This literature review is focusing on the perception of teachers and it can provide clear guidance to them in order to teach gifted and talented people. They have to focus on different teaching styles in order to make learning process more effective. This literature review is containing the various learning styles like VARK model, Honey and Mumford model etc. which can help the teachers in changing their perceptions. The detailed analysis of learning strategies has also taken into special consideration. It could be beneficial with a view of making the learning process easier.
Perception of teachers towards gifted and talented students
It is very common that every university has different type of students who possess different abilities and potentials. The learning quality or time period in which any student grasps the matter is also totally different. The unique and different pattern of learning facilitate the teachers to adopt different types of learning styles which enable them to cope up with gifted and talented people in well organized manner (D'Agustino, 2012). Gifted persons are those who have good command in drama or theoretical knowledge and talented people can be considered a those people who are good in practical aspects like artistic talent or any sports talent. Learning styles refers to the ability of people in which he/she can understand the concepts or can polish his/her talent. It is necessary for teachers to identify the best suitable learning technique as per the learning capability of any individual (Hymer and Michel, 2013). The learning style must be able to produce better results for the students. Teachers have various perceptions regarding the selection of appropriate learning style or strategy for the overall development of students. Various types of learning styles are:
Kolb: It is very much essential for individual to gain different sort of learning and knowledge in order to boost their competency and also to attain more of fruitful rewards and benefits. David Kolb developed a learning model which essentially supports in gaining more effective learning style for both gifted and talented pupil. They developed experimental learning theory which essentially supports talented students and gifted students that possess competency in different sports, artistic performance, leadership, English literature, technology, drama and other related activities (Gross, 2004). Learning styles inventory supports in gaining effective learning practices by the individuals. Under experimental learning theory, there involve four learning styles and it is perceived by teachers according to Ron Casey (2000) that by entailing this practice, more effective learning to these sort of students can be gained as it involves both practical as well as mental concern from learners (Casey and Koshy, 2000).
Bloom’s Taxonomy: This is a model which describes the objective of learning which teachers utilize in order to offer sound learning to their students. This model is certainly bifurcated into three basic domains namely cognitive, affective and psychomotor. According to Montgomery (2013), learning by gifted and talented students can be attained by considering different learning objectives. Teacher perception act as a basis on which different learning practices are entailed by them that act as a medium for their learning (Montgomery, 2013). Montgomery stated that there are basically 6 set of competences in this regard that are demonstrated below:
Knowledge: This is the practice in which recalling of facts, concepts and answers are taken into account by teachers in order to offer learning to different set of students of gifted and talented nature. Under this, observation of information, knowledge of different major thoughts, subject matter, information regarding dates and events etc. are taken into account from which better learning can be entailed by the teacher to their students of gifted nature especially in case of literature, drama, technology, etc.
Comprehension: Under this, teacher incorporated practice of learning such as understanding of amending by restating in their own word so that better interpretation can be gained by students (Montgomery, 2006). Teacher possesses a view that with this practice, better learning of course can be attained (Peter, Bacon and Dastbaz, 2010). However, it is appropriate for the students those are gaining learning more of theoretical form but it is not wholly applicable in case of practical learning such as singing, drama, etc.
Application: Montgomery stated that by using or applying certain set of knowledge and putting it into real world by students, better and more practical form of learning can be gained. It is very much appropriated and it offers much effective learning to gifted and talented students (Montgomery, 2002). This essentially boosts their learning and also able to gain new insight regarding the field of their interest.
Analysis: Teacher many a times interpret with the help of different elements and also entail more of conceptualization o that better understanding to students can be offered. This essentially support in attaining knowledge in case of experiment, measuring, testing, quantifying, etc. to the students by the teachers (Milgram, Dunn and Price, 2009). However, it is not appropriate in every case such as analysis form of learning cannot be applied in the field of dancing, leadership, artistic performance, etc.
Synthesis: Under this, teacher posses a perception that by developing new and unique models or structures for extra ordinary students , better learning can be obtained and it essentially help in attaining more of creativity by students in their field (Mueller and Sanman 1999). This can be state in this regard that synthesis essentially help in gaining more of innovation by talented pupils and also supports in integrating different activities of their interests.
Evaluation: At this stage, judgment is developed by pupils regarding ideas and thoughts. This helps in reviewing and justifying the ideas and essentially aids high amount of learning among students (Silverman, 2002).
VARK model: One of the major and most popular learning styles is VARK model. It has been propounded by the Neil Flemings in order to understand the behavior of people in different learning environment. Here VARK stand for visual, aural, reading and kinesthetic. Visual learners are those kinds of people who understand the concept when they see anything and try to recapitulate all the learning. Charts, diagrams, illustrations, handouts and most importantly videos are the best effective technique for such kind of learners. Teachers have to provide such kind of learning to those students who are comfortable in gaining the knowledge through visuals. Aural learning is related with the hearing learning of the students (Montgomery, 2000). Most of the students have the capability to learn the things only through learning and there is no need of extra efforts. Teachers provide lectures and seminars in order to increase their intellect and make them more capable of completing the task. Further reading is another aspect which helps in gaining the conceptual knowledge. Most of the teachers have the perceptions that they must teach the students through reading materials or text books so that they can learn the concepts more deeply and comprehensibly (Koshy and Murray, 2011).
