According to the NAGC “it is estimated that only 3% – 7% of the student population is gifted”. But how we take advantage of these children’s abilities? As we already know education is a major factor which shapes and enhances the abilities of children. But what happens when the educational system is ineffectual and unable to develop and take advantage of the unique abilities of children with special and superior skills? More children have left the university or college because they were bored or they didn’t get the most from school. They didn’t face the challenge that they expected to and their intelligence was wasted. (NAGC)
My primary argument is that gifted children have special needs and to deny those needs is to waste their potential. Gifted children bored by their classes, totally unchanged, leave the college as a result of a terrible loss of brainpower. A major example is the case of Bill Gates. He was bored in his class as a result of the age of 22 he left Harvard College with a view to create the Microsoft Corporation. Too few of these children are being discovered and this represents an outrageous loss of superior capabilities. Gifted children process information more quickly and read more aridly, they group mathematical or scientific concepts highly and they have creative and flexible thinking. Putting them in a class with children having an average IQ will lead to many problems. They will get bored with routine tasks, they will resist changing away from interesting topics of activities, they will disagree vocally with others and argue with teachers, they will depressed, they will be non conforming, stubborn, they will reject an authority and they will ignore details turning in a mess work. Imagine a class in which the teacher solves a linear equation on the blackboard while the gifted child analyzes Einstein’s theory of relativity in his notebook. In order to create a high quality education system and the best possible satisfaction of student’s needs, there must be a balance in the classroom which means that normal and gifted students must be educated separately. Only in this way the instructor can focus on the unique needs of each category and satisfy at the highest level student’s needs. We must not accept from a gifted student to adapt to a program with normal children and a student with a moderate IQ to adapt to a class of gifted children. That is impossible and the consequences will be chaos and degradation of the quality of the educational program. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gifted_children)
Many teachers have suggested raising the bar for all. It’s not a solution to raise the bar for all students, expecting the average to attain a higher rattler than enhance the abilities of the brightest and accepting mediocrity from the rest. Most of the schools or colleges are not sufficiently individualized or flexible to allow modification in structure and organization. Most schools and universities seek to develop skills that allow participation in society, not the recreation of that society. They want to create people who will contribute to the improvement of the society.
The key to this problem is gifted education which will serve intellectual needs that would otherwise go wasted. Only through a challenging gifted education we can promote the development of these children’s capacity. Those who are gifted need additional support in order to reach their potential. When the needs of the gifted are considered and the educational system or program is designed to meet these needs, these students make significant in achievement. When given the opportunity gifted students can use their vast amount of knowledge to serve as a background for unlimited learning.(http://nagc.org/index.aspx?id=548)
To further develop my argumentation I believe that is critical to take into consideration that there are multiple intelligences. According to Howard theory “there are seven different ways to demonstrate intellectual ability?
Visual /Spatial: The ability to perceive the visual.
Verbal/Linguistic: The ability to use word and language.
Logical/Mathematical: The ability to use reason, logic and numbers.
Bodily/Rhythmic: The ability to produce and appreciate music.
Interpersonal: The ability to relate and understand others.
Intrapersonal: the ability to self-reflect and aware of one’s state of being.
This theory was first developed in 1985, and it is worth while to point out that we have to make a step further and realize that we must not persist in the view that a child is either intelligent or not. People posses a set of intelligences and this can help us to understand which are the needs of each student and in what ways we can develop them. We take a more specific picture of child’s giftedness. Also this theory is another proof of why a class shouldn’t contain a mix of different student and that gifted students be educate separately according to their gifts.
To continue with my argumentation in order to pursue you for gifted children I have to mention that in 1942 psychologist Leta Hollingwath conducted one of the first systematic studies of gifted children in the United States and found a distinct tendency among them to hide intelligence in order to avoid ridicule refection from peers. From this we could point out that when gifted students are in the same class with normal children it is possible to be created discrimination which either springs from jealously or envy. It is in human nature to reject whatever is different from us. There is the need of these children to find other children with similar ability and interests. It would be useful to consider that is unacceptable the fact that gifted children may minimize their talents in order to protect their feelings. However, hiding their talents to feel with peers is not the only negative effect. Isolation from their peers, depression and high levels are also negative results of being in the same class with normal children. We have to reject the myth that gifted children are better adjusted, more popular and happier than average children. No matter how brilliant, human are still social creatures who absolutely require connections to the other people and in this case gifted children should be educated with children with the same intelligence and abilities. We don’t have the right to prevent those children from cultivating their abilities. We have to create an environment suitable for them and allow communication among gifted children. (http://nagc.org/index.aspx?id=548)
Many people may say: Why we have to devote our time with a limit percentage of our population? Are they better? My reply to these people is a phrase that Thomas Jefferson once said: “There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal”. Gifted people are not better; they are different and because of this they face different issues. All students in our schools including those who are gifted deserve the best education that is capable of providing. All political systems and social are based on democratic principles and the schools as well the universities as an extension of those principles must provide an equal educational opportunity to learn to their fullest potential. We are obliged to give gifted students the opportunity to learn at their level of educational development. It is undemocratic to deny gifted children of the right of appropriate educational development. Each person has the right to learn and to be provided challenges for learning at the most appropriate level growth proceeds most effectively. We have to consider that gifted people have a critical role to play whether it is to find a cure to a fatal disease or to face the economic challenges posed by stiff global competition. The excellence of these people has produced men kind’s greatest achievements. The society needs leaders innovators, highly functioning persons who will lead us to a more satisfying, fulfilling future.
To further up my argumentation I have another important reason why a center of gifted children must be opened. The two last decades the money that spent for gifted children are less than the money which spent for schools for students with disabilities. of course I don’t mention that because I have something with these kids but you have to knw that these kids are represent the same percentage of our population as the gifted children. Since we live in a democratic country it is unfair spending nine times as much money for the same percentage of the student population(www.stanford.edu/~davidf/wastegenius.htm)
To conclude my argumentation, I would like to remind you that gifted children have special and this indicates the need for unique, separate education. Those students need a more challenging educational programs as well as special trained instructors who will fully advance their abilities. These students need time peers, children with the same abilities and interests, not people who would reject them because of their uniqueness. In this way we can improve the society creating a better future for us and our children. Whatever your opinions are, whatever your thoughts are, don’t forget these words: “There is nothing more equal than the equal treatment for the equals.”