As every child is different, enrichment math is needed for those who fully understand and learn math at a significantly faster rate than most of their peers. To put things in perspective, imagine trying to paint a huge wall with nothing but a small art brush. Although you would eventually get to your needed goal, it would be a very long and slow process.
That is how a gifted student would feel being in a math class that neglects their educational needs. As learning math is heavily based on a sequential curriculum, pacing becomes an issue. These gifted students then watch their classmates learn the material they’ve already mastered, hindering their motivation for academic progression and interest in the subject.
Enrichment math, on the other hand, tends to their learning needs with an engaging curriculum at their math level, providing a much-needed environment to foster their mathematical talents. Here are just a few reasons on how exactly enrichment math benefits gifted students and their education:
Incorporating enrichment math into a gifted student’s education provides them with a wholesome and meaningful learning experience, as a standard curriculum alone only restricts their intellectual potential. It’s a myth that, since it’s easier for them to learn math, gifted students do not require a more differentiated education. Without attention to their learning needs, a gifted student’s mathematical talent gets neglected, wasting the opportunity to mentally flourish.
Enrichment math not only ensures their success in school, but also helps them to pass prominent entrance exams with flying colours. They’ll be able to gain admission to schools with the IB program, which immerses students in a challenging yet dynamic curriculum emphasizing international endeavours. Admission to IBT is highly achievable as well due to enrichment math, helping the students in exploring international business and technology. SCITECH also becomes a viable option for gifted students, as they’ll gain a more extensive perspective in mathematics, science and technology. Students will have a higher chance of receiving AP program admission as well, preparing them for higher level math through exposure to university-level material. Overall, this accelerated math grants opportunities for students to reach math excellence beyond that of regular, generalized classroom settings.
As motivation is one of the biggest factors that leads to success in academic performance, enrichment math develops a gifted student’s incentive to foster their talent through challenges. Being placed in a setting that presents engaging challenges at a cognitive level, the student actively reaches for goals that enhance their understanding and appreciation of math. Such is demonstrated through a study where gifted student participants advocated for the inclusion of accelerated learning in their education. They felt that extracurricular math had helped them feel more mentally stimulated in school, perceiving it as a positive opportunity to meet their needs.
If their needs faced negligence, then the chances of a gifted student dropping out to seek other educational institutions increases.
A particular study sample showcased this scenario, as the results had shown that gifted students were nearly three times more likely than other students to drop out, pursuing higher education like that of a community college GED instead.
With this accelerated math, a gifted student would only be persuaded to engage in math contests to utilize and showcase their mathematical abilities. Participating in math competitions like the International Mathematical Olympiad further inspires these students to hone their math skills, feeling proud of their accomplishments and willingness to succeed. Later on, the math skills achieved with enrichment math provides a successful foundation in other subjects of STEM and in life, as math is heavily used everyday to propel development of society.
Without enrichment math, a gifted student will face constant repetition and lack of depth in their learning, increasing their boredom in the subject as they gradually lose interest in academic achievements. These achievements, being easily attainable from the stagnant curriculum, won’t seem of much value to them while low grades will only emphasize negative reactions to school. This culminates in forming a low self-concept (perception of oneself), as they continue to doubt their abilities and intellect.
When this happens, it becomes less obvious that these children are gifted in math. They disengage with their learning and become apathetic towards their academic performance. However, enrichment math lets these students demonstrate their outstanding capabilities, reinforcing only the positive effects of fulfilling their learning needs. Through this accelerated math, they’ll feel more determined to utilize their gift to achieve great feats in their education, cultivating strong confidence in their math knowledge and themselves.
For a gifted student, enrichment math is the key ingredient in giving them a promising and rewarding outlook on their mathematical talent. It’s the garnish of challenges that completes their appetite for an optimal and valuable math education.
At Math Project, we offer gifted students a complete and advantageous math learning experience through our Enrichment Program, giving them the confidence they need to partake in national and international math contests like Mathematica, Kangaroo and many more distinguished competitions. For more on our accelerated learning curriculum, send us a message on our “Contact Us” page!
Citations: Teaching Mathematics to Gifted Students in a Mixed-Ability Classroom – davidsongifted.orgMathematically Gifted Accelerated Students Participating in an Ability Group: A Qualitative Interview Study – frontiersin.org Underachieving Gifted Students – verywellfamily.com Six Myths of Gifted Education That Lead to Overlooking Talented Minority Students – news.virginia.eduEngaging High Achieving Students at Risk of Dropping Out – gssaweb.org
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