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    Joined: Aug 2009
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    I have been gathering sources for a research project for a while and am reading a lot of books about human intelligence and gifted education. A bibliography of the books I've been reading or referring to, with annotations about some of the best sources, can be found at

    Intelligence Citations Bibliography

    The various authors who write about human intelligence and gifted education by no means all agree with one another. I'm trying to give each source a close reading and to tease out what the genuine consensus is on certain important issues. I hope to submit some of my writing output to peer-reviewed professional research journals. But I'd also like to write popular articles for parents that address their concerns.

    To make my writings relevant and helpful to parents of gifted children, I'd like to ask for your suggestions. From a parental perspective, what issues are well understood by educators, and what issues are most controversial when parents try their best to guide their children's educations well? What facts about human intelligence do you find are most neglected by people who ought to know them? What myths about gifted education are most influential in today's schools? What issues do you wish more people knew more about, so that gifted learners could receive better educations?


    "Students have no shortcomings, they have only peculiarities." Israel Gelfand
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    These are some examples of misinformation and myths that seem to be prevalent in schools:

    *the thinking that keeping gifted kids with their age-peers is better for them socially.

    *the assumption that gifted means speedy more than deep.

    *the assumption that gifted means gifted in everything, and if not, then the child "isn't that gifted."

    *that teaching in a differentiated, meaningful way for gifted kids is possible in a classroom full of 30 heterogeneous kids.

    *that gifted kids don't need attention since they already know the material.

    *that it's okay to have gifted kids teach other kids the material "in order to more fully understand the material themselves."

    *that a kid must be highly able in both verbal and non-verbal areas in order to be identified as gifted.

    Thank you for the work you're doing and for the information.

    Last edited by KADmom; 07/07/13 01:49 PM.
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    I agree with all the above, and add....

    that all kids even out by 3rd grade (my dd would have to learn nothing for the next 2 to 3 years and drop down several grade levels to make this true)


    DD6- DYS
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    Let me add to KADmom's very fine list of points with this personal favorite myth:

    * Gifted children are not "at-risk" students; they are highly capable, after all-- and will be fine on their own no matter what kind of educational environment they find themselves in.

    * Gifted children are happiest and most fulfilled when they can "coast" academically in comfortable material that they have mastery over.

    * Perfectionism can be healthy; gifted students should learn that they should always earn 100% on academics, since they are capable of that. This just teaches highly capable students to seek excellence.

    * Gifted children are extroverted, assertive-- natural leaders.

    * Gifted children are industrious, hard workers who like to please authority figures.

    * All gifted children are autodidacts.

    What is ironic to me is that such things are far more true of optimally-intelligent children than of gifted ones.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    * Gifted children should spend time working on areas of WEAKNESS, not allowed to work in their areas of strength/high ability. This keeps them from becoming arrogant and keeps their skills developing more "evenly."

    This brings me to yet another point--

    * you can-- and should-- work to keep gifted children from being so asynchronous.

    MANY educators subscribe to this notion, as strange as it seems.

    * Gifted children are more mature than neurotypical age-mates, and therefore children who are age-appropriate in the development of executive skills aren't actually gifted.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Ironically enough the thing that's come up repeatedly here is the idea that highly gifted kids have a splinter strength, possibly a major weakness and generally most skills not that much above average. Surely it's unfair to expect them to be ahead across the board and better to just subject accelerate the strength and let them cruise and be a kid for the rest.

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    Regarding issues and myths, there may be a common conflation of the concepts of "giftedness" and "opportunity". As an example, people may say that a child is so gifted that they attended a particular school or camp... or accomplished a specific personal goal.

    While Giftedness and Opportunity may sometimes align, people may need to understand that natural giftedness occurs in every demographic. Despite strong internal drive there is not a direct proportional correlation between giftedness and access to opportunity, connections, or financial resources to empower a student to achieve or accomplish their desired goals.

    Example:
    In addition to experiencing delays in achieving their personal goals when they reach out to potential mentors who subsequently decline support... unfortunately some gifted students also suffer the indignity of seeing their goals permanently thwarted when the potential mentor chooses to take the gifted student's original ideas and to support other children in accomplishing them. This undermines and invalidates a gifted child while affirming and boosting others; It may be one strategy utilized by schools to close achievement gaps and/or to close excellence gaps.

    Summary:
    In summary, where Giftedness may be nature, the provision of Opportunity is nurture:
    - A lack of Opportunity does not equal a lack of Giftedness.
    - An abundance of Opportunity does not equal Giftedness.

    Fortunately, understanding this may help facilitate the provision of opportunity for talent development and achieving personal goals for gifted children. Especially for those who attempt to self-advocate for the support they seek.

    NAGC List of Myths About Gifted Students:
    More Myths on this NAGC webpage (backed up on the WayBack Machine, here.)

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    Great list!

    Let me add:

    A Gifted child cannot have a learning disability and a child with a learning disability or developmental delay cannot be gifted.

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    As a PG 23 year old, I had a question for you all that closely aligns to this thread:

    Is it part of the "overexcitabilities" --or is it a myth--to be particularly sensitive to changes in temperature, light, smell, and particularly vision (details no one in the normal range will notice) ?

    Sometimes I am extremely disturbed by lights flickering, or even the sound of a clock chiming 60 (or more) feet away. Is this just an individual habit, or is it common for other gifted individuals to experience this?

    Thanks in advance =]


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    I think it's not unusual, in that it tends to be comorbid with high IQ.... but sensory sensitivity also tends to be comorbid with other non-NT ways of being, too. Folks on the autism spectrum also quite often have sensory sensitivities that place them well outside the range of NT people...

    though there are "highly sensitive" people of more normative IQ, too.


    My DH has no sensory OE's or hypersensitivities, but DD and I both do. She is PG, and DH and I are both probably in HG/EG range. So it's just coincidence, IMO. My ex-MIL had auditory hypersensitivity, though not as extreme as my own-- and honestly I doubt that she was even MG.


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