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English | Educatia de Excelenta

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FIGHTING THE SOCIAL DISADVANTAGING OF GIFTED CHILDREN

FIGHTING THE SOCIAL DISADVANTAGING

OF GIFTED CHILDREN

The development mismatch

Statistically speaking, gifted children constitute between 2 and 6 percent of the human population, and given that a great number of the famous people in history are or were gifted, certain misconceptions concerning such gifted persons were formed.

There is a myth of the gifted children, assuming that those more gifted than others necessarily enjoy greater social success. This assumption could not be further from the truth. Due to the asynchronous development of the gifted children, they develop special intellectual abilities against an emotional background identical to that of children of the same age, much more intense however.

Therefore, gifted children are usually regarded by children their age as odd, nerds etc. and are not socially integrated in the collectivity. The phenomenon is present not only among children but later on as well, until the high reputation generated by the results of gifted persons constrains society to act accordingly.

The special emotiveness, the decision to act through to the end, the creativity and originality, social responsibility, the acute sense of justice and injustice characterizing the overly gifted usually renders them uncomfortable for their teachers, family and social environment as well.

Gifted children ask frequently profound questions, even cumbersome due to their depth, and do not accept ambiguous replies. Thus, they are often admonished and discouraged, and even disciplined both by parents and their social environment.

In fact, a social mechanism of discouraging and flattening these overly capable children, youth and adults may be ascertained, this mechanism being strong especially in the conservative societies with a slow historic evolution.

In the framework of this mechanism, gifted children must fit in a strict pattern of social norms, lacking recognition of their creativity, being forced to study at the same pace as other children of the same age, although due to the development mismatch they can be a few years more mature than their generation, are constrained to pass examinations ignoring their contribution, creativity, originality and performance concerning their own passions. At an adult age, the mechanism forces the gifted to fit in standardized patterns such as job descriptions, to act formally failing to make use of their intellect, creativity, wisdom, sense of justice, humorousness, ability to solve complex problems and other qualities specific to the adults group.

The psychological and intellectual maturity of the gifted subjected to mismatched development at an adult age as well thus antagonizes with the infantile social system based on representation and not on professionalism, on crisis management instead of crisis solving, on manipulation rather than emancipation. As from a statistical point of view, 70-80% of all people have personal abilities, intellect, creativity, determination in meeting goals, social communication abilities and professional performances estimated as relatively low, a system based on representation generates paradoxes. Those chosen from the majority have limited abilities and display a questionable management of the social system. In societies where representation is not accompanied by a system of selecting the representatives based on personal abilities, survival depends not on development but on conserving the classic systems of organizing society, which are very often obsolete. Here we can speak of a social development mismatch of the gifted group in relation with the majority. Should the gifted migrate towards more dynamic areas given the conservativeness of the society of origin, the latter deepens its traditionalism and falls into historic crises.

Typical social reactions

Gifted children frequently arouse negative feelings of envy, jealousy or hatred from children their age lacking their capacity to perform in their areas of interest, and therefore encounter a strong opposition from their social environment.

Therefore, gifted children are often victimized, especially considering that despite their special intelligence, they are very candid towards other people which they usually view as having more qualities than in reality. History of all peoples bears the marks of two types of gifted people: those sacrificed by the system due to their belief in mankind and those who fought the system searching for ways to transform humans using specific means. We can state that the reaction of the latter frequently deepened the mismatch between normal and gifted people, placing the immense pressure of the majority to act against the gifted. Any change marking the traditionalism of stagnant societies was generally the result of gifted persons’ actions, while the majority’s reaction was to inhibit the specific qualities of children capable of high performances.

An immense number of gifted children thus remain gifted underground, hiding their qualities in order to avoid the sanctions from their social environment and to be accepted in collectivities. The percentage of gifted underachievers which despite their natural abilities and capacities obtained pour results in their education is huge as well. Global-level statistics show that over 50% of gifted children do not succeed socially or professionally at an adult age. In fact, we may clearly conclude that this category of children is amongst those most exposed to social risks.

The social risks faced by the gifted constitutes at society level the risk of failing to adapt to the new, to the dynamic, to the complexity of development, to the lack of success on external markets, to the political opportunism of leaders born on representation, to underdevelopment and corruption, to manipulation and lack of respect for citizens’ rights, to environmental damage and resource depletion, to primitivism and slowness in the evolutionary adaptation of society. These directions are among those in which the gifted are intrinsically motivated and act professionally if encouraged by the system, causing the reduction of even annulment of the above risks.

The linearized educational system based on reproduction

The educational system constantly discourages a percentage of over 40% of the gifted children, namely the spatial visuals having a functional dominant of the right hemisphere of the brain. They think in images while the official system uses words that the spatial visuals need to transform into images, to think in images, to retranslate the result into words in order to be evaluated using words.

This is why they turn into children facing a high educational risk in the classic system based on exposition and memorizing, although paradoxically the spatial visuals have the largest level of creativity / inventiveness, complex and dynamic, critical and lateral intelligence, and in the end become those people who bring an added value to the system, developing solutions and technologies, science and art.

The spatial visuals develop an attitude of contesting authority which also disadvantages them socially, turning them into a social risk category.

Paradoxically, the percentage of the gifted among criminals exceeds the statistic average, due to constant adverse reactions from the social environment. All these symptoms disappear however in a dedicated educational environment endowed with open and creative programs, interaction, dynamism and feedback between children and teachers, with an open and cooperative atmosphere. In such an educational, familial and social environment, gifted children develop to their true potential, and being naturally self-motivated, as adults they turn into active factors of progress.

