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The Importance of Summer Learning Opportunities for Gifted Students

Posted by Categories: Gifted Education, Gifted Students

gifted summer programIt’s a beautiful summer-like day here in Connecticut! It makes me think about and look forward to summer learning. I love the possibilities of summer learning — they are limitless — as students are not restricted by core curriculum, time-specific schedules or pre-selected products. It’s a time when students can pursue topics and research that truly interest them. They can contribute to their discovery of what fields of study will likely garner their attention in future career fields. They can also eliminate fields of study that don’t generate that passion through participation in studies that don’t carry the excitement they find elsewhere.

It’s also a time to develop creativity. Creative thinking is something we highly value at our Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) program. We want students to be able to capture ideas, information, and connections among concepts that stimulate them to create new products, solutions, and services that contribute to the progression of knowledge and improve other people’s, as well as their, lives. When we remove the ceilings from their rooms (and brains), they have a view of the limitless universe. When students are allowed to select their topics, their choice of products, their timeframe, and their questions, creativity is bound to occur.

With all this great learning and thinking going on in the summer, we might forget that there are many other great benefits to summer learning in programs such as ours. We find that our alumni report to us that they experienced the benefits of independence and lifelong friendships, as well as academic enrichment and learning beyond the classroom. If you’d like to see more detail on the benefits of summer learning at SIG, we welcome you to view this webinar we made a few years ago.

Regardless of whether your students attend a program like SIG, online or onsite, commuter or residential, or choose to work independently at home, I hope you will encourage participation in fields of study that are not typically provided in schools, encourage thinking that is broad, unique, and creative, and encourage students to have fun with discovering what makes them tick, emotionally as well as intellectually.  Here’s to a summer with bright sun shining over bright minds!

All the best,

Barbara Swicord, Ed.D.
CEO, National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT)
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG)

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