Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 27 - Mothering Forums

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#781 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField
Everyone wants to be tall and everyone wants to be gifted (again, within a cultural range of comfort). But we don't say, "all people are tall!". I'm very thin and "thin" is considered wonderful. But I was truly underweight and kids really mocked me. As I got older, people accused me of being anorexic, when in fact, it's just genes. I didn't like being thin. I tried very hard not to be. I tried to hide being thin with loose clothess. I hated my body for most of my life. But if I were ever to say anything like this, people would say, "What are you complaining about??? You're thin!!" and they would totally brush of my real issues because society likes the idea of thin (but not too much!) and people are really really tired of being bombarded with "thin".
*applause*
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#782 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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I need a show of hands on something:

Which of the participants feel that an IQ score range determines the use of the labels gifted, highly gifted, and profoundly gifted.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#783 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
If there's no way to divorce the discussion of "giftedness" from the public school system, then it seems to me that the true issue is the schools...
I agree 100% (and said so some number of pages back.... ) The problem is the public school system stinks and should be thrown out and re-created.

BUT, until that happens, we should identify and attempt to accomodate for "gifted" students.

-Angela
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#784 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pookel
What's wrong with giving her the best accommodation the school has to offer?
:

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#785 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
I need a show of hands on something:

Which of the participants feel that an IQ score range determines the use of the labels gifted, highly gifted, and profoundly gifted.
I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you asking if that is what we THINK should determine the use? Are you asking if that's what determines the use in our individual school districts? Are you asking of that's what's accepted as what determines the use?

confused....

-Angela
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#786 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 07:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField

But we don't say, "all people are tall!".
And, it makes no sense to pretend no one notices who is tall and who isn't or that tall is an artifical construct of the school system and if everyone homeschooled no one could recognize who was tall anymore.
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#787 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 07:53 PM
 
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I'm not sure what you're asking. Are you asking if that is what we THINK should determine the use? Are you asking if that's what determines the use in our individual school districts? Are you asking of that's what's accepted as what determines the use?
Sorry, I'll try to clarify?

For the people who, in this thread, advocate using this group of terms :gifted, highly gifted, and profoundly gifted (were there more, I can't remember?)

could you clarify how you determine who falls under which label?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#788 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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Look, I agree that it's a faulty model. I think we all agree on that.

What I want to know is, what, specifically, is the advantage to a fourth-grader who is doing calculus at home, to being placed in a fourth-grade math class where long division is being taught?

She doesn't have the option of going to a school that isn't broken. This is the only school she is in. She can sit in a class where she isn't learning anything, or she can go to a class where she would be learning something new. These are the only options THIS kid has, at the moment, in a school system that is not going to be fixed anytime before she graduates.

What's wrong with giving her the best accommodation the school has to offer?
We went through this already. Go through the thread and look for the tangent we went off on when someone said 'If homeschooling and private schools were not an option, what advice would you give". I answered there.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#789 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 08:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
"Acceleration" is a term tied to a view of learning that is linear and comparitive; a system in which a child's "needs" are defined, grouped, and mapped out in advance. It's a comparitive term...the child is "accelerated" in the sense that they are learning beyond *what adults expect a child their age to learn*. Acceleration only exists when adults are sitting there deciding for a child what and when they should learn something.
I think this is why this discussion goes around and around. Some folks are talking more about philosophically what they believe things should be and other folks are thinking more directly about the realities of life with their children and what it takes to get their needs met.

My reaction to reading this passage is that it would make perfect sense if I was living in a yurt in Montana with very little interaction or intention of interaction with the outside world. But, that isn't the life I have or the life I want. It would also make perfect sense if I had a child who was closer to typical age norms.

Instead I'm a homeschooler living in real time and in real space and interacting with other people. I have a child who enjoys learning with other people and seeks particular kinds of learning that are atypical for his age. We could pretend as we are out in the world that no one ever notices anything out of the norm. Just like I suppose I could pretend that I wouldn't notice a six foot tall nine year old or a eight year old piano prodigy, but honestly I would because we are all perfectly aware that these things fall outside of the norm. To notice isn't to place a value judgement of good or bad, it is just to be honest.

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Originally Posted by heartmama
You can look to homeschoolers for an inkling of the potential for "average" people with "average" kids to disprove the manufactured idea of "accelerated learning". Once free of expectations and comparisons, learning beyond your "age group" is just what happens at home. But it's just called "learning". There is nothing accelerated about it.
I disagree. I know a lot of homeschoolers. I see clear patterns of development. They aren't exactly the same as what may be expected for the child's chronological age in school. It may be a bit wider band - but it is an identifiable pattern. Are you actually claiming you see absolutely no pattern whatsoever? If you were asked to identify you'd say it is equally likely that an nine year old is reading a book with the level of vocabulary and complexity of sentence structure of War and Peace as it is Harry Potter? Equally likely to find a child who would be asked to play violin in front of an orchestra with one who is working on Twinkle Twinkle?
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#790 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 08:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
I don't think the model currently used in schools serves children well, and I think it's pointless to try to "fix" a faulty model. Putting a "gifted" public school 4th grader in a public school calculus class is like putting a new paint job on an old ford pinto... you may have made it look a little prettier, but it's still a crappy car that's likely to catch fire and burn up...

