Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 21 - Mothering Forums

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#601 of 927 Old 08-02-2006, 11:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
I've got to be honest-- I have not seen this nastiness of which you speak on this thread.
I think it's partly because people often don't perceive a problem when it's not their issue. Not comparing the anti-gifted crowd to racists, but often whites don't understand ingrained racism or white privilege and how small comments or remarks can be inflammatory or offensive or ignorant or just plain wrong. It might also be that you haven't seen some of the downright nasty attacks (which is why a lot of us don't post in the subforum). They were deleted, so it's understandable that you haven't seen them. There was even one made in a breastfeeding forum, for goodness sakes!

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What I have seen are a lot of folks who made some very thoughtful posts in support of their thinking on the subject, and for most of them, this position is part of their entire outlook and philosophy about education in general.
I see posts like that too . It's not all bad.

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If anyone is being somehow persecuted for their approach to parenting, I'd say it's the unschoolers, the radicals, the ones outside the medical and educational establishment.
Definitely. But it's not a competition. We can recognise that lots of parents have challenges without having to compete for who has it hardest.

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"Giftedness" is viewed as being a laudatory label in every institutional educational setting I can think of, in a way that really sort of glosses over the fact that ALL kids have unique abilities and needs. Even the "average" ones. Maybe ESPECIALLY the "average" ones.
That's where a LOT of the problem lies - a lot of people see giftedness as a good thing, when it's not. It's classed in the same bracket as ASD and ADHD by most experts. Having a smart child is great, and it's rewarding to think they're advanced and clever and wonderful and all things happy. But it's not the same as seeing your child suffer and struggle due to giftedness and the asynchrony which comes with it.

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If your personal view of giftedness is so divorced from this linear-ed model that you're offended by being lumped in with what someone here called the "Volvo Vigilantes" then why take offense to some probing questions about the nature of this hard-and-fast diagnosis you believe you've found?
It's not just my personal view - the majority of parents with gifted kids feel the same way. Usually it's only parents without a gifted child who think it's a good thing. Which is what we're trying to educate people about - there are SO many misconceptions being perpetuated on this thread ... why wouldn't we want people to see how it really is? I know a lot of people don't (and won't) understand, but it's worth a try.

Volvo vigilantes is funny , I haven't heard that one before.
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#602 of 927 Old 08-02-2006, 11:47 PM
 
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I think the whole 'testing' issue is wrong.
People test their children to legitimize what they know about their child, most of us don't need the tests to know but we need them to prove to others that these children need to have thier needs met. Its not a system any gifted parent would have put in place and sadly there are parents who push to have their intellectually smart kids labeled gifted even if they aren't. Gifted isn't about being smart its a whole different bird entirely.

The kids whose parents pushed them for the tests, who were just high achievers didn't ever do well in the gifted classes as if your child is smart and learns well in a classroom then they should be where they will do their best. I cringe about people wanting their kids to be labeled gifted when the kids are probably just smart who would want that for their kids....

I'd love to have a labeless, testless world where we can all just be ourselves and all differences are respected, and every single kid has their educational needs met......

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#603 of 927 Old 08-02-2006, 11:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Shiloh
I think people think gifted isn't special needs it is in so many ways.
Gifted children are at risk for a wide range of issues, depression, suicide, dropping out, drug addiction. Pretty common symptoms for growing up being misunderstood, left out, targeted.

gifted isn't better its different, very different.
I hate it when 'special ed' thinks that kids who have struggles are more worthy than kids who are gifted....every child deserves to have an enironment they can positively learn in period.
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#604 of 927 Old 08-02-2006, 11:53 PM
 
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I think the whole 'testing' issue is wrong.
People test their children to legitimize what they know about their child, most of us don't need the tests to know but we need them to prove to others that these children need to have thier needs met. Its not a system any gifted parent would have put in place and sadly there are parents who push to have their intellectually smart kids labeled gifted even if they aren't. Gifted isn't about being smart its a whole different bird entirely.

