Accommodating exceptionally able students

The colloquium did much to establish students who are gifted but also have learning disabilities as a population with special characteristics and needs (Fox, Brody, & Tobin, 1983). In recent years, the concept of giftedness and learning disabilities occurring concomitantly in the same individual has become commonly accepted. The development of gifted students can be advanced in many areas, while some areas of development can be age appropriate or below expectations for their age.This problem makes it difficult for classrooms to provide appropriate challenge for wide ranging skills and development areas.As he waits to begin his lesson, three fifth graders walk in giggling and another fourth grader asks to use the restroom.The special education teacher is reminding the paraprofessionals of a meeting later in the day before they leave to help students who are in regular classrooms.She is frustrated because she has not accomplished what she had planned for the day and the hour is almost over.

The entire school program must accommodate the specialized learning and cognition needs of gifted students over time.The Puzzle of Differentiating Learning for Gifted Students by Barbara Swicord, Ed. President, Summer Institute for the Gifted Differentiation is a term that is widely used in educational circles these days.There has been a noticeable increase in recent years in staff development offerings on differentiation strategies; schools’ goals and missions often use this concept in their statements; a great variety of educational literature addresses this topic.Yet, effective differentiation for the gifted student remains elusive and in too many cases, nonexistent.This article will explore some of the reasons for the current status of differentiation and offer some solutions as well. Whether you use the definition of giftedness from the United States Office of Education (US Department of Education, 1993), which describes these students as” children and youth with outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experience, or environment”, or as Renzulli (1978) does as the intersection and interaction among three basic clusters of human traits—above average ability, high levels of task commitment, and high levels of creativity, it is arguably the concept of asychronicity that educators must address.

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