Many students, including gifted students, benefit from small class sizes. While many schools average over 20 students in a classroom, classes at the Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG) averaged 10 students per class in the Investigators Program and 12 students per class in the Innovators Program in 2019. Due to our small classes, low teacher-student ratio, and teaching assistants, we are able to individualize the program for each and every student.
Here are 5 benefits of small class sizes for gifted students:
1. Individual Attention
Students can receive more one-on-one attention with a low teacher-student ratio. Instructors are able to get to know their students and nurture their individual strengths. Consequently, students are more likely to have their needs met.
2. Increased Flexibility
Smaller class sizes make it easier for teachers to implement a flexible curriculum. At SIG, we provide gifted and talented students with a flexible curriculum to stimulate their intellectual curiosity. We nurture the inquisitiveness of gifted students by encouraging students to pursue topics of interest to them. When faced with open-ended problems in SIG classes, students gain the flexibility to focus on their interests while also gaining exposure to new topics and multiple perspectives. The focus on applying knowledge to authentic problems also helps reframe familiar concepts by demonstrating applications in everyday life.
3. Supportive Environment
Small class sizes often feel like a community. Smaller classes are less daunting, allowing students to feel more comfortable voicing opinions, especially among like-minded peers. Students have more opportunities to participate in class discussions, receive individual feedback, and share creative ideas. As a result, this cooperative learning environment increases the confidence of students.
4. Fewer Distractions
Smaller classes are easier for teachers to manage and ensure students remain on task. Fewer disruptions result in more efficient use of time in the classroom. Likewise, students easily distracted by errant behavior from peers often focus better in small classes where the majority of students are on task.
5. More Engaged Learning
Students in smaller classes can gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter by exploring open-ended problems. Through problem-based learning (also known as PBL), students in SIG courses learn collaboration and creative problem solving skills directly applicable to the modern global market. In SIG courses, students face open-ended problems and work with their peers to research, evaluate, and develop creative solutions while utilizing knowledge from a variety of disciplines. This dynamic approach to learning gives students a deeper understanding of complex real-world problems and also challenges gifted students.
Are you interested in your gifted student benefiting from small class sizes at SIG? With 3-week day and residential program options, SIG offers over 80 courses in STEAM plus humanities and fitness for gifted, creative, and academically talented students ages 5-17 at program locations throughout the United States. Online learning programs are also available.