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Social-Emotional Needs of Gifted Children

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In 2010, the National Association of Gifted Children published revised Program Standards for gifted education.

Improving upon previous standards, NAGC embedded affective developmental goals within two sets of standards, rather than keeping social-emotional goals separate from the goals of academic learning. This shift reminds educators how affect and cognitive growth are intimately connected within the whole gifted child.

The two standards relating to the affective needs of gifted children are:

NAGC Standard 1: Learning and Development

  • Self Understanding
  • Awareness of Needs
  • Cognitive and Affective Growth
NAGC Standard 4: Learning Environments

  • Personal Competence
  • Social Competence
  • Cultural Competence
  • Communication Competence
In addition to their comprehensive standards, NAGC also offers a series of guiding questions. These questions prompt educators and parents to reflect and assess whether their efforts and resources are best meeting the needs of gifted children.

Program Standard 4's question is particularly interesting in how it relates to affective needs.

Has a learning environment that is conducive to intellectual safety, trust, and self-exploration been created by recognizing the importance of positive communication, social skill and leadership development, and cultural competence as students explore their individual, intellectual, and creative differences?
The concept of safety and trust are embedded within this question but they cannot be stressed enough.

Educational psychologists know that without safety and trust in the classroom, a student can never fully engage in learning and develop a full array of competencies necessary for a successful life or career. NAGC's Program Standards help educators and parents keep an eye on these essential objectives necessary to a comprehensive and effective gifted program.

Read More About Affective Development and Gifted Students


April 07, 2020


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