Anyone wanna talk about the conception of "gifted" status in children? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 927 Old 07-28-2006, 11:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
That's not profound giftedness. Not at all.

Profound giftedness is more like this: Your child strikes other people as unsettling and weird, and when she or he was young, people criticized you for hothousing or pushing, not understanding that it's not your "fault" they learned to read fluently at age 2. They just picked it up. Other parents isolate themselves from you and may give negative comments, including words like "monster."

They have interests in highly specific, rather abstruse areas of interest that don't really appeal to most people and certainly not to peers. In school, they are viewed as freakish or disruptive because they're so often bored to tears by the constant condescension from teachers, the irritating busywork that seems to have absolutely no purpose: "But WHY do I have to color in the number '5' in all my answers? WHY?", the fact that they're simply not allowed to read ahead to the next chapter...and the next..and the next while the other kids labor through the first one.

They're not allowed to skip the spelling test whose words they knew five years ago, so they blow it off and write down stupid sh*t, because that's an expression of the hatred they feel toward the teacher and the school where no one cares about the real stuff, the words that stretch the mind and feel "hard" and cool.

They're driven insane by the fact that the teacher mispronounces and misspells words and gets facts wrong and doesn't seem to care when she does -- and gets irritated, even to the point of referring them to the principal's office for correcting them when they're wrong.

These kids have no friends, or very few, and quite often really don't know why. People often seem strange and mysterious in the sense that they're concerned with absolute trivia and get worked up about events or issues that are absolutely irrelevant. If they're an angry personality, they can start lashing out either at others or at themselves.
I just have to, honestly, laugh at the "horrible hardships" you describe parents of "profoundly gifted" children experiencing, CB.

By your IQ scale, I am well in that category, and you know what? I didn't like school, but I dealt with it. It pissed me off when the teacher made grammar and spelling mistakes, but I got over it and kept my mouth shut (or made a snarky comment that went over her head.) I had few friends, but those I did have were often "average children," yet they were very close friends. I learned to read fluently at 2, and my parents were never berated for being "stage moms." People said, "Oh, that's cool."

Oh -- and I got fabulous grades. Fabulous.

I really don't think being a parent of a "profoundly gifted" child is all that hard.

The children you describe sound like profoundly gifted kids who need an attitude adjustment.:

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#122 of 927 Old 07-28-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I totally agree. Maybe I'm being horribly, dreadfully reductive and making sweeping generalizations about two cultures that comprise most of this planet's population, but you never hear (or at least I have never heard) Indian or Asian parents concerned about whether they're hothousing their kids or "pushing" them. As a whole (and obviously there are exceptions, of course), their cultures apparently value intelligence and academic achievement far more than ours apparently does, and not surprisingly, their kids tend to achieve success in demanding professional fields -- oh, and they seem personally happy and satisfied, not like they've missed out on life.
Hmmm, I disagree. I've worked extensively with South Asian (India and Pakistan) and Chinese families and the teens are incredibly stressed out by the parental expectations. Many were pushed from early ages (violin, memorization, classes, tutoring, classes) and have a lot of guilt/fear regarding an inability to meet expectations by their teens, and a lack of choice in following their own hearts regarding non-academic endeavors. The emphasis on creative pursuits was zilch, unless it was a formal affair (i.e. orchestra). This could be due to the fact that these (educated) populations that move to the USA trend toward the highly ambitious, and our currently-competitive environment here, but they were some miserable kids overall. They will be the ones who do the hand-wringing, the second-generation.

And if we're talking anti-intellectualism, what about the Cultural Revolution? It wasn't the peasants they were routing out. I really question whether the US has any sort of corner on beating up on intellectuals. I don't know if I would equate lack of support for gifted education = anti-intellectualism. For example, our commonly-known pointy-headed friends in France have no standardized definition of "gifted" nor educational provisions for gifted children.
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#123 of 927 Old 07-28-2006, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was actually devastating to my self-esteem and motivation later on...I had come to believe I was superior to others, but I also felt like a fraud. This experience is not uncommon among gifted kids.
Yes, I so relate to this.
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#124 of 927 Old 07-28-2006, 11:52 PM
 
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Hey, I always feel like a fraud. I'm supposed to be so smart, but I feel pretty normal to me.

