Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Education The Almighty Buck

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child 529

Posted by samzenpus
from the aim-high dept.
theodp writes "'Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore,' explains The Boston Globe's Amy Crawford in The Poor Neglected Gifted Child, 'have national laws requiring that children be screened for giftedness, with top scorers funneled into special programs. China is midway through a 10-year "National Talent Development Plan" to steer bright young people into science, technology, and other in-demand fields.' It seems to be working — America's tech leaders are literally going to Washington with demands for "comprehensive immigration reform that allows for the hiring of the best and brightest". But in the U.S., Crawford laments, 'we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student' and 'risk shortchanging the country in a different way.' The problem advocates for the gifted must address, Crawford explains, is to 'find ways for us to develop our own native talent without exacerbating inequality.' And address it we must. 'How many people can become an astrophysicist or a PhD in chemistry?' asks David Lubinski, a psychologist at Vanderbilt University. We really have to look for the best — that's what we do in the Olympics, that's what we do in music, and that's what we need to with intellectual capital."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

Comments Filter:
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:13AM (#46504491) Homepage

    Smart and gifted kid? Shove them to the back of the class. Oh that not so bright kid that can run and catch really good? he is a superstar!

    We worship the Low IQ and brawn. (NFL players for example) while ridicule anyone smart. It is a culture thing, and in inner city urban cultures being a smart kid get's you isolated badly as your peers try to make you feel as if you are a traitor.

    It has always been this way, on top of that Teachers are scared to death of kids that are smarter than them, and will punish the smart kid. Our education system is set up for average and can not handle the two sides of the bell.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:14AM (#46504499)

    The entire POINT of offering special educational opportunities to gifted children is to help them grow further than they would in a standard classroom. That increases inequality between them and the other children that aren't capable of handling the gifted kids' workload.

  • by Third Position (1725934) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:15AM (#46504503)

    Wonder what the problem is? You tell me.... [nydailynews.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:15AM (#46504505)

    Have you ever noticed how many teachers a special ed class has. Yeah it's not PC to mention it, but that doesn't make it less true. The US is spending a crazy amount of money on students who will, maybe, be able to wipe their bum consistently when they leave the education system. That's where the money is going.

  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:24AM (#46504579) Homepage Journal

    Those programs have been defunded in favor of Common Core.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:26AM (#46504599)

    I think this describes the whole thing.

    As if one had to take away from the one to give to the other. That idea of eihter-or is so cynical I can't believe it.

    The "gifted" are so few that it wouldn't take such a huge amount of money. In the meantime, no investment is too small to raise the "general level" -- but who in power really desires well educated (and possibly critical) sheeple?

    Remember: raising the general level will *help* the luminaries. And of course, the luminaries merit special treatment -- and in exchange will raise the general level.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:27AM (#46504603) Homepage

    Australia also has a gifted, oh wait, it is only for sports douche's. Want to know the real reason why this is so, because they sell advertising, and the companies that sell shit get lobbyists to get the government to pay and promote sports, basically subsidising advertising to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Face it, reality is science and engineering types don't not make good advertising tools. Often they are not pretty enough (or average enough looking according to this http://www.faceresearch.org/de... [faceresearch.org]) or they are unwilling to lie about the quality of products (it's not lying it's acting being the normal bullshit coming out of athletes mouths). So it not just about sports worship, which in reality is advertising driven, it is about the advertising itself and the government subsidising it at public expense (in return of course, it's not lying it's acting, what great politicians they are, according to those self serving athletes).

  • by eapache (1239018) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:30AM (#46504633) Homepage
    And, taking the premise that inequality is bad, then this is bad. In fact, under that premise, meritocracy itself is bad because it awards benefits to those who already have an advantage of some sort.

    The west's obsession with both meritocracy and equality is hilariously impossible.
  • by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:35AM (#46504665)
    By standardizing everything, and focusing on the those who are struggling, we are boring the smarter kids. They go through school with little struggle, because they pick up the content quickly. Later, when the concepts get harder, they have trouble because they were not challenged earlier in the educational process.
  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:38AM (#46504687)
    But somehow, if you begin to screen for exceptional intelligence, you are (horrors) implying that some of the snowflakes aren't so special after all.

    We have an active religious lobby in the US that discourages free thinking, preferring indoctrination that includes no Bayesian interference.

    Unless and until equivalent accolades are placed upon the throne of intellectual exceptionalism, American society is doomed to do well in the Olympics and poorly in graduating advanced math/science/physics wunderkind.

  • what an idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:40AM (#46504701) Homepage Journal

    But in the U.S., Crawford laments, 'we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student' and 'risk shortchanging the country in a different way.'

