10 Things you Need to Know About Gifted Children: Partners Anyone? Gifted Children and Working Together (Part 3)


This is the 3rd installment of my series entitled: 10 Things you should know about Gifted Children.

Partner work. Some students hate it; some students love it. I have found in my classroom that some gifted children don’t like it. So I thought that I would explore this just a little more further.

Why wouldn’t gifted children like to work in a group or with a partner?

To answer the question above, I think we need to look at some of the characteristics of gifted children. When looking at gifted children and leadership in groups, http://austega.com/gifted/characteristics.htm, has the following characteristics:

  • can stimulate and arouse others

  • organises others

  • recognises skills and abilities possessed by others

  • interacts with others easily showing social skills

  • recognises and can articulate the goals of a group

  • can articulate ideas clearly

  • can listen to others empathetically

  • understands how people feel and how groups function

  • can give directions clearly and effectively

  • exercises authority reliably and responsibly

  • can adopt non-leadership roles within a group

  • can establish the mood of a group

  • supports others in a group when appropriate

  • can coordinate the work of several individuals

  • is often asked for ideas and suggestions

  • is looked to by others when something must be decided

When in heterogeneous groups, gifted children will shoulder a lot of the work. They will be looked at by others to help set the agenda and vision for the group project. The other students will help, but they may nor carry the same weight as the gifted child in this group. Now in a homogenous groups of gifted children, like in my classroom, these children at times won’t want to work with a partner, because they will have to give up some of the leadership to others. Some gifted children like to be in control. They don’t want to give that up. Where they can lead, they will; and where they see a clear vision from a leader in the group at times they will be led. They have a vision for a project once it is assigned, and if they can’t articulate that vision to others in the group they get frustrated. They will want to work by themselves where they can get that vision down in their project.

Why some gifted students like to work in a group or with a partner?

I know some gifted children who like to be social. They like to be where the action is. Gifted children enjoy being around people who are like them. I have found that gifted children who can shift from leader to being led have an easier time working with a partner, and others will want to be their partner.

Another reason I believe some gifted children like to work with a partner is the fact that they like to be in control and lead. They have a way of explaining to their peers what needs to be done, and in some ways how to get it done. Sometimes these students will compromise to get the job done.

I believe that having a good interpersonal skills is an important skill to have. In my classroom, that is something that I try to work on with my students. In the real world when they are older that are going to have to work with people. That’s a skill they need to have in the work place, so they may as well have it now.

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One thought on “10 Things you Need to Know About Gifted Children: Partners Anyone? Gifted Children and Working Together (Part 3)

  1. Pingback: 10 Things you Need to Know About Gifted Kids « Ramblings of a Gifted Teacher

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