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    #239322 - 07/25/17 03:51 AM There's no such thing as a gifted child
    katee564 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/07/16
    Posts: 11
    Thoughts on the article linked below?

    While it seems to recognize the distinction between high IQ and achievement, it still seems to muddy their relationship. It's not entirely clear to me what actionable points can be drawn from it, despite the remarkable proposition that we can aid any child in becoming gifted.

    https://amp.theguardian.com/education/2017/jul/25/no-such-thing-as-a-gifted-child-einstein-iq

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    #239323 - 07/25/17 09:52 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: katee564]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Well, the book makes a very basic mistake by calling Albert Einstein a "slow learner" (see preface in Amazon Look Inside feature). In fact, Einstein was a highly capable student who was two years ahead of his age/grade level. He took the ETH entry exam at 16 after leaving school in Germany. He didn't get in because it tested subjects he hadn't studied in Germany (e.g. Swiss history), and because they wanted him to mature for another year (reference below, pages 28 and 81*).

    The slow learner myth is trivially easy to disprove. See here, for example.


    Given that the author used such a basic and easily disproven fallacy as part of the foundation for her ideas, I wonder how sloppy (or ideological) the rest of her book is.

    I don't believe that "anyone" can perform at a gifted level by virtue of hard work. If that were true, 2/3 of my high school track team should have gone to the state track meet, because that number worked incredibly hard (the coach gave us no choice). Plus, lots of soccer players should make the all-stars team and most incoming freshmen should pass that relatively basic math test they have to take. But only 10% of my team went to States, fewer still make the All Star team, and a majority fails the basic math test. Etc.

    Hard work is necessary for performance at a high level, but talent is an entry requirement. Lying to people and telling them "you can be gifted if you try hard enough" is cruel IMO, because it sets people up for failure.


    *Einstein Encyclopedia


    Edited by Val (07/25/17 09:54 AM)

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    #239324 - 07/25/17 10:43 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: katee564]
    Merlin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/28/16
    Posts: 70
    Loc: In a galaxy far, far away...
    Also Terman did miss two exceptionally gifted children in his study, but majority of his Termites did go on to become successful adults.

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    #239325 - 07/25/17 11:39 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: katee564]
    Saritz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/12
    Posts: 80
    I think the article is pretty much what I would expect from the Guardian on the topic. The perspective is right in line with their politics.

    In my own life, before I knew I was gifted (found out at age 40), I often made those types of comments. I'm not smart, just focused, just observant, just persistent, etc. My parents knew, btw, just chose not to share the info with me. I know my mom doesn't believe in gifted. My dad is probably gifted himself, but has never been tested. He's dyslexic, so would have been 2e.

    This is a sore subject with me. I believe "gifted" encompasses far more than IQ, but I also believe that my two IQ gifted kids need more academic challenges and a different kind of support than they are currently receiving in school. I support them at home and fill in what gaps I can, but I would like to see the shools do more. They receive funding in our state for gifted ed and they have special programs, but the programs are all hat and no cattle, at least in our experience.

    As long as we have major publications disputing the existence of the gifted the schools will feel justified in ignoring the needs of these kids. Some will find their mojo in spite of obstacles, but others will not reach their full potential. It's a pity this topic is so emotionally charged for so many people.

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    #239327 - 07/25/17 01:16 PM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: katee564]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Keep going - nothing to see here. IQ is a spectrum and not that precise but it is not meaningless. Some gifted don't look it some are glaringly obvious. Many bright but not gifted outperform gifted people, many gifted do not reach their potential.

    It does not help people to tell them it is their own fault they can't achieve at the level the top kids do. Nor does it help to praise a kid doing no work for their effort.

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    #239347 - 07/28/17 10:49 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: Val]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: Val
    I don't believe that "anyone" can perform at a gifted level by virtue of hard work. If that were true, 2/3 of my high school track team should have gone to the state track meet, because that number worked incredibly hard (the coach gave us no choice). Plus, lots of soccer players should make the all-stars team and most incoming freshmen should pass that relatively basic math test they have to take. But only 10% of my team went to States, fewer still make the All Star team, and a majority fails the basic math test. Etc.

    Hard work is necessary for performance at a high level, but talent is an entry requirement.


    Lies! Fake News!

    2/3 of your high school track team SHOULD have gone to the state track meet.

    Anyone can be awesome if they follow the Formula to Success, which involves hard work, grit, and more hard work. And grit. Also work. But grit is really the thing. I'm pretty sure that "not having enough grit" the final answer to the age old question: "Why do most people fail to win the Olympics?"

    If everyone about themselves more and had more self-respect, we would have more Winners! and less losers.

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    #239354 - 07/29/17 11:14 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: JonLaw]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3990
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Anyone can be awesome if they follow the Formula to Success, which involves hard work, grit, and more hard work. And grit. Also work. But grit is really the thing. I'm pretty sure that "not having enough grit" the final answer to the age old question: "Why do most people fail to win the Olympics?"

