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Nine Myths About the Gifted

based on the book by Ellen Winner, PhD:
Gifted Children : Myths and Realities

Myth #1: Giftedness, when it occurs, is generally global.

The Reality: More often than not, children are unevenly gifted,often being especially gifted in one area.

It's not uncommon to find them quite gifted in a specific area, but average or learning-disabled in another. (She gives the example of adult inventors with verbal IQ's of 60.)

Myth 2: Talented children face different problems than gifted children.

The Reality: Specially talented children face the same problems as the globally gifted.

Myth 3: An exceptionally high IQ is required for giftedness.

The Reality: Once the IQ exceeds 90, a high IQ is irrelevant in the fields of music and art.

Myth 4: "Genius will out".

The Reality: Families play a far more important role in the development of gifts than do schools, and are essential to the development of the gifted or talented child. Genius must be nurtured.

Myth 5: Genius is entirely environmental.

The Reality: The brains of the gifted are atypical. Their heads tend to be larger, their reflexes are faster, and their brains show atypical brain scan patterns.

Brain structure, brain size, brain speed, brain efficiency, bilateral representation of language, language-related problems, non-right-handedness, immune system disorders.

Programs such as the Japanese Suzuki Method of training students to play the violin can elicit remarkable results in children, but they don't produce musically gifted children.

(Driven from within, prodigies are their own taskmasters. If anything, these programs testify to the biological basis of precocity.).

Chinese drawing instruction produces the same kinds of dramatic juvenile output, but doesn't lead to true artistry, or to spontaneous learning of artistic principles.

Myth 6: Prodigies are the result of parents that push their children.

The Reality: Prodigies usually push their parents.

Myth 7: Gifted children are glowing with psychological health.

The Reality: As with a disability, giftedness can lead to unhappiness and social isolation.

With adult minds in children's bodies, profoundly gifted children tend to be persecuted by other children. They tend to find little commonality with their age peers, relating to older children or adults.

Myth 8: All children are gifted.

The Reality: Nobody doubts that some children are musical or athletic prodigies. Nobody expects a small kid to become a tight end, or a short child to become a Harlem Globetrotter.

Gifted children are biologically different. If you doubt it, try to raise someone's 90 IQ to 150. Dr. Winner cites the intriguing case of Charles, versus Eitan and Peter. All three boys were obsessed with drawing.

However, Eitan and Peter were far ahead of their years, whereas Charles, in spite of all the drawing he did, never exceeded the norms for his age group.

Myth 9: Gifted children become eminent adults.

The Reality: Personality attributes more reliably predict what will happen in adulthood than does the child's degree of giftedness.

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source: Wikipedia page User:Jondel/Genius

based on Ellen Winner, PhD. Gifted Children : Myths and Realities

related pages :

GT Adults gifted/talented/high ability

giftedness : articles

giftedness : books

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