Selecting ‘Gifted’ Children

Back at the beginning of the month I put an article here on the blog about some of the challenges of ‘labeling’ children as gifted:

3rd July Article

Here’s another fascinating extended piece from New York Times looking at the problems that emerge from attempts to identify such children and move them in to separate programmes at very young ages. A number of experts share their perspectives. Well worth a read for anyone who wants to understand the pros and cons of giftedness programmes for younger children:

New York Times Debate Article on Giftedness

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One Response

  1. I’d stumbled upon this article too, last week. I think we tend to forget the role of parents in gifted children’s lives. A lot of us grew up in systems that did not understand or meet our needs and many of us were simply given that ‘extra’ time/quality input, lateral perspective, material to chew on by our sensitive and perceptive parents. No one really should know a child better than the child’s parent.

    Sadly, there’s less and less of that happening. As a teacher, one increasingly finds oneself in the unique, embarrassing and slightly horrifying position of having to explain a child’s profile to a parent and being met with resistance or worse, complete and utter astonishment.

    Bringing up the kids cannot be relegated to institutions and strangers i.e. teachers (no matter how pretty their smile or how decisive their approach). The home is the first and most crucial learning environment where a LOT can be provided if only the parents are willing to see, do what it takes.

    Of course, this means that in a society that prides academic achievement we will also have plenty of parents flogging their kids to achieve ‘their’ dreams rather than accepting their kids specific needs which might be radically different to ‘Papa’s dream.’

    I just keep returning to this one fact over and over – that enlightened teaching and enlightened parenting have to go hand in hand. It looks like we might need ‘how to parent’ schools soon, (like teacher training schools) because it is dwindling into a dying art.

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