Possible Contributions To Giftedness And Managing Strategies
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
What are some of the causes of giftedness and factors that contribute it and managing strategies?
This question could be a complete long essay or journal article.
However, I will attempt to briefly outline the facts. This is a "nature"
vs "nurture" question.
It has been widely agreed that both genetics and environment play a role
in determining giftedness, but their relative importance is still being
debated. Some believe that giftedness may be due to some innate process
which is independent from the environmental effects. This means that
regardless of where the child is raised, a gifted child will demonstrate
the gifts at some point with appropriate exposure that acts as trigger.
For example, there are accounts of children with extraordinary gifts
that could have an innate basis, such as the musically gifted. No
particular environment appears to have stimulated the gift.
This is linked to the biological claim such as the brain or a chromosome
that people believe scientists have yet to find. Psychologically,
giftedness is believed to be an gift that has a genetic origin and is at
least partly innate which may not be clear at an early stage but rather
an inclination that the child may possess the gift.
Studies have indicated that individuals with extremely high mathematical
abilities have frontal lobes of the brain which are more differentiated
compared to average students. Neuropsychological studies claim that in
information processing, gifted individuals have enhanced brain activity
localized in the right hemisphere. This does show to a certain extent
that the physical characteristics of the brain may be associated to an
innate process in which certain people obtain high levels of gifts and
capabilities in different areas.
Many studies have proved that demonstrated giftedness is subjected to
biological (nature) and sociological (nurture) factors. These are again
all linked to several other external factors outside of the child's
physiological makeup. In short, to be considered gifted, a child need to
have the right biological make up (genes, brain structure) and
environment (education, exposure, diet, emotional security, etc.) to
enhance and bring out the gifts.
On managing strategies in formal education, please read the following
On managing strategies for parents, please see this link which provides
resources to many other related links:
In short, gifted individuals are not made from scratch (or can be made
to be gifted) but are born with unusual brains that enable rapid
learning in a particular domain. Thus, they need differentiation in
education and management in any environment to help cater for their
learning and other (e.g., emotional) needs.