Students who are gifted and talented are recognized as those with an innate ability in any domain that places them within the top 10% of their age peers (Collins, 2011; Gifted and Talented Children, 2013).
What constitutes giftedness varies in cultures and society, however gifts are generally classified as natural abilities, whereas talents are skills that are scaffolded and developed over time (Gifted and Talented Children, 2013, Women’s and Children’s Health Network, 2011). This essay will address the parent to child and child to parent influences that occur from a child being labelled gifted or talented, during two specific periods of time.
The age brackets which will be discussed include five to eight years and nine to eleven years. Comparison and contrast will occur of two phases of this age group to determine the dynamic nature of parent/child relationship in these two periods, including how they develop and change. This essay will address the two main influences research has found to occur for parents and children; IQ testing to determine giftedness with links to underachievement, and expectations/pressure from parents and teachers linking to social development.
These influences may not occur in all situations as every parent and child is different, however research has found IQ testing and expectations/pressure to be the most common influences generally resulting in specific outcomes. Parent to child, and child to parent influences (5-8 years) Parents often recognize their child’s gifts/talents during the early developmental years through social, emotional and cognitive domains before formal assessment (Collins, 2011; Page, 2010).
Research highlights most states still heavily rely on intelligence quotient testing (IQ testing), to etermine giftedness (Perrone, Perrone, Ksiazak, Wright & Z Vance, 2007; Pfeiffer, 201; Subotnik, Olszewski-Kubilius & Worrell, 2011). Using IQ testing alone to determine a child’s giftedness/talents can result in negative influences on both children and parents (Brown, Renzulli, Gubbins, Siegle, Zhang & Chen, 2005; Page, 2010). Children can become depressed, self conscious and insecure through not meeting the required target to be classified as gifted (Alberta Education, n. d; Bross, 2012; Gates, 2010; Greene, 2006).
Through this outcome it has been discovered that most gifted children who are unrecognised question who they are and generally develop a relaxed approach to learning, resulting in underachievement (Bhatt, 2012). Primarily this is a result of boredom in the classroom, the child’s needs not being met by teachers and parents, and the manifestation of social-psychological tensions (Bross, 2012). Research also suggests parents experienced most of these effects along with frustration, social isolation and psychological stress (Collins, 2011).
Identification of gifts/talents can also lead to some negative influences. Although initially negative consequences may occur from the label of gifted or talented, more positive outcomes have been acknowledged (Gifted and Talented Children, 2013). Parents are an enormous influence to the degree in which ones’ abilities are accepted and translated into high achievement. Expectations and pressure from parents and teachers can determine the way in which a child responds to their abilities (McFarland, 2013).
Parent to child, and child to parent influences (9-11 years) Environmental and social variables affect giftedness and talent development (Gifted and Talented Children, 2013). Page (2012) states that unachievable expectations and pressure from parents and teachers may result in children feeling less valued as an individual, and only acknowledged for their gifts/talents. To uphold parent and teacher expectations students may ignore personal fulfilment to maintain adoration and acknowledgement from significant others (Greene, 2006).
In addition, low expectations can suggest that others do not accept their gifts/talents, in turn affecting the social relationship between parent and child, along with the child’s social interactions amongst peers including social development (Alberta Education, n. d). During the later years of this age bracket, children are beginning to enter puberty and eventually adolescence (Cross, 2005). Pressure to conform from peers due to isolation, negative perceptions from others and awareness of social consequences can shape the way in which students cultivate their abilities. Cross, 2005; Gifted and Talented Children, 2013; Topsfield, 2012). Despite students own positive view of giftedness in regard to personal growth and academic performance, negative or ambiguous perceptions from others are still considered a major concern in regards to social relations (Ashman, 2012; Gates, 2010; Huff, Houskamp, Watkins, Stanton & Tavegia 2005). This concern from students can be difficult for parents to understand as students who are gifted and talented are generally thought of as their gifted/talented age, not their definite age (Alberta Education, n. ; Women’s and Children’s Health Network, 2011). Parents also need to consider the developmental and social changes that usually begin to occur in children during this time frame to fully comprehend what their child is going through (Ashman, & Merrotsy, 2012). Comparison Through evaluation of parent to child and child to parent influences and outcomes regarding gifted/talented students in five to eight and nine to eleven years of age, it is clear parents and teachers have a major role in both periods of time on impacting, shaping, nurturing and developing student abilities (McFarland, 2013).