But then I actually go hang around some super-"normal" people... :

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#125 of 927 Old 07-28-2006, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by talk de jour
I really don't think being a parent of a "profoundly gifted" child is all that hard.

The children you describe sound like profoundly gifted kids who need an attitude adjustment.:
I regret that you're so unsympathetic.
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#126 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by talk de jour
I just have to, honestly, laugh at the "horrible hardships" you describe parents of "profoundly gifted" children experiencing, CB.


I really don't think being a parent of a "profoundly gifted" child is all that hard.

The children you describe sound like profoundly gifted kids who need an attitude adjustment.:
This is a remarkably callous statement. It shows that you have really never spent much time with profoundly gifted children or their parents. You should not make a sweeping generalization unless you have some data to back it up. I on the other hand, have spent years in school with profoundly gifted children, both as a student and as a teacher. They can have tremendously difficult problems that are not just a matter of attitude. They are more sensitive to information around them and thus more sensitive to the emotions around them. They often have a very difficult time communicating with their peers and can have few friends. This can lead to depression, anxiety, antisocial behavior or a combination of all of that. As a teacher, I very often recommend they go to counseling. Poor and working class families often have a difficult time paying for this and these children do not qualify for services at school. So, they are usually left to the teacher to help. I have tried very hard to make a positive difference in my student's lives but I frequently hear of other teachers imparting punitive measures to these children. That only makes things worse. The parents of these children are usually left to be either frustrated or heartbroken or both. It is difficult to be the parent of a child who is having tremendous problems in school.

The societal view that the problems of the profoundly gifted can be solved by an "attitude adjustment" is actually one of the biggest hurdles the profoundly gifted face in their life. In reality, the profoundly gifted are most at risk of high school failure and none of their problems can be solved by attitude. That would be like telling someone with severe depression to just try to be happier.
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#127 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
I regret that you're so unsympathetic.
No, I just don't think advanced intellectual development is an excuse for acting poorly.

Either there's something else there besides giftedness (like PDD or ODD) or they weren't expected to use proper manners and be polite. I don't buy that being profoundly gifted excuses rudeness in a child emotionally developed enough to know that it's against cultural norms - in fact, I would expect a profoundly gifted child to be HYPER-aware of accepted norms of behavior.

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#128 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama
How can you believe in IQ testing and not believe in the Bell Curve thesis? Or do those who are supporting IQ testing also buy into the fact that all Asians and Whites just happen to be smarter by purportedly objective standards than other ethnic groups? If IQ is really innate, is it just happenstance that the white middle class children are the gifted ones?
But believing that IQ tests have value, believing that intelligence is innate, and believing that racial differences in IQ are innate or fixed are three entirely different things!

The best estimates of the heritability of IQ suggest that about half of the variability seen in IQ scores is attributable to genes, and half to environmental factors. One way to interpret that is that innate factors sketch out a fairly broad range in which a person's eventual IQ will fall, and environmental factors define where in that range they end up. (I say "environmental" rather than "nurture," because it includes so much more broad a range of factors - not just active education/encouragement, but also things like the prenatal environment and exposure to neurotoxins.)

The Bell Curve guys were hacks. There has been excellent research demonstrating that the observed racial differences in IQ scores are probably not innate/heritable. For example: one famous study examined the IQs of children fathered by WWII-era American GIs, and raised in Germany by their German mothers. There was no difference in IQ between the children of white GIs and black GIs - but if racial differences in IQ are inheritable, there should've been.

More recently, they've done genetic analyses that classify African-Americans according to their percentage of predominantly African vs. predominantly European genes. (As I'm sure you know, "white" and "black" aren't exactly pure categories, especially in the U.S.) There was no association between the percentage of "European" genes and intelligence. Again, if the observed racial differences in IQ were due to genetic differences, there should've been.

Is it really hard to believe that there are differences in the average quality of the environment experienced by African-American and white or Asian children, beginning in the prenatal period and extending throughout life? We know that, although there's a ton of variation within racial groups, there are average group differences in prenatal care, breastfeeding rates, parenting styles, parental education, exposure to known neurotoxins like lead paint, and on and on. Again, the various bell curves have huuuuge overlap... but is it really a stretch to believe that the aggregate of the disadvantages that American minority groups commonly experience may have consequences for development?

