Following the old pigeonholes that have offered a false definition of gifted students to educators, it has been difficult to recognize talented students. A gifted student is able demonstrate a high level of achievement capability in different fields but needs services not provided in an ordinary school. This case study addresses the characteristics of talented students, their weaknesses and strengths as well, and the teaching strategies and educational options that best suit them.
Statistics do not give an accountable population of talented students in the United States because of the mutant estimation from state to state. Although most gifted students possess promising efforts, some end up failing. The underachievement among talented students is a common problem that is believed to be caused by depression, lack of motivation, among other factors. Although psychologists have tried their best, they have yet to develop a strategy that would help recognize talented students.
Mercy was a ten-year-old gifted girl and was identified from a group of pupils subjected to a creative writing program. She was a pupil from Park west Elementary school in a suburb of a major metropolitan city with a population of five hundred pupils. Mercy’s giftedness was demonstrated by psychometric testing, with her composite score ranking her in the 99.91st percentile with a “Standard Age Score” of 150. According to her school-based standardized testing and information from her teacher, she scored in the 100th percentile on the school’s ACER Online Placement Instrument (OPI) and she registered an underachievement, particularly in the field of creative writing. Her teacher stated that her in-class creative writing exercises performance did not match her outstanding standardized test results. Mercy was labeled as a low-achieving student as a result of this. She spent seven weeks in the creative writing program, which consisted of eight 50-minute sessions. Mercy was mentored through several creative writing exercises as part of the curriculum, culminating in completing her short tale.
The critique of Mercy’s studies identified as a ‘gifted student’ indicates a motley of cognitive features that are generalized in all heterogeneous groups. However, the features cannot be vulgarized to all ‘talented learners’ because each student has unique ontogeny models. Surmise drawn from the research done by general intelligence, multiple intelligence, and neo-Piagetian researchers designate the main common feature of such students in their language. Despite their level of performance, gifted students depict a high tier of language development with a high verbal tier. In the case of Mercy, her language was characterized by embracing lexicon and a great sense of witticism.
According to (Song, et al. 2017), talented apprentices display an advanced comprehension in that they possess the ability to form and utilize conceptual fabrics. The pliantism of their thoughts enables them to have many alternatives towards solving a problem, making them agile in coming up with solutions. Mercy’s score depicts her ability to draw answers from a wide range of sentiments. The assessment study from her teacher indicated that her tending was ranked high and this meant that she was always attentive in class. This proves Silverman’s argument that extraordinary data measures and unusual retentivity characterize the students.This expresses the reason behind the sizeable mental storage capacity and their sharp memory.
Following the above-stated characteristics of gifted students, teachers should be very keen while teaching the students because a slight change in the teacher’s teaching style would bring some misunderstanding to the prentice. The fact that many countries haven’t updated their teaching curriculums speculate the teaching techniques applicable to talented students doesn’t mean that they are handled in the same manner as the other students. The research done to date further states that teachers to teach gifted students should possess some unique characteristics such as exuberance, creativity, and expertise in the field they are teaching.
A teacher should therefore be intelligent for them to handle each student by their phase of learning. Mills (2017) researched to find out why some teachers are more effective in teaching gifted learners than other teachers of the same tier of expertise. She came to the conclusion that certification and schematic training in gifted education would not be decent factors of consideration when priming teachers for gifted students. In her argument, she proposes that it may be wiser to pick out teachers based on their experience in the academic discipline of interest and those with passion for the subject matter. Other than expertise, personality and cognitive vogue predilection may be vital too to consider.
All in all, gifted students are susceptible creatures to handle. Teachers handling them should be very keen not to harass and oppress them. In this case, Mercy has imposed an underachievement in creative writing despite of her being a gifted learner. The teachers engaging talented students should bear in mind that they possess a sharp memory, large brain capacity, and a high level of curiosity, and any slight change in their teaching etiquette would highly impact their consciousness.
Mills, Carolina Johnson. Characteristics of effective teachers of gifted students: Teacher background and personality styles of students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 47(4), 2017. 272-281.
Song, Kwang‐Han, and Marion Porath. “Common and domain‐specific cognitive characteristics of gifted students: an integrated model of human abilities.” High ability studies 16.02, 2017. 229-246.