The kids whose parents pushed them for the tests, who were just high achievers didn't ever do well in the gifted classes as if your child is smart and learns well in a classroom then they should be where they will do their best. I cringe about people wanting their kids to be labeled gifted when the kids are probably just smart who would want that for their kids....

I'd love to have a labeless, testless world where we can all just be ourselves and all differences are respected, and every single kid has their educational needs met......
Again,

No person who truly knows what having a gifted child is like would *ever* want that label for them. It's like saying you wish you kid could fail at life, or that they were showered with struggles and difficulties. Not something I'd ever want. Unfortunately, I don't have the choice.
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#605 of 927 Old 08-02-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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I think it's partly because people often don't perceive a problem when it's not their issue. Not comparing the anti-gifted crowd to racists, but often whites don't understand ingrained racism or white privilege and how small comments or remarks can be inflammatory or offensive or ignorant or just plain wrong.
honestly I think it is a fair comparison in many aspects. You cannot understand what another culture/identity goes through if you aren't from that group and don't really want to believe that they exist or have their own issues.


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That's where a LOT of the problem lies - a lot of people see giftedness as a good thing, when it's not.
amen

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Having a smart child is great, and it's rewarding to think they're advanced and clever and wonderful and all things happy. But it's not the same as seeing your child suffer and struggle due to giftedness and the asynchrony which comes with it.
amen

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#606 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 12:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LadyMarmalade
I think it's partly because people often don't perceive a problem when it's not their issue. Not comparing the anti-gifted crowd to racists, but often whites don't understand ingrained racism or white privilege and how small comments or remarks can be inflammatory or offensive or ignorant or just plain wrong.
Well, OK, but let me remind you that I WAS classified as a "gifted" kid and retain a lot of the supposedly agonizing quirks that people on this thread are discussing-- the tendency to not socialize easily, the sheer inability to focus on slow-moving curricula, etc.

So, um, it IS my issue. I just don't see how more educational pigeonholing does anything to fix the fundamental problems in our educational systems, because the problems that exist for "gifted" kids are just as real for "average" ones. Our current model is doing a good job of really serving no one.


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That's where a LOT of the problem lies - a lot of people see giftedness as a good thing, when it's not. It's classed in the same bracket as ASD and ADHD by most experts. Having a smart child is great, and it's rewarding to think they're advanced and clever and wonderful and all things happy. But it's not the same as seeing your child suffer and struggle due to giftedness and the asynchrony which comes with it.
Again, I think almost every kid on earth is asynchronous to some extent, and our current PS system does very little to acknowlege that fact. "Gifted" kids aren't really all that special in that respect, from what I can see.


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It's not just my personal view - the majority of parents with gifted kids feel the same way. Usually it's only parents without a gifted child who think it's a good thing. Which is what we're trying to educate people about - there are SO many misconceptions being perpetuated on this thread ... why wouldn't we want people to see how it really is?
Well, I don't think that most parents of what we call "gifted" children do see that label as being a negative or difficult one. Unless your definition of "giftedness" is a lot different than the standard one that schools hand out like candy.

I HAVE heard a lot of barely-disguised gloating, though. And I see nothing inherently wrong with gloating about a kid's accomplishments-- don't we all do that?-- but I disagree that we need institutions of learning to reinforce that kind of parental glee.

I don't know what misconceptions you're talking about. So far, I've seen several side discussions about anti-intellectualism in America, the socioeconomic stacked deck of GATE/TAG programs, and a few others. Differing viewpoints, but nothing that screamed "WRONG WRONG WRONG" to me.
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Well, I don't think that most parents of what we call "gifted" children do see that label as being a negative or difficult one. Unless your definition of "giftedness" is a lot different than the standard one that schools hand out like candy.
well of course if gifted is by mensa definition for intellectual you are talking 2% max of the population (subtract the homeschoolers but in a gradeschool of 300 kids thats a max of 6 kids who are gifted. Most 'gifted and talented' programmes in schools tend to have a kid to three or so from each class, thats statistically impossible IMO

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I HAVE heard a lot of barely-disguised gloating, though. And I see nothing inherently wrong with gloating about a kid's accomplishments-- don't we all do that?
I don't gloat about my kids accomplishments its not a great thing when your 8 month old runs trust me, people think bench marking is positive the earlier the better...not really, gifted kids are more work and more worry. But I don't ever brag about my kids their accomplisments are not mine they are theres to share.

