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Sherrlene Uy

Teacher - English and Research, Glendale School, Inc. (QC, Phil)

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What are the challenges that gifted and creative individuals face at present?

Hi everyone! I am working on a research about the gifted and creative individuals. I'd like to know what are the challenges that the gifted and creative people experience in your country. Share your thoughts please :) Thanks!

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    Feb 20 2013: There are many such challenges.

    One is it has become unpopular in many places in the United States, at least, to provide appropriate education for gifted kids. One author I remember used a good analogy. She wrote that making gifted kids follow the typical educational trajectory in school is like taking a gifted runner to a track and forcing him to run by placing his feet in pre-marked footprints. They cannot run that way.

    Many school districts are focused almost entirely on the disparity in performance among students at a school, even blaming gifted kids for it, rather than trying to differentiate curriculum to allow students to grow at the rate and in the style appropriate for them.

    Gifted kids have somewhat different social and emotional needs as well and can feel stranded if they are not in a school with like-minded children. There are resources colleges often offer to bring these kids together in summer and in after hours programs to create both such contact and appropriate instruction. If you want some links to some of these resources, I can direct you to the best ones. Large school districts often have gifted and talented tracks as well or GT magnet schools.

    Later in life gifted people may have challenges in interacting with others, depending on how far out in the tail they are and how good their communication skills are. Some struggle with impatience with the lack of rigor of thought or the superficiality or oversimplification of thought around them, perhaps in the workplace or in a social setting. Many likely keep these frustrations to themselves, but they exist.

    Gifted and highly creative people often benefit from being in regular contact with people who naturally operate on their wavelength.

    Specifically in the workplace, many are extremely under-employed in terms of being challenged by the opportunities they are give. Further, the workplace will often give greater opportunities to those whose talents are more social than intellectual or creati
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      Feb 23 2013: It's like a domino effect.. when we solve the differentiated instruction part, we'll have trouble about finding schools and mentors... and when we solve that part, we'll have problems with the funds... hay...
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        Feb 23 2013: Actually, there are well understood best practices for teaching gifted kids at a variety of ages. There is even something called gifted certification that some teachers earn with their teaching credentials that verifies their training in this area.

        Many schools have such programs, or have had them. It doesn't cost more. In fact, the district where I worked allocated less money for gifted kids than for kids with greater learning challenges.

        What it takes is only a willingness to let kids grow at a pace that is natural for them and having these kids taught by teachers with such a pedagogical specialty rather than to force everyone to move at the same pace. It takes only the will to allow it.
    • Mar 5 2013: Absolutely, I agree with Fritzie (and all the research!) on all three counts, regardless of whether you are in America or Australia. Is it not so in the Phillipines? For example, differentiation has been proven to better assist both gifted students and regular students - see "Visible Learning" (2008) by John Hattie for a super-massive synthesis of the meta-analyses relating to learning and achievement.

      Er, Sherrlene, you might mean a "Catch-22" rather than a domino effect.
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        Mar 5 2013: Thanks for adding your voice. I do think that curriculum is different in different countries and also that droves of people believe they know more about what is going on in schools than they really do.

        People cling to false beliefs about modern schools with a strange tenacity.
        • Mar 5 2013: People cling to schools with a strange tenacity. I thought Grace Greene was pursuing interesting lines of thought when she was challenging traditional school models, but I further wonder if school buildings will one day become unnecessary as the advantages offered by new and developing technologies are realised. Imagine if this community here could be fully virtually realised? I could give you a pat and throw a ball for you, rather than simply discuss pedagogy through text :)
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        Mar 5 2013: The future will be in hybrid models, I think.

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