For adolescents, one of the primary struggles faced is that of identity (as Erikson noted in his stages of psychosocial development, the psychosocial crisis of adolescence is identity vs. role confusion). When thinking about how to spotlight student work for this issue on the social and emotional needs of gifted students, I realized how I personally found solace as an adolescent trying to figure out my identity—through words, through stories and poems and songs.
Bryan originally just wanted to play soccer. For this Denton student, his district’s unique program, GOAL (Guys/Girls Operating as Leaders), offered him that ability.
Possessing a deep understanding of the definition of gifted and talented is the starting point for all that follows in the field of gifted education. When communicating with administrators, teachers, parents, community members, and the students themselves, it is crucial to emphasize that being identified as gifted and talented is not a badge of honor, not a reason for bragging, nor a reward for good behavior. It is an educational diagnosis. And once diagnosed, the definition is essential in designing the services that permit gifted and talented students to be appropriately challenged, to receive a year’s worth of learning for a year’s worth of schooling.
The Samsung STEM Challenge brought together teams of girls ranging from fourth graders to high school seniors with engineers from the company with the mission of discovering ways to conserve and efficiently use water.
The Lady Cans Robotics Team has truly seen the value of STEM beyond their textbooks and classroom experiments.
The federal definition of gifted students includes many attributes—intelligence, creativity, artistry, and leadership. In thinking about how to spotlight gifted students across Texas, I wanted to make sure we didn’t leave the last one out—leadership. It isn’t easy to lead others, and it’s harder to work in a group to show those leadership skills.