If there's no way to divorce the discussion of "giftedness" from the public school system, then it seems to me that the true issue is the schools...

dar
If the fourth grader is homeschooled and taking that calculus class at a college is a different for you? If so, how?
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#791 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
Sorry, I'll try to clarify?

For the people who, in this thread, advocate using this group of terms :gifted, highly gifted, and profoundly gifted (were there more, I can't remember?)

could you clarify how you determine who falls under which label?
Ah, okay. In that case, yes, I would use the most up to date IQ tests currently available. Not perfect, but improving. The best method I'm familiar with.

-Angela
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#792 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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People are born with a genetic range of potential height; nurture then plays a powerful role in determining if the person will reach their genetic potential. I think IQ is like that.
There seems little debate over what "height" measures. It generally means the vertical distance from point a to point b. Have we all agreed what is meant by intelligence? No. The definition differs from society to society, even person to person. So, without having agreement on *that*, we come to the IQ test. What does it measure? Well, we don't agree, and there is a wealth of research to prove or disprove the IQ test.

I could go on but this is why the phrase "All people are tall" seems inaccurate, but the phrase "all people are gifted" seems accurate to many here, and in general society. We share a common definition of height, but we are not in agreement as to what is meant by the term "gifted", or what is meant when we refer to "intelligence".

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#793 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by teachma
The only problem I've seen is that older peers are not necessarily what the gifted student needs. Let's see if I can explain what I'm thinking...Last year, SJ from third grade came into my fourth grade class for reading. She was reading at Level 50, and the highest group in her third grade class was reading at 38. So, she joined my fourth grade group of Level 50 readers. Seems idyllic, right? Well, Level 50 readers in the beginning of 4th grade are just slightly above average, whereas SJ's intelligence was superior. She could more easily make connections within the literature, comparisons between the group book and others she had read, and she could understand more of the figurative language more quickly. She did not require multiplie exposures to content topics as did her more "average" fourth grade peers. Despite acceleration, they weren't the best group for her. She needed more stimulating discussion about the books the group was reading. I still think my classroom was the best place for her, but just because I trust my methods as being sufficiently challenging for a gifted student...moreso than those of typical teachers. So I think her needs were met, but not in such an easy way as one might assume. Still, acceleration acknowledges the need for something else, and so it is certainly preferable to leaving the child and failing to recognize or address the situation.

Sorry- left a couple of typos in here by accident and can't find them now...lacking patience at the moment!
Just a question -- would she have been better off with 5th-graders, do you think??
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#794 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
I don't think the model currently used in schools serves children well, and I think it's pointless to try to "fix" a faulty model. Putting a "gifted" public school 4th grader in a public school calculus class is like putting a new paint job on an old ford pinto... you may have made it look a little prettier, but it's still a crappy car that's likely to catch fire and burn up...

If there's no way to divorce the discussion of "giftedness" from the public school system, then it seems to me that the true issue is the schools...

dar
I agree with you Dar. Knew it had to happen. Anyway, I think you're right: the system stinks. However, for some parents, it's literally the only viable choice.
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#795 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
If the fourth grader is homeschooled and taking that calculus class at a college is a different for you? If so, how?
I'd say the entire atmosphere at a college calculus course is different. There is a lot more individual freedom-- the kid could drop the class, the teacher could drop the student, etc. The kid can take 3 credit hours, or 15, or even 21 if he can hack it.

Profs have office hours for individual help if need be, but ultimately your responsibility for taking whatever away from the class that you wanted to is YOURS.

I'd actually like to see our public ed system go to a more university cafeteria-style approach for ALL kids, instead of the rigid age-based systems that force people to categorize kids as "above" or "below" some mythical "average."
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#796 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LeftField
Intellectually gifted is a status that many people seem to want and revere, but again, they don't mean like a child doing calculus in elementary. They want their kids to be comfortably smart, a little "smarter" than expected, like the mental equivalent of 6 ft tall, not 7ft tall because that just seems too odd. Once you get into the territory of being 7 ft tall or having an IQ in what pyschologists term the "highly gifted" range, it gets awkward and different accomodations must be made or the person suffers. No one really wants their kid to suffer or go through life being really really different, but we obsess over the idea of "gifted" because it seems to describe having gifts and blessings, being well-liked and successful, basically being the 6 ft tall equiv,...when in fact, a better term needs to be created to describe someone who is 2 std deviations above the norm.
... We do people a disservice when we say the equivalent of "all people are tall"", plus it's just not true. And yeah, maybe someone should come up with a more descriptive term to differentiate 6ft vs 7ft.
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#797 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar
And, it makes no sense to pretend no one notices who is tall and who isn't or that tall is an artifical construct of the school system and if everyone homeschooled no one could recognize who was tall anymore.
Yep!
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#798 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:27 PM
 
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The height/intelligence analogy, while cute, doesn't pan out for me, since nobody here agrees on what intelligence IS, how it's measured, or even whether it has a single demonstrable linear dimension.