    No, you utter imbecile. The problem of the western culture is not fund distribution. It's attitude.

    Our "stars" are musicians, actors and professional athletes. Certainly people who work hard and having natural talent definitely helps - but it's not the smart, gifted people we adore in our culture. There's no science-based equivalent of the Super Bowl. The closest we get is that we sometimes thing astronauts are pretty cool.

    You want more smart people in your country? I don't have a magic pill for that, but I can give you an indicator of how close you are: When the sexy girls fuck the geeks instead of the football studs, you're getting somewhere. When this map [fastcodesign.com] has more scientists on it than coaches, you're pretty close. When we pay two-digit millions in salary not to people who pretend to be a robot from the future on camera, or throwing an air-filled dead pig gut around, but to people who work on curing cancer or inventing new methods for energy production, then you won't have to worry about not having enough brains in the country.

    The funding thing is just a small part of that culture.

  • by bluegutang (2814641) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:43AM (#46504717)

    why are we looking Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and China as our models? What scientific advances have come out of those countries recently?

    US universities still generate a disproportionate fraction of scientific research, and US companies generate a disproportionate fraction of technological innovation.

    There's nothing wrong with spending money on gifted kids, but something is wrong with how those countries do it.

  • by careysub (976506) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:44AM (#46504725)

    And, taking the premise that inequality is bad, then this is bad. In fact, under that premise, meritocracy itself is bad because it awards benefits to those who already have an advantage of some sort. The west's obsession with both meritocracy and equality is hilariously impossible.

    Balancing two competing but important objectives? Impossible?

    No, it is the basic problem of all life. If you can't do that, you can't do anything of value.

    Note the poster has framed this to push the view that it is "worrying about inequality" that must be bad, not inequality itself.

    And of course the premise that attacking inequality must necessarily also attack meritocracy is a false framing. Crony capitalism has far more to do with inequality than "meritocracies" of any sort.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:44AM (#46504729)

    We worship the Low IQ and brawn.

    Nah, the USA worships one and only one thing: money

    NFL star of the day is making money. Worship.

    Former NFL star who blew all his money away? No worship. Might even laugh at him

    Different former NFL star who uses his money to build a business? Worship.

    Note that worshiping money isn't the same as worshiping wealth. As comedian Chris Rock once said: Shaq is rich. The guy who pays Shaq is wealthy.

    Americans worship the rich NFL star, but not the wealthy guys who run the NFL. The truly wealthy people mostly operate unnoticed, or they're seen as "evil rich people". Only a few people worship the wealthy, and they're often called right-wing nutjobs

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:45AM (#46504733) Homepage
    This is so true. I have received a few comments from my daughter's teachers that it's amazing to find a student who not only understands the material, but also participates in class.

    I'd also like to point out that we shouldn't be directing the "gifted" children into certain fields but rather trying to figure out what they want to do. When I was in school, I got noticed as gifted, along with a few other kids, and they started a program for us. Mostly a lot of the older sciences like biology and chemistry, which I was really never interested in. They never bothered to ask me what I wanted to learn. Had there been extra computer courses or something along those lines, I would have got a lot more out of the extra work I had to do.
  • Home school (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aethelrick (926305) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:46AM (#46504743)

    Having spent pretty much my entire school life bored out of my mind and unchallenged by uninterested and uninteresting teachers, I recognized this starting to happen in my own son's life. After some initial reluctance and self-doubt, my wife and I removed him from mainstream education and started to home school. We're fortunate that my wife is a stay-home mum dedicated and intellectual enough to do a fantastic job teaching our kids. I help out with the sciences, maths and programming lessons in evenings and on weekends.

    In short our choice to home school is the best thing we could have done for our kid, he's significantly happier, learning much more and crucially he's capable of much more than he would be at school because we're prepared to teach him at HIS pace.

    We periodically test our son to check how he compares to other students in core subjects like english, maths etc. The last time we did this was a couple of months ago and he was comfortably working at GCSE level in these core subjects. He's well beyond GCSE level in the fields that interest him. He's eight years old.

    His teachers could not sufficiently challenge him or make the most of his talents so he was side-lined and ignored at school. My wife and I are now quite confident of our abillity to impart knowledge to our son so we've decided to do the same thing with his little sister.

    I don't think mainstream education makes the most of our kids and I don't think it makes great employees either. Having recently tried to hire new junior programmers for my team I was astounded by how weak the candidates were even though they had CS degrees from good universities. Like lots of things in life if you want them doing well you're probably best doing them yourself. Homeschool for the win!

