To teach a child is no doubt interesting although it can be very challenging. However, when the child is gifted and talented, then the task becomes even more challenging. The reason for the special nature of teaching gifted and talented children is linked to the peculiar habits of such children. Without mincing words, a gifted and talented child makes a special student and can prove to be a hard nut to crack even for the most experienced teacher.
As a result, teaching gifted and talented children is a delicate art that must be learned and mastered over time. One other point that must be appreciated is the fact that such special students are relatively rare and as a teacher, you do not get the chance to teach them all the time. The fact that these pupils are special simply means that they will also present special challenges to their teachers. For example, it has been found that some gifted children can be quite restless and hyperactive, constantly disturbing the classroom. Quite a number of them also suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
We have seen that teaching gifted and talented children is an arduous task. In a case where the teacher is unaware of the child’s innate abilities, there is the possibility of branding such a pupil a mischievous, dull or even a slow learner. In some other cases, such students have also failed as some gifted children find it quite difficult to focus and concentrate in the classroom. It is interesting to know that a heightened sensitivity to physical stimuli is a feature of the gifted and talented.
Even with all the challenges of teaching gifted and talented children, some countries like the United States, United Kingdom and South Korea have been able to devise some feasible teaching methods. These special education programs have been exclusively designed to meet the needs of the gifted and talented.
Here are a few books on the topic: