Long Attention Span May Be Resistant To Interruption Education Essay

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The cause of giftedness is still debatable. It could be a genetic or environment factor or both. Current thinking suggests that the importance of the gene is greater, though without appropriate nourishment, the gifted child's potential can often remain unfulfilled. There are some indicators which may suggest a child is gifted.

Some characteristics of giftedness:

Reads early with great comprehension

Learns faster with less repetition and practice

Has a long attention span; may be resistant to interruption

Understands and makes abstractions earlier; may ignore details

Is curious and tends to ask complex questions/Likes to know why and how things happen

Is quick to recognize relationships, including cause-effect; may have difficulty accepting the illogical

Is bored with routine tasks

Has large vocabulary and expresses himself well

Is emotionally sensitive/may overreact

Is a keen and alert observer

Evaluates facts, arguments, and persons critically/May be self-critical, impatient or critical of others

High energy

Learns by experimenting and manipulating objects; tries to find answers to questions in unusual ways

Is creative, inventive and original. Displays highly developed sense of humor; understands jokes that age peer would not

The above characteristics of the gifted children set them apart from the others. We would be wrong if we were to say that gifted children are all-rounder. The fact that this group of students who have been singled out and labeled as "gifted", are often mistaken as exclusive group of elitists. As a result, they are being left out from their peers. The giftedness do have a great impact in their lives. The great discrepancy between a gifted child's strengths and weaknesses makes him/her hard to fit anywhere and thus behavioral problems occur.

The perfectionism in gifted students leads to high degree of self-criticism, competition and/or unrealistic performance expectations. Hence, given the intense desire to satisfy curiosity, they feel restricted in analyzing a problem-based learning if there is time allocation. Task would be too easy or too difficult for them that limits the students' possibility for success. The gifted students usually do not have accurate self-knowledge about their ability. They are super sensitive to social feedback. Their desire for independence leads to attempts to control the situation. Unfortunately, teachers and others often have unrealistic expectations of high performance in all areas consistently, but are uncomfortable with differentness and fear superior knowledge. When individuality is not valued in for the gifted students, it will lead them to social isolation because there is no positive role model present and that their desires and abilities may not match opportunities.

When using advanced problem solving, gifted students tend to manipulate their peers and teacher. They are not interested in memorization, repetition, or lower levels of thinking. They are unable to control their emotions and easily frustrated, embarrassed or aggressive toward people who create obstacles. This hinders them to have energy to persist to completion of a goal. This could be due to school activities, which are not differentiated or challenging or offer no depth and complexity.

Teachers should not label the gifted students for their differences and avoid them. They label them to understand them, their background and their strengths so that they can create an inclusive learning environment. The teachers' beliefs are very important. Differences should be seen as a norm rather than the exception and that every child is unique. The actions from the teachers can make a difference in the child's life be it at present or in the future. When the teachers show respect and care to the students, they influence the students to do the same to others

To provide the needs of the gifted students in the mainstream classrooms and maximize everyone's opportunity and potential, teachers can tap on these approaches: collaborative learning, real-life context learning and self-directed learning. The ultimate goal is to let students to learn about the contents than the teachers giving all the answers, teachers' role is to identify key concepts, principles and generalization of content area essential for all students to grasp.

Through collaborative learning, students with different strengths can work together and they process information in multiple ways, giving more ideas to a group work. This helps gifted students to display their strength, drawing their curiosity and sharing insights with the rest of the class. In real-life context learning, students get to experience what is taught beyond textbooks, so that gifted students would not easily get bored. And finally, with self-directed learning, students get to choose the area of interests and read up using multiple texts and a variety of resource materials. These give freedom and independence for learning, and also instill the ownership of the students' work.

"Nobody sees the wind; neither you, nor I. But when the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by."

Just as we cannot see the wind, we cannot find, operate on, or transplant intelligence. Yet we see the working or manifestations of intelligence in the behaviors of people.

Gifted students do not have the ability to identify their strengths, so do their peers and teachers. But if the teachers believe in them and establish a culture that values and leverages on diverse talents, not only will the gifted students will benefit, all children would be nurtured, developed and challenged in this inclusive learning community in a more meaning way. This is when we realize and treasure their intelligence.

(1069 words)

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