During the age bracket of five to eight years it was also established that children and parents share most of the same negative or positive feelings relating to identified or unidentified gifts/talents. In contrast, children from nine to eleven years of age no longer share most of the same feelings and outcomes as their parents. In the age group from nine to eleven years it was established that most parents find it difficult to relate and comprehend the challenges their child may face during this time frame.
This is typically due to the many developmental changes that usually occur/begin to occur during in this period of time (Cross, 2005). This struggle parents face to understand their child also corresponds with the difficulties in recognising the child as their definite age, rather than their gifted/talented age (Alberta Education, n. d; McFarland, 2013). The dynamic nature of parent/child relationship in the two periods discussed has clearly changed over time, as parents and student attitudes towards gifts/talents change (Ashman, 2012). Conclusion
This essay has addressed the two main parent to child, and child to parent influences that may occur during two specific phases of life; when the child is five to eight years of age and nine to eleven years old. The influences that were discussed included IQ testing to determine giftedness with links to underachievement, and expectations/pressure from parents and teachers linking to social development (Ashman, & Merrotsy, 2012). These influences can lead to both positive and negative outcomes from parents and children (Ashman, 2012).
Comparison and contrast has established that during the age bracket of five to eight years parents and children experience the majority of the same negative or positive feelings relating to identified or unidentified gifts/talents (Ashman, & Merrotsy, 2012; Gifted and Talented Children, 2013). It was also established that parents and teachers play an important role in the development and cultivation of abilities. Without positive influences from significant others children can feel pressure to conform to peers due to isolation and negative social consequences (Cross, 2005; Gifted and Talented Children, 2013; Topsfield, 2012).
It is also necessary for parents and teachers to acknowledge the individual child for more than their gifts/talents along with consideration of their definite age not gifted/talented age (Alberta Education, n. d). References Books Ashman, A, F. (2012). ‘Chapter 1 – A Culture of Inclusion. ‘ Education for Inclusion and Diversity. 4th Edition, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, 22-25. Ashman, A, F & Merrotsy, P. (2012). ‘Chapter 3 – Learners and Environments’. Education for Inclusion and Diversity. 4th Edition, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, 75-84. Brochures
Alberta Education. (n. d. ). The Journey: A Handbook for Parents of Children. [Brochure]. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://education. alberta. ca/media/448831/journey. pdf. McFarland. (2013). Gifted & Talented: Is My Child Gifted? Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://www. mcfarland. k12. wi. us/msd/msd. php? id=0049. Electronic Journal Articles Bhatt, R. (2012). ‘The Impacts of Gifted and Talented Education’. Department of Economics Georgia State University. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://www2. gsu. edu/~ecorrb/index_files/ImpactGifted. pdf. Bross, S. (2012).
Gifted and Talented Students; Their rights to Education. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://users. manchester. edu/Student/sbross/ProfWeb/BrossS346Phil. pdf. Brown, S, W; Renzulli, J, S; Gubbins, E, J; Siegle, D; Zhang, W & Chen, C. (2005). Assumptions Underlying the Identification of Gifted and Talented Students. Brown, The Gifted Child Quarterly, 49(1), 68. Cross, T. L. (2005). ‘Nerds and Geeks: Society’s Evolving Stereotypes of Our Students With Gifts and Talents’. Gifted Child Today, 28(4), 26-27. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://www. eric. ed. gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini. jsp? nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ720371&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ720371. Gates, J. (2010). ‘Children With Gifts and Talents: Looking Beyond Traditional Labels’. Roeper Review; 32, (3), 200. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://search. proquest. com. ezproxy. library. uq. edu. au/docview/669687824/fulltextPDF? accountid=14723. doi:10. 1080/02783193. 2010. 485308 Greene, M. J. (2006). ‘Helping Build Lives: Career and Life Development of Gifted and Talented Students’. Professional School Counseling; 10, (1), 34. . Retrieved March 7, 2013, fromhttp://search. roquest. com. ezproxy. library. uq. edu. au/docview/213446689/fulltextPDF? accountid=14723 Huff, R. E & Houskamp, B, M; Watkins, A, V; Stanton, M; Tavegia, B. (2005). ‘The Experiences of Parents of Gifted African American Children: A Phenomenological Study’. Roeper Review, 27(4), 215. Retrieved March 7, 2013, from http://search. proquest. com. ezproxy. library. uq. edu. au/docview/206701501/fulltextPDF? accountid=14723. Page, J, S. (2010). ‘Challengers Faced by “Gifted Learners” in School and Beyond’. Student Pulse, 2(11), 1. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from