CTYI in DCU launches new programme to help gifted kids

Sonja Tutty

A new online programme was launched to help parents and teachers of gifted children on November 23rd in DCU.

Centre of Talented Youths in Ireland (CTYI) launched EGIFT, a free online programme to help teachers and parents struggling to provide suitable education and care for high ability children.

The online programme gained 250 accounts after being open for only one week with a majority of users located in Ireland.

The launch of EGIFT follows a study by CTYI which found that 54 per cent of parents with gifted children believed the student was not given work that suited their abilities. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of parents said their children did not receive different assignments than other classmates.

CTYI Academic Coordinator, Dr Leanne Hinch explained to The College View that teacher training does not cover gifted students enough – if at all – meaning many teachers do not know how to identify or provide suitable work for gifted students.

“It’s quite known that in our teacher training there isn’t a whole lot that deals with high ability or gifted kids.” She said. “Every child is entitled to an education that is suitable for them, but we often find that high ability kids aren’t catered to as explicitly as kids who are struggling or kids in the middle.”

Hinch added that some gifted students underperform or hide their abilities for a number of reasons, “Kids will underachieve to make friends or to fit in which happens particularly with girls and you also get ‘twice exceptional’ kids who are high ability but also have special needs which can mask their ability levels.”

EGIFT contains five strains to help identify, teach, empathize, adjust curricula and care for a gifted child’s wellbeing. The programme was partnered with Erasmus Plus and was developed by experts throughout Europe.

Based in DCU, CTYI opened in 1992 and offers gifted children from the ages of six to 17 enrichment programmes alongside their school subjects. This includes forensic studies, film, and nanoscience.

For students in transition year, they offer first-year college classes on Tuesdays and Fridays. But due to high demand, they will be offering this early university entrance programme from Monday to Friday in the 2020 semester.

Early University Entrance Programme Organiser, Dr Catriona Ledwith said, “The young students were found to have performed as well – and at times better – than the regular cohort of first-year students taking the same modules.”

Sonja Tutty

Image Credit: Army