Giftedness, intelligence, and talent are fluid concepts and may look different in different contexts and cultures. Gifted children may develop asynchronously: their minds are often ahead of their physical growth, and specific cognitive and social-emotional functions can develop unevenly. And so, there is a wide range of definitions about the word "gifted".
NAGC offers a survey of the term and their definition.
Six Ways to Meet Bright and Gifted Kids' Needs Without Much Extra Work
Marty Nemko, Ph.D, posits that all children are entitled to an appropriate education, and to not be bored too much of the time. But in today's mixed-ability classes and with pressures to focus on low achievers, bright and gifted kids often get shortchanged.
Marty looks at six ways teachers can better meet bright and gifted kids' needs in a regular class without incurring undue additional work.
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The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) offers a wide range of resources for administrators, educators, and parents. The site includes best education practices and a state-by-state listing of resources.
Psychology Today has a good article for parents (and educators) explaining gifted children, signs to look for, and the importance of proper assessment. That troubled student with poor grades, conflicts, and becoming more and more disinterested might by gifted.
Gifted, creative and highly sensitive children
In this TEDx talk, Heidi Hass Gable relates that being "gifted" often feels far from a good thing, especially when you're the one living it. And yet the myth persists that "gifted" is an elitist and privileged label in education. That "those kids" will be fine without any extra programs or supports. In reality, many of our most vulnerable learners are those "gifted" kids who know they just don't "fit it." Heidi looks at being gifted from a student's (and mother's) perspective, and proposes ideas to make education better for everyone.
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What I Learned As An Ex-Gifted Kid
Gifted children often lead double lives. Intellectually, they may seem like small, eccentric adults, and they may prefer the company of adults, but in many ways they are still children. For this reason, many gifted education experts have doubts about letting gifted students start college several years early. In this talk, Caroline Cannistra talks about her experiences entering a college environment at age 13. She talks about her successes and failures, the way she interacts with the professional and academic world, and what she's learning now as an adult.
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Carolyn K. has created this wide ranging resource directory with input from parents, teachers, psychologists, and / or gifted kids themselves. Topics include Testing & Assessment, Academic Acceleration, Differentiation of Instruction, and Success Stories.
Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University is another example of programs for the gifted community. Their goal is to ensure that gifted students receive the education, encouragement and support they need to learn and grow into confident and accomplished adults whose love for learning grows stronger each year.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth provides assessment ("Talent Search"), summer programs, on-line courseware and whole family programs. They see the family relationship is critical in nurturing the potential of talented students.
Check with the colleges and universities in your area for face-to-face and on-line programs. Getting a gifted student plugged in and engaged is imperative.
Miranda McDermott reviews Gifted Children: Myths and Realities by Ellen Winner. The book looks at giftedness and how wide ranging giftedness can be.
Keeping gifted students involved and interested can be a challenge in a mixed classroom setting. Access to the Internet and the resources listed here can turn a potential drop out into a star pupil.