linking to posts in General Discussion forum

Posted by: indigo

linking to posts in General Discussion forum - 07/03/20 02:26 PM

Linking to posts by and/or about gifted adults, in the General Discussion Forum, and other forums... for future readers who may be seeking those topics here in the Gifted Adult Forum.

1) Why I never bring up my own experience, in the Parenting and Advocacy forum (thread started: January 2020)

2) Am I gifted or not?, in the General Discussion forum (thread started: April 2020)

3) What should an ungifted 20-year-old do?, in the General Discussion forum (thread started: April 2020)

4) Taking a Gap Year or Dropping Out?, in the Learning Environments forum (thread started: July 2020)

5) Giftedness, 2e, and executive functions, in the Twice Exceptional Forum (thread started: March 2021)

6) Realizing you are gifted as an adult, in the General Discussions forum (thread started: April 2021)

Links to more discussion threads on the topic of gifted adults, which are scattered throughout the forums: http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post218468
Posted by: indigo

Re: linking to posts in General Discussion forum - 07/30/22 03:14 PM

Linking to a thread in the General Discussion Forum, as future readers of the forum may look for that type of topic here in the Gifted Adult Forum:

http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post249894
Posted by: giftedamateur

Re: linking to posts in General Discussion forum - 07/30/22 08:21 PM

Thanks for posting this! Going through the posts, I recognize several recurring themes -- themes which haven't played out exactly the same way in my life, obviously, but which are, regardless all too familiar. I was not that genius who went to the International Math Olympiad without coaching, for example, but I did hold my own in math, even in math competitions, just not at that high level. But I always questioned after that whether I really had talent, because until that point I was basically dominating it without trying. It's a tough psychological barrier to overcome.

Levels of giftedness is a common theme, and one which I would like to see more discussion about (if there are any really good threads already, do feel free to link those somewhere). What I observed is that you grow up knowing, either consciously or subconsciously that you're gifted. You have achievements to back that up, and you maybe make your way into elite universities. Then, you see people who are much better than you and find it hard to reconcile that reality. You realize that you may be very gifted, but there are people out there who are scary talents, and that you will never beat them at their game. Not the healthiest way to think, perhaps, but it is natural and a reality we all have to face. Being at the 98th percentile still puts you among millions of people similar to you in intelligence, and simple arithmetic says that if only 0.01% of people get into a highly selective profession, then simply being at the 98th percentile will do you no favors. Alternatively, you are indeed so smart that you are in the top 1% at your college without trying hard, but then lose interest, and are left perplexed.

I feel like many posts here talk about early advocacy. While that is indeed justified, I would like to see more discussion regarding gifted adults, because I think that's where it's at. All of those kids who go to 'gifted' classes then grow up and wonder why they never 'amounted' to anything. And so, in a certain roundabout way, it's also very relevant for gifted children in order to answer the somewhat philosophical question of what we prioritize when we think of those programs in the first place. Is it simply providing an education where gifted kids aren't bored out of their minds, or one in which they are challenged to their utmost potential? The latter would entail some hardship, and then the entire narrative needs to be shaped around that -- and kids then probably can't be opted in by default if it's going to be a tough grind.
Posted by: philly103

Re: linking to posts in General Discussion forum - 08/03/22 06:59 AM

I believe that we've reached a point where too often we are fetishizing intelligence for the sake of intelligence. And that is a disservice to children and young people.

I'll speak on it from my perspective as a highly gifted adult who is raising a DYS child. I see large differences between how I viewed my own intelligence as a child vs. how I teach my child to view his. As a child I viewed opportunities to demonstrate my intelligence as worthwhile in and of themselves. Complex math problems, coding, advanced classes, etc. They all served little purpose other than measuring sticks for my own ability. As an extension of this, I actively sought out such opportunities. But as noted elsewhere, as we move up the academic and professional food chain, we inevitably run into people who are also exceptionally bright and hit a point of diminishing returns on the value of pure intelligence in terms of our careers (well, for most careers, certainly not all).

By contrast, I teach my child to set goals that have nothing to do with being intrinsically intelligent. Sports, building things, etc. Being intelligent certainly makes those things easier but they're not dictated purely by raw intellectual ability, rather they're dictated by productive outcomes.