Finally kinesthetic learners are those who need practical knowledge and they require some sort of regular practice. Sports persons or music learners are the best example of such kind of learning styles. It is more suitable in the condition of providing the learning for hands on experience. The broad explanation of teacher perception is that Sometimes it is also possible that a student is capable of learn the things form two patterns, he may mix the learning styles as per his convenience. According to Richard bailey (2002) physical education can be learn through kinesthetic learning where sports person or athletes practice the various tactics and try to learn the new things (Bailey and Macfadyen, 2002). Here the expediency of visual learning can also be proved as it can help the sports to learn the things. They come to know about the body balance and hand ‘n’ eye coordination and various nitty-gritty concepts. Educators or instructors have given importance to these principles and have adopted such learning style in their teaching method.
Honey and Mumford model: This model or learning style also gave firmness to the teacher’s perception while selecting the accurate learning method for the students. This model has been given by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford and could be considered as most advanced model for adopting the suitable teaching method. They have identified four different stages of learning i.e. activist, theorist, pragmatist and reflector. According to this theory activist are those who learn the thing by doing and practicing it on the regular basis. They play puzzles and use to do brainstorming in order to sharpen their mind. Further theorists are those kind of people who believes on theories and models (Coulson-Thomas, 2000). They need some sort of evidence or proof which will help them in understanding the given situations or concept. Logic and systematic facts and figures are most helpful tools for such learners. Teachers have the perception that if they apply some sort of theories then only they can teach students in well manner. Further they define the pragmatist persons as those people who apply the theories and then only they can learn the things (Gilman, 2008). Experimental learning is the best example of such kind of learning. Teachers always try to identify such personality traits among the talented and gifted people in order to execute appropriate learning style.
The last type of learners is reflectors who learn the things by his own learning. They generally believed on self assessment and prefer to observe their own strength and weakness. At this stage of learning teachers can’t interfere much as it is completely dependent at the mindset of individuals. They choose their own learning style by comparing them with the other person. Gifted and talented people have to be treated in cautious manner. It is essential for teachers to make maximum use of their capabilities and to nourish their skills and talents. Thus these are some very popular and common learning styles which have great impact at the mindset of teachers and influence their perception level at very large scale (Hurn, 2011). The contribution of these learning styles is very immense with a view of improving the teaching style and methods. According to David Mousley (2005) the though process of individual also help him in adopting the reliable and feasible learning process. Further he has stated that it is necessary for every individual to adopt reflective learning attitude, it will help him in attaining the more knowledge (Moseley, 2005).
In order to gain better insight of the learning strategies that is being offered to gifted and talented students, identification of their strength and weakness in very much required. Further opportunity and threats essentially aids in gaining more desirable learning. Rita Dunn (2000) in this regard offered following discussions:
Strength: Strengths that are highly utilized by gifted and talented students are as follows:
- These sorts of students possess high level of passion about the subjects and fields of their interest and implement their thinking and experiences in it that certainly boosted their learning without entailing more of efforts from that of teachers (Dunn and Griggs, 2000). Moreover, teacher also perceives that students able to gain learning with different other means also which supports high intellectuality in it.
- They also able to analyze and evaluate their own behavior which essentially supports in gaining more of learning strategies that boosted their knowledge in much effective manner. This attribute is not present in normal students and hence gifted and talented students able to perform their job in much different and innovative manner (Bailey and Macfadyen, 2002).
- These pupils able to make effective connection among past learning and present activities. This essentially aids in developing new ways of doing certain sort of activities such as drama, technology, leadership, signing, artistic performance, etc. This strength assists them in making their own identity in the bunch of students and makes them feel proud and famous (Freeman, 2013).
- They possess intellectual curiosity that supports them in gaining new set of knowledge and information without taking more of help from that of teachers or seniors. This strength helps them in performing better and also aids in developing their mental stability.
- Their tendency of asking question and queries boost their knowledge as well as enhance their intellectual capacity of thinking upon certain topics or subject matter. This supports them in engaging deeply with that of subject material (Fatt, 2000).
- They also possess the characteristics of enthusiasm that act as a strength from them as they able to put their extra effort in the area of their interest that certainly help them in gaining new insight of the subjects.
Books and Journals
- Bailey, R. and Macfadyen, T., 2002. Teaching Physical Education 11-18: Perspectives and Challenges. Continuum.
- Burkill, B. and Eaton, R., 2010. Developing Teaching and Learning: The Textbook for the Cambridge International Certificate for Teachers and Trainers. Cambridge University Press.
- Casey, R. and Koshy, V., 2000. Special Abilities Scales: Observational Assessment for Identifying Able and High-potential Pupils : Teacher's Handbook. Hodder & Stoughton.
- Coulson-Thomas, C., 2000. Developing a corporate learning strategy. Industrial and Commercial Training. 32(3). pp.84 –88.
- D'Agustino, S., 2012. Toward a course conversion model for distance learning: a review of best practices. Journal of International Education in Business. 5(2). pp.145–162.
- Dunn, R. and Griggs, S., 2000. Practical Approaches to Using Learning Styles in Higher Education. Greenwood Publishing Group