The importance of the name ‘GT Scholars’
When we launched the GT Scholars programme, we wanted to create a programme that would have a high impact on students attainment, particularly for students from lower income homes. We wanted to help students understand that they are gifted and talented and that they are capable of achieving their goals in school and in life regardless of their current attainment or family background. GT Scholars seemed like an appropriate name.
However, we were met with some hesitation. People would often challenge us with questions like;
- Why is the programme only for gifted and talented children?
- What about average children that aren’t gifted and talented?
- My child isn’t gifted, can you support him so that he can become more gifted?
These questions were really useful because they helped us understand that there were many misconceptions about the phrase “gifted and talented” and more importantly, people were quick to label their children as ‘average’, ‘not really gifted’ or ‘below average’ but few parents actually saw their child as “gifted and talented”
For many years, gifted and talented has been reserved for the highest achieving students in school. People often think of gifted & talented children as children that are naturally talented in Maths, English, Science, Computing, Music, Art, Drama or Sports.
However, we like to think of this from a different perspective.
We know that children can be gifted with high levels of empathy, confidence or even a high level of patience. Others are gifted in public speaking, caring for others or speaking up on behalf of others. Students can be gifted in entrepreneurship, creativity, perseverance or leadership…the list goes on.
It’s amazing when you look at gifted and talented from a new perspective, you begin to realise that ALL children are indeed gifted and talented.
Psychology tells us that we when we think of children as ‘average’ or ‘below average’, we are effectively perpetuating the problem of low attainment. In psychology, this is sometimes called the ‘self-fulfiling prophecy’.
If more parents and teachers saw that their child had the potential to be a lawyer or a scientist, they would probably have a very different approach when dealing with challenging subjects. Likewise when children see that their parents and teachers believe in them, they automatically approach things very differently.
Too many parents or teachers think of children as ‘average’ or ‘below average’ – it was no wonder that children continue to get ‘average’ grades.
So we would like to challenge you to rethink the phrase “gifted and talented”.
When we as parents, teachers, tutors and mentors begin to accept each child as gifted and talented and embrace their individual talents, only then, will we begin to see just how amazing they really are!