Teaching Strategies: Just because a student shows signs of giftedness does not mean he or she should be labeled as such.
In fact, teachers and administrators should avoid labeling any students as gifted, because it places pressure on them and creates barriers between them and their classmates, argues Kenneth Shore, a school psychologist in Hamilton Township, N.J.
Mr. Shore offers 15 strategies for guiding gifted students without alienating them from other students in an article appearing in the March edition of Principal magazine, published by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
The article was taken from Mr. Shore's 1998 book Special Kids Problem Solver: Ready-to-Use Interventions for Helping All Students With Academic, Behavioral, and Physical Problems.
"Gifted students often feel pressured by high expectations," especially if their parents often boast of their talents, Mr. Shore writes.
Among Mr. Shore's recommendations: Teachers should look for ways to encourage children they believe are gifted by giving them more advanced work in their areas of strength and assigning them to do independent projects. Many gifted students also like to supplement their classroom reading with high-quality literature, particularly if they are allowed to choose the books themselves.
Teachers should be sensitive to pressures the students may face and encourage them to take risks, Mr. Shore adds. Further, educators should be sensitive to sexual stereotyping and beware of steering girls away from certain subjects or career interests that are typically male-dominated.
In some cases, mentoring, alternative evaluations, alternative educational settings, or placement in a higher-than-normal grade may work well for highly gifted students, the article suggests.
Guidebook Released: This year's Educational Opportunity Guide for gifted students of all ages is hot off the presses.
The guide, which features more than 400 programs and internships for the academic year and summer, is published by the Talent Identification Program, based at Duke University.
Copies are $15. For more information, write to Duke University TIP at 1121 W. Main St., Suite 100, Durham, NC 27701, or call (919) 683-1400.
Order forms are also available online at www.tip.duke.edu.
—Joetta L. Sack [email protected]
Vol. 19, Issue 25, Page 16