The “Gifted Child” can become as lost in the school system as a child with learning disabilities. The difference is that there are no active programs in most schools for giftedness. An effective program starts with a good understanding of giftedness. In many cases, the Gifted Child is often ignored or under-taught. Within the Holistic Education Model, all learning styles are addressed, including giftedness.
The word “intelligence” is derived from the Latin verb intelligere which means to be able to sort through, pick out, and understand what to do using the quality of discernment. In short, intelligence refers to a student’s capability to comprehend his or his surroundings using natural discernment. Intelligence is not a learned skill, but rather signifies a potential to learn and includes:
Intellectual giftedness is generally described as an intellectual ability significantly higher than that of the average student. It is not a skill that is learned, but instead is an innate, personal aptitude for intellectual capabilities. It cannot be acquired simply through personal effort or in response to teaching.
While gifted children may excel academically, some may develop an uneven pattern of function resulting from cognitive and emotional differences. Because these children experience the world differently from others, they may encounter social and emotional challenges.
Gifted children have greater “psychomoter, sensual imaginative, intellectual, and emotional sensitivities” referred to as “excitabilities” (Dabrowski, 2010). When these sensitivities are misunderstood, challenges and difficult life experiences may detract from meaningful learning and lead a child toward despair or a process known as “unlearning.” Educators need to become aware of the sensitivities, strengths, and the learning process of the Gifted Child to perform their jobs successfully.
Once the Gifted Child begins school, his or her true personality that is formed at home does not have to be stifled in the classroom. Gifted children are eager to learn and require spontaneity, creativity, and exploration to prevent despair. Children who have a good sense of self may have doubts about who they are as they face peer group ideals within the academic setting. In such cases, an educator needs to allow a Gifted Child to reevaluate his or her sense of self in the context of what is most important to them, as opposed to how they are perceived by others.
The program utilized by Sappo School takes these “excitabilities” and turns them into a positive driving force that leads students to feel more comfortable in their environment while they learn at a pace that suits their intelligence. Unguided abilities are transformed into talents as the educator applies the Theory of Multiple Intelligences to lessons. Gifted children are not lazy or unmotivated; they are just bored. Gifted children learn more quickly, deeply, and broadly than their peers, and the Gifted Program at Sappo School uncovers their truest potential.