For my assignment, I got the opportunity to learn more about exceptional learners. I took an in depth look at what defines a child as gifted, how the life course of the gifted can be described, and some options for educating students who are gifted.
I began by taking a look at what defines a child as "gifted". Our book describes gifted children as those that have a combination of an extreme talent in subjects such as music, mathematics, and art, and an above average intelligence, which is usually defined as an IQ of 130 or higher (Santrock 217). Academic, intellectual, visual and performing arts, leadership and creative are the five areas of giftedness as recognized by the US government.
Giftedkids.about.com provides us with a chart that uses a child's IQ to diagnose just how highly gifted they are. It defines mildly gifted as a child having an IQ of 115-129, moderately gifted as 130-144, highly gifted as 145-159, exceptionally gifted as 160-179, and profoundly gifted as 180. The farther a child is away from an IQ of 100, whether it be to the right or the left, the more of the need there is for special education because most of us fall between an IQ of 85 and 115, with the norm averaging out at 100. In our text, three characteristics of gifted children are defined by an expert on creativity and giftedness; Ellen Winner (217). The first of these three characteristics is precocity. Because gifted children are often able to learn more effortlessly and master certain skills much earlier than their peers, they often become precocious. The second characteristic that Winner points out, is marching to their own drummer. Gifted children can sometimes resist particular instruction from a teacher because they have found their own methods of learning that works best for them so they simply continue with that method. They are very strong individuals and thrive on individual learning. A passion to master is the last characteristic. Internal motivation is something that is...
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