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The Myths of Gifted Children

gifted-childEvery parent thinks their kid is a genius. But for some people, their kids actually are far above the norm. They’re not just good in school — as a matter of fact, sometimes they are not good in school at all. Instead, they fall into the category of “gifted children.”

Actually, the idea that “gifted children do very well in school” is one of many myths about gifted children. They often are either so bored they sort of mentally check out of school, or their brain is simply wired differently and a traditional classroom just can’t meet their needs. Because of that, they often do poorly when it comes to grades, although they might be doing things like writing a novel or conducting scientific experiments in their spare time.

In 1982, Gifted Child Quarterly, the journal published by the National Association for Gifted Children, published an article on myths about educating gifted children. In their current issue, the journal gave the research a fresh look and found that most of the myths remain, and some new ones have joined them. Among those are:

* Creativity is too difficult to measure
* Gifted education means having a program
* High ability students don’t face problems and challenges
* It’s “fair” to teach all children the same way
* Advanced Placement (AP) is an adequate secondary program.

I think anyone who’s watched these kids struggle in school would agree that while traditional schools might do a great job of educating the kids within the spectrum of normal, they’re not so good about dealing with anyone outside that group. I don’t have any answers. Do you?

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