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  1. #61
    almost nekkid scantilyclad's Avatar
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    In kindergarten i was a bit more advanced than a lot of my class mates, but there was no gifted program until first grade. When the teacher would normally make us sit in a circle and read a book to us, i had to go to a 2nd grade reading class. I clearly remember Kindergarten being way too easy for me. While the kids were learning their ABC's and how to write them, i was already writing whole words(small words) i could also add small numbers. I didn't really understand why the other kid's didn't know as much as i did, i thought i was a freak or something.

    In first grade i finally was put into a gifted class and learned that i really wasn't alone. It was great being in a class where the pace was a lot different. The class room was also a lot quieter and easy to concentrate in. There were only 15 of us in the class. We ended up being in the same class together all the way up until high school. We were also allowed to take a test every year to decide if we could skip a grade. My mom wouldn't let me take it though. I don't think i could have actually passed it anyway.

    I moved to a different state when i entered high school. High school was odd because you could only take regular or advanced placement classes. Some classes were only offered as regular classes..like speech for instance. I nearly failed speech because the pace in the class was so slow, and i would get extremely bored. We would sometimes spend 3 weeks learning the same subject. The only thing they really offered the gifted kids was the ability to test out of classes. I tested out of keyboarding, English 1, English 2, English 3, Geometry, Geography and Biology.That helped a lot because some of the classes i had left to take were with upper class men and they were a lot harder, especially if they were AP classes. The only way teachers knew we were gifted in high school was the G in parenthesis by our name on the roll sheet.

    I think it would have been nice to go to a separate school for the gifted.

    if this post makes no sense it's because i just woke up. =)
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  2. #62
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    What do you think of the "conflict theory", that children are socialized into the school environment since 6 or so and that some children will harmonize and thrive with it while others will only "adjust" to it and some will never cope with it at all. The kids who thrive become "excellent students", the kids that adjust become "average" students, and the ones that can't cope never do and are rebelious throughout their lives in school and become "bad students". Do you think this theory explains a lot of acedmic things, like education and intelligence and how they don't always have a relation? If so, si there a way to fix it? Do you think it explains "gifted children", or do you think that some children actually are indeed naturally gifted?

    Personally I think that theory explains how children do in education quite well. Take my sister for example. She has always been great in school, it comes natural to her. Its like the stress and everything that goes along with exceeding in school comes naturally to her and she goes along with it no matter what, and I admire her and even have some contempt because I've never been able to do that. Me and my brother fall into the "average" student spectrum, we have to commit ourselves to get good grades, rather than finding the commitment natural like our sister. I'd say there is no difference in intelligence between the three of us, although we are all intelligent in very different ways. Also take the kid down the street for example. He and one of his brothers are textbook examples of the bad student in pretty much every way, and the other brother is an example of an "excellent student". They are all smart as hell.

    As for gifted children, I do believe there are children who are naturally gifted and that the conflict theory doesn't really relate to it, other than that its sad to see some very intelligent people like the kid down my street achieve nothing when they could whip just about anyone's ass intellectually, hypothetically speaking.

    Also, are gifted programmes needed? Do you think gifted kids are perhaps being underestimated and can do the extra work to feed their brains themselves? Arn't these kids naturally going to look for, and find, the propor stimulation for them? I think so. I'll even use one of the same examples, me and my brother are average students, but do a lot of independant study to stimulate our minds and our interests, while our sister's stimulation and interest mostly is school. Even the "bad student" kids who live down the street do this. One of them reads books, sometimes entire novels in an afternoon, then gets drunk/stoned at night He needs that stimulation, and he makes for a very good conversation, too.

