Thanks for accepting my perspective! I know your job is difficult, yet I take every opportunity I can to remind people that "gifted kids" live where they live. Their lives have a social and cultural groundpoint. I cannot stress that point enough.
If schools really want to help "gifted kids", they have to take those anthroplogical characteristics into consideration or they run the risk of creating anomalies like the archetypical high IQ kid, Jared, from "The Pretender". Children like that will always be searching for a place to call their own, a culture where they really belong, and life existence that is happy and fulfilling for them.
Don't strip them of their families and friends by trying to put them into a "higher socioeconomic situation" through isolated educational experiences. Americans tried to do that to the Native Americans, and we can all see what the results were.
Help children form bonds in cooperative groups with other children that exhibit various critical skills that will enhance each other. Teaming is a positive way for gifted children to see that they can fit in, and it gives the other children a chance to see that they have skills that augment everyone elses'.
Ellyn, please accept my apologies for keeping this conversation in front of the entire listserv, but I think this is a critical issue that continues to get the short shift. I really hope that the students on the ID listserv from Ohio State will read these posts, because they must deal with this issue if they decide to teach.
I still remember the horror of being discarded as an adult, former gifted child, (during the '70's and 80's)when the special education professors were openly preaching that gifted adults should never teach gifted children. They believed that non-gifted adults made the best teachers.
How is that for a positive philosophy? I am going to separate you from your family and social group...teach you to go higher and higher intellectually ...just to knock you down when you grow up.
This has been a very difficult issue for me, yet I must insist that the very social issues you discussed earlier, girls hiding the intelligence, many low SES children having a high IQ, etc need to be addressed within the CONTEXT of the life and world of the child.
I know these issues can be creatively addressed in a way that is effective for high IQ children, yet funding for these types of programs will probably never happen.
Token "gifted programs" are just fine for the politicos because they show that they are interested, and they know that these programs alienate these children from their family, teachers and peers. That prevents these children from helping their family and peers, so they don't have to worry about possible political threats from these groups!
It all boils down to this: High Intellect is like beauty, physical strength, athletic abilitily, artistic talent, or other similar qualities. It is only one PART of the person I am.
As for me, the mother, I want the school district where I live to have enriching experiences for all of the children at my daughter's school. I know that the more each little child learns, the more they will grow, live, share, and compete with each other.
I want them to knock each other around intellectually and socially, just like they do athletically...under the supervision of good teachers who work to build opportunities to agree, disagree, and develop consensus decisions where necessary.
That's not asking too much! HAHA!
Thanks for listening,
"I keep six honest serving-men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who." -Rudyard Kipling
On Thu, 22 Oct 1998 06:30:16 Ellyn Wenk wrote:
>Thank you for you for your comments. But honestly Sheryll, It gets >harder and harder to do this gifted job when even the gifted people do >not support your efforts!! >Ellyn > >
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