  • by necro81 (917438) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:51AM (#46504789) Journal
    The inequality they are talking about is social and economic. The children from well-to-do families always have opportunities beyond those of poorer children. A precocious or "gifted" child from a wealthy family has access to all the resources necessary to realize their potential. Where can an equally gifted child from a poor family turn? Their potential is completely unrealized in the U.S.'s current educational system, even though their abilities could easily vault them and their families out of poverty and into prosperity. Meanwhile, the mediocre children and dullards from wealthy families, owing to the resources available to them, gain entrance into Harvard. This situation reinforces (social / economic) inequality and ossifies mobility. In a country that purports to be a merit society, this should be disturbing.

    I don't begrudge wealthy parents doing everything they can to provide for their children - gifted or otherwise. But as a societal matter, opportunities should exist for exceptional students no matter what their economic status. It's not simply a matter of fairness or equality - we are talking about exceptional children here, by definition not the same as everyone else - but of developing the best talent for the good of all.
  • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Monday March 17, 2014 @08:53AM (#46504799)

    +5 - someone who thinks instead of priding themselves on being smart.

    Also overlooked is that gifted children should cost no more than average students to educate. Students who are actually gifted should be able to learn more on their own, rather than needing so much handholding. If they can't, then they're not truly gifted.

  • Re:what an idiot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rmdingler (1955220) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:00AM (#46504867)

    You want more smart people in your country? I don't have a magic pill for that, but I can give you an indicator of how close you are: When the sexy girls fuck the geeks instead of the football studs, you're getting somewhere.

    Parent is describing Nerdtopia.

    And there's something else in there about higher pay, too.

  • by nucrash (549705) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:05AM (#46504915)

    My best student would qualify as on the street in the AC. He may very well end up that way. He is no doubt my best and brightest student that can't make it to class. When he does, he's straight A, all the way. Yet because he's working extra hours just to get by, because he doesn't have backing to focus on school without having to have two jobs to get in, he's struggling to make it to class.

    While I know you are just trolling, I do want to point out that I have some of the best and brightest who just can't seem to get the assistance they need and because of that they are struggling with the basics. The bigger point is that we aren't seeking out these bright few and culturing them to become the best and then we wonder why our advanced college programs only have a select few from other countries in them.

    This argument, tried and true boils down to the following:
    1. We don't have the support infrastructure in place to culture the best and brightest
    2. Society is too busy with bread and circuses to care about those of innovative talent. As long as we are fed and entertained, we are happy.
    3. We focus on people who use the existing infrastructure to get ahead as leeches.
    4. We do not respect hard work at all levels. Ditch digging is hard work, and I don't think you could get a CEO to do that for a day. (A new show idea.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:07AM (#46504923)

    Nah, the USA worships one and only one thing: money

    NFL star of the day is making money. Worship.

    The truly wealthy people mostly operate unnoticed, or they're seen as "evil rich people". Only a few people worship the wealthy, and they're often called right-wing nutjobs

    I don't think you've come to the correct conclusion.

    The USA worships FAME, not wealth, which is why we're running the largest deficit EVER so we can buy ourselves some fame and power.

  • by locofungus (179280) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:10AM (#46504949)

    The problem isn't giving gifted children the opportunity to take advantage of their gifts.

    The problem is that the wealthy will use their wealth to coach, and otherwise promote their average or slightly above average children so that they get into those places for gifted children in preference to the gifted poor child who can only score as average or slightly above average due to lack of opportunity and education.

    I'm sure the same problem happens in the Asian cultures where this is the norm. There is possibly a difference in that educational excellence is seen as something to boast about and so a poor uneducated peasant who has an exceptional child will still want to see them enrolled in a gifted child program unlike in the west where ignorance is sometimes seen as a badge of honour.

  • by failedlogic (627314) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:10AM (#46504951)

    "Smart and gifted kid? Shove them to the back of the class. Oh that not so bright kid that can run and catch really good? he is a superstar!"

    I can't speak of the entire job market, but there are a lot of very smart people without jobs right now. If smart kids are encouraged to be smart and pursue higher academic goals, we need an economy that can support them first and not just at the Grad school level. One major hurdle is TFA posted yesterday about Gates predicting workforce replaced by AI/Robots article. We need to plan and prepare for the future by having real discussions on the future workforce. With all the recent unemployed/underemployed Grads right now, there isn't much motivation as it is.

    The start-your-own business model fails miserably when too many people are competing for finite resources.

    "Teachers are scared to death of kids that are smarter than them"
    Not only that but we have an education system that 'forces' everyone to think the same way.

  • Linus Pauling (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:30AM (#46505119)

    Read his biography some time. And he didn't even have the Internet. Here, I'll save you some time: gifted kids don't need help.