There used to be a big IQ gap between urban and rural children in the U.S., and today that gap is completely gone. I'm completely convinced that the same thing will happen to the current racial gap in IQ scores, as efforts are made to combat racism and inequality.

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#129 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
What gifted schools? Quite honestly, there are so few of them nationally that I could literally count them all on my hands and have fingers left.

From secondhand experience, I've heard that both Mirman and LISG are primarily for mildly or highly gifted folks, but not for the ones on the real extremes. Those kids are almost always homeschooled, at least as far as I know, because it's the rare, rare school that will even try to accomodate someone that different.
I just thought I would interject that there are several schools specifically for gifted children in the Seattle area. I can think of at least a half a dozen in the area that require an IQ test for admission and specifically gear their curriculum towards the mildly to middling gifted. There are few programs for the profoundly gifted. In Seattle public schools, there is one program in the whole city for the highly academically advanced elementary children but in recent years their focus has swayed away from profound giftedness and towards academic achievement. There are similar such programs all over the area in other public school districts. I know of no schools in the state of WA that have curriculum specifically for the profoundly gifted. The needs of the profoundly gifted are left to the teachers of the rest of the gifted population. In other words, they get mixed in with the rest of the gifted crowd and either flounder or fly, depending on their experience and teacher.

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Would you like to talk about the Weschler or the Stanford-Binet? If IQ is really innate, is it just happenstance that the white middle class children are the gifted ones?
FSPM also said something interesting about the test with a question about what is missing from the violin. That is so culturally specific. I used to give both of the tests cited above and I occasionally would get children come to me and ask me what the question meant. Of course, I cannot answer that question for it would be helping the student with the answer. But, these types of questions always came from a child who had not had an middle-to-upper class American life experience. Not necessarily a race issue, but rather a socioeconomic and cultural issue. The child raised by well-to-do Indian immigrants but born in the USA may have an easier time with that type of question than the Asian child who moved here from Laos three years ago. Black kids from upper class families do ok with these types of questions, but poor black kids do not. I could go on, but the point is that I definitely saw a pattern.

And, once in teaching a gifted pullout program, I was doing logic puzzles with third graders when the most profoundly gifted girl in the school came over to me and showed me her answer. It was not the answer in the book but she proved to me that it also worked. That is a prime example of how different the profoundly gifted think and how even they sometimes don't test well. This child would have gotten that answer wrong if it had been on a standardized test.
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#130 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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This is a remarkably callous statement. It shows that you have really never spent much time with profoundly gifted children or their parents. You should not make a sweeping generalization unless you have some data to back it up.
So spending time with myself doesn't count?

As I said above, I don't believe behavioral problems (or behaviors that violate social norms) go hand in hand with giftedness.

I do have a theory that many "mentally ill" people are simply misunderstood geniuses, but that's beside the point here.

I believe that disorders that contribute to antisocial behavior are more likely to coexist with giftedness. I also believe that parents often foster a permissive atmosphere with very gifted children because they overestimate a gifted child's emotional development (they think that because a gifted child is as intelligent as an adult, s/he should also have the self-control and emotional development of an adult.)

However, I don't think that extremely gifted means extremely antisocial.

Though I do think that we'll always be considered antisocial to some point, because many of our interests and conversation styles are boring or too complex for many people, so they write us off as "those weird, boring people." I consider myself very lucky to have found a gifted person as my best friend and partner - it makes me look a little less hermit-y.

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#131 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:18 AM
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No, I just don't think advanced intellectual development is an excuse for acting poorly.

Either there's something else there besides giftedness (like PDD or ODD) or they weren't expected to use proper manners and be polite. I don't buy that being profoundly gifted excuses rudeness in a child emotionally developed enough to know that it's against cultural norms -- in fact, I would expect a profoundly gifted child to be HYPER-aware of accepted norms of behavior.
That is because you clearly have no idea what it means to be profoundly gifted.


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Alex is intellectually gifted. He taught himself to read, write, and count before age 3. By age 3 he had read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and was entranced by the world of Narnia, the relationships between the characters, and the battle between good and evil. "By the time he entered school, he was capable of 4th grade math and was reading The Hobbit, which his teacher promptly took from him, stating that he should not be looking at his older brother's books as they would give him nightmares. Alex has no older brother, but he was so bemused by the teacher's comment that he lost the opportunity to tell her this.

