GT Learners

Social and Emotional Needs

What are the Characteristics of GT Learners?

GT learners, like all learners, are individuals with varied charcteristics. GT learners can be grouped into categories like the 6 listed below:
  1. Successful
  2. Challenging
  3. Underground
  4. Drop Out
  5. Double Labeled
  6. Autonomous
Positive characteristics include creativity, independence, high achievement, self confidence, and social awareness. Negative characteristics include defensiveness, frustration, tentativeness, anger, and boredom.

What do GT Learners Need?

GT learners, like all learners, have varied needs. Consider the following when working with GT students.

  1. Some are perfectionists and need help developing a growth mindset that embraces failures as steps to success
  2. Many are acutely atune to injustice and suffering in society and need opportunities to work on social issues in a meaningful way.
  3. Some are chronic underperformers and need help finding motivation and setting goals.
  4. Many are creative thinkers and need opportunities to approach open-ended problems in their own ways.

How can Teachers Support GT Learners?

In order to maximize the potential of GT learners, consider using the following strategies and practices in the classroom:


  1. Appeal to GT learners' intelligence to help them understand their own emotional needs and chracteristics.
  2. Promote a growth mindset and create an environment where it is safe to fail and where mistakes are seen as a part of the learning process.
  3. Use humor in the classroom.
  4. Allow students to express their individuality by giving them opportunities to show what they know in different ways, incorporating choice in the classroom when possible.
  5. Provide opportunities for service learning projects to capitalize on the social awareness of many GT learners.
  6. Most importantly, be aware of the unique characteristics of each GT learner and individualize instruction to meet needs accordingly.