“Recognizing Gifted Students” by Sandra Manning

This paper seeks to write an analysis of the article “Recognizing Gifted Students: A Practical Guide for Teachers” by Sandra Manning (2006). The paper will determine the basis of the claims made in the article if there is any, and implication of the claims about the role of an educator or a teacher.

It would appear that the author has argued for the need to recognize gifted students which may require a different way of handling or teaching them to attain their full potential. To recognize such types of gifted students is to know their cognitive and affective characteristics using those given by Manning (2006) and reasonable criteria to describe them.

Gifted students are also called high-ability students and they are considered above those with average intellectual and academic abilities. There were described by different authors including their having natural talent awaiting development (Manning, 2006 citing Gagne, 1995), having the ability to use life situations successfully (citing Sternberg, 2003), and having superior development of various brain functions (citing Clark, 2002). Their possession of intense or sometimes extreme academic and emotional traits must be understood for better insight and teaching the same methods as those of average students may not work well for them. Some gifted students are not purely based on heredity but in combination with the environment (Manning, 2006) makes it more challenging for teachers to recognize them.

There are several intellectual and affective characteristics of a gifted child or student that must be known or understood by the teacher. This includes the preference of children to work alone well. If this is not understood well by the teacher, the latter could appear imposing or giving the wrong lesson in the same way that a doctor could prescribe the wrong medicine to the patient because of the wrong diagnosis. If such will happen, the classroom or education activity would not be giving value to the mental and emotional development of the child. Preference to work alone may mean poor performance in group work and if the teacher does not recognize this, the gifted child could be improperly evaluated. The fact however that a gifted child may not be performing with a group of average students, does not necessarily mean that the student is not cooperative. If the teacher would insist on seeing that way, it would be forcing the child to become average when in fact he or she is not. But if the student is wise enough that he or she could understand the teacher who happens to be of average capacity, it could be a laudable thing, for possibly the child could be honest enough to ask for some more advanced lessons or that he or she could do superbly. It would however be unfair to think that the teacher would fail to recognize the gifted child as the teacher is presumed to have the upper hand in developing the student.

A gifted student may be unusually sensitive to the feelings of others (Manning, M. 2006) and the teacher may construe the same lack of adjustment and may treat the child to be not going with the normal student. The teacher must therefore be perceptive and flexible enough to know the characteristics of a gifted child for some adjustment on the part of the teacher. This should be the rule rather than the exception. The capacity of a teacher to recognize the individual difference is therefore paramount.

To conclude, this researcher agrees with the claims of Sandra Manning in the article. Claims are supported with plausible evidence from the works of other writers. The given problem situations in the case may make it difficult for the teacher to identify who is a gifted child, who would need a creative and unique way of learning. However, a responsible teacher should be able to recognize gifted students to know what method or strategy should be used in developing the latter’s full potential.


Clark, B. 2002. Growing up gifted: Developing the potential of children at home and at school, 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Manning, M. 2006. Recognizing Gifted Students: A Practical Guide for Teachers. Kappa Delta Pi Record. Web.

Sternberg, R. J. 2003. Giftedness according to the theory of successful intelligence. In Handbook of gifted education, 3rd ed., ed. N. Colangelo and G. A.

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