The most important lesson Alex learned in his first few weeks at school was that it would teach him nothing that he did not already know. His teacher insisted that he work through the reading readiness program with the rest of the class and placed him on a math program which involved recognizing the numbers 1 through 10. He was so astonished that he complied without protest.

The compliance did not last long, however. In 2nd and 3rd grades he was angry, frustrated, and rebellious and made life difficult for himself, his teachers, and his classmates. Finally, to the relief of his teacher, his protests ceased. Alex is now in 6th grade. Most of the time he is apathetic and withdrawn. He refuses to complete the simplistic and repetitive work that is presented to him, and because of this, nothing In the way of enrichment or extension is offered to him. His teachers are quite unaware that he has developed an expertise in Nordic mythology, which underpins the "middle earth” works of Tolkien. A professor of literature at the local university has called this expertise “astounding.” Alex relates happily to the undergraduate students his professor friend has introduced to him, but at school he is a social outcast. The other children reject him because his speech, his interests, and the way he thinks are so different from theirs that there is virtually no point of contact between them.

In 2nd grade Alex's parents had him tested by a private psychologist who assessed his IQ at 169. Alex does not display "gifted behavior" in class, so he was not selected for the math pullout program. Indeed, his teacher refused to accept the psychologist's report, saying that she "did not believe in IQ tests and that there were several students in Alex's class who were much brighter.

Children of IQ 169 appear in the population at a ratio of less than 1:100,000. If an elementary school teacher taught 30 students each year in a professional career of 40 years, the odds against her having such a child in her class are more than 80:1. This is one of many reasons why teachers and schools make such inadequate response to extremely gifted students. We do not have enough practice in dealing with them, we are not informed about such students in our pre-service training, and the very interventions which most benefit these children, such as radical acceleration and full-time ability grouping, are frowned upon. These interventions are not discouraged by the research community which freely acknowledges their usefulness, but by the educational establishment which holds rigidly to organizational procedures and teaching methodologies which benefit the mass of students in our schools rather than the individual (Benbow & Stanley, 1997).
from
Exceptionally and Profoundly Gifted Students:
An Underserved Population
by Miraca U.M. Gross
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#132 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:20 AM
 
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Talk de jour, I actually think that high IQ tends to correlate with some degree of difficulty in interpersonal relations, although it's not universal. Also, rather than leaning towards being excessively permissive, I think many parents of children who are "gifted" are quite hard on them and expect much more of them than they expect from kids who are not accelerated in their development.
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#133 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:22 AM
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I just have to, honestly, laugh at the "horrible hardships" you describe parents of "profoundly gifted" children experiencing, CB.

By your IQ scale, I am well in that category, and you know what? I didn't like school, but I dealt with it. It pissed me off when the teacher made grammar and spelling mistakes, but I got over it and kept my mouth shut (or made a snarky comment that went over her head.) I had few friends, but those I did have were often "average children," yet they were very close friends. I learned to read fluently at 2, and my parents were never berated for being "stage moms." People said, "Oh, that's cool."

Oh -- and I got fabulous grades. Fabulous.

I really don't think being a parent of a "profoundly gifted" child is all that hard.

The children you describe sound like profoundly gifted kids who need an attitude adjustment.:
Sounds like you have a lot of resentment about how you were treated.
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#134 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:22 AM
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That is because you clearly have no idea what it means to be profoundly gifted.

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#135 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:26 AM
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So spending time with myself doesn't count?
Laugh all you want but generalizing about a population of people based on a study of one is ridiculous. On the other hand, CB and I have read countless research studies about gifted children and have taught them for years. You are wrong and we are right, simply put. Read the article I cited above.
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#136 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:26 AM
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Why is this being re-visited again? ALL of the previous threads like this ended up closed, and I suspect this one will meet the same fate. I don't understand WHY having a gifted child is seen as a personal affront to others when nobody looks at being single, "special needs" or poor in the same way.

Good point. We don't have to defend who are kids are to strangers on the internet.