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#608 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 12:25 AM
 
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Did you see me refer to the gifted label as schools use it? No. I spoke about the scientific and medical use of the word - which defines and diagnoses a differing brain function. Your local school is of no significance to me - if you want to advocate for change so that understanding is fostered, great. Good luck. They can call the sky yellow for all I care. I'm talking here about support needed by parents of gifted children, and the challenges they face.

You say you're opposed to a specific system of labeling based on a child's relationship to a standard linear curriculum ... that's great, but that's not my issue. My issue is the treatment and lack of support - and downright hostility - parents of gifted children receive here on MDC.

I'm not assuming or implying anything - your words speak loudly enough for themselves. As I said before, perhaps you don't understand how you're coming across.
You don't care that many, many people use the gifted label this way? I have not lumped anything together in this thread. My words have been very specific. *This Use* of the gifted label is a problem to me. And it's a very common use, not something strange they only do in my town...

People are not being hateful here. If they were, I guarantee a mod would pull the post.

If you cannot handle anything less than agreement, this probably isn't the thread for you.

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#609 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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I'm at least moderately curious about these brain scans.
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#610 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 12:29 AM
 
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eightyferretos glad to see you here!

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#611 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 12:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Shiloh
well of course if gifted is by mensa definition for intellectual you are talking 2% max of the population (subtract the homeschoolers but in a gradeschool of 300 kids thats a max of 6 kids who are gifted. Most 'gifted and talented' programmes in schools tend to have a kid to three or so from each class, thats statistically impossible IMO
Well, yes. Though the MENSA org relies exclusively on standardized IQ testing, doesn't it? And we've all pretty well agreed that IQ testing is a very culturally subjective measure of a rather limited spectrum of human possibilities.

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I don't gloat about my kids accomplishments its not a great thing when your 8 month old runs trust me, people think bench marking is positive the earlier the better...not really, gifted kids are more work and more worry. But I don't ever brag about my kids their accomplisments are not mine they are theres to share.
Running at 8 months is a mark of giftedness? Hadn't heard that one...
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#612 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Shiloh
I don't gloat about my kids accomplishments its not a great thing when your 8 month old runs trust me, people think bench marking is positive the earlier the better...not really, gifted kids are more work and more worry. But I don't ever brag about my kids their accomplisments are not mine they are theres to share.
Why was it not a great thing that your 8 month old ran? I'm lost. My 8 month old ran all over the place, and I certainly never considered it to be a negative thing...

And maybe you've missed the part about how many of us who are arguing against the gifted label carried that same label as children, and have children who would qualify for the gifted label, if we wanted it. I certainly know what it's like to be "gifted" kid. I know what it's like to have a child who meets the criteria for gifted but hasn't been given that label, because as unschoolers we've never found it relevant. I can tell you that my child is doing much better socially and emotionally than I was at 13. I certainly don't believe that refusing to view her through the "gifted" lens has harmed her.

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#613 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 12:46 AM
 
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I see two very different uses of the term gifted here.

The vast majority of complaints over the gifted label address the misuse by many public school systems in equating "smart" (ie straight A's) with placement in the "gifted" program.

This isn't some weird obscure use of the term gifted. I'd venture to guess this is how most people are introduced to the term.

Having multiple brain scans that reveal altered brain function and a diagnosis of "profoundly gifted"....I haven't seen anyone challenge this use of the term, but maybe I missed it?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Having multiple brain scans that reveal altered brain function and a diagnosis of "profoundly gifted"....I haven't seen anyone challenge this use of the term, but maybe I missed it?
I'm most curious about this one. I don't keep up with the latest in neuroimaging, but AFAIK, its application to cultural concepts like "pedophilia" or "intelligence" or "race" are still sorta on the controversial fringes of medicine.

