Q1: If a gifted student is experiencing deep emotional problems and cannot attend school often, what is the best solution?
Ans:It is important for both the teachers and the parents to understand the cause of the student’s emotional problems that lead to his/her absence from school. Is it because of the school curriculum, peer relationship, problems with his/her teachers or problems in his/her family?
A good teacher-student relationship helps ease the tension between the school and the student. Whenever the student is absent, the teacher may need to keep contacting him/her and show concern and care to the student. If possible, ask a helpful student in class to write down the work of the day and keep all the assignments for the student who misses school. Never show anger or impatience towards the student when he/she returns to school.
Use MSN, Facebook or other e-channels or means to build up the relationship with him/her. Once he/she trusts the teacher, it is easier for the teacher to find out the reasons behind his/her absence.
The teacher also has to find out the interests and strengths of the student. Arrange suitable activities or tasks that are challenging and exciting to him/her. Assign a senior schoolmate who has similar interests and ability to him/her as his/her mentor so that he/she can have somebody to talk to at school. The teacher can also suggest doing an independent project on the topic that he/she is interested in.
Seeking the support and cooperation from his/her parents is indispensible. Ask the parents what the student does when he/she is at home and try to communicate with him/her. Make the parents feel the school understands the student and is working with them. If the parents feel they lack the skills, the school can refer them to the school social worker and arrange family counseling or some seminars and workshops to enhance parenting skills.
The school has to play an active role in motivating the student to return to school and find out the cause of the problem without blaming or finger-pointing to either the student or his/her parents. There is no single solution to the problem but the school has to try its best to invite parents’ participation in the intervention strategies and arrange some gifted programs that can cater for the cognitive as well as the affective needs of the student.
Q2: Do you recommend telling the child or not whether he/she is gifted? The child is now 14 years old.
As the child is already 14 years old, s/he may be expected to understand the concept of “being gifted” and his/her academic results and performance may have already proven his/her high ability. However, there are quite a lot of variations in your consideration of whether or not and how you should communicate with the child about his/her giftedness. Crucial information such as when the child took the standardised intelligence test and had his/her IQ score reported to you, as well as the actual academic performance, personality, interpersonal relationship, self awareness of the difference between him/her and the peer, etc. of this child are not provided in your question. Thus there is no yes-or-no answer to your question as it could be a concern as to whether “being gifted” would cause positive or negative labeling effect to the child without a thorough understanding of the child and clear communication between parents and child. As a matter of fact, it is most important for the parents to first understand what giftedness means so as to discuss with their gifted kids what giftedness means to them. The positive effect of realizing one’s own high IQ may lead to a stronger drive to achieve higher goals while a negative one may cause confusion to oneself if there is a significant gap between ability and performance, and stress may be intensified by higher expectation.
More importantly, parents are strongly advised to observe the strengths, interests and learning needs of the child, so as to work together with the child to identify appropriate learning opportunity and resources for realising the potentials and capitalizing on the talents.
If parents want to know more about the needs of gifted children and the ways to nurture them, they may consult the professionals. The Parent Consultation Centre of HKAGE aims to help parents meet the needs of their gifted children by providing parenting knowledge and skills. Parents who face issues or problems on parenting
gifted children are welcome to seek advice from their education adviser.
Helpline: (852)3698 3947
Email address: email@example.com
Monday to Friday
11.00a.m. – 12.30p.m. and 2.30p.m. – 4.30p.m.
( closed on public holidays )
Q3: 有些孩子是資優混合型，可以怎樣處理及教育？(例如: 混合活躍/自閉/讀寫障礙…等)
Q5: 我們的女兒接受過中大的測試，Full Scale IQ 138，為 “Very Superior Range”級別，優於語言。前年透過考試，升讀小學一年，該校在區內課程屬深，英文科跳教早半年，數學科以英語教授，中文科以普通話教授。但開課月餘後，她已感課程納悶，幸好她 EQ 穩定。上學期取得共四項優良成績獎：全班及全級總成績第一，中文及英文全級第一。該校校長頗關心和愛護她，去年首次破格讓其跳升小三 。整體上，她都跟得上，三年級上學期的班內名次約在十名。今年春季，她曾参加過中大的季度式的資優兒童課程：數碼動畫；但很失望，這是風馬牛不相及的東西，其他科項也大概一樣，故不打算再報讀其他季度的課程了。除上述安排外，挍方再沒有其他配套和資源，我們也沒有其他辦法了。現向高教授請教，本港可會有其他途徑，給予相應的培育，不致令失去更好栽培，埋沒了她的天份？
