Private tuition agency, Tutors International, attribute lack of adequate support for gifted and talented children somewhat to the lack of consistency in the meaning of these terms.
Leading provider of education consultancy and private tuition worldwide, Tutors International reported today that children labelled ‘gifted’ or ‘talented’ frequently encounter less support and academic provision than children at the opposite end of the SEN spectrum.
Adam Caller, founder of Tutors International and a member of the IECA (Independent Education Consultants Association), states that much of the problem lies with differing criteria for what constitutes a label of ‘gifted or talented’ or ‘high ability’ child, from country to country, and from generation to generation:
“Forty years ago, a ‘gifted’ child meant one that had an IQ of 130. Before that, a ‘gifted’ child might be one who displayed exceptional talent in a particular area, like Mozart, but perhaps not across multiple intelligences. Most US states do not use specific tests or cut-off scores for gifted eligibility in their state. Add to this the inherent problems with using IQ tests as a measure of intelligence, and the view that highly gifted children don’t need as much help to succeed as others, and you end up with a system that is woefully lacking in appropriate support for this very special group of people.”
What this inconsistency and confusion amounts to is that some schools make some provision for a whole group of students labelled as ‘gifted and talented’, while others don’t. The group labelling is in itself a problem, as unlike with children diagnosed with dyslexia or dyscalculia, support for children diagnosed as ‘gifted or talented’ does not conform to proven formulae.
“Remedial action for gifted children needs to tailored to each child,” says Mr Caller, “and a child gifted with a high IQ will not thrive in the same setting as child who is extremely talented in a single area. But schools will provide extra resources to accommodate these children as a group, rather than individually, which means they’re not getting the support they need to help them thrive with their gift, instead of becoming hindered by it.”
Children with SEN (special educational needs) that are not adequately supported – whether they are autistic, have dyslexia, or are ‘gifted’, will often display negative behaviours. Gifted children may feel they are under constant pressure to push themselves further, or are not allowed to ‘act their age’ and instead are expected to behave in a way that is commensurate with their academic level. Mr Caller believes that there are not as many truly ‘gifted’ children as are labelled as such, but that those who are should be nurtured and assisted to fulfil their potential.
Tutors International provide experienced and specialised private tuition for all special educational needs. Visit www.tutors-international.com for more information.
About Tutors International
Tutors International is a worldwide organization providing experienced full-time private tutors to work with children of all ages and nationalities, in a wide variety of situations, including international relocation, after-school support, full-time home tuition, support for AD/HD and dyslexia, home schooling for frequent travellers, and college prep and coaching.
Tutors International was founded by Adam Caller who has tutored students of all ages. He has received specialist training in dyslexia and AD/HD and is very sensitive to children’s educational difficulties. He has now turned this expertise to recruiting, training and placing other tutors with HNW and UHNW families around the world. Adam is a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA).