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Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 2

post #21 of 927
Thread Starter 
I know exactly what gifted programs are like. As a child I attended both the pullout and the full-time type. I was given every indulgence and then some by my regular teachers when I attended the pullout program, and never had to make up work.
post #22 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
We should, really. And the disturbing thing is that "gifted programs" are often filled with kids who are from a higher socio-economic status than the median socio-economic status of that school district.
That's because of several factors:

1. Teacher bias.
By the way, I live in a lower SES area -- definitely lower middle-class, mostly Hispanic. The special ed. coordinator at the elementary school for which we're zoned told me, "We've never had [a gifted child] before."

Bull. They haven't been looking.

2. Intimidated parents who don't push for the accomodations their kids need and who believe teachers when they say "all children are gifted."

3. Parents who may not know themselves that their child is gifted -- they just know he's bored and acting out.
post #23 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I know exactly what gifted programs are like. As a child I attended both the pullout and the full-time type. I was given every indulgence and then some by my regular teachers when I attended the pullout program, and never had to make up work.
I experienced the same thing through out elementry school.

Funny how quickly I was labeled "lazy and unmotivated" when homework increased in junior/senior high and I could not keep up.

Testing....still got all A's.
Homework.....usually not completed.

As a result I had poor self esteem and did not know what was wrong with me. I was kicked into the hall, assigned detention, told I needed to work up to my potential, and was denied learning disability testing.

Well......finally last summer I went to get tested on my own. I am in the 98% ADHD.
post #24 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I think IQ testing is problematic at best, and focusing on a particular brand of intellectual development is unwise.

I also think "gifted" labelling sets up a hierarchy among children, where "gifted" children can be made to feel like they are better than other children.

I think the labelling can lead to arrogance.
Testing anyone for any kind of program is difficult. There is no one perfect test or set of tests that is going to make everyone happy. For special education children, there is both federal and often state and city money that school districts can use to offset the cost of testing children with appropriately trained professionals. If you were to pay to have your child tested for giftedness by a trained educational psychologist, that person would use a battery of tests. However, there is no extra money districts can use to test kids for giftedness. It has to be funded out of the general pot. This is why giftedness is often tested for using one test that gives an approximation of IQ - meaning that it is not truly an IQ test but a standardized test that translates roughly to IQ. This is a limited measure but it is the best schools can do. It does not test for any kind of creativity nor does it allow for language and culture differences. There is just no money to do this. Sometimes, districts do find the money to use more than one test but this is not common.

The label of giftedness sets up a hierarchy among children and occasionally arrogance among children and parents. But, it also serves to enable children to have their needs met. If done appropriately and sensitively, the labelling is kept to a minimum. However, in public schools, the children all know who is in special ed and who is in counseling and who is in the gifted program. It is just part of human nature to organize people into groups and to protect one's own self worth by labelling. There is no way around it. But, a good school staff will work hard at developing the gifts of all children.

That being said, I was not traumatized by being called a mentally gifted moron (I was in the mentantally gifted minor program in CA).
post #25 of 927
i really like the multiple intelligences model.

http://www.ldpride.net/learningstyle...20Intelligence

all kids have areas of strengths and areas of challenge. if an area is a child's strength, i would consider that child "gifted" in that area. i look at gifted on an individual basis--not as a comparision to other children.

all types of intelligence are not equally respected and nourished in american society and i believe it is a huge disservice to kids.

that said, yes some kids have stronger strengths than others and they deserve to have their strengths and challenges nurtured in the way best suited to them. all kids do.
post #26 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee
Also.....I believe that all children are gifted.

It is our job as parents and society to help them identify those areas and to encourage them.

Being gifted at academics is no better then being gifted musically.....or being gifted in woodworking.......or in dance......

Though for some reason society seems to equate academic achievement with happiness and success.
Sorry, but I have to disagree with your statement, and rather strongly.

I believe all children are unique and special if that is what you mean by "gifted."

