Who are the gifted and talented?
"Gifted and talented children" means those children identified as having demonstrated potential abilities of high performance capability and needing differentiated or accelerated education or services. For the purpose of this definition, "demonstrated abilities of high performance capability" means those identified students who score in the top three percent (3%) on any national standardized test of intellectual ability. Said definition may also include students who excel in one or more of the following areas:
· Creative Thinking Ability
· Leadership Ability
· Visual/Performing Arts Ability
· Specific Academic Ability
Gifted programs provide a differentiated, enriched academic environment for students with advanced learning abilities.
Gifted students have special needs and abilities. Gifted programs will provide identified students with opportunities beyond the regular curriculum to broaden their knowledge, skills, and experiences. Emphasis will be on developing, independent, self-directed learners by encouraging and supporting in-depth learning and divergent and creative thinking. Gifted students will be expected to and will be given opportunities to perform well beyond what would be expected of a child of similar age and experience.
Children who are academically talented have unique abilities, which can create challenges for them in a regular classroom. They tend to learn at a more rapid pace, and possess a depth of thinking which may cause them to be “out of sync” with their peers.
The purpose of our district’s Gifted and Talented programs is to identify students who exhibit characteristics of high general intellectual ability and to meet their special learning needs.
Research has shown that gifted students possess similar general characteristics and that along with these characteristics are specific learning needs. General intellectual ability giftedness is seen in students who show behaviors in three general clusters of characteristics; above average intellectual ability, task commitment, and creativity (Renzulli).
The regular curriculum is differentiated by modifying content, process, product, and environment; by meeting advanced skills' needs,especially in the area of research, and by nurturing the abstract thinking abilities of these students. A combination of the strategies of differentiation, enrichment and acceleration is used in designing appropriate programs.
Helping students learn and grow is a goal of every school. Implicit in that goal is an understanding of how to work with special populations of children. Gifted and talented education encompasses the expertise needed to properly identify and serve not only the students who demonstrate high achievement, but also those who have the ability to achieve at high levels. GATE students’ needs can be met by providing a differentiated,enriched academic environment for students with advanced learning abilities that uses instructional methods to develop thinking processes that enhance independent study and personal effectiveness.