Gifted education refers to the special measures, theories, and practices that are used to educate students who are brilliant in special ways. It is a way of educating students who are gifted in special talents.
To educate these students, differentiation is applied where the curriculum is modified to meet the special needs of a gifted student. The teacher modifies the content and the process of learning in order to get the product. This article shows the benefits of a differentiated curriculum in the classroom of gifted students.
Differentiated curriculum has a lot of benefits to the student. It is student centered and it is the role of the instructor to determine the students’ interest, readiness, and learning profile. The instructions are individualized and this enables students to learn according to their abilities. This helps the students to perfect their talents. The instructors create individualized learning programs depending on the needs of students.
They set the goals and objectives to be achieved during the class work. The instructors in a differentiated curriculum provide an opportunity for the students to be involved in the learning process. This is important for students to participate fully without being left behind.
The differentiated curriculum gives the students a challenge to involve themselves in the new ways of learning. It helps the students to engage in classroom activities and thus they do not compete with each other. It also prevents underachievement for it gives many choices to process the information given where the students are involved in activities (Gardener & Whittaker, 2006).
The content is organized according to student’s interests and it motivates critical thinking. The content can be enriched depending on the students’ rate of understanding. Affective curriculum is used to educate gifted students on ethics, emotions and social development. Gifted students can also be put in heterogeneous group to allow them mix with students with different talents.
This encourages them to appreciate each other’s talent. They can also be grouped depending on their talent. This means students with the same talent grouped together. This allows them to receive all instructions during class time and they can learn from the students with the same talent in order to furnish their talent.
The barriers that can be encountered in teaching gifted students include; some students not being interested in other learning activities or they may not respond properly to differential curriculum. In such the individualization program is applied to educate students specifically on their talents (Sriraman & Dahl, 2007).
Enriching and accelerating the deferential curriculum depends on the rate of student to learn. In enriching, the student receives extra activities to challenge him. This includes extra assignments which do not replace the normal class assignments. It may include taking extra courses or extra curriculum activities.
In acceleration, students are upgraded to the next level or they might skip some grades and finishing the normal curriculum in a shorter period. This assists in advancing a student in one field as it is a flexible way of education.
Acceleration is beneficial academically and socially as a student finish schooling early and specializes in area best in. Grouping is putting students with the same talent in the same class. The teachers apply differentiation and this encourages acceleration and enrichment. The students are also exposed to critical thinking (Rogers & Karen, 2002).
Differentiated curriculum addresses individualized student needs and it is specialized depending on student experience and skills. Students are free to make choices on how they will engage themselves in classroom. The differentiated curriculum also provides opportunity for students to involve themselves in extra curriculum activities and this makes learning enjoyable.
It also connects learning with everyday life and this makes learning meaningful. The students are able to interact with each other and they use their learning styles to access information and demonstrate what they have learnt. Differentiated curriculum provides students with multiple choices of learning and taking information depending on their understanding.
It caters for all the students in a diverse classroom. No student is left behind for learning in individualized and based on experience. Differentiated curriculum allows the instructors and teachers to be more flexible thus limiting the barriers that may hinder learning among gifted students. Students are able to access information and learning materials (Sriraman & Dahl, 2007).
Differentiated curriculum is beneficial to the twice exceptional students. These are students who have disabilities and are also gifted. They may undergo some problems like discrimination by other students but differentiated curriculum allows the instructor to individually teach them. These boost their self esteem for they get to perfect their talents and feel they are like the other students.
The instructor can apply affective curriculum to cater for their emotions and ethics. This makes sure the students are not left behind and they perfect their talents despite their disability (Rogers & Karen, 2002).
Garderen, D., & Whittaker, C. (2006). Planning Differentiated, Multicultural Instruction For Secondary Inclusive Classrooms; Teaching Exceptional Children. New York: Great potential press.
Rogers, J., & Karen, B. (2002). Re-forming Gifted Education: How Parents and Teachers Can Match the Program to the Child. Scottsdale, AZ: Great Potential Press.
Sriraman, B., & Dahl, (2007). On Bringing Interdisciplinary Ideas To Gifted Education. In Press In L.V. Shavinina (Ed). The International Handbook Of Giftedness. New York: Springer Science