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#1 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Most of the discussion here is about schooling and giftedness. I am wondering what is known about giftedness in the wider community post-schooling. I don't know if my kids are bright or gifted, identification of giftedness doesn't worry me at the moment. They are academically talented as evidenced by their grades. That's by the by.

What happens to gifted kids in the workforce/community? Is their giftedness translating to extra success/pay/job satisfaction etc.

Are we worrying too excessively about our kids and meeting their needs as gifted students, when things might end up equalizing in the real world? Is there any long term study I could refer to?

Thanks
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#2 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 11:08 AM
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A lot of it depends on how their gifts are treated:



"At the University of New South Wales, Gross conducted a longitudinal study of 60 Australians who scored at least 160 on IQ tests beginning in the late '80s. Today most of the 33 students who were not allowed to skip grades have jaded views of education, and at least three are dropouts. "These young people find it very difficult to sustain friendships because, having been to a large extent socially isolated at school, they have had much less practice ... in developing and maintaining social relationships," Gross has written. "A number have had counseling. Two have been treated for severe depression." By contrast, the 17 kids who were able to skip at least three grades have mostly received Ph.D.s, and all have good friends."


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...3653-3,00.html

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"At the University of New South Wales, Gross conducted a longitudinal study of 60 Australians who scored at least 160 on IQ tests beginning in the late '80s. Today most of the 33 students who were not allowed to skip grades have jaded views of education, and at least three are dropouts. "These young people find it very difficult to sustain friendships because, having been to a large extent socially isolated at school, they have had much less practice ... in developing and maintaining social relationships," Gross has written. "A number have had counseling. Two have been treated for severe depression." By contrast, the 17 kids who were able to skip at least three grades have mostly received Ph.D.s, and all have good friends."


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...3653-3,00.html
Interesting, off to the read the article and see what I can find for mildly/moderately gifted.
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#4 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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i dont have any official links or articles.

but i have personal experience. and that is what interests me. not statistics.

childhood is the foundation to adulthood. most of childhood - 6 hours a day for about what 175 days a year is spent in the classroom. so if you spend half a year for twelve years of your life miserable, how do you think that's going to affect adulthood - and their ability to keep jobs and be successful. some children can go thru horrendous beginnings and come out on top, be successful. many cant.

we ourselves as adults have such a hard time when we have to work at a job we hate. what do you think that does to children.

THAT is why i focus so much on school and my dd's emotional wellbeing. adulthood is what she is going to make it. i am giving her tools right now to make it as an adult. school contributes a huge deal as a tool now. its not the only thing, but it is a major player.

a lot of what is written about gifted children does not apply to my dd because she is an 'adult' trapped in a child's body with an adult intellect to understand things yet with a child's emotional level to accept it. so in a sense being gifted makes life difficult for her which she has felt since she was 3 and she called herself an 'alien' fully comprehending what she meant by alien.

so even if there are statistics out there and studies - i think it really applies to individual personalities and even if someone says 99.99% of gifted kids are successful, the 0.01% might apply to my dd.

though of course the gifted 'realm' itself is huge and extremely varied.

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#5 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 05:13 PM
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I don't know if my kids are bright or gifted,

Are we worrying too excessively about our kids and meeting their needs as gifted students,

Also I wanted to ask -- exactly whose kids are you referring to ("worrying too excessively about our kids") if not your own?

Are you really asking if other people worry too much about meeting their children's needs?




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#6 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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we ourselves as adults have such a hard time when we have to work at a job we hate. what do you think that does to children.
This is almost exactly what a friend said to me when I was considering a grade skip for my son. She looked at me and said "Jolly, what would you do if you came to work every day and were bored out of your mind. You never got to do anything new and work completely failed to be mentally stimulating." I gave some random answer about it depending on how much my family needed my salary and if I thought I could find something better. She called me on it. She said "You know you'd be looking for a new job. You wouldn't be able to take it. Your son doesn't have the option of finding something else on his own. You need to find it for him."

She's right.

Sorry to go off topic. It just struck me as a very true statement.

But it does relate tangentially to the OP question. We all want to use our brains and do something we enjoy in life if we are young or adults. Does that mean that all gifted kids grow into highly successful adults? No. Though I feel we should be careful on how we define success. Do many of them have the ability to become highly successful adults? Yes. As do many non gifted children.

I guess I will be happy if my kids grow into basically happy adults. I think the odds of that are better if I support them now. If they meet some arbitrary definition of success I don't care quite as much about.