  • Re:Home school (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:31AM (#46505125)

    The problem with homeschooling is consistency. It's also commonly used by parents who just want to mold their children into little duplicates of themselves - which is exactly what you are doing. Fine for you, you sound like a good person to duplicate, but there's a reason much of the homeschool movement in the US is run by fundamentalists who want to shield their children from 'evilution' and make sure they grow up to be flag-waving american-exceptionalist patriots.

    Unfortunately most parents are not so intellectually capable nor so intellectually honest as yourself, so homeschooling is really not a good general solution.

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday March 17, 2014 @09:54AM (#46505321) Homepage

    I think we also need to seriously reevaluate how we're thinking about which kids are "smarter". At least when and where I was going through school, the school wouldn't "shove the smart kids to the back of the class," so to speak. By high school, they did put the "smart kids" into honors classes and AP classes and spent a lot of time helping them get into college and all that.

    The problem was more that all the "smart kids" were largely upper-middle class white and Asian kids who had no behavior problems, no learning disabilities, and were all sweet little goody-two-shoes who did exactly what their teachers said. If you strayed at any point from the approved path, or from the approved line of thinking, you were a "bad kid" who no longer deserved an education. It very much fit into the complaints that I've read that our education is a "factory model", i.e. children are comparable to cogs being churned out in a factory. If the kids adhere to the specs we have set out, then they're "good" and should be move along in the process. If they don't adhere to spec, then they're defective and need to be thrown out.

    The problem is that there are lots of wonderful and intelligent and useful people who don't "adhere to spec". There may be people with a lot of potential who don't score well on standardized tests. They may be brilliant in some ways but a disaster in other areas of their academic career. We learn, sooner or later, that different people have different strengths, but just because they don't fit the mold of a "perfect student" doesn't make them worthless.

  • by Sique (173459) on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:12AM (#46506099) Homepage
    Gifted musicians should learn their instrument without a teacher. Gifted athlets should train all by themselves.

    No. It's actually hard work to turn a gifted child into a prodigy and later a well educated adult. Everything else is a waste of talent.

  • by Xyrus (755017) on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:19AM (#46506185) Journal

    why are we looking Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and China as our models? What scientific advances have come out of those countries recently?

    Not many, because they send their kids to US universities which get the credit. Look at the names on those research papers getting published. Last I checked, Yang, Matsumoto, and Konwa were not common last names in the US.

    US universities still generate a disproportionate fraction of scientific research, and US companies generate a disproportionate fraction of technological innovation.

    Of course they do. But look at the rosters. Do you think US universities and companies limit themselves to the US? On my own projects it's pretty common to have 50% or more of the team be from a foreign country. Both universities and companies pull the best they can the cheapest they can and take the credit where possible.

  • by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Monday March 17, 2014 @11:30AM (#46506331) Homepage

    You must be a teacher. A couple years ago I overheard some teachers saying almost exactly the same thing: "gifted students take care of themselves."

    Except ... When everything is super easy, it is easy to learn how to coast with no effort. Then when things get hard, the reality check can be horribly destructive. And while it is true that left to his/her(*) own devices, a 12 year old is going to take care of himself, with the brain still developing it's a total crapshoot as to whether he'll be making choices that will be personally helpful in life.

    Finally, there will be some example of some city kid learning everything in the college library on his own. Awesome. Except millions of kids don't have that opportunity because they don't live in a great city, or even a city, nor have access to a library anywhere but at school (a tiny crappy one). When all you have to do is look out the window and daydream, you don't learn many useful life skills.

    (*) last male/female

  • Re:Home school (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dbc (135354) on Monday March 17, 2014 @02:03PM (#46508405)

    So my daughter completed multi-variable calculus at a local university at age 13 and got the top score in the class, sitting along side all the freshman engineering students. She took the AP Bio at age 10 and scored a 5. She herself feels the local schools would not serve her well, concluding this after taking with age-peer friends at gymnastics practice, track club, and orchestra, just three of the activities that provide social interaction for our daughter. You and all your nanny-state know-it-all kindred need to stop telling other people how to raise their kids.

    Your nephews, perhaps, are not getting the kind of social experiences that you think they should -- and you may have a point, they may not be served well by their current social experiences. First of all, don't paint all homeschoolers with the same brush. Secondly, is there a permanent harm? Thirdly, you'll never convince me that the socialization of a typical public school with all of it's dysfunctional cliques, dysfunctional fashions, and bullying is somehow better. I can only imagine the kind of severe bullying that my daughter would have to endure at the typical high school, just because she is a girl that likes math and science. Go read "They Sibling Society" by Robert Blye and then try to tell me the current public school system is good for kids' socialization.

    I really get tired of people who haven't thought deeply about the problem, haven't read widely about the issues, and don't face the problem in their own life somehow thinking they should be able to dictate to me.

New systems generate new problems.

Working...