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Characteristics and Misconceptions of Gifted and Talented Le

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Staci Callahan

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of Characteristics and Misconceptions of Gifted and Talented Le

Characteristics and Misconceptions of Gifted and Talented Learners
Gifted and Talented students are the least understood students in the public school system.
Misconceptions of
Gifted Learners

Misconception One: Gifted and Talented students are those who know all the answers to the questions.
A GT student will know all the answers is if he/she is interested in the content. If they are not interested, then they will not go out of their way to learn any material that they consider boring. In order to really identify who is gifted versus who is a teacher pleaser, then consider thinking about the questions the student asks. Teacher pleasers know all the answers, Gifted students will ask the most interesting questions.
Misconception Five: Teaching the gifted and talented students is a much easier task than teaching a mainstream class.
GT students will demand your attention and require much more accommodation than teaching mainstreamed students. Due to their issues with authority and lack of interest in what they perceive as "boring" subject material, the teacher may have to represent a single concept 25 different ways for 25 different GT students. Teaching GT courses requires much more flexibility, effort, and accommodation that teaching mainstreamed students.
Gifted children from poorer backgrounds may find it more difficult to access resources. This is why it's absolutely vital that the Department of Education not only recognise that gifted children require a special needs status but also properly fund any gifted children programmes within schools so that all children, regardless of background, can access differentiated education appropriate to their needs.
Misconception Six: All gifted kids come from the middle to upper classes - so it's an elitist label with no real meaning.V

Many gifted students flourish in their community and school environment. However, some gifted children differ in terms of their emotional and moral intensity, sensitivity to expectations and feelings, perfectionism, and deep concerns about societal problems. Others do not share interests with their classmates, resulting in isolation or being labeled unfavorably as a “nerd.” Because of these difficulties, the school experience is one to be endured rather than celebrated. It is estimated that 20 to 25% of gifted children have social and emotional difficulties, about twice as many as in the general population of students.
Misconception Seven: This child can't be gifted; he has a disability
There is a growing population in Ireland of children presenting with dual exceptionality, i.e. on the one hand they show gifted characteristics but, on the other, have mild to severe learning difficulties or disabilities.
Misconception Nine: Gifted students don't need help; they'll do fine on their own
Gifted kids are highly sensitive children who need a lot of support from both their family and teachers. A lot of the time they find that they're out of step with their peer group which can lead to isolation. Sometimes their talents go unrecognised and they find themselves viewed as disruptive rather than excellent students.
Misconception Ten: Gifted students make everyone else in the class smarter by providing a role model or a challenge

In reality, average or below-average students do not look to the gifted students in the class as role models. They are more likely to model their behavior on those who have similar capabilities and are coping well in school. Seeing a student at a similar performance level succeed motivates students because it adds to their own sense of ability. Watching or relying on someone who is expected to succeed does little to increase a struggling student’s sense of self-confidence.