A relevant aspect is given by the preponderance of visual-spatials in familial societies but not in monopolistic ones. Familial societies generate a much larger number of gifted children having creative intelligence, but in case of a stagnation or slowness in the historic and economic development of these societies, the great majority of these gifted children emigrate to monopolistic societies where the discipline and rigor of the population allows for an accelerated development should sufficient creative visual-spatials be imported.

As a paradox, the matrix of superior creative intelligence generation remains undeveloped in this case due to the brain drain phenomenon.

The gifted and development

The need for creating a fruitful development environment is the more important, as the gifted bring far greater benefits to society than other people, generating a huge return on the social investment.

This may be seen wherever the education specially designed to suit the needs of the gifted was stimulated through financial investments and material and human efforts. Examples of policies made in this direction by the Commonwealth are concretized both in the economic development of these countries as well as in the scientific and technologic advance, protection of the natural environment, social stability, population happiness and daily satisfactions.

In fact, these types of results may be found wherever education and social insertion of the gifted was supported. They represent a natural result of solving the local crises through the action of gifted youth and adults, through developing humanitarian ideals, sublimating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, spiritualizing consumption, characteristics that are normal among the gifted and becoming normal throughout the social environment due to the involvement of gifted persons.

An essential characteristic that may turn the gifted into heroes or victims is their deep involvement in whatever they do, irrespective of risks or difficulties. It is painful when their wings are cut, or when they are forced to live a dull life lacking perspective. When this happens, given their extreme sensitivity, they become victims of society instead of progress factors. This statement is backed by factual historic evidence, it suffices to open any encyclopedia and read the biographies of those leaving a deep positive mark in history.

On the other hand, the system of social representation in politics generally promotes egocentric amoral personalities, power-thirsty, managers of self-maintained crises they exploit for their own benefit. Their reactions towards the gifted are usually negative, as these are perceived as potential competitors – therefore the gulags, pogroms, channels and other deep wounds in history where whole generations of dedicated people perished. In such political and social situations, the risks faced by gifted children and adults are the more obvious.

The great majority of political decision therefore rests in initiating the brain-regain process through which the gifted having reached maturity of extensive knowledge both of their culture as well as of others may be integrated in the social and economic life of their country of origin. Promoting specific education for the gifted and using this extraordinary resource in local development programs constitutes the second major decision that reflects the mature consciousness of changing policies towards political professionalism.

Influence of the gifted throughout history

How many of our predecessors having left a mark on history were promoted in their home country? Very often, the gifted youth and adults only have one option for fulfilling their destiny, and that is emigrating to a friendlier environment. The recipient countries are therefore developing instead of the country of origin, which in turn is faced with poverty, corruption, deceit, manipulation and vice.

By studying the biographies of famous men we discover many lives that ended prematurely, living conditions bordering absolute poverty, crimes and tortures in political prisons, total overlook of their work by their own generation and even by the following, while in time their great work gained immortality.

History is filled with victims from among those who’ve done everything to solve the crises generated by flaws in the social system.

There never was greater need for the gifted as there is at present. While up to now the evolution of history was relatively slow and the number of solutions needed for adapting to new conditions was relatively small, ignoring or repressing the huge potential of the gifted may turn risky nowadays, due to the exponential speed of society evolution, the multiplying and deepening of crises, the increased dynamism of adaptation and the greater need for solutions.

Conclusions

Educating gifted children and socially integrating gifted youth and adults is turning more and more into a global priority. Most countries having invested efforts and resources in these two directions succeeded in gaining economic development, performing research on and applying new technologies, lowering social and economic imbalances and the rate of damaging the natural environment. These countries managed to develop a body of politicians and policy makers capable of better managing current issues and projecting more adequate concrete means for avoiding or solving crises.

The most profound educational studies were integrated in working methodologies under the concept of gifted education, and at present they are directed towards an ever increasing number of children facing potential problems for developing personal abilities.

The inflexion point created through changing the classic attitude towards the gifted generated a specific difference that is visible in several areas.

Romania must now take this decisive step, as an alternative for raising over the medium term the degree of professionalism and responsibility, of correctness of solutions proposed and rigor of decisions, of project finalizing and diminishing the waste if human and material resources.

As a Romanian proverb “a good farmer makes a good farm” says, so that we must invest in those that may bring a return on investment and multiply the positive experience.
Author: Florian Colceag, president of IRSCA Gifted Education.
Copyright: IRSCA Gifted Education.

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FIGHTING THE SOCIAL DISADVANTAGING OF GIFTED CHILDREN

The development mismatch
Statistically speaking, gifted children constitute between 2 and 6 percent of the human population, and given that a great number of the famous people in history are or were gifted, certain misconceptions concerning such gifted persons were formed.
There is a myth of the gifted children, assuming that those more gifted than others necessarily enjoy greater social success. This assumption could not be further from the truth. Due to the asynchronous development of the gifted children, they develop special intellectual abilities against an emotional background identical to that of children of the same age, much more intense however.
Therefore, gifted children are usually regarded by children their age as odd, nerds etc. and are not socially integrated in the collectivity. The phenomenon is present not only among children but later on as well, until the high reputation generated by the results of gifted persons constrains society to act accordingly. Read the rest of this entry »

Related posts

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