  3. #63
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    I only behaved in highschool as a means to an end: to get the hell out of my home town. My rush screwed me up...
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  4. #64
    Senior Member Priam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    What do you think of the "conflict theory", that children are socialized into the school environment since 6 or so and that some children will harmonize and thrive with it while others will only "adjust" to it and some will never cope with it at all. The kids who thrive become "excellent students", the kids that adjust become "average" students, and the ones that can't cope never do and are rebelious throughout their lives in school and become "bad students". Do you think this theory explains a lot of acedmic things, like education and intelligence and how they don't always have a relation? If so, si there a way to fix it? Do you think it explains "gifted children", or do you think that some children actually are indeed naturally gifted?
    I would disagree, based on my own personal experiences. I was, by many accounts, an excellent participant in most any subject except math-based ones. I was active, engaged and relevant. In the end, however, I almost flunked out of high school because I couldn't be bothered to do the serious work sometimes. I knew at least the broad outlines of most every subject, but didn't care about figuring out the details needed to pass a test or write a paper. It was time I could spend hanging out with friends or learning about other things that actually meant a damn to me! In other words I was a "bad student" who was acknowledged as "gifted" regardless.

    As for gifted children, I do believe there are children who are naturally gifted and that the conflict theory doesn't really relate to it, other than that its sad to see some very intelligent people like the kid down my street achieve nothing when they could whip just about anyone's ass intellectually, hypothetically speaking.

    Also, are gifted programmes needed? Do you think gifted kids are perhaps being underestimated and can do the extra work to feed their brains themselves? Arn't these kids naturally going to look for, and find, the propor stimulation for them? I think so. I'll even use one of the same examples, me and my brother are average students, but do a lot of independant study to stimulate our minds and our interests, while our sister's stimulation and interest mostly is school. Even the "bad student" kids who live down the street do this. One of them reads books, sometimes entire novels in an afternoon, then gets drunk/stoned at night He needs that stimulation, and he makes for a very good conversation, too.
    Gifted programs are needed for the kids who don't have the ability to find their own outlets, who get little to no parental or peer support in engaging learning on their own terms; these people are a sadly vast chunk of society. Those of us fortunate enough to receive some modicum of support as students probably don't need gifted programs in and of themselves, but they do provide a certain amount of structure and true peer communication that would otherwise be sadly lacking. Above all else, I would emphasize the last point! Intelligent kids tend to go three ways in normal school:

    1) Boredom leads to rebellion: see substitute's post for a great example. You don't need to study, you're three weeks ahead... why not spend those three weeks getting utterly trashed and setting things on fire?

    2) Egotism: the peons in my class burden me with their subpar intelligence. I am ubermensch and cannot be bothered with their futile cogitating.

    3) I Am Robot, I Live Only To Compute: utter maladjusted and irredeemable dorkdom. I am nothing but my ability to be smart, therefore that is all I shall ever be. People do not exist, only the next test I must set new records on.

    Let me assure you that the best thing any above-average intelligence needs is a boot to the head and a serious reality check! Most of school is really teaching kids how to act and react appropriately around people they consider peers or equals. Gifted programs give gifted children a chance to find out how "un-special" they are in the here and now sense, the feel that they are part of a group that they can knock about and connect with. Especially in the tween and teen years, this can make the difference between a roughly normal life and one warped for years. I'm not joking! I've seen the results even at the age of 23.
    "The subject chooses to sit in shadow and search for wisdom by reflecting upon his trial. The problem is not that he is cold and wet, but that cold and wet seems problematic, so he embraces those hardships in order to best them."

  5. #65
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    It was time I could spend hanging out with friends or learning about other things that actually meant a damn to me! In other words I was a "bad student" who was acknowledged as "gifted" regardless.
    During high school, I was similar except for the last year. I can say I wouldn't change anything since I would probably know half of the wordly matters I know now if I had spent inside the time I spent exploring the outside.
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  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I think his blue-collar background and his history as an abused child account for his lack of willingness to contribute to the community out of his intellectual gifts. His contribution to his community of friends was made in other ways... chiefly through his loyalty, the main currency that mattered where he came from. As the film makes clear.

    And Will Hunting didn't work at being smart. He just was. I find him quite believable.
    I somehow missed this before.

