Giftedness Expressed by Cognitive Function (page 2)
Cognitive development rests on the understanding and integration of a vast quantity of experiences of the environment. Educational programs should provide for an array of such experiences and encourage the processes of analyzing, organizing, and evaluating, as well as those processes of a more visual, rhythmic, and holistic nature that seem to coexist within our cognitive functioning. Differentiation for gifted learners requires assessment of and planning for each child's unique characteristics, some of which may be found below.
|Differentiating Characteristics||Examples of Related Needs||Possible Concomitant Problems|
|Extraordinary quantity of information, unusual retentiveness||To be exposed to new and challenging information of the environment and the culture, including aesthetic, economic, political, educational, and social aspects; to acquire early mastery of foundation skills||Boredom with regular curriculum; impatience with "waiting for the group"|
|Advanced comprehension||To be given access to challenging curriculum and intellectual peers||Poor interpersonal relationships with less able children of the same age; adults consider a gifted child "sassy" or a "smart aleck"; a dislike of repetition of already understood concepts|
|Unusually varied interests and curiosity||To be exposed to varied subjects and concerns; to be allowed to pursue individual ideas as far as interest takes them||Difficulty in conforming to group tasks; overextending energy levels, taking on too many projects at one time|
|High level of language development||To encounter uses for increasingly difficult vocabulary and concepts||Perception as a "show off" by children of the same age|
|High level of verbal ability||To share ideas verbally in depth||Domination of discussions with information and questions deemed negative by teachers and fellow students; use of verbalism to avoid thinking tasks.|
|Unusual capacity for processing information||To be exposed to ideas at many levels and in large variety||Resentment of being interrupted; perceived as too serious; dislike of routine and drill|
|Accelerated pace of thought processes||To be exposed to ideas at rates appropriate to individual pace of learning-often accelerated||Frustration with inactivity and absence of progress|
|Flexible thought processes||To be allowed to solve problems in diverse ways||Perception by others as disruptive and disrespectful to authority and tradition|
|Comprehensive synthesis||To be allowed a longer incubation time for ideas||Frustration with demands for deadlines and for completion of each level prior to starting new inquiry|
|Early ability to delay closure||To be allowed to pursue ideas and integrate new ideas without forced closure or products demanded||If products are demanded as proof of learning, will refuse to pursue an otherwise interesting subject or line of inquiry|
|Heightened capacity for seeing unusual and diverse relationships, integration of ideas and disciplines||To mess around with varieties of materials, ideas, opportunities for multidisciplinary learning; complexity||Frustration at being considered "off the subject" or irrelevant in pursuing inquiry in areas other than subject being considered; considered odd or weird by others|
|Ability to generate original ideas and solutions||To build skills in problem solving and productive thinking; to be given the opportunity to contribute to solutions of meaningful problems||Difficulty with rigid conformity; may be penalized for not following directions; may deal with rejection by becoming rebellious|
|Early differential patterns for thought processing (e.g., thinking in alternatives, abstract terms; sensing consequences; making generalizations; visual thinking; use of metaphors and analogies)||To be exposed to alternatives, abstractions, consequences of choices, opportunities for drawing generalizations and testing them; to solve problems by use of visual or metaphoric strategies||Rejection or omission of detail; questions generalizations of others, which may be perceived as disrespectful behavior; considers linear tasks incomplete and boring|
|Early ability to use and form conceptual frameworks||To use and design conceptual frameworks in information gathering and problem solving; to seek order and consistency; to develop a tolerance for ambiguity||Frustration with inability of others to understand or appreciate original organizations or insights; personally devised systems or structure may conflict with procedures or systems later taught|
|An evaluative approach toward self and others||To be exposed to individuals of varying ability and talent and to varying ways of seeing and solving problems; to set realistic, achievable short-term goals; to develop skills in data evaluation and decision making||Perception by others as elitist, conceited, superior, too critical; may become discouraged from self-criticism; can inhibit attempting new areas if fear of failure is too great; seen as too demanding, compulsive; can affect interpersonal relationships as others fail to live up to standards set by gifted individual; intolerant of stupidity|
|Unusual intensity; persistent goal-directed behavior||To pursue inquiries beyond allotted time spans; to set and evaluate priorities||Perception by others as stubborn, willful, uncooperative|
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