Rationale for educating the Gifted, Talented and Creative
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
What is the rationale for educating the gifted, talented and creative children?
A: The answer is similar to the
rationale for educating students with learning difficulties.
When we feel that a child has some learning problems, we
usually pay a lot of attention and seek help as soon as
possible. The Gifted, Talented and Creative (GTC) are
children with special needs as well, just on the other
extreme, so why wouldn't they need special attention too?
The GTC defined as pupils who display patterns of learning
strengths, preferences and abilities in one or more area
including those with abilities beyond the majority of their
peer group. States in the US schools are expected to
identify 5 – 10% of pupils as gifted or talented. In fact,
all children for that matter should be entitled to access
opportunities which enable them to maximize their potential,
achieve success in their work and relationships and
encourage them to value their own and others' achievements.
This can be done through special programs which require
screening and selection.
However, this is usually not a one-off selection. Schools
are encouraged to recognize the extent and the pool of
individuals with above average ability and talent and at the
same time recognize that ability and talent may change over
time. With the gifted program or specialized education for
the GTC, it can be assured that appropriate challenge,
support and motivation will maximize the potential of these
children. GTC children need opportunities to be created for
them to enable them to flourish, especially whose potential
to excel has not been recognized as yet.
What about special education for all children? Well, whilst
it is believed that all children have special gifts and
talents that the nation should value and promote, somehow,
GTC children do demonstrate exceptional strengths and
because of this, they should have a curriculum which meets
their needs. It has been said that today's GTCs are
tomorrow's social, intellectual, economic and cultural
leaders and their development cannot be left to chance. This
is the main reason to have special education for these
special children who show potential of achieving so much
more with proper guidance and an education system that
serves their needs.