Saturday, October 20, 2012

Giving with One Hand, Taking with the Other

The November/December 2012 issue of Scientific American Mind is a special issue focusing on the topic of Genius. In the article “Nurturing the Young Genius”, Subotnik, Olszewski-Kubilius and Worrell state that the chief goal of identification and programming for gifted youth is “preparing young people for outstanding achievement”(Mind, p.52) and that “the aim of our proposed framework is to increase the number of individuals who can develop the innovative products and services and to deliver the creative performances that can improve and enhance our lives (p.57).

There is something chilling about the stated motivation behind the delivery of these boons. Should not the students should be the primary beneficiaries? And should we not seek to educate and support children, without reservation, because it is the right thing to do

Gifted children must have opportunities and encouragement for learning, health and personal growth, not be penalized because of some false idea of equality. But if they are not motivated to perform eminently according to someone else’s standardized scale of ability, performance, conformity, and the future, is that their failing or ours? Children should be supported as individual learners simply because they are children and, as such, we have a responsibility to nurture them--not because they had better deliver the goods.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 
They come through you but not from you, 
and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.  
You may give them your love, but not your thoughts. 
For they have their own thoughts. 
You may house their bodies but not their souls, 
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.  
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. 
For life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday. 
-Kahlil Gibran

No comments:

Post a Comment