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Essay Title: Strategies for working with gifted children

For this assessment, you will need to:

• Write a descriptive and analytical essay about the range of teaching strategies and approaches that you could use and adapt when working with gifted children in early childhood and primary settings.

• Include particular strategies to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

• Outline the kinds of pedagogical practices that would be most beneficial to improving the quality of gifted education for young children and justify your choices.

Strategies and approaches when working with gifted children

The term “Gifted Children” refers to the children who have high intellectual ability which can be linked to an IQ score of 130 or over. However, the perception that all gifted children excels in academic are is not right. A good number of gifted children often displays higher creativity, musical, artistic as well as leadership abilities compared to that of their peers. According to Cukierkorn (2008), giftedness can be focused in one skill or may be more than one skill. It is highly crucial for parents as well as educators to understand giftedness in children can come with some specific learning differences that possess the potential to impose impact on the performance of the children at school (Tomlinson, 2010). Thus, it is highly crucial for teachers to develop effective strategies so that the children can overcome existing and potential challenges and can achieve success to their full potential. In the following paragraphs, strategies as well as approaches which can be adapted while working with gifted children in early childhood and primary settings, strategies for supporting children who are from disadvantaged backgrounds and pedagogical practices that would be most beneficial to enhance gifted education quality for young children.

In this paragraph, strategies and approaches while working with gifted children has been discussed. Considering the fact that the early childhood classroom is the place, where a child is first detected to be gifted, it is highly crucial for teachers to develop appropriate ability to detect and support the educational needs of gifted children.


According to American Mensa (2012), continuous motivation and encouragement is the key strategy to support children with higher academic and creativity skills. According to (), children within the age range of 2 to 5 years discovers starts discovering their areas of interests. At this stage, it is the responsibility of the teachers to introduce them to a variety of co curricular activity along with academic fields. For instance, a child who is gifted with unique skill of painting will not be identifying his or her skills if variety of activities is not introduced to him/her. Gifted children are more prone to ask questions frequently and try to work independently as per their own understanding instead of following the traditional method of doing a task. Teachers should encourage students to implement their own idea while performing an activity or class work instead of pressurizing them to follow traditional rules of performing the same (Bangel et al., 2010). Thus providing gifted children with the opportunity to identify their field of expertise by introducing them to a good range of co curricular activities and academic subjects is the first strategy that needs to be implanted by teachers. Additionally, freedom to discover their areas of expertise along with constant motivation and encouragement is another key strategy to be implanted in both the early childhood and primary school setting in Australia.

Support strategies for children from disadvantaged backgrounds

According to Fraser-Seeto, Howard and Woodcock (2016), another major strategy that are implemented in a few early childhood and primary settings in Australia but is highly popular across the world is educational acceleration. This strategy includes promoting students to higher classes in order to match up to his academic abilities. This strategy is highly useful for students with exceptional academic knowledge and ability to learn faster than their peers. However, Henderson and Jarvis (2016) have argued that this strategy is specifically beneficial for children with higher academic learning abilities and hence cannot be implanted for children who are gifted with unique creative skills like musical skills or other. In order to support the creative ability of the gifted children, it is highly crucial for the teachers as well as management of the early childhood and primary schools to provide the required resources so that children with unique creative ability can enhance their performance   in an effective way.


Another strategy that needs to implanted by teachers in both primary and early childhood settings is the strategy of curriculum compacting.   Primary and early childhood teachers can eliminate 24 to 70 percent of the curriculum of gifted students. Raising Children Network (2015) has stated that it will not impose impact on the performance of the gifted children. Moreover, in reality, compacting a curriculum impose a beneficial impact on the success of the students. Since often talented students experience no distinction in guidance from their classmates, they waste a lot of time completing research they already learned in school. Compacting the program helps these students to stop relearning content they already learned, which study has found will contribute to irritation, fatigue, and eventually under-realization.

