Academic journal article International Education Studies

Giftedness and Creativity of Students and Teachers in the Process of Education

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Giftedness and Creativity of Students and Teachers in the Process of Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

This paper conceptually defines the categories of giftedness and creativity and associates them with the role of teachers and students in their realization in the process of education. It examines the basic abilities that a teacher should possess and the methods that should be used for proper identification of students' potential and for their overall development. Giftedness is not reduced to the rational intelligence but is understood in the context of wider spiritual content for the identification of which the enhanced creative sensibility of teachers is essential.

Ways in which teachers can encourage students' creative energy are: a) recognizing wonderment as the basic cognitive impulse, b) identifying and motivating curiosity as a good way of introducing the process of free-thinking, c) developing the gift of observation as an ability of keen sensual and spiritual perception, with which one can discover latent creative energy, d) fostering eloquence as the basis for successful development of verbal communication skills, f) strengthening moral qualities as an assumption of feelings of safety, empathy, motivation of the spirit of tolerance and formation of a positive attitude to life.

Keywords: giftedness, creativity, education, intellect, morality

1. Introduction

Adequate theoretical and practical approaches to the phenomenon of giftedness and creativity imply their conceptual definition. There are numerous theories that deal with giftedness in different ways. Depending on whether they follow the entire developmental process of gifted individuals from their predispositions to specific achievements, or deal with intellectual and cognitive processes, two basic theoretical orientations can be distinguished: developmental and cognitive. A holistic approach to the phenomenon of giftedness involves respecting the results of study of both approaches (Sternberg & Davidson, 1986). In the context of these theoretical orientations there are a number of definitions that reveal the complex nature of the phenomenon of giftedness through the character structure of personality (Sternberg 1986), through activity (Renzulli, 1986) focused on the specific area and through the accomplished achievement (Gagné, 1994). Some authors see giftedness as a common feature that gives a unique character to its carriers, regardless of their area of giftedness, while others distinguish the gifted by the type of their predispositions and forms of expression through concrete activities in specific areas. (F. J. Monks, N. W. Katzko & H. W. 1992).

Unlike adults whose giftedness can be recognized through their achievements, children usually display their giftedness through the ability to solve tasks and through possessing a higher level of knowledge in the area where their giftedness is manifested. (Borkowski & Peck 1986, 182). However, very often, it is not easy to determine whether task solving has its foundation in giftedness or in the larger amount of knowledge. Hence, many authors see the dividing line in the creative potential of a person, assuming that true giftedness must provide unexpected, original and surprising answers (Cropley, 1993). One of important dimensions of giftedness is a factor of motivation and self-awareness. In this context, great interest in a particular area, good work results and high core self-evaluation, cannot in themselves be a sure indicator of giftedness. Also it is very difficult to assess whether decreased motivation to learn, the presence of doubt in one's own ability, negative self-observation, show a lack of talent. (Feldhusen J., 1986).

The role of education in encouraging giftedness and creativity is very important and therefore teachers' insight into these categories should provide a greater sensitivity to their recognition and expression among students. According to the principle "it takes one to know one", for teachers to recognize giftedness in others they too need to be gifted, and in order to enco urage the creative impulse in others they need to create in conditions of complete freedom. …

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