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Needs of Gifted Learners

Parents attending the middle school gifted parent night and Speak Up for Education events were asked to identify the most important needs of gifted learners in the areas of academic/content, social/emotional, creativity, and motivation. The top answers are listed below.

Most Important Needs of Gifted Learners in Bulloch County

Academic/Content Needs

  • Smaller student-teacher ratios
  • Activities that allow/encourage non-traditional approaches to problem solving
  • Not teaching to the test
  • Challenging/depth of learning
  • Explore and apply their interest
  • Learning freedom
  • Real-world connections-relevance
  • Highly qualified teachers that understand needs of gifted students
  • Research-based instructional practices
  • Writing skills and vocabulary

Social/Emotional Needs

  • Time with Intellectual peers
  • How to deal with uncomfortable situations like presenting in front of a group
  • Fun while learning
  • It's ok to fail (less emphasis on number grades)
  • Setting that allows them to work through problems in their own way (discussions, etc.)
  • Time for creative side to come out rather than time restrictions
  • Teachers who are able to focus on gifted children & not be spread to thin
  • Support for how to handle stress
  • A place to be themselves-focus on their strengths & opportunities to grow
  • Challenges that promote accomplishments, self confidence, self worth (emotional growth happens if rigor is provided)

Creativity Needs

  • Hands-on activity (making, creating, building) environment
  • Growth mindset; ability to mess up & it be okay; failure=learning opportunity
  • Engaging creativity using different modes of learning
  • Challenged beyond comfort zone
  • Exposure to various fields (ie. art, literature, etc.)
  • More challenging to think outside the box
  • Community-based problem solving projects
  • Explain things from multiple perspectives pondering multiple answers
  • Foreign languages

Motivational Needs

  • Real-world, relevant activities
  • Choice of assignments
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Instructors that are certified & experienced in teaching gifted students w/motivational strategies
  • Project based learning
  • Lower stress environment that facilitates in-depth/different ways of learning
  • Creative fluid problem solving