I believe that all children have value and deserve to be treated with respect, if that is what you mean by "gifted."

I believe that many children have talents and those talents, when present, should be encouraged, if that is what you mean by "gifted."

However, I do not and cannot believe that all children are academically advanced, that their brains process information faster and retain it longer than the norm; that their ability to make connections between and among disparate objects and events is normal or universal, nor that it is normal or universal for a child's intellectual development to be far in excess of their age, if that is what you mean by "gifted."

Hope that helps clarify.
post #27 of 927
*sigh*

I keep typing out these long posts and erasing them.

This issue is a sore spot for me. I just want to say that I really agree with what thismama has said, and to me there is nothing PC or disingenuous about the statement that no child is average. Every person will fall at a different point in the distribution for different aptitudes and most people will have at least a few aptitudes in which they are significantly to the left or right of the curve. I do not think that the culturally-determined set of aptitudes measured by IQ scores should be privileged in the way that it is or seen as determinant of the quality of someone's mind or their ability to learn. In fact I think that people with very high IQs are often among the most reluctant to change their habits of thought, once established.

It is only my experience, but my experience tells me that IQ is a poor predictor of just about anything. I think it does all children a disservice to focus on identifying those with "special needs" (disabilities, giftedness, whatever) rather than providing non-hierarchical, open-ended opportunities to develop interests and aptitudes.

I will post this before it gets any longer and I delete it again!
post #28 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I really don't think focusing on intellect is useful in parenting. I think it is already overrated in this society. My own approach to parenting is about meeting my child's emotional needs as much as I am able. I feel that doing this will allow her to grow fully into herself, including intellectually.

Of course this is true of parenting! But not of schools. It is the job of the school to be focused on intellect. Schools are primarily for teaching academics to children. Schools do not have the funds or the time to be focused on such a breadth of needs.
post #29 of 927
Thread Starter 
Quote:
However, I do not and cannot believe that all children are academically advanced, that their brains process information faster and retain it longer than the norm; that their ability to make connections between and among disparate objects and events is normal or universal, nor that it is normal or universal for a child's intellectual development to be far in excess of their age, if that is what you mean by "gifted."
I'm confused, CB, coz I thought you didn't like the label gifted to describe those things?

When I talk about "all children are gifted" I mean these things:

Quote:
I believe all children are unique and special if that is what you mean by "gifted."

I believe that all children have value and deserve to be treated with respect, if that is what you mean by "gifted."

I believe that many children have talents and those talents, when present, should be encouraged, if that is what you mean by "gifted."
post #30 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Sorry, but I have to disagree with your statement, and rather strongly.

I believe all children are unique and special if that is what you mean by "gifted."

I believe that all children have value and deserve to be treated with respect, if that is what you mean by "gifted."

I believe that many children have talents and those talents, when present, should be encouraged, if that is what you mean by "gifted."

However, I do not and cannot believe that all children are academically advanced, that their brains process information faster and retain it longer than the norm; that their ability to make connections between and among disparate objects and events is normal or universal, nor that it is normal or universal for a child's intellectual development to be far in excess of their age, if that is what you mean by "gifted."

Hope that helps clarify.
That is EXACTLY what I take issue with.

Only being academically gifted counts as being gifted.

That is BS.
post #31 of 927
post #32 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I am not intending to be PC or disingenuous.