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#137 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:26 AM
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However, I don't think that extremely gifted means extremely antisocial.
No one said that.
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#138 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:28 AM
 
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Either there's something else there besides giftedness (like PDD or ODD) or they weren't expected to use proper manners and be polite. I don't buy that being profoundly gifted excuses rudeness in a child emotionally developed enough to know that it's against cultural norms -- in fact, I would expect a profoundly gifted child to be HYPER-aware of accepted norms of behavior.
Let's assume this is the case. What about when the rules don't make sense? What is a child supposed to do when "learning" the alphabet or cvc words when they're reading middle readers and YA at home? When do we stop addressing the behaviour and start addressing the cause? Do the same rules of addressing behaviour apply for kids with ADD or Asperbergers, or only for gifted kids? Should a child be accelerated only if they have mastered the social graces? What kinds of accomodations should gifted kids receive, or should they just learn to hunker down and not complain or act out? Or drop out? Wouldn't it be a good idea to assess children with behaviour problems for potential giftedness?
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#139 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire

Profound giftedness is more like this: Your child strikes other people as unsettling and weird, and when she or he was young, people criticized you for hothousing or pushing, not understanding that it's not your "fault" they learned to read fluently at age 2. They just picked it up. Other parents isolate themselves from you and may give negative comments, including words like "monster."

They have interests in highly specific, rather abstruse areas of interest that don't really appeal to most people and certainly not to peers. In school, they are viewed as freakish or disruptive because they're so often bored to tears by the constant condescension from teachers, the irritating busywork that seems to have absolutely no purpose: "But WHY do I have to color in the number '5' in all my answers? WHY?", the fact that they're simply not allowed to read ahead to the next chapter...and the next..and the next while the other kids labor through the first one.

They're not allowed to skip the spelling test whose words they knew five years ago, so they blow it off and write down stupid sh*t, because that's an expression of the hatred they feel toward the teacher and the school where no one cares about the real stuff, the words that stretch the mind and feel "hard" and cool.

They're driven insane by the fact that the teacher mispronounces and misspells words and gets facts wrong and doesn't seem to care when she does -- and gets irritated, even to the point of referring them to the principal's office for correcting them when they're wrong.

These kids have no friends, or very few, and quite often really don't know why. People often seem strange and mysterious in the sense that they're concerned with absolute trivia and get worked up about events or issues that are absolutely irrelevant. If they're an angry personality, they can start lashing out either at others or at themselves.

Does that maybe help paint a clearer picture of the difference??


You've described it very well. Their brains just work differently. My dd was ready to drop out of school in Kindergarten because of the condescension of her teacher. She's not an angry personality, but other people appear quite mysterious to her. It's a rare soul (her age) she "clicks" with. That got somewhat better when we moved her up a grade, though. (Because it's easier to make friends with kids who are you intellectual age vs. your chronological age.)

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#140 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:29 AM
 
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...This child often has a history of distruptiveness in class and is very likely to have only a few friends and be difficult to deal with, both at home and in school. Labelling the academically advanced child as gifted is, at times, an ego boost for child and parent...
In the interest of not making this too long, I only quoted a small excerpt of your post, but I wanted to thank you! You understand -- thank you!

Now, I'll go back and read the rest of this thread.
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#141 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by talk de jour
So spending time with myself doesn't count?
You count as an anecdote or a case study, but as a sample of one, not for generalizatons.
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#142 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:31 AM
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That is because you clearly have no idea what it means to be profoundly gifted.
Um, except that she *is* profoundly gifted.

If you make a statement about a population, any exception invalidates that statement. If you want to talk about "some profoundly gifted people" or even "some of the profoundly gifted people I know", then that's a whole different kettle o' fish.

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#143 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NoHiddenFees
Wouldn't it be a good idea to assess children with behaviour problems for potential giftedness?
I think it is an excellent idea to assess children with behavior problems for many potential causes of the behavior, including the possibility that they are not being adequately challenged at school. What is the alternative? Labeling them as "behavior problems" and leaving it at that?

I was thinking about the discussion above of the Bell Curve, etc. It's absolutely true that a "behavior problem" whose parents are poor, members of a racial/ethnic minority, or maybe just not very involved with the school will be treated in an ENTIRELY different way from a "behavior problem" whose parents are active in the PTA and upstanding members of the community. Very different assumptions will tend to operate. The former child might be assessed for learning disabilities or ODD; the latter might be assessed for giftedness.
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#144 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ChristaN
In the interest of not making this too long, I only quoted a small excerpt of your post, but I wanted to thank you! You understand -- thank you!

