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Gagné (2003) said that talented children are ones are distinctly above average in one or more aspect of areas of human performance (intellectual, physical, social and creative). This blog will take you through how to recognise if a child is gifted or talented, why this is important and how to reward and encourage talent without making children surrounding them (classmates or siblings) feel inferior.
How To Spot A Talented Child
Sometimes it’s just best to observe and trust your instincts when trying to work out if a child is gifted or talented. Giftedness may not be represented in exam results or attainment levels in school reports. Go with your gut instinct – does the child in question show the potential to be above average?
Common signs are learning words quickly, reading quickly, asking lots of questions, having a good memory and being good at solving puzzles. If you are a parent and your child is showing these signs, it may be worth talking to their teacher and trying to assess the child’s level of development.
Why Recognising This Is Important
If a gifted child is left without stimulation, he or she could become very bored with education and start deliberately interrupting lessons or refuse to even attend school, which is troublesome for teachers and parents alike.
Schools are required to offer more challenging classes and opportunities for gifted and talented pupils. This may not necessarily mean they are moved out of lessons with their peers; they could be given an extra work sheet or challenged to do more reading outside of school. However, if the child is found to be working at a level a year above what they are, they could be moved up within year groups to reflect that.
How To Reward And Encourage Talent
Rewards are good as they encourage even gifted and talented children to keep improving, rather being rewarded for minimal effort. However, it is also important for teachers and parents to make sure these rewards are fair on other classmates/siblings to avoid jealousy and resentment.
One way of doing this is to have a reward system that would allow all the children to be rewarded. For example, rewards could be given for good marks in school, good behaviour at home and in school, tidying room/equipment, being nice to other pupils/siblings, obeying teachers/parents. You can use star charts and let the stars be saved up for reward certificates or small prizes like sweets. These give incentives for other children to try hard, rather than just rewarding the talented children.
Hopefully this post will have helped you identify if a child is talented, or learn how to reward them if they are. Have you tried the star chart idea? Do you have any other ideas for reward systems that encourage both talented children and their classmates/siblings? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments!
Rebecca is a blogger with a keen interest in education and teaching. She writes for School Stickers.
- Websites for Parents of Gifted and Talented Children (local.answers.com)