should use:  Things my Young child has done or Things this child has done.

In the end it doesn't matter if your child is bright or gifted. It is about working hard to reach their potential without turning them off the love of learning which I see too often.

My advice to any parent is not to push your child. My many years of teaching have taught me that all children do things at their own pace. Children need to at some point to work out how to satisfy their hunger for knowledge and be equipped to find the answers to their own questions.

If you do believe that your child is gifted and want to know more I would suggest reading up on what gifted and talented means. The best person to explain this is Professor Fraccoys Gagne, a French Canadian from Montreal, Quebec. In very simplified terms, he explains how identified gifted students have a potential of doing amazing things. There are different factors that can hinder and mask this. Those that do reach their potential are talented. Read more about this by following the following links:

  1. Gagnes Model of Differentiated Model of Giftedness- Visual
  2. Gagnes Model of Differentiated Model of Giftedness- Written explanation
  3. Definitions from NSW Australia Curriculum Support

I hope these links in some way help you with your journey of identifying if your child is gifted or not. Please feel free to ask any questions.

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