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    Beyond IQ: The consequences of ignoring talent.
    The highly intelligent child must learn to suffer fools gladly...
    by Matthew Archer
    Aporia Magazine
    April 12, 2024

    Quote
    The highly intelligent child must learn to suffer fools gladly — not sneeringly, not angrily, not despairingly, not weepingly — but gladly if personal development is to proceed successfully in the world as it is.

    — Leta Hollingworth, 1942 [emphasis added]

    London, September 2018.

    It’s the start of a new school year. A thirteen-year-old boy with an ill-fitting blazer and a fuzzy top lip shuffles into my first philosophy class of the term. He has messy black hair and big, dark eyes. He’s by far the shortest in the class. Eyes down, he makes his way to a front desk without any attempt at human interaction. A nervous air hangs over him. Teenagers quickly pick up on oddballs, and I wonder, as he glides through like a ghost, if they already intuit that this boy is strange. Under his arm is a tattered book, the size catches my eye. This isn’t an academically selective school — my expectation is smartphones, not tomes. He takes a seat and places the book face down on the desk. I twist my neck to see its spine, then I begin with the usual question: what is philosophy? His hand shoots up: “The etymology is from the Greek philos, meaning love, and sophos, meaning wisdom, so love of wisdom.” In this first lesson, the boy will — literally squeaking with enthusiasm — raise his hand for every question. He does that thing eager kids do where they hover slightly above their chair, almost hyperextend their arm, and stare at you until you either relent or ask someone else. The boy's name is Georgios. A few weeks later, he will have locked himself in the bathroom. He will be crying and unable to say why.

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    It is the digital age of smartphones which might afford Georgios other forums to engage in learning. If Georgious had parents who have previously traversed similar terrain, they might counsel him to keep a summit view in class and consider when and how to engage - perhaps allowing others to offer their ideas and waiting for the teacher to call upon him for the definitive answers.

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    Val Offline
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    Quote
    If Georgious had parents who have previously traversed similar terrain, they might counsel him to keep a summit view in class and consider when and how to engage - perhaps allowing others to offer their ideas and waiting for the teacher to call upon him for the definitive answers.

    But better yet, the school system would have put him into a selective school where he'd be surrounded by peers who shared his enthusiasm for learning. In that environment, he'd learn to listen to others who had also read books and thought carefully about their ideas, and he'd improve his ability to reason by being challenged by other very bright kids and (ideally) teachers. Why do we deny this essential experience to the Georgios' of the world? And why do we pretend that they can fully develop their intellects if not properly challenged?

    Putting too much confidence in the University of Google gives us misinformation on every subject, from science and medicine to history to finance. I'm tired of being told I have to respect opinions based on lies and ideology. The schools need to do better, as does the media and etc. Yes, big problems.

    But the answer isn't to give in and pretend that someone claiming that up is down has a valuable opinion. Nor is it reasonable to allow the claims that people who spend years or decades learning about something are only "so-called experts" who can be ignored because Dr. W said so, and besides, he's a hero whose medical license was unfairly taken by the biased Establishment.

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    Originally Posted by Val
    ...the answer isn't to give in and pretend that someone claiming that up is down has a valuable opinion.
    I may be missing something... please fill me in on what that is. In the meanwhile it seems to me that the educational system as described in the article is basically claiming that up is down when they thwart a student's progress and learning, then assign low grades although the student has clearly demonstrated mastery.

    Originally Posted by Val
    Nor is it reasonable to allow the claims that people who spend years or decades learning about something are only "so-called experts" who can be ignored because Dr. W said so...
    I may be missing something... please fill me in on what that is. In the meanwhile it seems to me that the teachers and administrators have spent years or decades learning about education and may actually be only "so-called experts" because the educational system does not appear to delve into the topics of giftedness, and a teacher may encounter 0-3 pupils of high IQ (145+) in their career.

    Originally Posted by Val
    ... and besides, he's a hero whose medical license was unfairly taken by the biased Establishment.
    I may be missing something... please fill me in on what that is. In the meanwhile it appears that this quoted statement may be off-topic and not derived from this article per se.

    In an attempt to make a connection to the article, it is my understanding that both teachers and those in the medical field may lose a license by failing to renew the license, misconduct at work, involvement in a criminal act, malpractice (failing to provide what students/patients needed), or committing fraud (such as by providing false credentials or falsifying records). Unfortunately, there may also be a current trend toward what is called "lawfare" or using the legal system as a weapon and conducting warfare by accusing people... as most people tend to exhaust their financial resources and are therefore unable to defend themselves fully.

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    Originally Posted by Val
    But better yet, the school system would have put him into a selective school where he'd be surrounded by peers who shared his enthusiasm for learning. In that environment, he'd learn to listen to others who had also read books and thought carefully about their ideas, and he'd improve his ability to reason by being challenged by other very bright kids and (ideally) teachers. Why do we deny this essential experience to the Georgios' of the world? And why do we pretend that they can fully develop their intellects if not properly challenged?

    I’m not sure about the selective schools in your area, but here, in my part of Oz, they are mainly filled with students from highly aspirational families, with above average intellect which have been honed by hours of extracurricular coaching and tutoring. When my son was 9, he eagerly anticipated meeting like-minded kids in his Yr 5 opportunity class (primary school equivalent of selective secondary schools) but was disappointed to find that whilst they were more conscientious than his previous regular stream classmates, he essentially couldn’t discern much difference in intellectual quality and certainly none were capable of sharing and developing ideas at his level. For this reason, he decided it wouldn’t be worth investing his time in long commutes to selective schools for such peers and he would instead stay local and utilise his time as he saw fit.

    In the second part of the linked article, siblings, Dafne and Andrew, had their father to guide them and that was the point I was trying to make earlier. Most gifted kids have, by the nature of genetics, one or both parent(s) who is/are gifted themselves and parents who have already negotiated similar terrain can offer advice from their own experiences, if not private resources to support them on their chosen journeys. My son was very much in Georgios’ position at school, but he’d quietly ponder concepts that he’d come across in Open University lectures and only actively contributed in class when his teachers (many had acknowledged that he was stronger in their subject matter area than they were) called upon him to do so. I do not believe these experiences hindered his development, rather, in addition to giving him plenty of time to muse, it afforded him the opportunity to take a ‘summit view’ of his surroundings and that perspective is/will be invaluable later in life when the EG/PG individual will inevitably find themselves at odds with ‘thought leaders’ who influence the majority.

    My son also took the time and effort to reflect on how he could develop interpersonal skills to engage effectively with a broad range of people. He is now at college and the breadth, depth and heights of activities he is engaged in is quite breathtaking. Yesterday, he sent me some video clips of his college band’s recent performance, adding that they have been offered the facilities of a multimillion dollar studio to record their music, which for a self taught musician who’s never had a music lesson, is a nice enough compliment, but that he has so successfully engaged in quintessential teen activities is a personal coup.

    Last edited by Eagle Mum; 05/03/24 10:05 PM.
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