Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gifted Children and Learning Styles

Many people believe that gifted children have no special needs. After all, they learn easily and can do so in almost any environment... right?

However, being gifted is not synonymous with being an all-rounder: a child can have a gift of music yet struggle to write good compositions. Being gifted doesn’t mean that you necessarily “do well at school”, either. Many gifted children struggle to achieve their potential at school because of their unconventional behaviour and questioning attitude, or because of their incompatible learning styles. For example, if your child is gifted, but also holistic and tactile, he or she may suffer in the conventional schooling systems that favour analytic visual-auditory learners.

Of course, you will want to know whether your child is gifted. You want to be able to help them achieve their potential. You don’t want them to become distressed through frustration and boredom. You don’t want them to deny their intelligence in order to become more acceptable to their peers.

But how can you tell? Unfortunately, there is no easy (or indeed accurate) test. A lot of your evaluation will be based on your own observation. Your child may be gifted if they display many of the following characteristics:
· inquisitiveness
· exceptional powers of observation
· wide-ranging vocabulary
· phenomenal memory
· ability to talk early
· ability to read early
· good levels of concentration
· creativity to form unusual advanced questions
· ability to grasp ideas quickly.
Learning Style Analysis (LSA) available on www.creativelearningcentre.com can also offer good insights into your child’s learning needs. Look out for the following criteria in your child’s LSA report:
· highly integrated in analytic and holistic thinking
· can learn through all sensory modalities with ease
· can learn at any time, forgets to eat or do other chores when lost in learning
· prefers to work alone or with true peers
· won’t accept authority
· is highly internally motivated - often learns for pure knowledge
· never gives up - has often extreme persistence
· dislikes rules - makes his or her own ones
· doesn’t need help in structuring their learning, dislikes guidance.

The report will also give you a detailed analysis of the biological and non-biological elements that make up your child’s Learning Style. It will show you how to create an ideal homework spot and how to talk to the teachers about any concerns you may have.

Remember, gifted students need to learn in challenging settings, where they can have opportunities to develop their abilities. And yet, many schools fail to recognise the efforts and needs of the high achievers.

Whether your child is truly gifted or “just” very bright, what you want is to produce a happy switched-on child who doesn't want to miss school. LSA will help you achieve that goal.

1 comment:

Dragonizer said...

this is an interesting talk.. We talk nearly the same thing in our blog.