There is little or no training for teachers in Ireland during either their pre-service training or continuing professional development. Giftedness is also a topic not much covered during the training of psychologists, even educational psychologists. Despite the NCCA Draft Guidelines on Teaching Exceptionally Able Children, there is little or no provision for such children in Irish schools and classrooms. That leaves gifted children and their parents in a very vulnerable position.
Many children with advanced learning ability end up unstimulated and ultimately demotivated underachievers. In far too many cases, their struggle to fit in with a system designed for the majority, leaves them open to unwarranted diagnoses of conditions such as ASD and ADHD. Too many of them go through life feeling that they just don’t quite fit in.
It is very difficult for parents of gifted children to know where to turn. Most keep quiet about their child’s giftedness for fear of being seen to brag or to be that deluded pushy parent who thinks their child is extra special. They can feel alone and helpless.
We feel that by raising awareness of what giftedness really is, we can dispel some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding it. We hope also, to raise awareness of the many resources available to teachers through the internet. It’s not easy being either a teacher or a parent of a gifted child but by opening dialogue between them, we hope to make things better for both parties and to improve the educational experience of our gifted learners.
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