But I could be wrong about that one. :
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Running at 8 months is a mark of giftedness? Hadn't heard that one...
achieving developmental milestones early is often one of the first signs of gifted.

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Why was it not a great thing that your 8 month old ran? I'm lost. My 8 month old ran all over the place, and I certainly never considered it to be a negative thing...
I didn't mean negative but its not 'great' like better, a child who does more early on presents challenges in themselves that a child who is not doesn't...am I making sense? A kid that does things early and is advanced presents its own challengers its not 'better' than another kid because he did things early its just who he is.

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And maybe you've missed the part about how many of us who are arguing against the gifted label carried that same label as children, and have children who would qualify for the gifted label, if we wanted it.
I don't think that labeling someone gifted makes them gifted you are or you aren't. Now the educational label is a whole different story. But you are gifted or you aren't you can mislabel someone but that doesn't make them gifted. I think its high time the gifted community got input into 'gifted' programmes but no one really wants our input into the school system right?

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certainly know what it's like to be "gifted" kid. I know what it's like to have a child who meets the criteria for gifted but hasn't been given that label, because as unschoolers we've never found it relevant. I can tell you that my child is doing much better socially and emotionally than I was at 13. I certainly don't believe that refusing to view her through the "gifted" lens has harmed her.
oh I totally agree ds isn't school age and I have taken an unschooling approach with him and allowing him to direct his learning not forcing him to read when he doesn't want to or encouraging him to build bench mark skills. I don't view my one child as gifted my other as average I hate the 'label' gifted but I am part of the gifted culture/identity.

I hate that that identity is defined by a narrow scope of school 'educators' who know so little about the different intelligences and seek to warp what good could really be done but unlabelling, unstructuring education as kids can learn in all environments.

I love the unschooling ideas as I think children should not be confined to age peers for their education.

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#616 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:14 AM
 
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I'm most curious about this one. I don't keep up with the latest in neuroimaging, but AFAIK, its application to cultural concepts like "pedophilia" or "intelligence" or "race" are still sorta on the controversial fringes of medicine.

But I could be wrong about that one.
Yep, you could be. Neurobiologically, the scans have a lot to show. What were you curious about?
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#617 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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Yep, you could be. Neurobiologically, the scans have a lot to show. What were you curious about?
What do they show? I read your link in the other thread; it points out that their brain scans are "atypical" and their "heads are larger" which strikes me as being just a little silly. Like phrenology.
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#618 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:18 AM
 
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I see two very different uses of the term gifted here.

The vast majority of complaints over the gifted label address the misuse by many public school systems in equating "smart" (ie straight A's) with placement in the "gifted" program.

This isn't some weird obscure use of the term gifted. I'd venture to guess this is how most people are introduced to the term.

Having multiple brain scans that reveal altered brain function and a diagnosis of "profoundly gifted"....I haven't seen anyone challenge this use of the term, but maybe I missed it?
There wasn't a direct challenge, it's being done through hostility and disbelief. Oh, and maybe the words "all children are gifted" dismiss the profound effect giftedness has on the brain of a child who is truly gifted rather than just smart, talented or advanced.

Also, it's not only the public school system who misuses the word
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#619 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:22 AM
 
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From the same, er, interesting link:

"Chinese drawing instruction produces the same kinds of dramatic juvenile output, but doesn't lead to true artistry, or to spontaneous learning of artistic principles."

I am wondering whose "artistic principles" we're talking about here, and whether the Chinese themselves might not disagree with that assessment.

hmmmm.
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And maybe you've missed the part about how many of us who are arguing against the gifted label carried that same label as children, and have children who would qualify for the gifted label, if we wanted it. I certainly know what it's like to be "gifted" kid. I know what it's like to have a child who meets the criteria for gifted but hasn't been given that label, because as unschoolers we've never found it relevant.
When you say your daughter hasn't been given the "gifted" label, what exactly do you mean? That you haven't told her she could be considered gifted? That you don't tell other people she's gifted? That you haven't had her "officially" declared gifted? That you don't dwell on her giftedness or see it as her most defining characteristic?

