Assessment Of Challenges Of Gifted Children

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Assessment Of Challenges Of Gifted Children In Secondary Schools In Maiduguri Metropolitan Borno State Nigeria

ABSTRACT

Gifted children sit in class rooms bored and frustrated, they are left out and are not really benefiting from an equal educational opportunity as their peers, and their full potential is not considered. Effective management of children who are gifted and talented has continued to be an issue because the gifted are not catered for individually. This research project is on assessment of challenges of gifted children in secondary schools in Maiduguri metropolitan Borno state Nigeria. It has been organized in five chapters. The first chapter provides the background of the study, purpose of the study, objectives, and significance of the study. Chapter two contains a review of literature on the challenges of gifted childrens and ways to inform the public and students the importance of nurturing their talents and converting them to opportunities which can be developed into careers. Chapter three is on the methodology and the study design that the researcher used to reach out to the society and the community of Maiduguri metropolitan, Borno state Nigeria. This helped to discover what the community is doing in nurturing and developing the talents of the young learners who have different talents amongst themselves and the challenges that they face in relation to academic performance. Chapter four discusses the data analysis and interpretation. The data collected looked into their study habits, the academic challenges they face and how their talents are being nurtured. Chapter five provides ways of improving the skills and talents of students all over the county. This constitutes a perfect step in helping the young gifted children in the society

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

This chapter shall discuss the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, research questions and significance of the study.

1.1 Background to the Problem.

 

Being gifted academically can make a child feel different from her peers and may even lead to the child being bullied and becoming depressed. Studies have shown that the more intellectually gifted a child is, the greater the risk of social difficulties and unhappiness. According to the Salamanca Declaration (1994) on special needs education, every child has a fundamental right to education. Gifted children must be given an opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning. Gifted and talented children are the most misunderstood and educationally neglected in secondary schools in Maiduguri metropolitan,Borno state Nigeria. They suffer so much from lack of interest in them as persons and from exploitation under great pressure to perform for the benefit of society. Gifted and talented children need specialized and unique education that is different from other exceptional children in specific areas, but rather a uniquely enriched education with unique teaching and learning strategies.

 

All children have a right to develop their own potential; education of the child has become a priority worldwide which every member state should accomplish. American Public Law, Chapters 91 –250 defines gifted and talented children as those identified by professionally qualified persons, who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of high performance and require differentiated educational programmes and/ or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school programmes in order to realize their contribution to self and society. Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas;

  1. General intellectual ability
  2. Specific ability
  3. Creative or productive thinking
  4. Leadership ability
  5. Visual and performing arts
  6. Psychomotor ability

Lewis Terma and Leta Hollingsworth (1925) found out that modern intelligence tests have roots in America, were identified primarily on basis of performance in and out of the school. 1980 American psychologist, James Catell called for the development of a test that would measure the mental ability of gifted children which earned him the title of “Father of the Gifted Movement”.

According to National Association for Gifted Children (1998), students who have both gifted and learning difficulties require an intervention programme that nurtures the gifts and talents which accommodates learning weaknesses. Talented learners require a supportive environment that values and appreciate individual abilities.

A learner who is gifted and talented usually does much better than learners of the same age group and hence requires services or activities not ordinarily provided for the ordinary learner. The gifted children may be good in one or more areas that give promise of the future high level achievement (Mwaura and Wanyera (2002))

1.2 Statement of the Problem.

Effective management of students who are gifted and talented has continued to be an issue because the gifted are not catered for individually. According to Eric (2004), gifted children  sit in class rooms bored and frustrated, they are left out and are not really benefiting from an equal educational opportunity as their peers, and their full potential is not considered. Gifted children by nature are highly inquisitive beings who normally should become high achievers as a result of their curiosity, experimentation, discoveries, assimilation, organization, use of information, perception of relationships and memory. Gifted children are made into under achievers as a result of specific handicaps: a dull, meager curriculum; inappropriate teaching strategies that are incompatible with their learning styles; child in need of learning how to handle socio-economic conflict, to gain self- control, and to set realistic self-expectations.