Ballam (2016) argued that before implementing other strategies for gifted children, it is highly crucial to implement grouping. This strategy allows the educators to place students with similar abilities together s that instruction and guidance can be provided more easily Raising Children Network (2015). The grouping of talented children allows an appropriate, rapid as well as advanced instruction that matches the gifted students' rapidly developing skills and abilities.

In this paragraph, strategies for supporting children who are from disadvantaged backgrounds have been discussed. The term disadvantaged children means children whose social, physical or economic circumstances hinder their ability of obtaining education.

According to Ballam (2016), it is highly important for early childhood as well as primary educators to identify gifted children in a mainstream class in order to implement effective strategies and approaches.  For primary and early childhood teachers, the lack of theoretical consensus associated with appropriate definition of giftness, this should not be a barrier to identify and address the educational needs of individual students. All mainstream schools in Australia are stipulated for including students who possesses advanced knowledge or skills. Students who are capable of working on more advanced and complex content or at a faster pace compared to peers of their age needs to be given with the range of supports they requires to thrive both socially as well as academically. It involves students from both ethnic and socio-economic contexts, students with literacy and other challenges in addition to their ability to learn Language, students who will need help when improving their major skills, and students with behavioral problems. Their instructional requirements can vary as they are varied, varying from distinction in the daily classroom to more concentrated programs for community classes, to more individualized strategies and resources for students with more serious requirements (Chaffey, 2008).  Thus it can be said that inclusion and maintaining equity is one of the key strategies to support disadvantaged children with giftness.

Pedagogical practices to improve the quality of gifted education

According to Christie (2011), students who are from different cultural or ethical backgrounds along with students with diverse linguistic, cultural, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds needs appropriate support from teachers. Teachers need to develop knowledge as well as skills to communicate effectively with culturally or religiously diverse students so that they can identify the area or areas of their uniqueness. For this, Australian teachers teaching in the Early Childhood and primary settings needs to be provided with appropriate training and education sessions. According to researcher,  in order to indentify and effectively communicate with the aboriginal and Torres Strait islander students, Checklists are required for helping teachers recognize the definition and attributes of giftedness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and the societal factors that may undermine the high achievement of individuals. (Vialle, 2011). It is highly crucial for the early childhood as well as primary school educators to work with the indigenous community  in order to sensitively foster the gifted children in a way that appropriately align with the practices and values of the community.


Another effective strategy to work with children who are gifted but lacks financial capability to bear the expanse of schooling, support is needed both from the government as well as from the management of the educational institution. Scholarships need to be provided to financially disadvantaged children so that they can continue their study (Neihart, 2011). Along with this additional benefits and financial supports needs to offered to the parents of gifted children with financial disadvantage  for investing in resources that requires to thrive their social, creative or/and academic skills.

For gifted students who are suffering from disability, there is an increasing risk that that their disability may makes their giftness or vise versa. It is highly crucial for teachers to understand the exceptionalities in order to challenge as well as support the children appropriately. For this, individual students need to be paid with proper attention in the classrooms. (Vialle, 2011) stated that early childhood teachers need to be trained appropriately in order to detect giftness amongst the disabled children. Along with this, early childhood settings should be supported by appropriate funding so that various kinds of activities can be implemented to detect the unique creative or academic skills of the disabled children. Funding is also necessary to ensure physical resources like wheelchair ramps, hearing aids and others are available for the children with disabilities.

In these paragraphs, pedagogical practices to improve quality of gifted education and rationale behind it has been discussed. The first pedagogical practice that educators need to implement is to group children as per their gifted ability. For instance, in early childhood settings, children with enhanced skills of painting can be grouped together. Along with grouping, teachers need to implement the strategy of compacting curriculum. For instance, for the group of gifted children in early childhood settings with advanced skills of drawing, the teachers should skip repeated drawing techniques and directly opt for drawing techniques that are of advanced level. In primary school setting, teachers can opt for pedagogical activity that will involve offering the most difficult problems in an exercise first. Student whole will be able to solve those problems can be excused for that day’s homework. According to Neihart (2011), the “most difficult first” pedagogical practice is a manageable way for teachers to compact the curriculum for their high-ability students.  The rationale behind this pedagogical practice is that it will enhance the speed of learning of the gifted students without imposing negative impact on other students. Not only this, since a good number of primary students with gifted ability wastes their time on learning things they have already mastered, this pedagogical practice will save their time and enhance the speed of their learning.  


