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A 6 Pages Term Paper on Motivation of Gifted Students

What does Giftedness Mean?

     The term “giftedness” has many misconceptions many people say that they know the meaning of the word but they can’t explain it in their own words. This usually is followed by allusion that a particular child who seems to show gifted behaviors. These misconceptions of the term, all of which become prevents from realizing and catering to the requirements of children recognized as gifted.

Some parents suggest that:

     Giftedness is that valuable gift of potentially exceptional abilities which enables a person to interrelate with the environment with extremely high levels of attainment and creativeness.

     This statement is the result of a small group of parents who took a broad view of the theory of giftedness before concentrating on any effort to describe what the gifted child is. They first considered that giftedness is a natural endowment of highly potential skills, and second, that a particular situation is a field where the hidden gifted qualities of a person are practically utilized and developed. Therefore, they argue that the "extraordinarily high levels of accomplishment and creativity" is outcome of a constant and functional interface between a person's innate and acquired abilities and individualities.

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     We frequently hear people saying that” He is a born engineer.” Or “She is always so good in Mathematics.” Or on the other hand “It is never easy for me to achieve position in the exams” “He is so slow in his comprehension.”

Who are Gifted Children?

     Former U. S. Commissioner of Education Sidney P. Maryland, Jr., in his August 1971 report to Congress, stated,
"Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society" (Marland, 1972).

     Marland further described than these abilities are in the given specified areas:

1. General intellectual ability.
2. Specific academic aptitude.
3. Creative or productive thinking
4. Leadership ability                    
5. Visual or performing arts.
6. Psychomotor ability. (Marland, 1972). 

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1) General intellectual ability

     Expert educators generally describe this in terms of a high score in intelligence test --usually two average deviations above the mean--on individual or group trials. Parents and teachers frequently become aware of students with general academic and intellectual ability by their across-the-board fund of general knowledge and rich vocabulary, good recall, theoretical word knowledge, and conceptual analysis.

2) Specific academic aptitude

     Students with specific scholarly aptitudes are recognized by their excellent performance on an accomplishment or aptitude test in one area such as mathematics or language arts.

3) Creative or productive thinking:

     This is the talent to create new ideas by squaring off elements generally considered as different and the ability for rising new and meaningful social values. Distinctiveness of innovative and dynamic students include candidness to experience, defining standards own their for evaluation, capability work with new thoughts, enthusiasm to take chances get opportunities, inclination towards complication, patience for vagueness, constructive personality, and the aptitude to become inundated in a job. As the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking or through demonstrated creative performance.

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4) Leadership Ability

The ability of leadership can be defined as to oversee persons or groups to a common assessment or deed. Students who show giftedness in leadership ability use group aptitudes and consult in complex and difficult situations. Many teachers recognize leadership through a student's eagerness and potential in problem solving. Students having leadership ability are confident, responsible, and co-operative; know how to dominate when necessary, and the capability to adjust readily to new situations.

5) Visual and Performing arts:

     Gifted students with skill in the arts show individual talents in art related studies such as visual art, music, dance, drama etc.
6) Psychomotor ability:

This is the ability which boosts the kinesthetic skills of an individual such as mechanical, physical, practical and spatial skills.

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Introduction to Motivation

     Motivation refers to the forces that cause people to behave in certain ways. The students who spend the weekend in the library and the student who cannot wait to get out of class and to the beach are both motivated, but they have different goals and interests.

     Of course, motivation is not the only factor in student’s performance. To perform well a student must also gave the right abilities and resources. Without motivation, however, even the most capable working student with excellent support will accomplish a little.

     The starting point of motivation is need, a deficiency that the individual experiences. A student might perceive deficiencies in different areas of his studies such as Mathematics, writing skills etc.

     When a person’s sense of deficiency becomes strong enough, that person begins searching for ways to satisfy the need. From the variety of need-fulfilling options available, the individual will usually choose one goal-directed behavior that seems to satisfy the need. Such an action usually brings rewards or punishment, leaving the student in the position of reassessing whether a deficiency still exists.