:

Breaking out the tape measure is comparatively simple.
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#799 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes

I'd actually like to see our public ed system go to a more university cafeteria-style approach for ALL kids, instead of the rigid age-based systems that force people to categorize kids as "above" or "below" some mythical "average."
ME TOO. Giving students the freedom of choice makes all the difference in the world.
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#800 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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CB I'm a tiny bit surprised. I imagined you seeing, quicker than I did, the problem of comparing ambiguous controversial terms to universally accepted ones, in order to stabilize the former? Kwim? Or maybe not. Shoot just when I thought I understood what you were saying here....ah well!

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
The height/intelligence analogy, while cute, doesn't pan out for me, since nobody here agrees on what intelligence IS, how it's measured, or even whether it has a single demonstrable linear dimension.

:

Breaking out the tape measure is comparatively simple.
Okay, how about race? To say that "all children are gifted" is like saying "all children are black." Discuss.
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#802 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:37 PM
 
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The height/intelligence analogy, while cute, doesn't pan out for me, since nobody here agrees on what intelligence IS, how it's measured, or even whether it has a single demonstrable linear dimension.
I think one form of intelligence is your repeat ability to say what I said in a much smaller amount of space. So thanks, again

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#803 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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CB I'm lost.

Most of the people I know who identify as black would also be identified by others as black. For most people (in the south anyway) there is no disagreement over what is meant when someone speaks of a person who is "white" or "black". The rigid idea's about it are quite depressing.

So I'm not sure whether you are saying "All children are black" to point out that obviously, a white child is not black, or to point out that "black" like "gifted" is ambiguous? If so I just need you to clarify in what sense you mean it to be ambiguous. If all humans originally came from Africa...is this the ambiguity you see in the term "Black"?

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#804 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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Okay, how about race? To say that "all children are gifted" is like saying "all children are black." Discuss.
Both "race" and "intelligence" are purely cultural constructs, and nobody should be entitled to preferential treatment on the basis of either...

Does that work?
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#805 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
CB I'm a tiny bit surprised. I imagined you seeing, quicker than I did, the problem of comparing ambiguous controversial terms to universally accepted ones, in order to stabilize the former? Kwim? Or maybe not. Shoot just when I thought I understood what you were saying here....ah well!
Heartmama, I don't give a rat's pink sphincter what the heck we all call giftedness. I prefer "asynchronous development" because like I said earlier on this Tolstoi-length thread, it has less élitist cachet and doesn't sound like it was Christmas just for your special kid.

Really, you can call it "fried cheese" if you want. I don't care. However, what I was specifically responding to was the idea -- of which I am terribly, terribly tired -- that "all children are gifted." Or "all children are asynchronously developed," or "all children are fried cheese," or whatever. Like I've said before, they're all special, unique, valuable, and worthy of respect and fair treatment, but they're not all gifted, black, or tall.
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#806 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama
There seems little debate over what "height" measures. It generally means the vertical distance from point a to point b. Have we all agreed what is meant by intelligence? No. The definition differs from society to society, even person to person. So, without having agreement on *that*, we come to the IQ test. What does it measure? Well, we don't agree, and there is a wealth of research to prove or disprove the IQ test.
We can't agree on what gifted and what intelligence means in this thread, which is why, I guess, we keep going around in circles. I'm sure you feel the same way, that it's like trying to hit a moving target. Different societies probably have different opinions of what constitutes "tall" too. When I am talking about intelligence in this particular discussion, I am referring to mental processing. IQ tests are an imperfect way of measuring that, but they come closest to what I'm talking about. You asked for clarification on how various people were defining "highly gifted", "exceptionally gifted" and "profoundly gifted". When I refer to those terms, I am referring to IQ scores. I know that people can score lower than they should for a variety of reasons but I don't believe one can score much higher than they should (i.e. false positive). This article describes how some researchers found differences in brains scans between children in different IQ ranges. http://talentdevelop.com/BDRLTI.html
The higher the IQ, the later the cortex matured (and more rapid growth was seen, I believe). The difference in brain maturation was up to four years; they did not measure any children with IQs higher than 145. It was interesting to me, because it showed that, however imperfect IQ is, that there is some difference in brain scans between different IQ levels. (I have no opinion or knowledge on that site, btw, but my news page link expired and I found the same news article on that random site). Oh, and I dislike how they throw the word "smart" around in that article but it's a news article based on the research and they choose words to catch people's attention; I would love to read the actual research paper.