Pre test volunteers:

This pedagogical practice in used in both early childhood and primary settings in Australia. This practice involves teaching a particular chapter and then conducting a end chapter test. The teacher often declares, “ if you obtain 90 percent or above, you don’t have to do the homework”. Gifted students often obtain for the test. This pre test volunteer practice not only enhance the capability of the gifted students along with their self confidence bit also encourage them to improve their ability and skills in the areas of their expertise (Wormald, Rogers & Vialle, 2015). 

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that a good number of strategies and approaches are available for teachers to implement them for the benefits of gifted children in the elderly childhood and primary settings in Australia. Continuous motivation and encouragement is the key strategy to support children with higher academic and creativity skills. Teachers should encourage students to implement their own idea while performing an activity or class work instead of pressurizing them to follow traditional rules of performing the same. The educational acceleration strategy is highly useful for students with exceptional academic knowledge and ability to learn faster than their peers. The curriculum compacting strategy involves eliminating 24 to 70 percent of the curriculum of gifted students. students who are from diverse cultural or ethical backgrounds along with students with diverse linguistic, cultural, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds needs appropriate support from teachers. in order to indentify and effectively communicate with the aboriginal and Torres Strait islander students, Checklists are required for helping teachers recognize the definition and attributes of giftedness.

References

American Mensa. (2012). Creating creative children. Mensa Bulletin. Retrieved from https://www.giftedguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/August-Bulletin-creativity.pdf Cukierkorn, J. R. (2008). Talented young artists: Understanding their abilities and needs. Gifted Child Today, 31(4), 24-33.

Ballam, N. (2016). To sir, with love: Messages for educators from gifted financially disadvantaged young people. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 25(1), 5.

Bangel, N. J., Moon, S. M., & Capobianco, B. M. (2010). Preservice teachers’ perceptions and experiences in a gifted education training model. Gifted Child Quarterly, 54(3), 209-221.

Chaffey, G. (2008). Is gifted education a necessary ingredient in creating a level playing field for Indigenous children in education?. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 17(1), 38.

Christie, M. (2011). Some aboriginal perspectives on gifted and talented children and their schooling. Giftedness from an indigenous perspective, 36-42.

Fraser-Seeto, K., Howard, S. J., & Woodcock, S. (2016). Preparation for teaching gifted students: An updated investigation into university offerings in New South Wales. Australasian Journal of Gifted Education, 25(1), 58.

Henderson, L., & Jarvis, J. (2016). The Gifted Dimension of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Implications for Professional Learning. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 41(8), 60-83.

Neihart, M. (2011). Helping Gifted Children with autism spectrum disorders Succeed. Dual exceptionality. Woollongong, Australia: AAEGT.

Raising Children Network. (2015) Gifted and talented children: family life. [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/gifted_talented_family_life_video.html

Raising Children Network.,  (2015) Gifted and talented children: signs and identification. [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/gifted_talented_children_teenagers.html/context/1656

Raising Children Network (Australia). (2015c) Gifted and talented children: supporting learning. [Video file]. Retrieved fromhttps://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/gifted_talented_supporting_learning.html/context/1656

Tomlinson, M. M. (2010). Cassie: A gifted musician. Socio-cultural and educational perspectives related to the development of musical understanding in gifted adolescents. Australian Journal of Music Education, (2), 87.

Vialle, W. (Ed.). (2011). Giftedness from an indigenous perspective. Wollongong, NSW: AAEGT.

Wormald, C., Rogers, K. B., & Vialle, W. (2015). A case study of giftedness and specific learning disabilities: Bridging the two exceptionalities. Roeper Review, 37(3), 124-138.

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