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The Importance of Teacher Creativity in Teaching Gifted Students

By Radu Ana Maria – Phd. Student  – West University of Timișoara, Romania Research assistant/ Clinical Psychologist – The Collective of Scientific Research in Neurosciences, “Doctor Gheorghe Preda” Psychiatric Hospital – Sibiu, Romania

Gifted students are not necessarily only characterised by impressive academic performances. While giftedness is regularly associated with educational accomplishments, it is important to keep in mind that it represents something more complex than this. There are specific cognitive, creative, affective and behavioural traits of giftedness, but each individual can exhibit a unique pattern (Callahan 2017). For this reason, teaching gifted students requires quite a creative and flexible approach.

Research shows that creativity is an essential factor in the educational environment that boosts students’ academic performance, motivation, focus abilities, class engagement, excitement and interest. Besides, creative learning surroundings can contribute to the development of pupils’ creative thinking, encourage them to be original, to think out of the box and increase their emotional growth (Davies et al. 2013).  Furthermore, creative learning environments offer students more meaningful experiences and a sense of belonging because it allows and encourages pupils to express themselves, be more involved in classroom activities and have initiatives (Jeffrey 2006). Various studies bring evidence regarding the ways in which teachers can promote creativity. For example, Sharp et al. (2008) cited in Davies et al. 2013, suggest that teachers should have the ability to understand their students’ needs, the different learning styles and intelligence types and Braund and Campbell (2010) state that creativity could be encouraged if teachers would develop less rigid, prescriptive lesson plans. In order to create this creative learning environment and benefit from all its advantages, teachers should be as creative and open as possible.

Furthermore, a systematic review regarding creative learning identifies five studies that characterise a creative teacher as someone who understands that a student’s potential can be discovered in time; that students need more opportunities to develop skills and abilities to demonstrate their capacities. Besides, creative teachers should have a positive attitude to facilitate class engagement and students’ expression of their personal stances on different topics (Davies et al. 2013).

Moreover, having a creative environment and a teacher in teaching gifted students could be even more important. Gifted children require a teacher that adopts a multifaceted approach in the classroom to be able to keep them engaged, to allow them to grow both academically and personally. This special category of students could be surprisingly mature, could show advanced creative problem-solving abilities, and emotional depth and be highly curious. For teachers to be able to respond to all the needs of the students, especially the gifted students who might have unique needs and could bring a certain amount of challenge to the teaching process, they should have innovative abilities and a creative mind (Callahan 2017).

To conclude, giftedness could bring a lot of excitement in a classroom but also a certain amount of challenge. Gifted students are individuals who demonstrate great academic abilities and/or highly artistic or physical abilities. They are complex minds who require a creative and able teacher to integrate, stimulate, and support them in their educational journey in a creative learning environment.


Burgess, L., & Addison, N. (2007). Conditions for Learning: Partnerships for Engaging Secondary Pupils with Contemporary Art. International Journal of Art <html_ent Glyph=”@amp;” Ascii=”&amp;”/> Design Education, 26(2), 185–198.

Callahan, C. M. (2017). The characteristics of gifted and talented students. In C. M. Callahan & H. L. Hertberg-Davis (Eds.), Fundamentals of gifted education: considering multiple perspectives (pp. 153–166). Routledge.

Davies, D., Jindal-Snape, D., Collier, C., Digby, R., Hay, P., & Howe, A. (2013). Creative learning environments in education—A systematic literature review. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 8, 80–91.

Jeffrey, B. (2006). Creative teaching and learning: towards a common discourse and practice. Cambridge Journal of Education, 36(3), 399–414.