Austin Creek Educational Systems Professional Quality Educational Presentations and Consultation
  • Jan



    Texas Independent School Districts offer services for both gifted/creative and advanced/bright students.  At its core the primary difference between the two labels is reflected in the way the students learn.  Gifted/creative learners first see the overall picture or essence of what is to be learned.  Their brains process from whole to part; they understand new learning from a conceptual point of view, not the detail point of view.  Advanced, or bright, students process from part to whole.


    Much of school learning focuses first on part to whole. An example is in grammar usage that shows how to use each part of speech to create a whole; first for a sentence, then a paragraph, then an essay.  Educators teach parts of speech, subject-verb agreement, and other grammar rules in order to develop writing skills. Advanced/Bright students do very well with this type of presentation of learning.  Gifted/creative students’ brains rebel at this type learning for these reasons:

    • They already know what they want to say or need time to ponder and create so that they can “get it on paper” as quickly as possible.
    • Their brains do not understand or need to see how part, part, and part make a whole.
    • They will write, then go back to edit with correct grammar and usage.


    Try this analogy:


    Think of the parts as trees in the forest and the whole as the forest.


    Advanced/Bright students:   The educator shows them each tree and announces that the trees make a forest.  The Advanced/Bright brain says, “Okay, I can see that each tree makes up a forest.”

    Gifted students:  The educator shows them each tree and announces that the trees make a forest.  The Gifted brain says, “No, I don’t see a forest; I see a stack of trees.” Or, the gifted brain says, “No, I don’t see a forest; I see a group of trees and I am lost in them.” The gifted/creative child asks, “What is this really all about?”


    In this case the educator should ask the students to describe or draw a forest.  When they have done so, the educator could ask them to focus in on one part of the forest and describe/draw it.  This helps the gifted brain focus on the parts that make the whole it saw at first.



    These two charts do add insight into how they process differently in various school situations.  They also offer belief as to why school must differentiate learning for gifted/creative students.


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