I guess I'm trying to say that I don't try and accommodate my child's intellect now because I want them to be successful. I do it because I want them to be happy. I hope that by laying the ground work for that happiness now it can carry them into adulthood no matter what they choose to do with their lives.

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#7 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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You know, Johns Hopkins has an ongoing study of outcomes for highly gifted children. It's been going on a long time - I got tracked in sometime in the late 1980s and I still get survey questions from them on a regular basis - so they have plenty of data on gifted adults.

Their general home page is at
http://cty.jhu.edu/set/index.html

But anyways, there is already a good deal of published research to have come out of this study and it's all compiled and broken down by topic at

http://cty.jhu.edu/research/biblio.html

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#8 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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A&A-I infer general 'we' and our general kids from that. So me worrying about my kids, you worrying about your kids, person C worrying about their kids etc.

Thanks for the links.
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#9 of 34 Old 06-24-2010, 10:34 PM
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A&A-I mean general 'we' and our general kids.
Well, my specific kid came home crying from Kindergarten because it was so mind-numbingly boring.

So no, to answer your question, I do not worry "excessively" about meeting her needs. I worry just the right amount.

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#10 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 01:04 PM
 
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She called me on it. She said "You know you'd be looking for a new job. You wouldn't be able to take it. Your son doesn't have the option of finding something else on his own. You need to find it for him."

She's right.

Sorry to go off topic. It just struck me as a very true statement.
Thank you for this idea. I need to hold on to it and put it in my "Mom" toolbox.

It is true.
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#11 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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I guess I will be happy if my kids grow into basically happy adults. I think the odds of that are better if I support them now. If they meet some arbitrary definition of success I don't care quite as much about.
DITTO here. whether she flips hamburgers at McD's to save rainforests, or becomes a CEO, or whatever i want her to have peace of mind and authenticity about the choices she makes. if she chooses boredom i want her to do it because she chooses to, not because she has to.

all i can do now is to help her find who SHE is - so she is confident in her own self and confident of what she wants. so that when life gets her down she can get up on her feet, wipe her tears and meet life headon.

in a poem recently at school she wrote 'i am strong and helpful'. i love that she sees herself that way. she just didnt write it in one of her moments. it is what she seriously thinks who she is. THAT is the confidence i want to see as an adult. THAT is what is going to make her successful. and in my experience school contributes a great deal to this place.

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#12 of 34 Old 06-25-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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I came across this article the other day that really resonated with me:

http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10495.aspx

It does seem to pertain to MG adults, not just HG+ as they used Mensa members as the subjects. Some, certainly, may be HG+, but MG (98th percentile) is the minimum criterion to be a member and I imagine that many members are right there.
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#13 of 34 Old 06-26-2010, 02:25 AM
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"What Do Accelerated Students Contribute to Society?
The myth says that students who skip will rarely fit into society, but the reality
shows that those very students tend to lead American society to greater heights.
Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the Civil Rights Movement and the
recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, graduated from high school at 15. The poet,
T. S. Eliot, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature, was accelerated.
U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor graduated from high school
at 16. When great leaders reach society early, everyone benefits . . . acceleration is
not just an issue for one isolated gifted child, underchallenged in the classroom. It’s
about many thousands of children and the future of America."



www.nationdeceived.org

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#14 of 34 Old 06-26-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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Anecdotal stories here. But when you become a mathematician you tend to run into more than a few absolutely brilliant people...

Quite a few of my gifted friends are successful academicians. Full math professors at major universities. Most are happily married too.

I also have friends (and now students) who work for NSA, Wall Street, Microsoft, and Google.

A friend of mine though was the poster child for the burned out gifty--he dropped out of college, he has few friends, his marriage failed and he is working temp jobs as a handyman.
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#15 of 34 Old 06-26-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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I recently heard a talk by Dr. Ed Amend and he mentioned that overall the research shows that gifted kids and adults are no more likely to suffer from emotional/social issues than the general population. It is still an important factor as they can suffer these issues for different reasons and perhaps deal with them in different ways.
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#16 of 34 Old 06-27-2010, 10:52 AM
 
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To me "gifted" is only useful as an educational label to get educational services. All kids should have access to an appropriate education with the opportunity to work at their instructional level and learn how to study and learn. Gifted kids may need accommodations in order for this to happen.