Now, I'll go back and read the rest of this thread.
Of course I understand. I grew up with gifted kids, I went to school with them, and I experienced the frustration and sheer madness of not having your needs met as a highly intellectual person. I went through the roof with joy at university for being surrounded by other gifted and smart people made me happy. I had a place to belong. I became a teacher and gravitated towards teaching the gifted because I have a gift for helping children solve their problems and for challenging them and because I have been there. I know what it is like from a very personal perspective and because I have spent years reading and researching this population and how to teach them.

But, thank you very much for the compliment!
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#145 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:38 AM
 
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This is an incredible discussion. One of the best I have ever read here.
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#146 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:39 AM
 
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I think that a lot of the controversy around the concept of intellectual giftedness comes from a set of assumptions that tend to get lumped together, but that don't actually belong together:

1. Some people have higher levels of intellectual talent than others.
2. People who are more talented in a given area have greater human worth or are more important or deserve better treatment or are simply better than people who are less talented in that area.
3. Intellectual talent is the most important human characteristic.

It seems to me like a lot of people in this thread believe that if they want to reject statements 2 and 3, they must necessarily reject statement 1 - or at least, make statement 1 a bad thing to notice, talk about, or provide educational accommodations for.

But in fact, if you believe statement 1, you can choose to accept or reject statements 2 or 3. You shouldn't assume that you have to reject statement 1 if you want to reject the other two, and you shouldn't assume that people who believe statement 1 believe the other two.

Alexandra 4.11.05 and Colin 2.9.09. Click on my name to visit my homeschooling blog.
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#147 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama
And, if they are so rare, why are they popping up all over the place these days?
Sorry to serial post -- I'm working my way through this thread.

I agree with you here and I think that it relates back to the fact that many parents (especially high SES, high achieving parents) see it as a badge of honor or proof of their superior parenting. Way too many children are being ided as gifted in our school system (at least the one in which my children attend school). It obscures the true needs of the truly gifted child b/c *everyone* is gifted. The same seems to occur at times with younger children or kids not yet in school.

IRL I can tell which kids have been ided as gifted due to being bright and having pushy parents and which ones are truly gifted. On-line, I have no idea, so I am just taking people at face value and assuming that they are truly dealing with a gifted child if that is what they say. Could be wrong, but I just don't know...
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#148 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Dar
Um, except that she *is* profoundly gifted.

If you make a statement about a population, any exception invalidates that statement. If you want to talk about "some profoundly gifted people" or even "some of the profoundly gifted people I know", then that's a whole different kettle o' fish.

Dar
I do not believe she is profoundly gifted. She has given us no proof thereof. In my experience, the truly profoundly gifted don't realize they are that gifted and they very, very rarely get awesome grades in school. My best guess is that she is one smart cookie who thinks she knows a thing or two about giftedness but has never really read anything at all about teaching the gifted or gifted research in general.
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#149 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Rivka5
Is it really hard to believe that there are differences in the average quality of the environment experienced by African-American and white or Asian children, beginning in the prenatal period and extending throughout life?
I dunno. I do know that many, many, most of the people who advocate for gifted education truly believe that it's an innate genetic state, and cannot be influenced by environment, because that might make their child less special, or perhaps others could catch up if exposed to the right environment. They frequently advocate for keeping out children who do not pass the testing muster and are "just nominated." They place much emphasis on the quality and veracity of IQ testing itself, and know their children's scores by heart. So what of the poor kids? Feh, too bad for them.

I personally do believe environment makes a huge difference in the IQ test results themselves. Because if you grow up in a household where you go to the symphony, then you're going to know the orchestral instruments. But is that really intelligence?

I personally believe in Maslow's hierarchy of needs - if a child has their basic needs met (food, clothing, shelter), they feel more confident in exploring their world and making new discoveries. But I don't think we need a social construct (IQ testing) to weed out those who don't know the capital of Italy as somehow less intellectual.
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#150 of 927 Old 07-29-2006, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by dallaschildren
This is an incredible discussion. One of the best I have ever read here.
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Yeah, I am really enjoying it, too. I am glad it is still going.
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