In Maiduguri , and other states in Nigeria, children who are gifted and talented are not effectively catered for and as a result face a lot of challenges. This include but not limited to negative attitude towards the learners, inappropriate curriculum, poor methods of teaching and inadequate teaching and learning resources .According to Clarissa (2010), Desarrollo (2007), Evans (2014), Jagero (2011), Scharff and Brady (2006), and Oloo (2003), the greatest problem faced by gifted children  was that their home environment was not conducive to reading. Other problems include: long distances from school, bad company at home, lack of proper accommodation and proper diet. All these factors attracted the researcher to study the challenges faced by childern who are gifted and talented and suggested some remedies to these challenges.

1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Study

  • the main thrust of this study is on assessment of challenges of gifted children in secondary schools in Maiduguri metropolitan Borno state Nigeria

The following were the specific objectives for the study.

  1. To investigate teachers attitude towards children who are gifted and
  2. To establish resources used by teachers to teach children who are gifted and
  3. To establish the teaching methods used by teachers to teach children who are gifted and
  4. To explore the academic challenges faced by gifted children in
  5. To investigate the contribution of principals, Heads of guidance and counseling and teachers in the motivation of gifted children in secondary schools.
  6. To find out the kind of structures both in and outside the school to accommodate gifted and talented
  • 1.4 Research Questions

 

  1. What are teachers’ attitudes towards children who are gifted and talented?
  2. Which resources do teachers use to teach children who are gifted and talented?
  3. What teaching methods do teachers use to teach children who are gifted and talented?
  4. What are the academic challenges experienced by gifted children in secondary schools in the study area?
  5. What is the contribution of principals, Heads of Guidance and Counseling and Teachers in the motivation of gifted children in secondary schools?
  6. What structures are there both in and outside school to accommodate gifted and talented students?

1.5 Significance of the Study.

The research findings of this project shall be a milestone towards improving the quality and value of education to talented and gifted learners in Maiduguri metropolitan, Borno state Nigeria. It shall create substantial awareness to a number of people. Teachers, peers and parents in the school and home environment shall endeavor to understand the nature of the gifted and talented child. Moreover, it shall provide teachers and curriculum developers with skills and knowledge of planning individual educational programmes of instruction for gifted learners. Lastly, it shall help teachers adopt the curriculum to suit the needs of learners who are gifted and talented.

1.6 Statement of Hypothesis

This study will be guided by the following hypotheses:

  1. Gifted children in Maiduguri metropolitan, Borno state Nigeria experience academic challenges.
  2. There is no difference in academic challenges between gifted children in Maiduguri metropolitan Borno state Nigeria

1.7 Limitations of the study

Time: There was limited time for carrying out the study because the researcher is employed and was therefore to request for time off from the employer in order to

conduct the research. Such request was not easily granted. Also most of the secondary schools in Maiduguri metropolitan, Borno state Nigeria are far from one another making the distribution of the questionnaires tedious and uneconomical with regard to time and travelling expenses.

Finances: The cost of traveling from one school to another was very high which

means the researcher was to hire either a motorbike or take a tax.

 

  • 1.8 Delimitations of the Study

 

Since the researcher hails from Maiduguri metropolitan, Borno state Nigeria it was easier to locate the targeted schools. The researcher has also worked in this area for eight years and this was an added advantage as the research area is well known to him.

Language was not a great problem as the researcher would communicate in Kiswahili to respondents who do not understand English.

 

  • 1.9 Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined as used in the study.

  • Teaching resources

These are teaching aids, which include charts, graphs, maps, models and other community resources that can be available to illustrate and demonstrate what is being taught. Others include textbooks and wall charts

  • Teacher competence

Teacher competence refers to the qualification and experience of the teacher in the teaching profession.

  • Attitude

The way an individual thinks, feels and behaves towards somebody

  • Education

It is a process that enables learners to acquire and develop desire, new knowledge, skills and attitudes.

  • Gifted childrens

Gifted children are those who possess the human traits of being above average abilities, high level of task, commitments, and high level of creativity.

  • Talented Learners

Talented learners are those who excel in specific area that is in leadership, sport, performing art design, athletic and technology.

Gifted and Talented Learners

These are learners who give evidence of high performance capability in area such as intellectual, creative or specific academic field and who requires service of or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities.

 

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