“Everyone is gifted”

11 03 2009

“Everyone is gifted”

It’s a common phrase whether you’re talking to educators, parents or just about anyone else who has an opinion on education. It’s also flat out wrong or nonsense (take your pick).

If it’s nonsense, that’s because it’s rendering “gifted” meaningless. If everyone is gifted, then isn’t saying that someone is gifted the same as saying that they’re a human? Is gifted education created with the intent of every child going through it when they go through school? No? Then not everyone is gifted. Gifted doesn’t mean that you’re better, but it absolutely means you’re better at. That’s the point. The two are not the same thing, and people need to stop acting as if they were.

If it’s wrong, it’s fairly self evident why. Not every child is intellectually above age level. I mean, I understand not everyone is good at math, but this isn’t a difficult concept. It isn’t possible for everyone to be above average. It doesn’t work that way. And yet, amazingly, we get told otherwise by people with a straight face and, even more amazingly, with good intentions.

This is one of the biggest red flags parents of gifted kids should watch out for, I think, because when you hear this line, the problem (whether it’s ignorance of the subject or an active antipathy to gifted education) likely runs very deep. If you hear someone in charge of your child’s education say this, make sure you watch what they do very, very closely.

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7 responses

15 03 2009
SwitchedOnMom

I’m keeping my eyes wide open 🙂 Problem is this is where my entire school system is headed.

15 03 2009
SwitchedOnMom

Have you ever read this: http://www.rfwp.com/samples/mct-gifted-children-98.pdf

Worth the read.

15 03 2009
Perpetual Dissent

Thanks for the link. Very much worth a read.

20 03 2009
Lauren Supraner

I first want to say I really enjoy reading your blog, and the opportunity to hear the thoughts and ideas of a gifted teenager firsthand.
I agree completely that not all children are gifted. I would like it if you could read my posting, which asks why so many of our top math students are asian, and get your opinion. Thanks.
http://tasteslikechicken2me.wordpress.com/2009/03/06/are-some-cultures-more-gifted-than-others/

20 03 2009
Perpetual Dissent

Thanks for the comment. I’ll check it out.

12 02 2011
TwilightoftheIdols

“If it’s nonsense, that’s because it’s rendering “gifted” meaningless”

wow, I wouldn’t want to be your sibling at Christmas. of course, no one likes to think the competition they’re in with everyone else is, in the final analysis, a total fabrication.

“Everyone is gifted. Some people never open the package”
Namaste 😉

12 02 2011
Perpetual Dissent

Similarly, I would hate to have you running hiring for an engineering firm designing a bridge or tunnel I had to use. No one likes to have a bridge collapse out from under them.

If everyone is gifted, then everyone is as intelligent as Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, or Albert Einstein. Interestingly, not everyone discovers evolution, invents calculus, or comes up with relativity. I wonder why.

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