After school, "giftedness" is irrelevant because you don't need others to make accommodations for giftedness. You can choose your path as far as further education, your career, your marriage, whatever, and no one needs or wants to see your IQ score. What matters then is what you do and what you achieve. Hopefully that appropriate education will have prepared one to meet whatever their own goals might be.
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#17 of 34 Old 06-27-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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After school, "giftedness" is irrelevant because you don't need others to make accommodations for giftedness. You can choose your path as far as further education, your career, your marriage, whatever, and no one needs or wants to see your IQ score. What matters then is what you do and what you achieve. Hopefully that appropriate education will have prepared one to meet whatever their own goals might be.
I totally agree with this, but it sounded like the OP was interested in hearing about what happens to gifted children after they grow up, and whether the various sorts of educational accommodation they get in childhood make a difference to their ultimate levels of achievement and social adjustment.

That's a legitimate question, and one that is pretty important for parents who are trying to decide which accommodations are necessary/appropriate for their gifted kids.

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#18 of 34 Old 06-27-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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That's a legitimate question, and one that is pretty important for parents who are trying to decide which accommodations are necessary/appropriate for their gifted kids.
see but i disagree. you CANNOT choose accommodations for education. whether gifted or not. its not an easy decision for a parent either. i know family who skipped the wrong child.

its almost like in many cases - not all - an 'unhappy' education = messed up adulthood. again its not as simplistic as that.

some kids make it to 'success'. some dont. can we take the chance while 'making accommodations'? we cant predict.

for many as i look back into generations into my family, school was just tolerated because they had lots of support and love during after school. they 'made' it. there were others who had the same after school support but could not handle 6 hours of 'boredom'.

which is why i ask can we make such a decision based on statistics or studies?

plus truly has any 'true' study been done of this kind? did anyone have that much money to follow a child from childhood to adulthood (now that i know a little more about the kinds of research corporations like supporting). one can make generalizations based upon conjectures and lives of famous people.

and ultimately it comes at a cost. einstein died an extremely unhappy man. so would you say he was successful? i think he really questioned his own success.

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#19 of 34 Old 06-27-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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Anecdotal stories here. But when you become a mathematician you tend to run into more than a few absolutely brilliant people...

Quite a few of my gifted friends are successful academicians. Full math professors at major universities. Most are happily married too.

I also have friends (and now students) who work for NSA, Wall Street, Microsoft, and Google.

A friend of mine though was the poster child for the burned out gifty--he dropped out of college, he has few friends, his marriage failed and he is working temp jobs as a handyman.


I'm a scientist in academia and, yeah, I've seen that first hand. Pretty much all my friends from grad school were former gifted kids, the vast majority of which had some pretty extensive accommodations growing up (the most went to special schools). I think DH was the only one he didn't have special accommodations (although he started early) and to this day he has self-confidence issues (despite being pretty successful).

I'd say many of my co-workers are happy. Not everyone but we're talking about vastly different personalities varying from person to person. Some are happily married with kids, there are others that are the perpetual bachelor, some have dealt with depression, some seem very well-adjusted and content with their lives. It's hard to distinguish between accommodations/personality/family environment (e.g. I have one friend who DID have accommodations growing up but has very significant religious difference to his family and suffers from that).

That being said... I have a number of family members who are underachieving adults (both my parents are included there). I have an uncle, for instance, who is clearly very, very intelligent (scored a perfect score on the ACT without studying) and is a bartender. Not that there's anything wrong with that but I get the impression from him, that he is not happy with his life and lonely. None of them had any accommodations.

Granted, this it totally anecdotal...
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#20 of 34 Old 06-27-2010, 09:13 PM
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I totally agree with this, but it sounded like the OP was interested in hearing about what happens to gifted children after they grow up, and whether the various sorts of educational accommodation they get in childhood make a difference to their ultimate levels of achievement and social adjustment.

That's a legitimate question, and one that is pretty important for parents who are trying to decide which accommodations are necessary/appropriate for their gifted kids.
Ultimately each parent is the best judge of what is needed by his/her child. The original question strikes me as anti-elitist, or something.

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#21 of 34 Old 06-27-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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More anecdata...I went to a high school for academically gifted kids. In my opinion it was a really good environment overall (although I would change a few things too).

I would say the general range of success among them is reasonably high - I don't know of anyone who is not self-supporting in a pretty decent career, most have successful relationships, families, etc. Some are doing amazing and important work in the world. I'm probably one of the least visibly successful, and I like my work and life fine. It's pretty middle-of-the-road and I like it that way most of the time.

