Rubber bandsOne of my favorite topics about giftedness is also the most basic topic: What is giftedness? What does it mean to be gifted?  It has been 145 years since Francis Galton first used the term to refer to adults who demonstrated exceptional talent in some field, and we still can’t agree on a definition of the term “gifted.”

Some people don’t even believe giftedness exists. Among other things, they see giftedness is a social construct.  In other words, giftedness exists only because society says it does, not because it is part of an objective reality. Others believe that giftedness exists, but that it is a fluid condition. That is, someone who is gifted at one age might not be gifted at another age; giftedness comes and goes. Still others believe that all children are gifted, but some just “open their gifts later than others.”

But signs of giftedness can be seen as early as infancy, and we only question intellectual giftedness. When was the last time your heard someone say that all children are gifted athletes? My guess is sometime around never.  Michael Clay Thompson provided an excellent response to the “all children are gifted” comment, using making such comparisons of intellectual and physical giftedness.

It is extremely difficult to get others to understand giftedness and without that understanding, it’s hard to get them to see that gifted kids have special needs that often require special accommodations. One way that might prove useful is to explain intelligence in terms of a rubber band. We can nurture children to stretch their rubber bands, but children are not born with the same-sized rubberband. They are born with rubberbands of different sizes and while we want to stretch every child’s rubber band, larger rubber bands will be larger and can be stretched more than smaller rubber bands.

http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/rubberbands-1024x768.jpghttp://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/rubberbands-150x150.jpgCarol BainbridgeAbout GiftednessIdentification
One of my favorite topics about giftedness is also the most basic topic: What is giftedness? What does it mean to be gifted?  It has been 145 years since Francis Galton first used the term to refer to adults who demonstrated exceptional talent in some field, and we still...