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Educating the Exceptional Learner Essay

The reading week provided many new ideas and one of those was the gifted and talented, creative. Learning about children and youth with these extraordinary abilities of; elaboration, transformation and visualization. Sternberg, states in the reading that, “Individuals can be talented and may display extraordinary skills in mathematics, sports, music, or other performance areas. ” I have worked with students that display these extraordinary abilities and many are also gifted with a high intelligence quotient.

But, many also have no social abilities. They have no idea how to make friends or how to talk to their peers. They struggle with social interactions and boundaries. There are some exceptions and it is always a pleasant surprise to experience these exceptions. In another part of the reading, they talked about the mental age of a student. This phrase was new for me. A student’s mental age is based on their intellectual abilities. In the reading, J. P.

Guilford saw intelligence as “a diverse range of intellectual and creative abilities”. This concept is very powerful because of its views on intelligence as much broader. There are many who have contributed to the definitions of giftedness. The definitions and concepts of giftedness appears to have an explanation that serves a purpose of influence; what the student is qualified for, the amount of funding and training for educators. “This is not the universally accepted definition of giftedness? ” (Clark, 2008).

Characteristics of giftedness are limited and are an inadequate sample of various ethnic and cultural groups, so the studies do not represent this group as a whole. Giftedness can come from many diverse sectors. The origin of giftedness has a lot of controversy. Geneticists determined that giftedness is heredity and can have environmental influences, but environmentalists allege otherwise. Plomin and Price (2003) captured it best when they said “it may well be more appropriate to think about general cognitive ability as an appetite, rather than the aptitude. It appears assessments like testing done today are being used with children for whom they were designed and children, who were once excluded, are now being included. I feel when children are included good things are bound to happen. How to use this information in the classroom is to provide students with the right type of testing. The correct testing will help discover the students’ abilities, abilities that would normally not be evident in everyday classroom performances.


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