From speaking with this very narrow group I would say that most of us went through some kind of crisis of faith in our early 20s (although this is probably true of most people). I've had long discussions with people about how our school was great on many levels, but didn't prepare us for some of the challenges of the workplace in particular. I think we still expected to be rewarded all the time for being right, and while there are definitely fields where that's true, a lot of us also had to learn that there are other ways to be "right" like not embarassing people, no pontificating, socializing, returning phone calls on time, etc.

However, we pretty much all figured it out. It was a common thread, but it hasn't defined people permanently.

To be fair, you also have one of the school's prominent grads in another grade who ended his life by throwing himself out of a NYC apartment to his death after an argument with his wife over the care of his infant twins. So - yeah. But you know, out of that sample size I don't think one depressed person would be that unusual. Except I am so sad he wasn't able to get the help he needed; he was a truly wonderful guy, and so furious on behalf of his wife.

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#22 of 34 Old 06-28-2010, 12:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi

I am really most concerned with what happens to a child long-term who isn't advanced by grade skipping but who continues with their peers. The Times article talked about kids who skipped 3 grades or more, which is surely an extreme end of the bell curve. My kids are bright/gifted [??] but not to that extent.

I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.

Thanks
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#23 of 34 Old 06-28-2010, 02:27 AM
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I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.
It's easier to make friends with kids who are your mental age rather than merely your chronological age.



I have two bright children. One needed (desperately needed) a grade skip; the other just gets more challenging work in the regular classroom. So no, not every bright child needs to be skipped. But some do.

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#24 of 34 Old 06-28-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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Ultimately each parent is the best judge of what is needed by his/her child.
Well, if it were so obvious to parents exactly what their children needed, this board would be a whole lot emptier, wouldn't you think? It seems like lots of parents actually have a rather difficult time figuring out what their gifted children need and how to get it to them.

@ meemee: Huh?? Are you trying to say we should just treat gifties exactly like their typically developing peers?

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#25 of 34 Old 06-28-2010, 05:16 AM
 
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@ meemee: Huh?? Are you trying to say we should just treat gifties exactly like their typically developing peers?
nuh!!!! what i am saying is if a child is miserable in school - which is not an exclusive gifties thing - every child needs to have their needs met. i think being gifty or performing much below standard is the same thing. parents have to find accommodation for their child. for me being too rich or too poor is the same thing. both have problems galore. different kinds of problems, but still problems still the same.

cukup - there is no easy answer. there is no formula to figuring out what the right decision is.

one of my xbil was skipped. another one wasnt. their parents were struggling to do the best for them. however they made the wrong decision. the one who should have been skipped wasnt and the one who shouldnt have been skipped was. however this was a long time ago when gifted programs were just being established.

the only 'ideal' school for my dd would be coop unschooling. where she could go to other people who share her passion for what she wants to learn. not educated people, but those who share the same emotion.

the next level of schooling would be a more hands on project oriented school. waldorf is too extreme for her. public school is the other extreme. where i am there is no perfect school for her. or the other thing would be whole curriculum taught in half a year.

however she also has her own ideas of what education should be. she told her k teacher that they have no idea how to educate children. instead of starting with the three r's, they should do more science and project stuff. 'that would interest me in wanting to learn more of what we are doing and then you could teach us the rules'.

she does not see school as a place of learning. like she told her K teacher 'i come to school to party, i go home to learn.'

so trying to figure out what the best accommodations for her are is really hard to do. she is moderately gifted. however she is also a people person and a good teacher is more important, or should i say a close connection than being in a gifted class.

in her public school she does do project but they are research oriented. not too much building with her hands.

so the least i can do - where i have some control over is after school stuff. its lucky that i am in school myself and take part in some clubs where we do different things - esp. out of recycled stuff and many other hands on. she is right there with us.

for right now she 'tolerates' school. we take mental breaks whenever she needs it. and that is a huge help to her. on those days we usually do some intense learning experience kinda thing.

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#26 of 34 Old 06-28-2010, 05:27 AM
 
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I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.
i would take it each year at a time. are they happy at school? or are they miserable?

if they are happy and enjoying school i would tend to leave things alone.

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#27 of 34 Old 06-28-2010, 09:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cukup View Post
Hi

I am wondering if not advocating for these moderately gifted kids is setting them up for failure later in life. I struggle with the notion that I should be pushing for them to be further challenged at school because whilst they are bright [and this is demonstrated throught their grades] I don't think that socially it would be beneficial to be grade-skipped.

