Students with high abilities, the balance between a standardized schooling and accelerating the intellect

Each student has their own needs, each student is different from another. But in some cases the youngest ones have some characteristics that force the teaching staff to be attentive to attend to these demands. An example is young people with High capacitiesWhat is recommended? Keep them at the same level of education, or set them aside to take advantage of their full potential?

While there is no denying that the needs of children with High capacities they make the teaching team have to offer special attention, keeping them on the sidelines can also make these students not develop socially. Finding the balance between both spheres is essential to ensure the success of these children, as indicated by Ramon Duch and Raúl Tárraga, collaborating teachers of the Master's Degree in Difficulties of Learning and Language Disorders at the Open University of Catalonia.

Socialize and empower

As indicated by both professionals, one of the most common measures for students with high abilities is to pass a couple of courses in order to develop them according to their characteristics. However, this decision can have important consequences in your social development since it is necessary to bear in mind that the student will share classroom and hours with students that take several years.

Although the student with high abilities can be at the same intellectual level as these classmates, their social development is not at the same level. A reality that ends, in most of the occasions, by isolate the child and make him run out of friends. Do not forget the role of the school as an environment where the little ones make friendships that can be extended over the years.

These experts remember the fragility that characterizes the stages of pre-adolescence and adolescence itself. Finding the balance between empowering their abilities and the social development of these students is the key. How to get it? According to the authors of this publication, the important thing is to find the balance between a standardized schooling and that meets the special needs of this group of students.

The importance of extracurricular activities

The enhancement of the characteristics of the student with high abilities does not only go through the classroom. Many are the extracurricular activities that can encourage the potential of these students. This is indicated by the International University of La Rioja in one of its projects where it focuses on the demand of this group of schoolchildren and how to proceed, both on the part of teachers and their families.

This project is committed to the empowerment of different points of the child with high abilities in order to develop different facets of their day to day:

- Stimulate intellectual potential and enhance social skills and relationships between equals.

- Stimulate the development of skills and thinking strategies.

- Promote autonomous learning and creativity.

- Offer adequate training to parents.

This project highlights the need to work side by side between the center that promotes these extracurricular activities, whether the same where the child goes to class or another entity, and the same family. The objective is that after each day, a reflection of what has been learned is strengthened at home.

In addition, as indicated by the Junta de Andalucía in one of its days dedicated to children with high abilities, through extracurricular activities, the curricular adaptation of the child with these characteristics can be achieved.

Damián Montero

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