Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Philosophy of Gifted Education

    I recently wrote my philosophy of gifted education for my college class. I thought I would share it on this wall. It is in 3rd person because that is what the school required. I got 100% on it. 

      In a world of education that places its main focus on school scores, data, standardized testing, and teaching to the test. The shift in education has been heading on a downhill spiral for many years. The main focus has been on making sure all students “pass the test” so the school will score well. The echo of many administrators is “how well did your school score?” “Did the kids do well on the tests?” “We better make sure all students are proficient.” Words that are rarely echoed anymore are “are the kids learning, are they gaining new knowledge, are we preparing them for their life as adults?”  Education has been on the road to dumbing down for years. In this type of educational world the gifted and higher achieving students are being left behind. Their needs are not being met. They are not leaving school with new knowledge. It is important that education maximize advanced students potential. It is important for every educator provides gifted students with advanced materials and told they need to progress successfully (New Mexico Department of Education [NMPED], 2011).

     Gifted and talented students are our future leaders, philosophers and entrepreneurs. It is up to all educators to nurture, not hider those special skills so they are able to reach their full potential. To better meet the need of gifted students many schools hire highly qualified educators to work with the gifted and advanced students. These teachers study to understand the needs of these unique individuals. As a teacher of gifted students Ms. Miller’s philosophy of gifted education is to promote and enrich each student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills along with focusing on projects that progress their special talents. They must be provided with enriching and creative projects along with the tools they need to explore and enhance the world around them.

     Since the regular education classroom is not prepared to meet the needs of gifted students it important that schools provide accommodations for gifted students and high achievers. The purpose of gifted education for gifted students is to provide them with programs and services that focus on their individual talents. It is to serve as a stepping stone for future success. Students who receive services have proven to advance to secondary level degrees. Gifted education also helps student achievement and interest level while in elementary and secondary school by promoting student interest. Gifted education provides the students with a variety of projects and objectives so they are not learning subjects they have already mastered over and over again. This keeps them interested in school which serves as another stepping stone to success (National Association for Gifted Children. Society benefits if gifted students receive the nurturing and services they need which prepares them to become future leaders and productive members of society [NAGC]).

     An appropriate instructional environment for gifted students is one in which their individual needs can be addressed. Class size should be relatively small so the teacher is better able to provide individualized instruction and projects. The smaller classroom also gives the students more room to move around and explore the classroom while engaging in a variety of activities and tasks. The teacher is there to guide, not instruct. She creates engaging projects and opportunities based on each student’s area of giftedness. This way the students can create and discover. The classroom environment must be safe and comfortable to meet social and emotional needs (Sandha, 2017).
Cross disciplinary education influences the productivity of students as adults because through this type of education they are able to make meaningful connections across different subject areas. This provides them with a better understanding of ideas and concepts. This ability follows them into adulthood benefiting their future endeavors ("NCAG,”).

     Ms. Miller will prepare her students for a career in a multicultural society by providing them with projects and lessons that incorporate other cultures. Multicultural projects connect students to each other because they gain an understanding of one another’s beliefs, traditions and culture. The projects help build a community of learners. Through the projects students learn to take pride in their own culture while embracing others (Davis, Rimm, & Siegle, 2010).

     Ms. Miller’s goals for her students are that they leave her class enriched. They know how to think, not what to think.  She wants her students to be able to use their creative thinking and problem solving skills to the best of their advantage. These goals correspond with her philosophy by promoting and enriching their problem solving and critical thinking skills and placing focus on their special talents.

      Ms. Miller’s philosophy is evident in the classroom through the set up and style of her projects. Ms. Miller introduces a project, provides students with a list of expectations through a rubric and then provides them with the tools they need to explore their topic. This allows them to drive their own education. They know clearly what is expected of them and reach toward those goals. The students are offered different ways to reach the end goal which meets with their different learning styles. She is not telling them what to learn. She is teaching them how to think and how to learn.

     The thinker whose theory most supports Ms. Millers stance is Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligence. Gardner’s theory is that not all students learn in the same way. They are not all the same and have different styles and ways of learning. The tasks should be presented in different ways to each student. Ms. Miller presents her students with an idea and allows them to find their own way to explore that idea. Each student will use a different way and in the end will become enriched through the experience ("American Institute for Learning and Human Development,")

     Ms. Miller has high expectations and great plans for her students. Focusing on each students special talents by allowing them to create, experience and explore will promote critical thinking and problem solving skills students will keep with them thorough their school career and into adult life.


References
Sandha, I. (2017). Learning Environment for Gifted Children. Retrieved from