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AN EXPERIENCE WITH
GIFTED AND TALENTED CHILDREN
Children come from elite families, not all go to school, but
each one of them is gifted in his or her way. They belong to the suburban slums of Mumbai,
and are active participants of an evening programme run by an NGO. Every year during the
festive season, these children participate in a weeklong preparation for their stall
items. Each one in his own way. They paint beautiful diyas / earthern lamps, make paper
bags, wrapping papers, draw and paint cards, stitch cloth and silk bags and do the
packaging themselves too. All this is done with just a little guidance and an opportunity
to prove themselves.
The selling of each thing made by them, gives them a sense of achievement, immense joy and
satisfaction of having done something on their own, as well as getting recognition for the
work done. These children come to us with an eagerness to do something and get a chance to
do something and to use their skills in some way.
Another experience is also related with the same NGO that runs another programme for the
street children, focusing mainly on providing non-formal education to them.
During their classes, which are held in the evenings, an effort is made to integrate
dance, body movements, songs, reading, writing, art and craft and games, help in making
the learning a fun filled experience for them. Some of them are extremely imaginative and
show an eagerness to learn something.
Ramesh a 14 year old boy is very good in finer motor skills, is neat with repair work such
as umbrellas, bags and other mechanical work. He does repairing work in the daytime and
comes to the class in the evening. He also has a good sense of humour and the ability to
make others laugh. He can crack jokes at almost anything said or done. He has good
physical intelligence as well as interpersonal intelligence.
Dilip another boy 12 years of age is very good at grasping words and showed an interest in
learning new things. During a word building game, he and Suresh contributed new words
whenever possible. Dilip is good at language / verbal intelligence.
These children definitely have gifts inspite of limited exposure and opportunity available
considering their background.
Creativity Enhancement Programme (CEP)
Inspired by this whole concept of letting children use their hidden potentials to
their best, instead of forced abilities to prove in school and otherwise, CEP was created
in May 1997 and since then many children have benefited from this programme. This
programme has been designed to tap the hidden strengths of children aged 8-15 years and
nurture those talents through specifically designed activities.
CEP is an ongoing programme wherein children who have continued on the programme for more
than a year, have shown a greater difference in their self, attitude, habits, building
relationships, leadership qualities and thinking more creatively (problem solving and
decision making) than those who have been in the programme only for a short while. The
changes become more evident over a longer period of time.
CEP is designed such that it is able to tap language, musical, logical, reasoning,
spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal and physical intelligence in young children.
The programme consists of the following components :
thinking : Helping them to use their imagination, problem solving and decision
making skills. E.g.: They are given a problem and asked to reason out the possibilities.
"If there was no Oxygen how would we survive" or " What if you go somewhere
without telling someone?"
development : Focusing on acceptance and tolerance of other peers and individuals
in a group. E.g. In order to make children accept other children with differences, there
was a first hand experience wherein one group of children had a special child in their
group who was accepted beautifully by the others and who enjoyed the activities with
Besides the incident mentioned above, discussions and
sharing experiences on social issues as well as working with mixed ages and gender also
helps them in their social development.
and movement : Using visualization and soft music, children were asked to follow
instructions using their body such as swinging their arms, hands and legs, becoming a tall
tree and with their hands up reaching the sky, touching the clouds and then falling down
as rain. Variations in instructions change according to the group.
Role-play : Children are given day-to-day situations to enact, where they are
face to face with conflicts with friends, family or school. e.g.: Your friend is in
trouble and you want to help her, although you are not talking to each other, as you have
expressions through art and craft : Based on a project or story built up by the
group or the theme of the programme, the art work or creative activities are done. e.g.:
if the theme is theatre, the group was taught paper mache puppets and asked to make a skit
and enact it in small groups.
work : Children are given different projects related to environment,
relationships, interests, people of the world etc. It involves sometimes doing fieldwork
too, like in one such programme, the children visited the people in the area nearby and
interviewed them to get information about the work they did and at the end of which they
did a report presentation. They enjoyed it a lot and were proud at their achievement.
games : The most exciting of all are the fun games that are designed such that
the children get a chance to not only move around, run and play but also be mentally alert
and active all the time. The games are based on teamwork, numerical, language and logical
At the end of approximately
12 sessions, keen observations done during that time, are put forth to parents during a
face-to-face interaction. Children also share their views and experiences during the
programme and sometimes even do presentations.