I'm not clear on exactly what the people who are opposed to "labelling" are actually opposed to. If I recognize, like Dar, that my daughter would probably meet the criteria for giftedness, and I tell someone else that, have I just labelled her in a way that someone here finds troublesome? Or is it only a problem if I tell my daughter herself that she's gifted? Or if I put her in a gifted program in school? Or if I dwell on her giftedness and see it as the characteristic that most defines her?
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I think its not the label but how people use it,
like a kid who is dislexic (lol like me is labeled learning disabled...
you can be very smart, even gifted but have a 'learning disablity' label on it it can be a confining definition...and when it comes to gifted its so misused and abused and I think we need a new term for the tribe personally...

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#622 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
I just don't see how more educational pigeonholing does anything to fix the fundamental problems in our educational systems, because the problems that exist for "gifted" kids are just as real for "average" ones. Our current model is doing a good job of really serving no one.
Educational pigeonholing is an issue, especially with every Tom, Dick and Harry claiming giftedness, I agree. It really takes away from the reality of dealing with true giftedness and the support that those parents need. But educational pigeonholing is different to recognising the special needs associated with true giftedness and addressing them in children who suffer from those needs. The problems which exist for gifted kids are, of course, just as real as the problems average kids face, but it's a whole different kettle of fish. Average kids don't have a brain which functions differently causing them those problems. Lots of different kids have lots of different problems - they ALL need to be recognised and supported. Average kids DO NOT face the same challenges that gifted kids do.

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Again, I think almost every kid on earth is asynchronous to some extent,
but not to the point where they find it difficult to function in society - and if they did, they deserve support
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and our current PS system does very little to acknowlege that fact.
If the American public school systems don't provide support to children who are struggling it's definitely a problem!!

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"Gifted" kids aren't really all that special in that respect, from what I can see.
You can't be looking very hard.

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Well, I don't think that most parents of what we call "gifted" children do see that label as being a negative or difficult one.
Again, you can't be looking very hard

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Unless your definition of "giftedness" is a lot different than the standard one that schools hand out like candy.
Of course it is - the 'gifted' label American schools hand out isn't what true giftedness is ... and I've been saying that for years!!!

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I don't know what misconceptions you're talking about. So far, I've seen several side discussions about anti-intellectualism in America, the socioeconomic stacked deck of GATE/TAG programs, and a few others. Differing viewpoints, but nothing that screamed "WRONG WRONG WRONG" to me.
I don't doubt that at all. I believe you see nothing wrong with what has been said.
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#623 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
From the same, er, interesting link:

"Chinese drawing instruction produces the same kinds of dramatic juvenile output, but doesn't lead to true artistry, or to spontaneous learning of artistic principles."

I am wondering whose "artistic principles" we're talking about here, and whether the Chinese themselves might not disagree with that assessment.

hmmmm.
Which link?

Edited to ask:
Are you talking about the link I posted in the support forum? So you've taken something from the support forum to ridicule or challenge it on another thread?

Thanks for proving my point! I guess you've shown you really DON'T see the problem.
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#624 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:43 AM
 
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Educational pigeonholing is an issue, especially with every Tom, Dick and Harry claiming giftedness, I agree.
Then, er, who's the gatekeeper of the "gifted" diagnosis? I've seen it asserted that parental intuition is the ultimate marker of giftedness. And if not them, then who? The testmakers? the pricey neurologists? the teachers' union?

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It really takes away from the reality of dealing with true giftedness and the support that those parents need. But educational pigeonholing is different to recognising the special needs associated with true giftedness and addressing them in children who suffer from those needs. The problems which exist for gifted kids are, of course, just as real as the problems average kids face, but it's a whole different kettle of fish. Average kids don't have a brain which functions differently causing them those problems. Lots of different kids have lots of different problems - they ALL need to be recognised and supported. Average kids DO NOT face the same challenges that gifted kids do.

