Proposed wording of the main goal of work with gifted children
Ham's own experience working with gifted children for a number of decades shows that many gifted children do not have enough developed abilities in self-actualization, which is related to the specifics of their development. If we simplify the situation as much as possible, we are talking about the fact that high goals, which gifted people set themselves, require special personality-cognitive qualities, which they have not been sufficiently formed. Let us dwell only on the most obvious manifestations of this kind of inability to realize yourself:
- the lack of skills to act in a situation of sheer uncertainty, when there is no feedback and there is no guarantee of the unconditional success of cognitive activity (which characterizes, first of all, the creative situation);
- inability to withstand and effectively overcome a variety of crisis situations;
- the impossibility of overcoming their own stereotypes of activity that have shown their individual effectiveness, in particular, the stereotype of primary education, mastering in comparison with the requirements of productive creative activity. This phenomenon is particularly noticeable in former child prodigies who demonstrate miracles of learning and self-education very early.In general, the main problem can be characterized as insufficient stress tolerance. This stress can be of any character, from internal (struggle of motives, difficulties of communication) to social and directly physical.
Thus, the task of working with gifted children is ultimately formulated as follows: the formation and development of their ability to self-actualization, to the effective realization of their increased opportunities in the future, in complex professional activities. It is this task is central when working with especially gifted children. All other tasks follow from this to some extent.
If we accept this task as the main one, the main problem of working with especially gifted children is to formulate and develop a psycho-pedagogical method that, taking into account all the features of the personality and developmental circumstances of gifted schoolchildren, would primarily solve the problem of the high success of their future professional activity. In principle, the problem of psychological and pedagogical work with each child, but only for gifted children, this problem is brought to the forefront of work, becomes the main condition for the effectiveness of the school.
Immediate and distant goals of work with gifted children
As already stated above, the main goal of the school is the development of creative individuality. This task is divided into two components: the nearest (education, school self-regulation skills, etc.) and a distant, perspective, presupposing the preparation of the student for its implementation in adult professional and mature life. Although these are different aspects of the overall task of preparing a child, they nevertheless assume a fundamentally different work strategy.
Nearest (proper school) tasks:
- deep, sufficiently structured knowledge, developing the general and special abilities of the student;
- high arbitrariness, well-formed skills of educational self-regulation, i.e. effective achievement of the tasks that the teacher sets before the student;
- activity and independence within the framework of that cognitive activity offered by the teacher.
Remote (oriented to future professional self-actualization) tasks:
- the development of creativity, i.e. the ability to independently set and solve non-standard tasks, act in uncertain situations, create new approaches;
- strengthening the skills of self-regulation associated with achieving independently set and long-term goals;
- the formation of talented students with resistance to failure, the ability to work in an uncertain environment or without feedback;
- Creation of effective communication skills in a small group or in a classroom.
Basic principles of the organization of psychological work with gifted children and adolescents.
1. Individuality needs to be developed with reference not only to teaching, but to the tasks of self-realization. It is necessary for each student to seek an individual way of realizing himself. For this purpose, for the majority of students (but at least for those who study under the experimental program), individual programs for creative development are created.
2. At present, the school itself in its current state provides insufficient opportunities for the development of creativity. Numerous studies show that the task of developing creative abilities is replaced by the majority of teachers with the task of developing intellectual independence or, at best, mental activity. In the program itself, it is necessary to lay the need for its development. From our point of view, most of the subjects currently do not involve serious opportunities for the development of creativity. Some of the exceptions are humanitarian subjects and in part subjects based on experience (chemistry, physics), but it is impossible to speak about the development of genuine creativity in most cases even here.
That is why the development of creativity should be dealt with mainly by psychologists who, on the one hand, create psychological conditions for the school to form creative motivation, and on the other - directly conduct special classes in this direction and trainings.
3. When creating an individual development program, basic attention should be paid not so much to compensating for shortcomings, as to the development of personal and cognitive priorities, i.e. strengths of the child (a system of so-called personal and cognitive "trumps"),
4. There can be no development of individuality outside the functionally distributed work in the group. The group method of the work should be expanded in principle, whenever possible using it in a class-lesson system.
5. The cognitive load must obey the condition of necessary and sufficient difficulty , and this difficulty should in any case be individualized. This principle of individualized optimal difficulty fits into the concepts we develop about developing comfort. This method should be maximally promoted in the pedagogical collective and used ideally in each lesson.
6. In some cases, a difficulty is possible that goes beyond the individual optimum. This special, suboptimal difficulty can be used only in specially prepared cases and only in the work of a psychologist. Work on the method of developing discomfort is the prerogative of only psychologists.
7. Work under the proposed conditions - developing comfort and developing discomfort - assumes as a mandatory condition providing emotional and - wider - personal security . This includes the limitation of the marking system (at least in the lower grades). It should be forbidden to compare children with each other. We need new, more optimistic and humane forms of communication with parents. This also includes the right of the child to make a mistake .
8. The development of the child should not only be due to the direct appropriation of someone else's experience (training). You must have your own experience and reflections . This requires the use of so-called research methods of work.
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