How to Encourage Leadership in Gifted Students

Two Methods:Encouraging Leadership in Gifted Students at HomeEncouraging Leadership in Gifted Students at School

Most schools have gifted programs for children with high intelligence, creativity and problem solving skills who require additional challenges and extra flexibility when it comes to meeting their educational needs. While these programs are focused on learning and academic progress, they often do not include lessons on leadership. Gifted students have the potential to be great leaders and to motivate other students around them. Encourage leadership in gifted students by providing support at home for diverse interests and activities and expanding curricular and extracurricular activities at school that will introduce concepts and models of what makes a good leader.

Method 1
Encouraging Leadership in Gifted Students at Home

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    Provide a stimulating and enriching environment for your gifted child. Encourage the development of diverse interests and allow your child to make observations and draw conclusions about people, events and activities.
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    Promote healthy self esteem. Young leaders need to develop self esteem in order to be effective.
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    Support your child as he or she chooses what types of activities to become involved in. When you assist in the selection and planning of activities and interests, your child will have the confidence necessary to emerge as a leader.
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    Talk about current events in your home. Gifted students will develop leadership skills when independent thought is fostered.
    • Listen to what your child has to say about social, economic and political news, and be respectful, even if the views do not line up with your own. Healthy debate and discussion will allow your child to test his or her ideas in a safe environment, encouraging leadership.
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    Offer opportunities for decision making. In addition to participating in the decision making process for family matters, he or she should be trusted to make decisions for his or her own day, week, summer, etc.
    • Let bad decisions stand. Even making the wrong decision will enhance the leadership capabilities of your child because he or she will engage in self evaluation and use bad decisions to inform future decisions.

Method 2
Encouraging Leadership in Gifted Students at School

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    Emphasize leadership training in all academic areas at school, including the arts.
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    Include reading and discussion about great leaders. Biographies, autobiographies and articles can be read, analyzed and discussed by gifted students.
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    Use science classes to allow students to engage in critical thinking, analysis and creative problem solving. Leaders will be able to identify and discuss the contributions science has made to the modern world.
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    Utilize humanities classes to help gifted students express their leadership through oral and written communication. Leaders need to prepare and present ideas clearly and authoritatively, and students can learn that by writing and delivering speeches, conducting research and doing reports.
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    Include the fine and performing arts. Gifted students need to explore creativity and the trends and lives of artists who have been leaders in their fields.
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    Offer specific courses on leadership. This is especially useful for gifted students at the secondary school level.
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    Nurture leadership in gifted students with extracurricular activities. Group participation and team activities will teach kids to encourage and motivate each other.
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    Enroll in summer classes, and keep gifted kids engaged in learning and activities when they are not in school. For example, high school students might try college level courses over the summer or can tutor younger students.

Tips

  • Introduce gifted students to community leaders who can serve as mentors. When a gifted student has leaders to look up to and work with, leadership skills will develop naturally.
  • Encourage volunteer work. Gifted children can observe, practice and model leadership skills with people who need their help. Volunteering in hospitals, childcare facilities and churches can be helpful and appreciated.

Article Info

Categories: School Leadership | Leadership and Mentoring