Originally Posted By: indigo
Did you know... several years after SENG was founded, the focus appeared to change from explaining/presenting giftedness and gifted individuals to the world at large in a positive light and thereby encouraging the world at large to support the emotional needs of the gifted (for validation, affirmation, appropriate academic placement/pacing, inclusion with intellectual peers)... to focusing on how the minority (intellectually gifted individuals) must adapt to the expectations of the majority culture (aka average intelligence). Essentially a change from educating the world's perception of gifted individuals and encouraging acceptance and appreciation of diverse intellectual strengths to fixing the gifted individuals.


I must admit that the little I know of SENG is from posts in this forum, but I’ve noticed a similar change in gifted advocacy over here. There is great emphasis on the risks that gifted kids will underachieve if they aren’t provided with suitable support, painting scenarios of boredom, failures and dropouts. Whilst there’s a strong academic body of unquestionable evidence backing this, which is widely cited (I’ve recently read about the ‘six types of gifted kids’), dare I suggest that the gifted advocacy movement overall has tended to play to the popular stances of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ and ‘the squeaky wheel gets the most attention’ and like other groups, started to expeditiously play the ‘victim’ card (which is probably understandable given the ‘tall poppy syndrome’ resistance they would likely meet if they took a different approach and the fact that funding policy is often on an ‘as needs’ basis and giftedness by itself is not generally considered a state of need) which over time has promoted more negative perceptions of giftedness than there should be.

Wrt the other TV programs you’ve listed, I think it’s also worth commenting that age/precocity (as depicted in Doogie Houser and in Young Seldon) is a separate factor which can have interesting bearing on individual circumstances. On the one hand, a cohort might resent a much younger, precocious student, but it provides a convenient opportunity to explain away any social friction as due to the lack of social maturity on the part of the precocious individual (likely real due to the wide age difference).