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How should we handle ‘gifted and talented’ students in our education system? Study shows the way

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Children often are labelled as ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ in our education system owing to their academic or extracurricular activities. But what does it mean to say a child is ‘gifted’ and how ‘special’ are they really? Is there a particular age at which they develop  the so called ‘giftedness’? If so, how should the teachers in the education system handle such students? A new study by Prof. Partha Pratim Roy from the South Point High School, Kolkata and University of Maryland College, USA, sheds some light on these questions. Drawing from his experience of teaching for more than 20 years and teaching 1500 high performing students, Prof. Roy suggests that ‘discovery teaching and learning’ can help not just in identifying the gifted minds but also in nurturing their abilities. The study also points out instances of how ‘ordinary’ students can turn creative to win accolades in prestigious science competitions by facilitating metacognitive abilities of the learners . Emphasising on the ‘gifted and talented’ in an education system, does not help the greater cause of education, but promotes elitism and racism in the system, argues the researcher.