    If he "just was" smart, why did he spend so much of his time reading? You're telling me he had no interest in it, but just decided to read? Why did he get a book-shelf even?
    I went for a long time with just a sleeping bag and a suit case and piled the books on the floor.

    Why did he choose a janitorial position at MIT in particular? What prompted him to solve the math problem posed to a class? What was that about?

    There may be people who are "just smart," but there is nobody who "just knows abstract math." Some reading, some interest, has to be involved.
    He wasn't forced to take classes, he didn't need to do it for a job, why did he need to study at all?

    If you want blue collar roots, and mathematical genius in real life, there is no better example than Srinivasa Ramanujan.

    But it is clear his mathematics was deeply important to him. He actively sought involvement in this community.

    Even though not as gifted as Ramanujan, a great many Indian grad. students fit the same archetype (Blue collar roots, and technical talent). Most had nothing but perhaps a suit-case when they immigrated. Most wanted to be involved (that is, after all, what lead to their talent).

    Why Will Hunting is so unbelievable is the lack of consistency in his personality. Nobody "just knows" mathematics (certainly not at world-class levels), whether self-taught or formally trained, an awful lot of time and dedication is required. In fact, being self-taught will require more dedication. That dedication was not shown in his personality (other than in obscure references to his reading, with clear tones of "showing off"). That is why he is not believable.

    As for Will Hunting's loyalty to his local physical community. He did leave to "see about a girl," at the end. A lot of artistic license was taken.

    I've known plenty of arrogant people who were smart/talented enough to have people leave them alone about it. I was trying to come up with the closest person to Will Hunting I could think of, in my own experience...

    I knew a math genius who did incredibly well in the International Math Olympiad in high-school, and was an Individual Putnam Fellow in College. He may have since become disillusioned (we've completely lost track of what happened to him), but he wasn't "just smart" either. I also don't believe he had blue collar roots, and he had incredibly good formal training.

    I've known several computing geniuses who've turned to other things, but all had very fine formal training, and none of them completely left it behind.

    In my experience, it is actually those who had more "upscale" roots who loose the dedication it took to gain their genius-level talent. All of them worked hard to maintain the level of talent before their priorities changed. Once their priorities changed, they lost their "world-class" skills as well. There was no indication of this in Will Hunting.

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  7. #67
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    On Giftedness...

    In elementary school I took the gifted test and qualified for the gifted program but my teacher would not approve. He claimed that I had behavioral problems and that I did not read enough. In response to this, my mother was really pissed off at the decision and spoke with my teacher and the principle about it. Ultimately, the verdict did not change and I was not admitted into the gifted program because of this.

    In retrospect, I believe the school made a poor decision. True I was uninterested in the rediculous stories that are part of the grade-school curriculum but I have the parents of friends remind me (occasionally) that I used to walk around with a newspaper at about 8 years old and I would highlight and track some stocks I was trying to follow like Bre-X (remember that scandel?) and Barrick Gold. I understood pythagorean's theorem when I was about 7. Yet despite all of this I was sent to the principle's office daily. In grade 2 (I was 7) I was sent to the office by a jewish teacher whom I had a huge crush on and when a fellow teacher walked past me I tilted my notebook which had a huge nazi symbol to symbolize my anger for the teacher having sent me to the office. At one point, I was required to go to the principle's office during lunch where I would either draw or play chess with the principle as the authorities deemed me a liability in the schoolyard. As a result, I would continue getting into trouble and fights all the way up to grade 8 without having my abilities properly fostered.

    Now, I am in fourth year university and plan to attend law school next year. In recent semesters I have managed to attain 4.0s. I think I was always very curious but I've really grown intellectually at university. Having said that, in my judgement the best thing those teachers could have done is put me in the gifted program. It would have put an honorable stamp on my abilities which would have been meaningful for a misunderstood 8 year old. Moreover, I was consitently getting in trouble because of boredom. As such, it becomes necessary for a person to stimulate his or herself in other ways which is what I did. I disliked the emphasis on group work. Go now and pair off into groups. As soon as those words were uttered I had no interest at all in whatever we were doing. Add to this teachers that call on you spontaneously to read aloud - another stupid alleged learning device. Truth be told, I am now confident speaking in front of entire classes at university because I am respected as a free thinker and intellectual. In elementary (and high school to some extend as well) the teachers look at you with condescending eyes - or maybe I just perceived it that way because they thought they were talking to a person with a mental age the same as physical age. Well, my IQ is somewhere between 131 and 155 (depending on the test) and I was always more mature than my physical appearance suggests.