    This should take care of any achievement shortcomings:
    https://www.amazon.com/Palmetto-Farms-White-Stone-Ground/dp/B009HHNUUE/
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #239357 - 07/30/17 01:49 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: aeh]
    Mana Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/17/12
    Posts: 882
    I am going to order a bag. Love cheese grits.

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    #239358 - 07/30/17 06:56 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: aeh]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4959
    I'm personally quite fond of shrimp an' grits. smile

    That said, I looked into this article a bit and this is what I find:

    - The title is meant to provoke a reaction (whether positive or negative, the author does not care... as long as it causes people to read the article).

    - The full title is "Why there's no such thing as a gifted child." However the article does not get around to explaining giftedness away. Instead, the article back-peddles by saying "While the jury is out on giftedness being innate and other factors potentially making the difference, what is certain is that the behaviours associated with high levels of performance are replicable and most can be taught – even traits such as curiosity."

    - The article contains a mishmosh of snippets from unrelated research studies which each suggest possible increases in performance and/or achievement. It appears that when a school is focused on applying these principals there is no will to serve the needs of certain students who present with very high innate intelligence.

    - The article states "Research in Britain shows the difference parents make if they take part in simple activities pre-school in the home, supporting reading for example" which appears to echo Hart & Risley research in the 1960's... information which has been well-known for 50 years.

    - The purpose of the article is to create free publicity for an upcoming book, "Great Minds and How to Grow Them: High Performance Learning" which is co-authored by the writer of the article, Wendy Berliner, along with Deborah Eyre, the founder of High Performance Learning (HPL), an organization whose name appears in the book's title on amazon.
    So we have: article => promotes book => promotes organization.

    - High Performance Learning appears to be a UK counterpart to Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).

    - Deborah Eyre appears to have several income streams from educational endeavors and consultancies. Ms. Eyre was a member of the executive committee of the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children (WCGTC) from 2005-2007, and from 2007-2009 Vice President. She may be regarded as a person of influence.

    - The book states, "Deborah always found the hard bit was choosing who the brightest ones were. Formal Education doesn't have a great record in that regard. No Nobel Prize Winner so far was identified as a prodigy as a child..." I believe the flaws in this logic are:
    Sentence 1 - it is not necessarily about "choosing the brightest ones", it is about identifying "need."
    Sentence 2 - again, it is about focusing on meeting educational "need" - teaching a child in their appropriate challenge level or ZPD.
    Sentence 3 - This conflates gifted with prodigy. This also obfuscates "meeting a gifted child's educational needs" with "predicting future eminence."
    Possibly her work would benefit from a glossary of definitions, and consistency in word use.
    Of course, that consistency makes it so much more difficult to spin terms and segue the conversation from one based on facts to one based on emotions.

    - Phrases such as "most children are capable of reaching high levels of performance that were previously associated only with the gifted and talented" while non-specific as to what is being compared, seem to promote hot-housing which far exceeds a child's natural inquisitiveness, individual penchant for knowledge, thirst for learning, or rage to master. These phrases describe a gifted child's taking the lead in his/her own education. There is a vast difference between supporting a gifted child who is taking the lead and setting the pace, as compared with flooding a typical student with information at the same pace.

    - Regarding Einstein, statements in the article such as "Even Einstein was unexceptional in his youth" are non-specific as to both the traits being considered and age. Youth can refer to toddler years through early adulthood. The book sheds a bit more light on this statement, in saying, "Einstein, who was slow to talk, was seen as a slow learner - described by the family maid as 'the dopey one'." The casual observations of a maid are not to be taken as a formal educational evaluation for placement.

    I would be tempted to dismiss this work altogether if I did not sense a true danger to gifted children from several of the ideas presented and the conclusions drawn.

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    #239381 - 08/01/17 07:41 AM Re: There's no such thing as a gifted child [Re: katee564]
    Cranberry Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/29/13
    Posts: 153
    "Gifted" is defined as those scoring above a certain percentile on a set of evaluations. So there is little doubt, IMHO, that there indeed is such a think as "gifted".

    There are professional football players who took up the game late, so didn't excel in jr. high, high school, etc. Does that mean there's no such thing as a great high school football player? Of course not.

    The process we have may not identify every single high achieving person. It's a statistical certainty that there are very high IQ children living in the backwaters of 3rd world countries that we haven't identified. That doesn't mean that those we have identified don't exist.

    There are also many academies that teach children in various ways. I've yet to see one that churns out every single student with a "gifted" score on standardized tests. Yes, you can maximize everyone's capability. But pretty much my definition, not everyone can be in the top 2%, 5%, whatever cutoff you use (unless you're at Lake Wobegone)

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