I feel like a lot of discussion of gifted children falls into the realm of plain old bragging. But when it is challenged, people run back to the idea that their children are special, that they have to deal with such unique and different things that parents of "average" children cannot possibly relate to, because those people never have to deal with unique challenges, kwim?
Perhaps the nugget of contention here is that for many parents, this is true, and it's the area in which I think parents of gifted children have the most in common with parents of (other) special needs children. No, when it comes right down to it, a parent of an average child really cannot understand, on a deeply sympathetic level of knowledge and experience, what it's like to be the parent of a child who's profoundly retarded...and for the same reasons, a parent of an average child really can't understand what it's like being the parent of a child who's profoundly gifted, either. Yes, we can try, and yes, we can be empathetic (and should be!) but no, I think that there's a point where you need to talk to the BTDT crowd of people who have gone through the same crud as yourself in dealing with a child who is radically different from the norm -- and the more different that child is, the more I tend to think this is true.
post #33 of 927
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nora'sMama
I do not think that the culturally-determined set of aptitudes measured by IQ scores should be privileged in the way that it is or seen as determinant of the quality of someone's mind or their ability to learn.
I totally agree.
post #34 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I also feel that gifted school programs are great. Smaller class sizes, creative methods of learning, catering to students' individual needs. Wonderful. But how is it okay that we don't do that for ALL children? Any rationale for that that I can conceive of really disturbs me.
How will they create the masses who follow without question?
post #35 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Perhaps the nugget of contention here is that for many parents, this is true, and it's the area in which I think parents of gifted children have the most in common with parents of (other) special needs children. No, when it comes right down to it, a parent of an average child really cannot understand, on a deeply sympathetic level of knowledge and experience, what it's like to be the parent of a child who's profoundly retarded...and for the same reasons, a parent of an average child really can't understand what it's like being the parent of a child who's profoundly gifted, either. Yes, we can try, and yes, we can be empathetic (and should be!) but no, I think that there's a point where you need to talk to the BTDT crowd of people who have gone through the same crud as yourself in dealing with a child who is radically different from the norm -- and the more different that child is, the more I tend to think this is true.
post #36 of 927
Besides that.....the norm? Who decides what is the norm? Society?!?

Ewww....

This is why I am homechooling/unschooling. I do not believe in the comparisions and labels that public and private schools place upon MY children.

My real problem is not with offering accelerated programs. I am fine with that. It is HOW it is done.

If it were more like college from kindergarden on....I would be fine with it. Where each child/family could customize their child's education based on strengths, interests, talents, etc.

Until the system runs like that:

A) I want No part of it.

B) I will stand strong that labels are harmful....to both so called gifted students as well as the ungifted students.

I know a girl who found out she was valvictorian (sp?) She did not believe in labeling and requested that the school select someone else. They refused.

She dropped out of school. Talk about taking a stand!
post #37 of 927
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Perhaps the nugget of contention here is that for many parents, this is true
Well, yes it is true. Heck, it is true for me in parenting my daughter that I deal with unique challenges that not everyone else can relate to, but that doesn't mean she needs a gifted label, kwim? I think it is true for many of us.

Quote:
No, when it comes right down to it, a parent of an average child really cannot understand, on a deeply sympathetic level of knowledge and experience, what it's like to be the parent of a child who's profoundly retarded...and for the same reasons, a parent of an average child really can't understand what it's like being the parent of a child who's profoundly gifted, either.
No, not for the same reasons, because being a parent of a child who has profound developmental delays is very, very different from being a parent of a child who receives a positive label, great accolades, and shiny predictions for his/her future. Completely different things.
post #38 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I know exactly what gifted programs are like. As a child I attended both the pullout and the full-time type. I was given every indulgence and then some by my regular teachers when I attended the pullout program, and never had to make up work.
That's great, but it's certainly not the norm.
post #39 of 927
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
How will they create the masses who follow without question?
Oh but see it's fine to shortchange the 'average' children, coz they will be sheeple anyway, according to the logic. It's only the gifteds whose minds we must protect.

ETA - Coz after all, aren't they the infrareds or whatever they're called anyway, the ones who are coming to save us so we don't have to worry about how bad we screw up?
post #40 of 927
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
I'm confused, CB, coz I thought you didn't like the label gifted to describe those things?
I don't. I was using her label. Like I said, I would prefer the term "asynchronous development" because that doesn't carry the connotation of being élite or privileged and it doesn't confuse the notion of quantifiable intellectual ability with that of talents, which is my main gripe with multiple intelligences theory.
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