I was over at Kris Wandering Ink blog today, reading about her perspective on our school system and how it impedes the development of genius.
Its a powerful piece and definitely worth the read (if you haven’t already).
As I read through the comments, I noticed a few people saying (or implying) that genius will develop despite the system that its natural and will come out, no matter what the world is telling them.
While I agree to some extent I also think that were fooling ourselves if we think were not damaging these kids. Whats the matter with saying a child is intellectually gifted? How can we possibly believe that our parenting and teaching doesn’t influence how these children develop into adults and use their talents?
When we don’t support and foster their talents, we send them the message that it isn’t good to excel in this way that they need to tone it down and fit in if they want to be liked and accepted. They end up feeling like there’s something WRONG with them!
Now, granted, not all kids react this way I’m sure there some that can brush it off and go on being themselves. But there are lots of kids that aren’t that secure with their own worth, that haven’t been raised to feel their own worth and value.
So, it follows quite easily, that those gifted kids who get ridiculed for knowing the answers, for using advanced vocabulary, for being particularly sensitive or for having an artistic flair well, they stop openly developing those talents to avoid further pain. And if they’re holding back in class, how are they really developing to their full potential??
Coincidentally, I meandered over to Tamara Fishers blog, Unwrapping the Gifted, and read her wonderful article (http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/unwrapping_the_gifted/2008/08/varsity_academics.html) about exactly this topic. She articulates it much more eloquently than I have go have a read!
The fact of the matter is that EVERY CHILD deserves to develop their talents whether that be academic, athletic, artistic, social-emotional, leadership, comedic, etc
Our children all have their unique gifts our job as adults is to help them find and value those gifts.
Honestly, I think its the most important thing we can do for this next generation!