What, again, is "true giftedness?" And someone please, please tell me how these kids are so biologically different from "normal" kids that they need special support that the "normal" kids are routinely denied?
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#625 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:47 AM
 
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What point? That you don't like to put up with dissent in the ranks? I didn't post to the thread, because it is "support-only." Is that not enough respectful space?
No. The point that the support forum should be closed, like the abuse forum, because of situations where information is taken from there and shared/ridiculed/challenged/dismissed on other threads. It's hostile and disrespectful. Didn't you see the thread in the breastfeeding forum? Can you call that respectful? Making fun of people (and their children) in a support forum in a totally different place? I really don't think that's the kind of thing MDC should tolerate.
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#626 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:48 AM
 
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Then, er, who's the gatekeeper of the "gifted" diagnosis? I've seen it asserted that parental intuition is the ultimate marker of giftedness. And if not them, then who? The testmakers? the pricey neurologists? the teachers' union?



What, again, is "true giftedness?" And someone please, please tell me how these kids are so biologically different from "normal" kids that they need special support that the "normal" kids are routinely denied?
Honestly, for someone who claims to have grown up with the difficulties associated with giftedness, you really don't have much understanding of the topic.
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#627 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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No. The point that the support forum should be closed, like the abuse forum, because of situations where information is taken from there and shared/ridiculed/challenged/dismissed on other threads. It's hostile and disrespectful.
Goodness, I had failed to realize that dissent and probing equalled hostility and disrespect. As the parent of a "gifted" child, one hopes that you'll learn to cope with it. We're a tough bunch to shush, us "gifted" folks. :

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Didn't you see the thread in the breastfeeding forum?
Nope.

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Making fun of people (and their children) in a support forum in a totally different place? I really don't think that's the kind of thing MDC should tolerate.
Dude, you are NOT being made fun of, and neither is your kid! Your viewpoint is being challenged, and that's all. Me saying that giftedness is a load of bunk in no way belittles your child.
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#628 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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There wasn't a direct challenge, it's being done through hostility and disbelief. Oh, and maybe the words "all children are gifted" dismiss the profound effect giftedness has on the brain of a child who is truly gifted rather than just smart, talented or advanced.
But you just summed up the criteria a majority here and in the school system were gauged with for placement in a gifted program. "Smart, talented, advanced"....

How are you defining the difference between the widespread use of the term gifted in the school system, and what you are calling truly gifted?

I am wondering whether the term "truly gifted" makes any sense as a medical diagnosis. If a doctor is seeing a difference in brain function on an MRI, wouldn't a term that identified the different function be more helpful in distinguishing the condition than the abstract description of the brain as profoundly "gifted"?

That seems about as unhelpful as my doctor saying my son has "a broken heart". It's a loaded term that already has a very different meaning. It's completely unrelated to the actual function of his heart.

Is there any discussion of naming this specific brain difference so that it is understood apart from the common perception of catch-all academic gifted programs as described here?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#629 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:54 AM
 
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Honestly, for someone who claims to have grown up with the difficulties associated with giftedness, you really don't have much understanding of the topic.
Hmmm. That still doesn't answer my question. How, biologically speaking, do the "gifted" differ from the "average?" And who is the arbiter of what giftedness is?

I think those are fairly basic questions about this subject. If I lack understanding, I'm willing to gain it.
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#630 of 927 Old 08-03-2006, 01:55 AM
 
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Dude, you are NOT being made fun of, and neither is your kid! Your viewpoint is being challenged, and that's all. Me saying that giftedness is a load of bunk in no way belittles your child.
I'm not talking about this thread - I'm talking about the other numerous threads which have been deleted, and they started this exact same way ... people challenging whether giftedness existed, whether there were special needs involved etc - it soon turns into a really nasty thing. You're lucky you didn't see the things which were said - people deleted their membership over it. Sorry for not making that part clearer.
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