Thursday, October 30

the gifted label

Christine at The Thinking Mother recently shared an article about gifted children in the school system. The article uses cheetah and zoo analogies to describe these children's schooling circumstances.

The gist of it is that school's are like zoos, stifling our children. And that the gifted child is like a cheetah - needing specific conditions to run at full speed. Since the zoo/school cannot provide optimal conditions, the gifted child will be lost in the sea of other children. The confinement of the system does not allow the child to spread his/her wings. Or to follow the author's analogy - to get to full speed.

Part of what I commented to Christine:

Although giftedness is certainly an issue in the school system, I find that the discussion is limited. In my view, ALL children require more individual attention, but for differing reasons - gifted, creative, non-academic, an 'average' child forgotten amongst the rabble.
I just feel that too much attention is given to giftedness, when there are other children in the system that really need help. Although I do understand that it's a reaction to the extensive attention of poor learners, I also believe that it's an indicator of our times - wanting the super child. Much like tryng to be supermoms. I feel that we need to move beyond this now.

I also said that I was highly dubious about the belief that, "if a child teaches herself Greek at age five [etc] we can safely assume that this child is a highly gifted child". But that's another discussion.

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