Some may wonder why we would even have to consider teaching persistence to gifted students; but, in fact, many characteristics of gifted children can actually contribute to a lack of persistence. If not challenged early on, gifted students never learn persistence because they don’t have to in the elementary years. When the work does get challenging in later years, they begin to question their own ability.
The role of ‘frustration tolerance’ can come into play for a gifted student. Many gifted students lack the ability to tolerate being frustrated in the face of challenge. they need to learn and understand how to put some space between a challenge and how to respond.
Perfectionism also affects some gifted students who seem to lack persistence. Coping with wanting everything to always be perfect may cause a child to give up if they can’t achieve perfection. The idea of seeing something through that isn’t their ‘best’ may seem impossible; which is where the teacher comes in. As Carol Bainbridge told us, “Fear of imperfection is paralyzing to some gt kids. Better to not try at all than to try and not be perfect.”
Scaffolding can be used to help the student who is struggling with persistence. Simply supporting a child in knowing where ‘to start’ can lead many to succeed. Gifted children are not gifted in all subjects; individual attention to support weaknesses is a good start.
What are some coping skills students need to meet life’s challenges and adversity? Gifted students need to realize the importance of their ability to think; to problem solve; to figure things out. They can use self-talk to remove negative thoughts and begin to believe in themselves and abilities.
Parents and teachers can help gifted students have a realistic understanding of their own abilities.Parents must first have realistic expectations of their child and understand that they may not excel in all areas. Teachers can nurture a child to understand what they are good at and how to develop their talent. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Tuesdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Wednesdays at 14.00 NZST/12.00 AEST/1.00 UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: email@example.com
Ed Week: 5 Ways Gifted Students Learn Differently (tiered subscription)
Photo courtesy of MorgueFile
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.
“How much does a teacher’s attitude about giftedness affect their teaching of gifted students?” was the first question we considered in this chat. There seemed to be general agreement that it plays a major role in meeting or not meeting the needs of identified gifted learners. The moderator pointed out that gifted students are the ‘group’ of students making the least progress among all groups and that teachers and administrators needed to be made aware of this fact. It was also pointed out that teacher attitude towards gifted children is responsible for a great deal of friction with parents.
A lesser known issue was discussed concerning the interaction between teachers of gifted students and the rest of the faculty. Too often gifted teachers feel isolated. Teachers in Pull-Out Programs may have little interaction with faculty or staff. Negative attitudes based on misplaced views of gifted students spill over into school policy which also affects them.
Suggestions on how to improve the situation included more courses for pre-service teachers in gifted education at the undergraduate level, gifted certification for any teacher involved in teaching gifted students, providing information about giftedness to general education teachers and on-going professional development in gifted education. A full transcript of the chat may be found here.
Teaching Strategies to Educate Gifted Children (Slideshare)
Journal of the World Council for Gifted & Talented Children Aug/Dec 2011 (pdf) (multiple articles)
Pygmalion Effect (Wikipedia)
During this chat, we discussed what constitutes 21st century learning; content or skills. With access to the Internet putting content at the fingertips of students, it seemed that education may need to change direction. Ultimately, it was agreed that a balance needs to be found between teaching basic information and skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. A transcript may be found here.
Philippines ~ “Coherence & Knowledge in Basic Education”
A Framework for Teachable Collaborative Problem Solving Skills (Draft Only – pdf)