"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Monday, July 30, 2007

Smart or Gifted Children

There was a discussion on another blog regarding gifted and smart children. I can state with authority from personal experience that gifted children are smart, but smart children are not necessarily gifted. Here are just some of the differences:

1. A smart toddler can be taught amazing feats, like reading, memorizing presidents or state capitals, with flash cards or by rote. A gifted child will do amazing feats and you won't have a clue how they learned it.

2. A smart kid in a regular classroom will get good grades. A gifted kid in a regular classroom may or may not get good grades. A gifted child will often be extremely bored and will either completely withdraw into his own little world or become the class troublemaker.

3, A smart kid can quickly solve math problems. A gifted kid can quickly solve math problems, skipping several, if not all, steps to solve them, and if asked to explain how he arrived at the answers, will be exasperated at having to explain it in detail.

4. A smart kid who is a social type, will have many friends his own age. A gifted kid who is a social type will have friends who are generally several years older and/or even adult friends.

5. A smart kid will ask you many questions. A gifted kid will engage you in lengthy discussions after you have answered his many questions.

6. A smart kindergartner will see the tv news and know a war is being waged in the world. A gifted kindergartner will see the tv news and empathetically perceive the consequences of a war.

7. A smart teenager will argue with you. A gifted teenager will argue with you by pointing out where you're wrong in your conclusions and will offer a logical, well-reasoned rebuttal.

Children can be taught to be smarter, but they cannot be taught to be gifted. Gifted children are special needs children and, although they have enormous and amazing potential, they are as much out of place in a regular school classroom as are special education children, with their own set of unique learning anomalies.