Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about giftedness
What types of support are possible?
Support can be provided in different ways and in different places. Children can receive support in the family and at the Kita, and later at school. In terms of school support, a distinction can be made between gifted children who are in the same class as other students who are not gifted (internal differentiation) and those who are in the same class as other gifted students on a permanent or part-time (e.g., on a daily or hourly) basis (external differentiation). There are also many other possible sources of support, such as clubs, institutions of higher learning, and summer academies. In addition, there are many organizations that offer students the opportunity to participate in competitions, either individually or in groups.
Several principles of support can be distinguished, and these can be implemented in one form or another at each place that offers support to children and adolescents.
(1) Individualization or internal differentiation: During group learning with others in the school or Kita settings, activities and challenges are adapted to the individual children to facilitate good and effective learning. Internal differentiation allows children within a class or learning group to choose tasks or learning paths that are individually adapted in terms of difficulty. Gifted children, for example, are able to work on a more challenging topic with less assistance, and they require less repetition and practice to complete it. Even in special classes or schools for the gifted, all children differ in their learning needs and therefore also benefit from receiving individual attention.
(2) Acceleration (accelerated learning): Gifted children can begin working on specific topics earlier than their peers or they can complete the material in a shorter period of time, thus gaining time to work on advanced tasks or projects. In extreme cases, they may even skip a grade in school.
(3) Enrichment (enriched learning): The learning content is enriched by a broader or deeper involvement with the subject matter. This can either take place in a classroom with internal differentiation or outside the classroom, for example, in family activities, after-school clubs, or extracurricular settings.
For many gifted children, it is advisable to provide support based on a combination of these principles.