家長的培育、支持與鼓勵對每一個孩子的成長都起着關鍵的作用。培養孩子是一項知易行難行的使命，家長要培育資優兒成才更是任重道遠。有研究指出，父母對子女的高度期望是引導孩子走向成功的重要因素之一，而父母的參與和所付出的精力、家庭環境、父母與孩子之間的關係等均是影響孩子將來成才與否的重要因素。資優兒對學習的興趣及熱情、父母對孩子在學術、體育及社交情感等各方面的發展是否提供充足卻又比較靈活的支援和鼓勵、資優兒的選擇空間、愉快且深刻的閱讀體驗、有助發揮潛能的機會和毅力及良師的指導都是孩子將來成才的重要關鍵。但上述各點並不需要父母是資優教育的專家才可成事。當中，家長可以以身作則，為資優兒於學習及待人處世方面建立積極正面的榜樣，這對培育資優兒成才是很重要的。除此之外，家長亦可以透過很多不同的途徑，促進子女的認知及情意發展。例如多帶子女到書局、圖書館等地，從小培養他們良好的閱讀習慣；或者於課餘時間一同進行一些教育性的遊戲，也可以對子女的認知及情意發展起正面積極的影響。況且，資優兒學習的途徑可以多元化，除了學校的課程外，還有多樣化的課外活動，有用的網上資訊，與能力相若的同儕切磋等，有良好學習態度與習慣的資優兒可以透過不同的途徑發揮所長，提升智能。家長如欲索取詳細有關培育資優兒的資訊、意見及服務，可致電 3698 3947 與香港資優教育學院諮詢中心聯絡。如欲了解有關教育局轄下的網上課程、各項全港比賽、對學校支援的詳情，請致電 3698 3472 與課程發展處資優教育組聯絡。
Q10: What strategies would you recommend to someone who’s initiating to place
more emphasis on learning goals / effort in a community where the majority
of teachers, parents and students have their eyes mainly on performance
Q11: The emphasis on performance goal is actually reinforced by the whole society. Parents and teachers have to be very alert when they are working with
“children” and “young people” who are still developing, in particular in
critical times, such as entering a gifted program, a good secondary school and
a good university. And these are based on “performance”. How can we change the rigid system to a more flexible one?
Q12: 請問如何平衡學校成績 performance goal 及真正 learning goal (因每天的時間是有限的)?
Q13: 怎樣鼓勵或實行高小學生 learning goals?
Questions 10-13 are all related to performance goals versus learning goals. It is important to emphasize that the two are not mutually exclusive and, in fact, can
reinforce each other. For example, a performance goal can be used initially to
motivate a student to learn. Once a student begins to see progress towards reaching his/her performance goal, he/she may be motivated to continue that learning by
setting learning goals. Once a learning goal is set, the student should be encouraged to establish an action plan that would enable him/her to reach that goal. In other words, focus on developing the student to be able to both set goals and realize them.
For both performance and learning goals, parents and teachers should be supportive
by providing timely feedback and positive reinforcement during the learning process.
Q14: You are surely gifted! Could you share your personal experience of how you
had been mentored by your family and school? Any recommendations for
parents and teachers today from your experience?
I was fortunate that during my formative years, I was given the freedom and trust to
pursue what really interested me and was held responsible for my actions and
decisions. I also had excellent role models who demonstrated the importance of
setting high standards and learning from every experience (be it successful or not). Finally, I was constantly reminded of my responsibility to serve and to give.
Q15: Please elaborate why it’s difficult to give constructive feedback in a Chinese
society given that the parents nowadays are modern and well-educated.
A Chinese society is hierarchical, in that parents are perceived as an authority figure
by their children. This often poses a barrier in effective communication, in
particular in developing skills such as active listening and asking questions which are
important in formulating constructive and actionable feedback. Of course,
well-intentioned and well-educated parents should have less difficulty in this area.
Q16: Is it possible to have both mindsets depending on the situation?
Q17: 人是否能同時擁有兩種 mindset? 而這一種綜合的 mindset 是比純一種好還是只是兩頭不到岸？
Questions 16 and 17 are both about mindsets. One mindset is not necessarily better than the other, and a lot of people are not clearly one way or another. Descriptions
of the two minds enable us to know their characteristics and, based on a critical
self-analysis, arrive at a better understanding of our behaviours and make the necessary adjustments as appropriate. Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset, provides a
much more thorough discussion of this topic.
Q18: The advice: work smart, don’t work hard. Please comment.
To learn something well requires time on task; it also requires having effective
learning skills and strategies. The advice “Work smart, not hard” simply reminds us
that instead of just spending time and effort on a task, we need to ensure that what we do is in fact effective.
Q19: 如果 external reward 其實是 punishment, 小學生(or 小孩子) 應該怎樣提起其動機才好？難道是說道理？澄清一點，我都認同 external reward 有可能令孩子變得功利，越來越貪心。
With deference to Alfie Kohn, I would not go as far as describing all external rewards
as “punishment.” To motivate someone, it is often necessary (especially initially) to
use an external reward. The point is if someone is motivated only by external rewards, then it is unlikely for him/her to develop into a self-motivated person. We
need to encourage young people to move from being extrinsically motivated to
intrinsically motivated, just like we want them to move from pursuing performance goals to learning goals.