Similarly, gifted students benefit from classroom interactions with peers at similar performance levels.
Misconception Two: If my child is labeled as gifted in English, then he/she needs to be placed in all gifted (also known as advanced) classes.
A child may be gifted in math, but that does not mean that he/she is gifted in English, history, government, music, art, and every other elective that your school has to offer. Placing a child in all advanced classes will only cause undue stress on your child. He/she may be excelling in one area and drowning in another.
Misconception Three: Gifted students act appropriately and have great manners.Wrong again.
A gifted child is more than likely going to display a great deal of issues with authorities. If the student seems to have an issue with you for making him/her do something they consider to be ridiculous, then you just may be dealing with giftedness.
Misconception Four: If a child cannot speak english, then he/she is not gifted.
Teachers need to find a way to give the child a GT screening test in his/her own language. Do not let culture get in the way of identifying giftedness. There are several ESL students out there who are bored out of their minds at school, because they are not being stimulated enough intellectually. Remember, just because a person cannot speak fluid English today, does not mean that he/she is not gifted.
Misconception Eight: Gifted students are happy, popular, and well adjusted in school
Dr. Dan Peters, Summit Center
Characteristics of Gifted Youth
Positive Characteristics
uses advanced reasoning skills
has extensive and detailed memory
answers questions in detail
wants to learn and is very curious
makes logical inferences, draws conclusions based on sound reasoning
understands abstract ideas and complex concepts
earns new information quickly
applies prior knowledge to problem solving
Positive Characteristics
has an intense, sustained interest
completes academic work (that they find interesting)
contributes to academic discussions
excels in one or more subject areas
has hobbies/collections related to field
has an inquisitive nature an asks relevant questions
demonstrated knowledge of facts in one or more academic areas
demonstrates knowledge about current events
Possible Roadblocks to Academic Achievement
psycho-motor intensity--very high levels of energy, a need to move a lot, a restlessness
Sensual excitability--heightened response to sensual stimuli
Imaginational intensity-- very animated visualization
Intellectual excitability-- a heightened responses to intellectual question
Emotional over excitability--emotions are experienced in extreme
Potential Gifted Areas
What is 'Giftedness'
According to the National Association For Gifted Children (NAGC)...

Gifted individuals are those who
demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude
(defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn)
or competence
(documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer)
in one or more domains.
Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).
Creative and productive thinking.
The ability to produce new ideas by bringing together elements usually thought of as independent or dissimilar and the aptitude for developing new meanings that have social value.
openness to experience
setting personal standards for evaluation
ability to play with ideas
willingness to take risks
preference for complexity
tolerance for ambiguity
positive self-image
the ability to become submerged in a task.
Creative and Productive thinking
Leadership ability. Leadership can be defined as the ability to direct individuals or groups to a common decision or action.
Students who demonstrate giftedness in leadership ability use group skills and negotiate in difficult situations.
Many teachers recognize leadership through a student's keen interest and skill in problem solving.
Leadership characteristics include self-confidence, responsibility, cooperation, a tendency to dominate, and the ability to adapt readily to new situations.
Leadership ability
Visual and
Performing Arts
Gifted students with talent in the arts demonstrate special talents in
visual art
or other related studies.
Visual and Performing Arts
Emotional Roadblocks

– Emotionally intense
– Unrealistic expectations of self and others; perfectionist; depression;
– Excessively competitive
– Low frustration tolerance
– Easily hurt
– Feels powerless to solve world problems
– Impatient; sees too much
– Disruptive; class clown
– Uses humor to seek attention
– Excessive questioning (why, why)
– Goes too far; seems disruptive;
– unable to accept help

Social Roadblocks
– Impatient; arrogant
– “Loner”
– Can’t connect with peers
- Stubborn
– Social avoidance
– Talks too much; seems conceited; listening problems
– Seems bossy; nonconformist;
fitting in with class, popular culture or peers
– Poor communication with peers
– Isolation from peers

Leadership Ability
by Staci Callahan

National Association for Gifted Children. (1990). Giftedness and the gifted: What's it all about?
Retrieved October 22, 2013, from National Association for Gifted Children website:

National Association for Gifted Children. (Ed.). (n.d.). What is giftedness? Retrieved November 1,
2013, from National Association for Gifted Children. website: http://www.nagc.org/

Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids. (2010). Being an
emotional coach to gifted children [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.begabtenzentrum.at/

Peters, D., Dr. (2012, July 12). Common characteristics of gifted youth [Video file]. Retrieved from

Bryant, S. (2013, October 5). Gifted misconceptions [Video file]. Retrieved from

Christiansen, M., PhD. (n.d.). Intense behaviors of the gifted: Possible roadblocks to academic
achievement. Retrieved November 1, 2013, from Center for Talent Development; Northwestern
University website: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/resources/displayArticle/?id=123

National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented. (n.d.). Common gifted education myths.
Retrieved November 3, 2013, from National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented website:

Characteristics of Gifted Learners
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