Rationale for the Program
The American government has defined giftedness as “students, children, or youth who give evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities.”
The specific advantages to placing gifted children in adequate programs include
- Gifted children should be treated as a resource.
- The need for inventive and intelligent minds that will improve the quality of life and advance the technological age cannot be understated.
- Gifted children deserve special treatment.
- Gifted children deserve to have the same financial support that is given to other groups that are not considered the norm.
- Gifted children require adequate and enriched stimulation.
- There exists a real and measurable incentive that gifted children gain by being in an isolated class of top students.
- Special provisions granted to gifted children will help to prevent underachievement.
- Given the proper environment, the zest gifted children have for school will be retained.
The typical characteristics of gifted children include
- Avid interest in science, mathematics, literature, and/or social studies
- Creativity when it comes to new ideas, seeing associations, and/or pursuing innovations
- Originality in oral and written expression
- Willingness to accept complexity
- Retention and application of information heard or read
- Power of abstraction, conceptualization, and/or synthesis
Common myths regarding gifted children include
- Gifted students are a homogeneous group.
- Gifted students do not need help.
- Gifted students have fewer problems than others.
- The future of a gifted student is assured.
- Gifted students are self-directed.
- The social and emotional development of the gifted student is at the same level as his or her intellectual development.
- Gifted students need to serve as examples to others.
- Gifted students can accomplish anything to which they put their minds.
The Bell School Regional Gifted Center is committed to providing differentiated programs and services to gifted children and their parents. The curriculum of the center provides enrichment and acceleration to all students in the first through eighth grades. Additional activities for children and parents focus on the social and emotional needs of gifted students. The teachers of the gifted center base their teaching and their relationships with students upon an understanding and appreciation of the characteristics of gifted children and upon an awareness of the misconceptions surrounding gifted students.