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Need Theories of Motivation

     Need theory is the idea that the drive to eliminate important deficiencies is the root of most human motivation.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

     In the 1940s, psychologist Abraham Maslow, a major force in the human relations movement, argued that humans are “wanting” animals with innate desires to satisfy a certain set of needs. Maslow believed that most people work their way through a hierarchy of needs.

     The most basic are Psychological, like food, air, and water to survive. Steps higher on the hierarchy are security needs, like needs for housing, clothing, and freedom from overwhelming anxieties about the future. Belongingness needs include a desire for love and affection and for a sense of acceptance from peers.

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     Once a person has filled these three levels of deficiency needs, his or her attention turns to the growth needs represented by Maslow’s top two levels. Esteem need include the need to be respected both by yourself and by others. The need for self-actualization the highest level need in Maslow’s hierarchy is the need to feel that you have fulfilled your potential.

Motivation of Gifted Students

     Due to the unique and specific circumstances of gifted students and their great skills and talents their motivation trend and psychic is unusual and quite different from ordinary children their behavior and tendency to do some thing productive and unique is the aptitude which should not be ruined, but motivated toward positive ness.

     Gifted students' psychological characteristics have been the subject of many studies (Janos, Fung, & Robinson, 1985; Kerr, Colangelo, & Gaeth, 1988; Whalen & Csikszentmihalyi, 1989). However, most have focused on a single dimension. For example, Schowinski and Reynolds (1985) looked solely at anxiety in high-IQ children. Others have examined self-image (Whalen & Csikszentmihalyi, 1989), attitudes toward giftedness (Kerr et al., 1988), and depression (Berndt, Kaiser, & Van Aalst, 1982). Generally, these single-dimension studies suggest that gifted students have positive academic self-concepts but negative or ambiguous social relationships, although the literature is somewhat inconsistent. For example, gifted students had higher academic and social self-concepts in some studies (Karnes & Wherry, 1981; Kelly & Colangelo, 1984), but negative or ambiguous social confidence (Kerr et al., 1988) and lower expectations for social versus academic success in others.

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     Gifted students often tend to be competent and accomplished in their studies and may lay great consequence on getting the accurate answers or implementation of the given tasks promptly and quickly. They are sometimes strangers among their colleagues be cause of their extraordinary abilities, or they may be used to having a higher position than other students in the classroom.
The basis of excellent learning surroundings is a feeling of protection and appreciation. Teachers help to generate this environment by modeling esteem, respect and care for all students in the classroom. Laying emphasis on every student’s potency is another significant factor of a helpful atmosphere for learning. All students want to sense and identify the importance and value of the talents and experiences they personally possess and also the skills of others.

     Occasionally gifted students feel lack of confidence when they are on hand with unrestricted query or analysis activities. Students may claim that they need different steps spelled out for them so that they can pursue instructions and “do it with out any mistake.” The teacher should remind students that they cannot learn until they make mistakes and errors during their studies. It is likely to correspond sympathetic for students’ approach and feelings while he/she also should know about the necessities of the job.

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    Gifted students may also refuse to go along with when they are asked to demonstrate their work or give explanation of their judgment methods. If they are adapted to finishing given work swiftly, some students oppose what they think as avoidable and time-consuming work that slows them down. Make clear to the students that it is just as vital to explain how they got an answer as it is to be accurate and correct. By means of a scoring guide with expressive standard facilitate students comprehend how their work will be assessed and articulates high standards.

     Generally the gifted students show the following characteristics:
1) Gifted students learn quickly and don’t need to repeat to gain mastery in a particular subject.
2) Gifted students are normally interested in a wide range of hobbies and activities.
3) They usually have learnt to read and write before any regular education and with out any adult assistance 
4) They are very talented in oral discussion and have a very rich vocabulary.
5) They think in an extraordinary manner and have strange perceptions.
6) Exhibit a persistent concentration in one or more areas over a period of time
7) They often choose the company of their elders especially adults and sometimes irritated to associate with their age peers
8) They have a very good memory and can recall information accurately with out any problem.
9) Extract, conceptualize and produce new ideas and concepts and even theories.
10) Express interest and innovation
11) They have a sharp sense of fairness and justice and be perceptive to others stances.
12) Unlike ordinary children they have an adult-like sense of humor.
13) We have also discovered that generally gifted boys
 Are irritated when given written work and are not inclined to write.
14) They also not demonstrate to be persistent with the learning unless the topic is of their personal interest.

