Friday, November 21, 2008

Learning Styles and a Gifted Teenager

Being a gifted learner is often a challenge, particularly when the education system doesn't match their abilities.

Because schoolwork comes so easily to them, sitting in class and doing repetitive homework may be boring. Depending on his or her Learning Style, as well as on the teacher’s attitude, a gifted teenager will most likely choose a way to pass the time by:
- moving about, even when not allowed to
- reading their own book (usually advanced for their age) during class
- playing the fool
- being insubordinate
- daydreaming.

Alternatively, they may fake or even develop headaches or stomach aches (psychosomatic illnesses) in order to avoid school altogether.

Furthermore, some children and teenagers may hide their true talents in an attempt to fit in with their peers (if their Learning Style shows a preference for pairs, peers and/or team learning). They may underachieve on purpose, or fail to reach their academic potential because they are not motivated at school (if their Learning Style shows the need for internal motivation).

If left in a classroom with a generalized curriculum, the gifted child will not progress to realize their full potential. They will feel neglected and understimulated. Gifted children need special programs to flourish and to develop their abilities.

Gifted children who feel supported and understood will have an easier time reaching their full potential. Determining their Learning Style is the first step.

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