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Curriculum Development and Teaching Strategies for Gifted Learners - Essay Example

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On of the major goals of developmentally appropriate curriculum for gifted children in early childhood education is that curriculum and adult interaction are responsive to individual differences in ability, strengths and interests. Furthermore, different levels of ability, development and learning styles are expected, accepted and used to design appropriate activities…
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Curriculum Development and Teaching Strategies for Gifted Learners
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Download file to see previous pages For practices to be developmentally appropriate, they must be individually appropriate. Developmentally appropriate programs must reflect the importance of establishing a caring, inclusive community in which all children can learn and, importantly, where the potential of gifted preschoolers may be realized and given the opportunity to flourish. The question, thus, becomes, how can teachers identify gifted children and what are the guidelines for designing a curriculum for gifted children
With the importance of individualized learning environments for gifted children, the problems of curriculum design, resources and balancing between the child's socio-emotional and intellectual needs express themselves. Schools are in a position where they have to undertake the identification of gifted children, design appropriate curriculum for each (ideally) and personalize teaching approaches to suit the needs of the individual, potentially gifted, preschooler. Needless to say, it is virtually impossible to satisfy all of the stated. The objective, thus, becomes the accurate identification of the gifted, the subsequent design of a curriculum and selection of teaching approaches which would address the needs of the gifted child without overlooking the child's social and emotional needs on the one hand, and which are founded on a realistic assessment of the school's resources.
3 Defining Giftedness
Over the past century, the meaning of gifted' has changed from a single-dimensional (High IQ) definition to one in which multiple abilities and intelligences are recognized (Sternberg, 1993). This understanding has opened the door to a greater understanding of gifted students and their needs in schools.
The most commonly used definition of gifted and talented is provided by the Educational Amendment of 1978. It is, according to Sternberg (1993), a multi-dimensional definition based on the report to the U.S. Congress by the U.S. Commissioner of Education, Sidney Marland. As stated in this report, gifted children include those with demonstrated ability or achievement, or with the potential for achievement in any one, or combination, of the following (Sternberg, 1993):
General intellectual ability
Specific academic aptitude
Creative or productive thinking
Leadership ability
Visual and performing arts
Psychomotor ability
By specifying six areas of achievement, the report suggests that giftedness is a complex phenomenon which can assume many forms, or several overlapping ones (Sternberg, 1993).
4 Identification of Gifted Children
Identifying gifted children is always difficult. At the preschool/kindergarten level, formal testing procedures to identify gifted and talented children are not common. Therefore, early childhood educators should be aware of the behavior and traits displayed by gifted children. In this way, teachers can recognize developmentally advanced or potentially gifted children under their care. To facilitate the identification process, Saylor (cited in Sternberg and Grigorenko, 2003) summarized the characteristics of gifted young ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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