Monday, April 25, 2016

G&T part two...

The interesting illustration at left is the use of the paired human hands, left and right held together as a model of the brain. No more fitting model for the brain could be imagined, for the hands and brain co-evolved as a system for learning, and as stated so clearly by Anaxagoras, man is the wisest of all animals because he has hands. The illustration is from Barbara Clark's book, Growing up Gifted.

The following is a list of identified gifted and talented types with some insight offered as to strategies to identify and teach each. Thanks to the Brainy child website.
The Type 1's are the most easily identifiable, and may account for up to about 90% of the identified gifted students in schools. They are the students who have learned the system and are well adjusted to society with a generally high self-concept. They are obedient, display appropriate behavior, and are high achievers, therefore, loved by parents and teachers. However, they can also get bored at school and learn the system fast enough so as to use the minimum effort to get by. They are also dependent on the system, thus less creative and imaginative, and lack autonomy.

The Type 2 gifted are the divergently gifted, who possess high levels of creativity. They do not conform to the system and often have conflicts with teachers and parents. They get frustrated, as the school system does not recognize their abilities. They may be seen as disruptive in the classroom and often possess negative self-concepts, even though they are quite creative. This is the group of gifted students who are at risk of dropping out of schools for unhealthy activities, like getting involved in drugs or exhibiting delinquent behavior.

The Type 3's refers to gifted students who deny their talents or hide their giftedness in order to feel more included with a non-gifted peer group. They are generally females, who are frequently insecure and anxious as their belonging needs rise dramatically at that stage. Their changing needs often conflict with the expectations of parents and teachers. These types appear to benefit from being accepted as they are at the time.

The Type 4 gifted are the angry and frustrated students whose needs have not been recognized for many years and they feel rejected in the system. They express themselves by being depressed or withdrawn and responding defensively. They are identified very late; therefore, they are bitter and resentful due to feelings of neglect and have very low self-esteem. For these students, counseling is highly recommended.

Students identified as Type 5 are gifted students who are physically or emotionally handicapped in some way, or have a learning disability. This group does not show behaviors of giftedness that can identify them in schools. They show signs of stress, frustration, rejection, helplessness, or isolation. They are also often impatient and critical with a low self-esteem. These students are easily ignored as they are seen as average. School systems seem to focus more on their weaknesses, and therefore fail to nurture their strengths.

Finally, the Type 6 gifted are the autonomous learners who have learned to work effectively in the school system. Unlike Type 1, they do not work for the system, but rather make the system work for them. They are very successful, liked by parents, teachers and peers, and have a high self-concept with some leadership capacity within their surroundings. They accept themselves and are risk takers, which goes well with their independent and self-directed nature. They are also able to express their feelings, goals, and needs freely and appropriately.
Gifted student types 2, 3, 4 and 5 are the least likely to be identified as G&T, the least favorable to include in G&T programs due to the challenges they offer, and the most in need of the kinds of special attention that G&T programs could provide if they were set up to help such students (though they rarely are).

And so, is it not the best strategy to assume all children are gifted and talented, even though those "gifts" are not the same and are not uniformly distributed? Often, children have troubles with particular skills like reading in school, that are merely due to poor timing. Their brains may simply not be developed in the same time sequence as their peers at the same age, and yet they are then forever branded, or self-identified as dumb, rather than being acknowledged for the gifts and talents they possess.

It used to be thought by many advocates of the manual arts that those who were not "gifted" in reading and writing would likely be gifted in other ways... perhaps in the wood shop. But with the destruction of manual arts programs throughout the US (with certain rare exceptions) non-desk skills and intellect are no longer held forth as an option.

Make, fix, create, and extend the vision that others may learn likewise.

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