Supporting Educational and Emotional Needs of the Gifted in Nigerian Secondary Schools
The gifted child is considered as a special child with 'disability'. He/she is emotional because most of the times the special needs that he/she deserves are often not met. The gifted child sits in class with normal children with very little or no attention given him/her. When found to be fast at learning, progress often gets slow as a result of neglect. Most of the time, such children are considered troublesome whereas they are not, it is the special attention that they need. The paper through survey examined 50 parents/teachers perception on special children and those 'label' gifted that they have identified and taught. The study assessed the characteristics behaviour, methods adopted to meet his/her educational needs and type of support provided him or her in the school system. The modified standardized Intelligence Quotient Test was used by teachers to screen the learners classified as gifted while stratified random sampling procedure was used to select participating teachers. A 20-item questionnaire was used to collect relevant data while descriptive statistics of mean score and standard deviation were use to analyse the data. A mean x SD = 13.20 was found for the disposition of the gifted. Result of data show that 42 (84%) of respondents agreed that the 'gifted' is a special child with no 'disability' 27 (54%) of respondent agreed that they 'gifted' was not normally excluded from organized school programme; 31 (62%) accepted that schools make provision to allow him/her progress at his/her learning pace. Only 2 (4%) of respondents claimed that parents of the 'gifted' come from low socio-economic class of the society. It was suggested that problems of the gifted be reduced by involving parents in continuous education about their gifted wards. Gifted children require more flexible educational experience; professionals should therefore be involved in their training. Parents' discussion groups will be expedient so that 'gifted' rearing experience could be made more enjoyable. Schools should employ specialist teachers and teachers should use discovery and learning techniques. Teachers should focus on higher order skills. The media has a role to play, especially by promoting the cause of the people with special needs.