Gifted Awareness – Building Your Brain
Imagine yourself one year old, your parents have made the difficult decision to place you on a high-functioning (“Gifted”) educational track in school. You still know you are a newborn, but you’re not sure your brain has evolved past thinking babies at this point. Here’s a hint: it doesn’t. You’re tiny, new and inexperienced.
You’re doing well – you have some verbal skills, a healthy IQ, and few social difficulties. You also know you’re different, a “gifted”, but you don’t yet know what that means.
You know you were deemed “gifted” because the school researchers said so. What that means is that you’re going to receive this special “curriculum” for a few years before you’re expected to learn how to interact with peers and parents. Those without “gifted” abilities will have to endure the expected formal education environment, learning of basic concepts (like how to spell, how to count, how to use a pencil) with the result that you fall behind even though you’re starting from a lower level than the “gifted” children.
You’re not a “gifted” learner; you’re just different.
You are a valuable member of society.
You don’t deserve to be labeled with a label that will limit your future.
The Story Of The Human Brains
Recently, MindShift hosted a roundtable discussion about the power of branding, by education researchers, parents, CEOs, and authors. Our exclusive speaker, Vanderbilt University’s Dr. Andrew Meltzoff, revealed that the concept of a “gifted” mind – that exceptional minds are developed by adequate nurture – is untrue. He discussed how the “gifted” label is artificially imposed by people like him, researchers, and parents.
Dr. Meltzoff explains that despite evidence of an opposing theory that infants are wired for greater intellectual and interpersonal development, high-functioning babies are often labeled “gifted” for health reasons or due to a desire to “make smart kids feel special.” This lack of diversity is evident through the lack of individuals who will continue to benefit from “gifted” labels until they reach adulthood, giving these label-holders the ability to continue to use the terms as a label.
Dr. Meltzoff wants to eliminate the “gifted” label and birth factors that have lead people to believe infants’ brains are typically wired for other functions. This act goes against the reality of how people develop, how speed of development fluctuates with age and during times of trauma, and how people change their minds and behaviors as they grow older.
This complex concept is unknown to all of us.
Dr. Meltzoff explained that new age and location studies are showing how brain development changes over time in order to adapt to various environments – such as the ADHD point, infancy stage, kindergarten and the adult stage. In his upcoming book, The Miracle Of Teaching: The Science Behind Success At Elementary, Middle, and High School, Dr. Meltzoff outlines how to embrace human form, emotional intelligence, and setting expectations with teachers and students to go along with a strong, integrated work culture. Our panel discussed what it means to be better and smarter rather than a “gifted” or “high functioning” student.
Are you curious? Here’s a step-by-step walk through a budding “gifted” student:
Make your way through the steps below and learn how to choose the right label when facing the independent high school journey.
Before I go, if you have questions or wish to reach out for additional information, please send me an email at [email protected]
Interested in more information about making a “curing” of the misconception of “gifted” impossible? I’m sure you will discover that it’s easier than you think.