And I suspect that's a big part of the difference between those who feel a sense of accomplishment vs those who don't think they've amounted to much or met their potential. Because intellectual potential can never really be met. Our "potential" is infinite. OTOH, concrete goals are finite. And when we succeed at those goals, there is a satisfaction there that has nothing to do with our potential.

To bring it back to the elements of education and gifted children, I'm often unsure what the point of gifted education is, as currently practiced. It certainly attempts to separate out the smartest kids from the rest of the pack. But what does it teach them other than the idea that being smart somehow entitles them to more than other kids. The problem with that is that none of the kids in a gifted class did any work to earn that intelligence. It's intrinsic. And that means we run the risk of connecting intelligence with entitlement when the world doesn't work that way.

I see a lot of parents (myself included) make the mistake of looking at inclusion in things like gifted classes or acceptance into DYS or Mensa as some kind of accomplishment. It's not. Neither we, the parents, nor the children have done anything noteworthy to get into gifted programs, we've simply shown up and taken tests. But we discuss this simple accomplishment, taking a test and mailing in the result, as if we've cured cancer. We've produced nothing, we've only been measured.

If we condition our children to view this minor task of being measured as a determiner of their value then we run the risk of raising kids who don't know how to properly impact the world or how to properly measure their impact on it.

I'll use a simple example -- building a chair. We have an instructor teaching a room full of kids how to build a chair. Some kids are going to pick up the concepts much faster than other kids and probably finish their chair sooner because of it. But at the end of the day, so long as the chair is built, all of the kids have accomplished the same task and are worthy of the same praise. We have a problem when the kids who built their chair quickly and easily don't value their accomplishment because it was "too easy" intellectually. They want to build a more difficult chair. There's nothing wrong with that but it shouldn't come with a diminishment of the very real chair that they created. And there shouldn't be a diminishment of the other children's chairs because those kids needed more time to grasp the concepts.

I think there's a very difficult balance to strike there. When the scales tip too far in the direction of praising intelligence separate from a concrete accomplishment we risk teaching kids to devalue their worth because they're too busy chasing a "potential" that can never truly be met.

Probably not a perfect expression of my thoughts on the subject but enough for now.
Posted by: giftedamateur

Re: linking to posts in General Discussion forum - 08/04/22 06:42 PM

I generally agree with the principle that the best form of education is simply challenging each student at their personal level, like a video game where you quickly build up to that point where you struggle which is optimal for growth. However, given that such education is virtually impossible to implement in general, and the fact that being different from the norm brings up adjustment issues, I think it's rather important that children know in some way that it's not their own fault that they struggle with these issues. I would say that you see a certain form of this sort of teaching in the arts, where good teachers can coach students one-on-one, and therefore develop them largely independently. In that situation, "acceleration" doesn't even make sense as a term, because there is no set tempo.

Agreed that inclusion in gifted programs shouldn't be thought of as a sort of accomplishment. But isn't this a slippery slope? How about scores on the SAT (which are highly g-loaded)? Getting into university? Getting into a top university? Should we only reward effort, or a combination of effort and talent? Should we reward "actual impact", and if so, what qualifies as "actual impact"? In that case, children will basically never have actual impact, so what should they be rewarded for?
Posted by: indigo

Re: linking to posts in General Discussion forum - 09/02/22 01:40 PM

Seeking opportunities and inclusion in high-IQ classes, competitions, support groups, socials, etc may be healthy, worthwhile, and productive if a goal (and outcome) is experiencing the benefits of:
- academic challenge,
- being in the company of intellectual peers.

For typical kids, these needs may be met in daily life and a mainstream general ed classroom. However for children with higher IQ/giftedness, these needs may not be met without intentional effort in providing advanced curriculum or extracurricular opportunities.

Although written about classroom experiences (not extracurriculars) these old posts link articles by experts, on the benefits of academic challenge and intellectual peers.
1) need for academic challenge
http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post233062
2) need for intellectual peers
http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post229604
Posted by: indigo

Re: linking to posts in General Discussion forum - 09/02/22 01:45 PM

giftedamateur, you've expressed great thoughts. Possibly some the questions you raise may dovetail well the previous post (regarding the need for, and benefits of, academic challenge and intellectual peers).