Leonardo Gifted School is partner or member of: COBIS - Council of British International Schools, ECHA - European Council for High Ability, WCGTC - World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, AERO - Alternative Education Resource Organization, BPLUSA - Big Picture Learning Design USA, University of Bucharest - Faculty of Phychology and Educational Sciences, University of Connecticut - Neag School of Education, Simon Fraser University - Faculty of Education

About Gifted Education


Many parents and teachers would like the gifted child to be perfectly ‘normal’ in every way except the ability to perform academic tasks. Life would be so much easier that way. Over and over we see in media reports on gifted and highly gifted kids the assurance that (except for taking college courses in calculus while in the eighth grade) this child is just like everybody else. Even those who work in gifted education often spend a great deal of time and energy assuring people that gifted children are children first and gifted only secondarily, that they’re ‘just kids’ who need a little extra challenge in school. This is simply not the case. Though they are clearly children, with children’s needs for play, nurturing, structure and exploration, they have definite differences…. As the developmental trajectory diverges from the norm (very early in life) it takes on a unique shape that will remain unique.” —Stephanie Tolan, the well known author of young adult and children’s fiction, as well as an author and speaker on her topic of passion: exceptionally gifted children. Quote from the book: You know your child is gifted when… „ Author: Judy Galbraith, M.A. Author Of The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guides.

 

Bell-CurveWhat Gifted Means

Gifted children are children who have been tested, and show very superior levels of intelligence – which is an objective reality. It means that the child has performed at these tests better than 98% percent of children of the same age, which is 2 standard deviations above the mean. This places the child into a tiny niche which represents approximately 2% of the child population. Traditional education in most countries is aimed today at serving mostly the 95% of the child population. But the more we move from the mean – in either direction – the more a different educational approach is needed. Of course, you would like to know more about the Myths of Giftedness.

“Giftedness is asynchronous development in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order for them to develop optimally.” (Columbus Group, 1991)

“To have the intelligence of an adult and the emotions of a child combined in a childish body is to encounter certain difficulties.” (Hollingworth, 1942)

“In addition to being out of sync in their own development, gifted children are out of sync: with family relations, both parents and siblings, socially with age-peers and older, and with schools and the larger community.” (Kearney, 1991).

Are gifted kids really that different? Yes. They really are. They’re often so much more of everything than other kids their age—more intense, curious, challenging, frustrating, sensitive, passionate. They know so much more. They learn so much faster. They feel so deeply.” Author: Judy Galbraith, M.A. Author Of The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guides.

 

ColceagDr Florian Colceag, international Expert in Gifted Education, WCGTC representative in Romania.

“It is absolutely necessary that parents understand how they can help their children to find a meaning for their life, how to be committed to finalise what they start, how to not refuse themselves the creativity with all components – freedom of thinking, curiosity, and trust in an open world, and how to define the quality of their personal cognitive performance. This last aspect is directly connected to the approach of seeing reality in its complexity, by judging collateral aspects as well as the derivative consequences of each act, and has absolutely nothing to do with school grading.” Prof. Dr. Florian Colceag; MA in Education; international specialisation in Gifted Education, University of Utah, USA; international expert in education for gifted; ECHA member; WCGTC member;Asia Pacific Federation of the WCGTC member; Club of Rome member; AUSTEGA member.

 

A few things you need to know

  • 10-15% of children in a population are gifted.
  • 2% are profoundly gifted.
  • They have high risk of social disapproval and rejection.
  • They have high risks of depression and sometimes, even suicide
  • They have special needs.
  • They waste. They are bored in normal classroom settings.
  • Most of the them are underachievers (50% according to international research).
  • Get cornered in the society.
  • They risk alienation and can grow to become antisocial.
  • They have 2 Laws in Romania (Law 17/2007 & Law 1/2011) which provide special rights and provisions.
  • Differentiated education for them, is totally unacceptable, forgotten and neglected in Romania!

Legal aspects on Differentiated Education/ Gifted Education

We know the Law 17/2007 on the gifted children, capable of high performance – we have lobbied it through the Romanian Parliament. We know how important is differentiated education.

  • “According to the Human Rights Charter, Lisbon case, the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child, Recommendation 1248/1994 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, students with special needs, among whom gifted students can be mentioned, shall be provided with an adequate educational environment which allows them to fully exploit their potential for their own, as well as for the society’s benefit.
  • “Art.4 – In accordance with the regulations of Law of Education no.84/1995 and Government Emergency Ordinance no. 36/1997, this law is intended to promote and guarantee the right to differentiated education, setting a legal and technical-logistic framework for professional elites in all fields, through:
    • Differentiated education as a set of formal, non-formal and informal educational programs adapted for the development of the gifted students population segment characterised by special needs;
    • Education of gifted and talented students in public or private specialized centers through specialized classes, week-end schools, training camps, summers schools, distance education programs, and other methods;
    • The differentiated curriculum as method of adapting the objectives, contents, educational and teaching strategies, study, evaluation, special capabilities, to the ability capacity, the level of cognitive, emotional and metric capacities, to the learning style and rhythm of the gifted students.”
    • And international RECOMMENDATION 1248 (1994) on education for gifted children, Council of Europe (more here.)
  • “Whereas for practical purposes education systems must be set up so as to provide adequate education for the majority of children, there will always be children with special needs and for whom special arrangements have to be made. One group of such children is that of the highly gifted.”
  • “Gifted children should be able to benefit from appropriate educational conditions that would allow them to develop fully their abilities, for their own benefit and for the benefit of society as a whole. No country can indeed afford to waste talents and it would be a waste of human resources not to identify in good time any intellectual or other potentialities. Adequate tools are needed for this purpose.”
  • There is a growing acceptance among educators that collaborative whole-school planning is a powerful means of promoting school effectiveness and development. Effective schools are characterised by high expectations for behaviour and learning, and the provision of individualised supports for students with special educational needs. Schools which provide a caring and positive learning environment share the values of collaboration and inclusion. At the heart of the issue of gifted education is the issue of inclusion. All students are entitled to an education appropriate to their needs abilities and potential. For too long, the field of gifted education has been divorced from the mainstream, as if by virtue of their high ability, these students required less; less teaching, less input, less support, less concern. Inclusive education provides a gateway for highly able children at last. In classrooms where differentiation is becoming the norm for many students with special educational needs, the needs of gifted students are gaining the legitimacy they deserve.” [quote from Module 3 “Teaching Gifted and Talented” from the Institute of Child Education & Psychology Europe (ICEP Europe)].