Characteristics/Signs of Gifted Children
1. Gifted students are often perfectionist and idealistic.
2. Gifted students may experience heightened sensitivity to their own expectations and those of others.
3. Gifted students are asynchronous
4. Some gifted students are “mappers” (sequential learners), while others are “leapers” spatial learners.
5. Gifted students may be so far ahead of their chronological age mates that they know half the curriculum before the school year begins!
6. Gifted children are problem solvers.
7. Gifted students often think abstractly and with such complexity that they may need help with concrete study and test-taking skills.
8. Gifted students who do well in school may define success as getting an “A” and failure as any grade less than an “A”.
Gifted students usually have unusual talent in one or occasionally two areas. Below are six areas where we will find giftedness. No child will be gifted in all six, but some may be in more than one area. Within specific academic ability, students again usually have one or two subjects that they are best in and passionate about.
- Independent thinker
- Exhibits original thinking in oral and written expression
- Come up with several solutions to a given problem
- Possesses a sense of humor
- Creates and invents
- Challenged by creative tasks
- Improvises often
- Does not mind being different from the crowd.
General Intellectual Ability
- Formulates abstractions
- Processes information in complex ways.
- Excited about new ideas.
- Enjoys hypothesizing.
- Learns rapidly.
- Uses a large vocabulary.
- Self – starter.
Specific Academic Ability
- Good memorization ability.
- Advanced comprehension.
- Acquires basic skill knowledge quickly.
- Widely read in special interest area.
- High academic success in special interest area.
- Pursues special interest with enthusiasm and vigor.
- Assumes responsibility
- High expectations for self and others
- Fluent, concise self expression
- Foresees consequences and implications of decisions
- Good judgment in decision making.
- Likes structure.
- Well-liked by peers.
- Self – confident.
- Challenged by difficult athletic activities
- Exhibits precision in movement.
- Enjoys participation in various athletic opportunities.
- Excels in motor skills.
- Well coordinated.
- Good manipulative skills.
- High energy level.
Visual/ Performing Arts
- Outstanding in sense of spatial relationships
- · Unusual ability in expressing self, feeling, moods, etc., through dance, drama, music, etc.
- Good motor coordination
- Exhibits creative expression
- Desire for producing “own product” (not content with mere copying)
Characteristics of Gifted Children
ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children (1985) cites three types of characteristics of gifted children: general behavioral, learning, and creative characteristics.
- General Behavior Characteristics
- Gifted children’s behavior differs from that of their age-mates in the following ways:
- Many gifted children learn to read early, with better comprehension of the nuances of language. As much as half the gifted and talented population has learned to read before entering school.
- Gifted children often read widely, quickly, and intensely and have large vocabularies.
- Gifted children commonly learn basic skills better, more quickly, and with less practice.
- They are better able to construct and handle abstractions.
- They often pick up and interpret nonverbal cues and can draw inferences that other children need to have spelled out for them.
- They take less for granted, seeking the “hows” and “whys.”
- They can work independently at an earlier age and can concentrate for longer periods.
- Their interests are both wildly eclectic and intensely focused.
- They often have seemingly boundless energy, which sometimes leads to a misdiagnosis of hyperactivity.
- They usually respond and relate well to parents, teachers, and other adults. They may prefer the company of older children and adults to that of their peers.
- They like to learn new things, are willing to examine the unusual, and are highly inquisitive.
- They tackle tasks and problems in a well-organized, goal-directed, and efficient manner.
2. Learning Characteristics
- Gifted children are natural learners who often show many of these characteristics:
- They may show keen powers of observation and a sense of the significant; they have an eye for important details.
- They may read a great deal on their own, preferring books and magazines written for children older than they are.
- They have well-developed powers of abstraction, conceptualization, and synthesis.
- They readily see cause-effect relationships.
- They often display a questioning attitude and seek information for its own sake as much as for its usefulness.
- They are often skeptical, critical, and evaluative. They are quick to spot inconsistencies.
- They often have a large storehouse of information about a variety of topics, which they can recall quickly.
- They readily grasp underlying principles and can often make valid generalizations about events, people, or objects.
- They quickly perceive similarities, differences, and anomalies.
3. Creative Characteristics
- Gifted children’s creative abilities often set them apart from their age-mates. These characteristics may take the following forms:
- Gifted children are fluent thinkers, able to generate possibilities, consequences, or related ideas.
- They are flexible thinkers, able to use many different alternatives and approaches to problem solving.
- They are original thinkers, seeking new, unusual, or unconventional associations and combinations among items of information.
- They can also see relationships among seemingly unrelated objects, ideas, or facts.
- They are elaborate thinkers, producing new steps, ideas, responses, or other embellishments to a basic idea, situation, or problems.
- They are willing to entertain complexity and seem to thrive on problem solving.
- They are good guessers and can readily construct hypotheses or “what if” questions.
- They often are aware of their own impulsiveness and irrationality, and they show emotional sensitivity.
- They are extremely curious about objects, ideas, situations, or events.
- They often display intellectual playfulness and like to fantasize and imagine.
- They can be less intellectually inhibited than their peers are in expressing opinions and ideas, and they often disagree spiritedly with others’ statements.
Giftedness, is an inborn characteristic that cannot be learnt or adopted from someone, unlike creativity which is that special skill of being innovative. Giftedness comes in the form of Intellect, Physical, Social and Creativity, it can also comprise of a combination, however both Giftedness and Creativity can have negative and positive implications as it relates to education and training.
Negative and Positive Implications of Giftedness as it relates to Education & Training
Being gifted does not necessary mean a child is better than others, they are all equal beings and should be treated equally. There are many cases where children feel inferior or neglected when a gifted child is a part of their classroom. It is the teachers responsibility to ensure that he or she does not show favoritism to gifted children because this can affect other children’ behaviour and performance inside and out of the classroom. Teachers and parents need to keep in mind that a lot of children who are gifted feel like wimps or nerds.
There are indirect evidence for a typical brain organization and innate talent in gifted children: Many gifted children and savants have enhanced right-hemisphere development, language-related difficulties, and autoimmune disorders. It is argued that gifted children have social and emotional difficulties that set them apart. Evidence for the often uneven cognitive profiles of such children is that the relationship between childhood giftedness and “domain” creativity in adulthood is similar. Few gifted children go on to become adult creators because the skills and personality factors required to be a creator are very different from those typical of even the most highly gifted children.