    That said, I floated through school relying on raw intellect. Sure, if I was interested in a project (like I constructed a wicked model for a basketball stadium for the Toronto Raptors) then I would work hard. Ultimately, however, the education system didn't work to my advantage (until university). Even reading habits, I still read in little blocks out of habit when I could have been taught how to photoread and take in more information with every eye fixation from a young age. These (and countless others) are the kinks I have to iron out now that I'm older.

    Ultimately, the cookie-cutter model is not for everyone. Sometimes the best thing for a young gifted child is a program that tailors to individual students needs and emphasizes their strengths while still meeting the minimum requirements. Contrary to this view, many are so concerned with balance: if one is brilliant in math but not as good in english they should work on english. Well, any chess player or military strategist will tell you that you play to your strength. That is to say, if a child is a math genius than keep facilitating growth in this area. William James Sidis (IQ of 300) was admitted to Harvard at age 11 because of his math genius. I truly think the education system needs to address the need to harden a person's strengths rather than bring up their weaknesses.

  8. #68
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Me is gifteded, Me gets gifteds from the tooth fairy.
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    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

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  9. #69
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Not only do the gifted have intelligence quotients over one hundred and thirty, but they are different emotionally.

    Their emotional difference is described pejoratively as Over-Excitable or OE. Yes, the emotional difference is so threatening to the non compos mentis that it has been given its own acronym, OE.

    So unless they get into a gifted program, they find they are socially excluded like the mentally ill, the homeless, the retarded or the deaf.

    An idiot savant has a particular gift while the gifted are gifted globally. It affects everything they do and feel. So the gifted are not idiot savants.

    And the gifted are not mentally ill - but they are different.

    And it is the acceptance of this difference that enables the gifted to lead balanced and happy lives.

    So the gifted have a vested interest in opposing the social exclusion of those who are different.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splittet View Post
    I have a thing for gifted and ingenious people, and they never seize to amaze me. On my Norwegian blog I wrote on the topic of gifted children in schools, and how bad the situation is in Norway, and I was wondering some things. First of all just let me say I mean gifted in the IQ sense, and not gifted in the sense of students who do well in school. I mean in the talent sense, not in the results sense.

    My questions are then... How is the situation for gifted children in your country in school? How should school for these children be? If you are gifted yourself (especially interested in 140+ IQ responses, and please mention your IQ), how did you experience school?

    As I mentioned the situation in Norway is terrible. Gifted children have absolutely no rights, and no extra considerations are made. Actually they will quite often get negative responses from their teachers for being too quick, and are being told they should keep the same tempo as the rest of the class. Of course many, if not most, will experience social problems as well, and feel utterly alone. The school is not a good place for these children. They love to learn, but because they are not challenged, many will become highly unfocused and retreat to their own world, will develop awful working habits and never realize even half of their potential. Learning in a school environment will in general become very difficult.

    I think the idea of special schools for students with an IQ of for example 140 or more is excellent. Both learning and social environment would improve dramatically. Of course in my country, such ideas are looked down upon, because one doesn't want any difference in treatment. What they fail to realize is that these children have very special needs, and that is why special schools are needed. In Norway 0,5-1 % of students are likely to have serious learning or environment problems because of high intelligence. Nothing is done, and we are probably one of the worst countries in the western world at taking care of these children. It's bloody provoking!
    How is it? Garbage. Which is why most Americans want to become lawyers or pointy-haired managers.

    And I agree with your sentiments. The NTs, especially the best ones, need to be cultivated with every available resource.

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