What do rubRubber bandsber bands and intelligence have in common?  They both come in different sizes and can be stretched. This rubber band metaphor is an important one to understand, particularly these days when so many people seem to think that gifted children are made, not born. Gifted kids are gifted, not because of any inherent ability, but because their parents can afford to provide them with all the advantages money can buy, including the best schools.  In other words, gifted kids are made, not born. That is simply not true and the rubber band metaphor helps explain why.

Even when kids from less affluent families appear to be gifted, the claim is that the parents have pushed the kids.  It’s not seen as proof that gifted kids can come from any family and any background, but rather what can be done if kids are pushed.

Of course no one wants to actually “push” kids.  “Push” is so negative. The word to use is “challenge.” All we need to do is challenge kids to learn and they’ll all be gifted. It does make me wonder, though, why parents of gifted kids are considered pushy when they ask that their children be challenged in school, but that’s a different topic.

Every child should be challenged. That seems like a no-brainer.  What’s the alternative? Challenging some kids while boring others? Granted, that does seem to be a policy in some schools – challenge all but the gifted kids. It’s okay for them to be bored. In fact, it’s good for their character. Or so I’ve been told.

But it’s not okay for any child to be bored in school. We want to challenge every child to learn and to excel. However, challenging every child is not going to create more gifted children and that is where the rubber band metaphor comes in. Imagine that each child is born with a particular size rubber band. We want to stretch those rubber bands as much as possible, but no amount of stretching is going to make all those rubber bands of equal size.

Gifted kids were born with bigger rubber bands. If you stretch their rubber bands, they’ll be bigger than the stretched rubber bands of the non-gifted kids with stretched rubber bands. If you don’t stretch it, it may look no bigger than a smaller stretched rubber band, but it is still a bigger rubber band.

And just to be clear…bigger isn’t necessarily better.  It’s just different. Gifted kids didn’t ask for a bigger rubber band. It’s what they got. They deserve to have their rubber band stretched as much as any other child does.

http://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Rubber-Bands-1024x768.jpghttp://giftsforlearning.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Rubber-Bands-150x150.jpgCarol BainbridgeAbout GiftednessRants and ResponsesIQ and Intelligence
What do rubber bands and intelligence have in common?  They both come in different sizes and can be stretched. This rubber band metaphor is an important one to understand, particularly these days when so many people seem to think that gifted children are made, not born. Gifted kids are...