I don't know how else to describe what I mean. Maybe you feel the same way. I feel like we're not talking about the same thing (?), which is making it tricky. But, it's interesting nevertheless.
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#807 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eightyferrettoes
Both "race" and "intelligence" are purely cultural constructs, and nobody should be entitled to preferential treatment on the basis of either...

Does that work?
Purely cultural? Some -- and I'm not taking a stand here, for the record -- would argue otherwise. It's my understanding that forensic investigators are able to identify with some degree of accuracy the basic "race" of a human skull based on typical morphological differences between them. Also, it's my understanding that race can be genetically identified by the presence of particular haplogroups within a person's DNA that are characteristic of people from a particular region.

Am I incorrect? I'm an English teacher who watches CSI and really thinks the National Geographic Genographic Project is awesome, so what the heck do I know? However, if it is true, this argues that race is not merely cultural, but measurable, objective, and physical -- at least for now, until or if marriage between and among people of diverse races makes the subject entirely irrelevant.

Although I heartily DO agree that neither race nor intelligence entitles anyone to preferential treatment.

To complicate the issue a bit more, if it's purely cultural, do you think most people accept Eminem as black because he sings in a musical genre pioneered by and identified with black artists? Music is doubtlessly a cultural product; if race is merely cultural, is it just a matter of deciding, "Well, I feel Asian today," or "I feel rather Gringo inside"?
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#808 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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However, what I was specifically responding to was the idea -- of which I am terribly, terribly tired -- that "all children are gifted." Or "all children are asynchronously developed," or "all children are fried cheese," or whatever. Like I've said before, they're all special, unique, valuable, and worthy of respect and fair treatment, but they're not all gifted, black, or tall.
So you object to any statement that begins with "All children are..." regardless of how it ends?

Are you simply offended by the possibility that all children could be anything captured by a single word?

If so, I can see that. It's consistent at least

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#809 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 10:00 PM
 
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Leftfield I heartily agree that the term "moving target" is appropriate for this thread

Now, looking at that article you posted what stood out to me were these statements:

Quote:
"Even though they end up at pretty much the same place, the shape of the [development] curve and the age at which they peak is very different between the three groups," he said. "We would have missed it if we had looked at adults."
Quote:
No one knows whether such subtle developmental changes in the cortex are caused by the genes inherited from a child's parents, by the biochemical influences of life experience, or by the interplay of both.

"It is tempting to assume that this developmental change in brain structure is determined by a person's genes," said psychologist Richard Passingham at the University of Oxford, who wrote a commentary accompanying the Nature paper. "But one should be wary of such a conclusion."
The article was dated March 2006.

Honestly I took it to support my own view of intelligence and IQ.

It is so interesting that you took it to support your own view of IQ.

...and the ambiguity and confusion over this topic continues...

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#810 of 927 Old 08-12-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Purely cultural? Some -- and I'm not taking a stand here, for the record -- would argue otherwise. It's my understanding that forensic investigators are able to identify with some degree of accuracy the basic "race" of a human skull based on typical morphological differences between them. Also, it's my understanding that race can be genetically identified by the presence of particular haplogroups within a person's DNA that are characteristic of people from a particular region.

Am I incorrect? I'm an English teacher who watches CSI and really thinks the National Geographic Genographic Project is awesome, so what the heck do I know? However, if it is true, this argues that race is not merely cultural, but measurable, objective, and physical -- at least for now, until or if marriage between and among people of diverse races makes the subject entirely irrelevant.

Although I heartily DO agree that neither race nor intelligence entitles anyone to preferential treatment.
Still, a guy working with ancient skulls and classifying their measurements on the basis of "race" is working from a cultural construct-- otherwise, he'd just have a pile of skulls with measurements "A-B" and "B-C" and "C-D" instead of feeling the need to classify them into little piles with arbitrary cutoffs, titled "Caucasoid" or "Negroid" or whatever the tidy little labels de jour are in the field.

And, without the background cultural emphasis on the use of physical features to delineate "race," as it's defined in the culture from which the scientist came, it might never even occur to him to bust out the calipers to measure nasal bridges or whatnot. Maybe he'd find something entirely different and perhaps more useful to zoom in on.

I'm just sayin.' I'm all about dismantling public education as we know it. It's a mess. Anybody with a half smidge of that cultural construct we call "common sense" and a tiny bit o' interest in the subject agrees it's got problems.

But crap, don't assert that it's "working" for the "majority of average kids" except for YOUR kid. Acknowlege that it's failing practically everyone in some serious respects, and then I guess we can all start to get somewhere!

Revolt! Power to the people!
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