Thanks
There are tons of other ways to accommodate a gifted child other than a full grade acceleration. Grade skipping is often a last option after other options have failed, usually, through an institutions inability or refusal to make other accommodations.

Here is an old thread listing some ideas - http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1216292

Every child deserves to learn something new and be challenged with something intellectually rewarding. If your child's needs are being met without accommodations - great. If there needs aren't getting met then something else needs to be done. A full grade acceleration is not necessarily the only option or even the best option for all gifted kids.

Mom to DS 4/24/03 and DD 4/17/06
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#28 of 34 Old 07-01-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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My children aren't grown yet so I can't speak to their post-schooling experience, but I have seen my brother and how his life turned out. He was placed in GT programs when he was in middle school and during his schooling years, he skipped a grade and graduated early.

He is a profoundly gifted person -- his test scores are higher than any I've ever encountered. When he was in 11th grade, we moved to a different state, and after about a month of school, there was this big meeting called where the teachers and admin were uneasy about working with him because of his IQ score.


He generally HATED school. He was labeled a "gifted underachiever" by one school. He HATED the GT program. He was at best a mediocre student, having no use at all for grades. He spent some time in the military after he graduated, and was really unhappy there. After leaving the military he went to college -- he blazed through without having to put forth any effort at all. He interned summers on some very high-profile projects in his field. He earned is BS and then got accepted, on a full scholarship, to his PhD program at Tulane. It was the first time in his life that he felt challenged in school, and felt that he had peers who shared interests/abilities with him. He completed his PhD in three years, I believe, and did some work for NASA before becoming a professor.

He has been working in academia for several years now, and married one of his former graduate students (who is probably also PG). He loves the lifestyle of academia. However, he hates the politics of it. His wife is also a professor and they made the decision that after the next school year, they will leave the uni.

By most people's standards he has been very successful, indeed; he found a mate that suits him well, a career path/field that he finds interesting and challenging. I'm not sure he could be happy in a field where he worked doing something that didn't challenge his mental faculties. Without pursing education, I'm not sure he he could have worked in a field that does that.

Joy, mama to Aquaboy (10), Goldilocks (8), Squidge (4)
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#29 of 34 Old 07-02-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBattleAxe View Post
. He loves the lifestyle of academia. However, he hates the politics of it.
Oh yeah, you will be hard-pressed to find someone in academia who does not feel this way. It is brutal how often incompetence at the administrative level ruins everything... The only thing that keeps me going is my love for teaching and my colleagues who are curious intellectual people (for the most part).

I also went to a high school for gifted kids and most of my classmates are doing very well. I hated the experience though--it was so competitive and cut-throat. I am moderately gifted and I feel happy with my career choices (teaching mathematics at a 4 year college), and am especially happy to have found my profoundly gifted DH who is absolutely amazing!!! And our lovely children keep us on our toes... I hope we are helping them find the right choices for themselves!!
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#30 of 34 Old 07-03-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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OP, I think you need to do what seems best for your kids. For anyone, the balance between challenge and comfort is important to find. For some kids, the challenge, and for others, the comfort, may be elusive, and I think those kids have a hard time, and it may be long-term negative for them.

I went to a fairly elite (public) gifted school all the way through. My classmates seem to have grown up to be very interesting people for the most part, almost everyone completed college and many some graduate school. From perusing facebook I've seen quite a few teachers, professors and other educators, writers, musicians, media professionals, doctors and nurses. They don't seem terribly different from other people from MC and UMC backgrounds (and children of "striver" immigrants)-- like the list of folks from DHs high school in the well-off suburbs of DC. But I am willing to bet that any of them would be a very interesting person to sit next to at a dinner party, you know what I mean? Funny, smart, well-informed, wide range of interests, etc.

One thing I remember well was this discourse at our school that we were the "future leaders of America" and the such. I swear, it sounded like BS to me when I was a kid and even more so now... what a sick and damaging set of expectations to have for elementary school kids. Some of my former classmates did really struggle with feelings of failure for, say, *only* becoming professional (but non-famous) writers, research scientists, well-respected (but non-famous) musicians, etc. I too have insecurities about being found out as not as smart as I pretend to be, etc. So yes, I do think there can be a downside to gifted education, but there doesn't have to be.

Good luck with your kids. When I read this board, it seems like caring, engaged moms who are looking to support their kids for the right reasons (not hot-housing them or living through their kids success or anything). People have been very forthcoming when I have questions!

dissertating mom to three

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