Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

How to realize the potential of gifted children

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Good article by Christian Fischer in the Scientific American. It begins:

Contrary to what many people believe, highly intelligent children are not necessarily destined for academic success. In fact, so-called gifted students may fail to do well because they are unusually smart. Ensuring that a gifted child reaches his or her potential requires an understanding of what can go wrong and how to satisfy the unusual learning requirements of extremely bright young people.

One common problem gifted kids face is that they, and those around them, place too much importance on being smart. Such an emphasis can breed a belief that bright people do not have to work hard to do well. Although smart kids may not need to work hard in the lower grades, when the work is easy, they may struggle and perform poorly when the work gets harder because they do not make the effort to learn. In some cases, they may not know how to study, having never done it before. In others, they simply cannot accept the fact that some tasks require effort [see “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids,” by Carol S. Dweck; Scientific American Mind, December 2007/January 2008].

If the scholastic achievement of highly intelligent children remains below average for an extended period, many teachers will fail to recognize their potential. As a result, such students may not get the encouragement they need, further depressing their desire to learn. They may fall far behind in their schoolwork and even develop behavior problems. Boys may turn aggressive or become class clowns. Girls often develop performance anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms such as stomachaches [see “Watching Prodigies for the Dark Side,” by Marie-Noëlle Ganry-Tardy; Scientific American Mind, April 2005].

One way to avoid such difficulties is to recognize that IQ is just one ingredient among many in the recipe for success. Children thrive or struggle in school for a host of reasons apart from IQ, according to psychologist Franz Mönks of the University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. These include motivation and persistence, social competence, and the support of family, educators and friends. Emphasizing the importance of persistence and hard work, for example, will help a child avoid the laziness trap. Gifted children also need intellectual challenges—to teach them how to work hard. …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 August 2008 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Daily life, Education

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