Training of skilled children

Aims

group of friends

Gifted school children come to KTU gymnasium from all over Lithuania, they are both boys and girls, and they live as in rural as in urban areas. They are intellectually gifted and demonstrate many characteristics, including: a precocious ability to think abstractly, an extreme need for constant mental stimulation; an ability to learn and process complex information very rapidly; and a need to explore subjects in depth. Young people who demonstrate these characteristics must be taught differently. The goal of the REC is to improve the effectiveness of studies for gifted children, to add the credits to the teachers’ competency, to make easier the choice of the studies at the universities, and to come to the universities with the better knowledge and potential to take part in science and technology research..

Argument for inclusion

The best children from all Lithuania study at this gymnasium (the children must go through a big competition of skills). Also this gymnasium was chosen because of the partners from other countries as they present their methods for education of talented children.

Together with the friends from all over the world

Relevant information in short

Main Research Partners

Educational Institutions of 8 European countries

Educational partners

Kaunas University of Technology, Ministry of Science and Education, Lithuania

Age classes

From 15 to 17

Thematic orientation

Natural sciences

Main Focus

To improve the efficiency of studies

Duration of activity

Since 2001

Resources

Ministry of Science and Education, Private foundations

Website

www.ktug.lt

Contact person

Principal of KTU gymnasium B.Burgis

Context and conditions

The principal of the KTU gymnasium is a person of great competency and erudition. His life credo is to find and to identify skilled children in Lithuania, to increase their knowledge and let them fly through life (for this he is blamed by Lithuanian authorities because many his schoolchildren go for higher studies abroad). The institutions of eight European countries together with KTU gymnasium put their methods and efficient input into natural, mathematic, computer sciences and foreign languages in order to educate talented and gifted children.

Activities and Contents

children give talk to class

The project at KTU gymnasium is based on the idea that the child will not be harmed by offering the opportunities to complete work that is more advanced. The curriculum based on development and ability is far more effective than curriculum based on age. One can find there moderately, highly and profoundly gifted children, so the teachers are asked to work differently from a normal school. The children must be ready to think “outside the box” and the teachers should help students to develop their abilities. Gifted children are good at thinking and the teachers must be confident to encourage their "thinketes" by providing them with opportunities to soar.

Methodologies

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Meeting the needs of gifted students does not need to be an all consuming task. One of the easiest ways to better understand how to provide challenging material is to conduct informal whole class assessments on a regular basis. So mostly schoolchildren are taught by giving them individual tasks and encouraging them to make various presentations. All assignments should offer the opportunity to utilize higher level thinking skills like analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Gifted children think and learn differently than the other students. Asking them to serve as tutors can be a frustrating experience for all parties involved.

Curriculum relevance

work with physics

KTU gymnasium curriculum is just the same as in all secondary schools, but the aims are different. They promote creativity and higher level cognitive skills, and encourage productive use and management of the knowledge the students have mastered. This involves higher levels of thinking (logical problems, critical thinking and problem solving), creative thinking (involving imagination, intuitive approaches and brainstorming techniques), open-endedness (encouraging risk-taking and the response that is right for the student by stressing there is no one right answer), group interaction (with highly able and motivated students sparking each other in the task).

Evaluation

Even though the REC ‘‚Training of skilled children’ was not evaluated, the numbers speak for themselves. We took the information from the Ministry of Education about the best marks in final exams and made the diagram clearly showing the advantage of skilled school children in the range of marks. KTU Gymnasium specialises in technological sciences, so we took technological disciplines, such as: mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. In the diagram the percentage of all the highest marks obtained for the final exams is given. The highest evaluation is 100. We took the marks from 100 to 90 and compared the number of schoolchildren who got them in Lithuania, Kaunas and KTU Gymnasium.

chart or results

Pictures from the project webpages