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Motivation of Gifted and Ordinary Students

     There are many students which though cannot be enlisted in gifted students but due to there hard working they often gain high achievements, but there is a significant difference between both the categories.

1. Ordinary hard workers know the answers of the asked question but gifted students ask more unusual questions.
2. Ordinary students are though interested in their task but gifted students are much more curious about it.
3. Ordinary students may have good and reasonable ideas but gifted students have wild and unexpected ideas.
4. Ordinary students can understand proposed ideas; on the other hand gifted students are conceptuous and construct abstracts.
5. Ordinary students can complete given assignments but gifted students due to their unusual thinking initiate new projects.
6. Ordinary students can be forecasted as future technicians while gifted are going to be inventors.
7. Ordinary students can grasp the meaning of a given query but gifted can even draw conclusions.
8. Ordinary students enjoy the company of their peers while gifted prefer elders especially adults.
9. Ordinary students if hard working can easily learn but the gifted students already know it.
10. Ordinary students listen with interest any thing new but gifted may demonstrated strong feelings and opinions about it.
11. An ordinary student can absorb information while a gifted one already manipulates it.
12. Gifted students generate new designs on the other hand an ordinary student will only accurately copy it.
13. Ordinary students are very receptive and candid in nature while gifted are very critical and decisive.

Motivations of Academically Gifted and Artistically Gifted Students:

     Gifted students can be further classified into three more classes due to the differences in their areas of strength and motivations. They are:

  • Academically gifted students.
  • Artistically gifted students.
  • Athletically gifted students.

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Motivations of Academically Gifted Students:

     Academically gifted student students are normally inclined towards their curriculum and do not prefer to participate in extra-curricular activities. It does not mean that they do not have the ability to be a sportsmen or an athlete but they are much more interested in research work and experiments they are interested in science, medicine or accounts, economics. They spend most of their time in libraries. They are very creative and can become an inventor.

Motivations of Artistically Gifted Students:

     On the other hand artistically gifted students are naturally fond of painting. Music, acting, etc. they are good craftsmen can become a very good and excellent painter or a designer, they would like to produce films, win Oscar, be a star and glamorous .They dislike reading or writing and deem it uncreative. They seldom study hard and achieve high rank in curricular studies. Artistically gifted students want to expose their qualities and like to be appreciated. If the teacher will encourage them they will go through any task regardless how difficult it is. They are fond of becoming prominent and achieving higher status in the class than their peers and for this they produce unusual, wild, and unbelievably extraordinary ideas.   

Motivation of Athletically Gifted Students

These students are more inclined towards extra curricular activities and sports. They are one of the most active participants of the sports events and usually lead in this area. They have lesser interest towards studies even though they have the required ability to perform well in studies. 

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Clark, G. A., & Zimmerman, E.:(1994):Programming opportunities for students gifted and talented in the visual arts : Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

Clayton P.Alderfer: Existence, Relatedness, and Growth (New York: Free Press, 1972).

Janos, P. M., Fung, H. C., & Robinson, N.M.: Self-concept, self-esteem, and peer relations among gifted children who feel "different.": Gifted Child Quarterly, 29, 78 - 82.

Karnes, F., & Wherry, J. (1981). Self-concepts of gifted students as measured by the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale: Psychological Reports, 49, 903-906.

Kerr, B., Colangelo, N., & Gaeth, J.: Gifted adolescents' attitudes toward their giftedness: Gifted Child Quarterly, 32, 245-247.

Marland, S. (1972): Education of the gifted and talented. Report to congress: Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office.

Renzulli, J. (1986). The three ring conception of giftedness: A developmental model for creative productivity: In R. J. Sternberg & J. E. Davidson (Eds.), CONCEPTIONS OF GIFTEDNESS (pp.53P92). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Scholwinski, E., & Reynolds, C. (1985): Dimensions of anxiety among high-IQ children: Gifted Child Quarterly, 29, 125-130.

Whalen, S., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1989): A comparison of the self-image of talented teenagers with a normal adolescent population: Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Van Fleet: Behavior in organizations: Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston.

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