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Specific Ways of Thinking:Implications?
 
This chapter is inspired by Jeanne Siaud-Facchin's book: "L'enfant surdoué: l'aider à grandir, l'aider à réussir"  (helping the gifted child to grow up and succeed). It helps understand the mechanisms of this specific way of thinking and its consequences to learning in school or in life in general.

This way of thinking can be explained as follows:
 
Arborescent thinking deploying in several directions, simultaneously, extremely fast and without boundaries. While it is a important source of creativity, it also implies:
  • Difficulties to identify relevant information; all these thoughts in all directions may be confusing when the child is faced with a question, a problem or a task at school,
  • An absolute need to organise these thoughts within a sturdy frame so that the child feels affectively, emotionally and socially secure.
A "global" information processing system, with analogic and intuitive thinking. While it enables a very rich and deep understanding, with photographic memory, it also implies:
  • Serious difficulties to adapt to the traditional schooling systems which treat information in details and sequentially (one thing after the other),
  • An inability to develop arguments or justify their reasoning. Gifted children usually can't explain their results, they consider the answers obvious, they know intuitively.
  • The necessity to use in parallel the traditional school learning methods and their own knowledge aquisition systems; they do not want to feel useless, rejected or stupid.
A thinking mode that needs meaning to function and complexity to develop and bloom. While it is an endless source of information data stored in an exceptional memory, it also implies:
  • Difficulties or even refusal to acquire skills or information which they consider useless, too simple or not exciting enough to justify their attention and efforts,
  • Constant challenges of established rules and norms, to satisfy their needs for meaning,
  • To "learn how to learn" while taming their impatience through inventive and stimulating methodologies, with deep enrichment on all subjects.
A way of thinking constantly integrating affective aspects of its environment. While it is a rich incentive to learning, it also implies:
  • Frustration, even rejection of some teachers whom they see as incompetent in their teaching methods or behaviours,
  • Excessive, even pathological reactions if these children, who try to master their environment and their variations, cannot find reassurance. They are scared by what they do not understand and they know, from a very young age, many things that they cannot put in perspective due to their short life experience.
  • A need for constant reassurance on their learning progress, with a learning methodology adapted to their needs and offering a long-term continuity and homogeneity, thus reducing affective disruptions as much as possible.
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