NAGE India
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Why do Gifted Children Need Gifted Education?

Investing in gifted education will in the long run benefit all parties concerned:

1)    Children – Gifted children have advanced learning needs.  When the regular curriculum fails to meet these needs, gifted children often become bored and may engage in disruptive behaviours, under-achieve, or absent themselves frequently.  Some may develop socioemotional or adjustment problems.  A disenchanted, disruptive gifted child presents challenges to the teacher – we have had cases of gifted children repeatedly misbehaving and disturbing the classroom.  In other cases, parents may transfer the child to a school where his/her needs will be better met.  Taking steps to meet the needs of gifted children may improve their academic performance as well as their school adjustment.

2)    Teachers – Gifted children who are bored often withdraw academically, producing incomplete work and shoddy notes and under-performing on exams.  In the absence of suitable challenges, they may engage in negative behaviours.  Teachers will benefit from a schoolwide mechanism to manage gifted children.

3)    Schools – A schoolwide gifted education programme allows gifted children to explore areas of interest in a hands-on, challenging environment.  Often, this leads to renewed interest in school, a decreased frequency or intensity of behaviour problems stemming from boredom, and may even translate to better performance in subjects outside the child’s interest.  As well, a schoolwide gifted education programme lets teachers identify gifts in children who may not excel on tests, but who have other important abilities.  In short, a gifted education programme may lead to better-adjusted, better-performing students.

4)    The Nation – At an estimate of 13 million, gifted children constitute a vast human resource for India.  Within the current scenario, many of these children from disadvantaged backgrounds may never be identified.  Gifted children from affluent families may be chanelled into a narrow range of career opportunities, or, worse, may choose to go abroad where there are more opportunities for them to explore their areas of interest.  It is crucial that we act as a nation to identify and nurture our gifted children: to help them to develop their potential and channel it in ways that benefit society.