CTET 2015 Exam Notes : Child Development and Pedagogy (CDP)
Children With Special Needs:
Children with special needs are often also referred to as ‘exceptional children’. These children may either be ‘special’ because of their innate characteristics or the environment in which they have grown.Children with exceptional talents are called gifted and have their special needs. Similarly, children coming from materially deprived and socio-culturally disadvantaged backgrounds have their own special needs.
Traditionally, children with special needs (except the gifted, who are ignored) are labeled as defective and kept away from regular classrooms. ‘Labeling’ children under special categories, many people argue helps in identifying their specific problems and arranging special programmes for them. On the other hand, the disadvantages of labeling, many people believe, are overwhelming. Labeling often is an incomplete description of a human being, focusing on the negative and lowering one’s self image. Second, incorrect labeling or over generalization may lead to incorrect treatment.
This article would discuss the special needs of gifted and talented children.
Gifted and Talented Children
Gifted, talented, able, geniuses, bright are terms associated with a group of people who have extraordinary abilities in one or more areas of performance. According to Purcell (1918) the terms gifted and talented refer to children and youth who are identified as possessing demonstrated or potential abilities that show evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, specific academic or leadership ability or in performing and visual arts. Ramos-Ford and Gardner (1991) defined intelligence or giftedness as “an ability or set of abilities that permit an individual to solve problems or fashion products”. This perspective of giftedness is referred to the theory of multiple intelligence. Intelligence manifests itself in linguistics, logical mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal behaviours.
Children with IQ of 140 and above are considered to be gifted. Gifted children often begin reading earlyand read above their grade level. They have unusually large vocabulary and wide ranging interest. They display a thirst for knowledge, excellent memory and the ability to transfer information from one topic to another.They are able to learn rapidly and easily and retain what they learn. They usually ask a lot of questions and demonstrate mature reading ability. They often enjoy the company of older children and show interest in humanity and the universe at a very early age. Besides academic accomplishment, they are socially well adjusted and have superior physical ability and moral attitudes in comparison to average children. Often, they excel in every subject.
Gifted children may be identified through screening. During this process school teachers, psychologistsand other school personnel attempt to identify all potentially gifted children. Formal measures of identification include taking intelligence tests and achievement tests. Often however, such tests have a restricted range of topics on which questions are asked. Therefore they are not considered a full proof method of identifying gifted children.
Gifted children are above average in their abilities and therefore require special treatment at school to make full use of their potential. Two ways of providing support are ‘acceleration’ and ‘enrichment’.Acceleration refers to allowing children to take up courses of more than one year in the same year or skipping grades. This means, that a class VIII child would either do courses of both classes VIII and IX in the same year or skip one year and take admission in class X directly after VIII. Enrichment refers to providing a more enriched curriculum, with a wider range of educational experiences. It is greater in depth or broader than the regular curriculum. This may involve providing mini courses or special programmes including mentorship with an expert.
It is important to note that the number of gifted girls appears to decline with age. Girls during elementary years of schooling have been reported to show higher achievement than boys, but by adolescence,their achievement levels tend to decline. One of the reasons for this decline is the gender role socailisationthat girls receive where behaviours associated with competition and independence are generally discouraged.Without independence, opportunities of high levels of creativity, achievement and leadership considerably reduce. It is therefore important to pay adequate attention to girls and encourage them to work towards realizing their potential.Must Read: Understanding Children With Special Needs: Creative Children
Note: Did you liked the post? Please tell us by your comment below..!!