How To Avoid Accusations of Inequality: Share the Heart of Giftedness

Wenda Sheard, J.D. Ph.D.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 10.37.53 AM I recently met an interesting couple at a social gathering. At one point, the father mentioned that his 16 year old high school junior, who is taking two college courses, finds those courses to be easy. Fine, I get that. Then the father quickly added, “we didn’t push him or show him flash cards when he was young.”

I found the father’s “disclaimer” to be disturbing. I wasn’t sure whether to reveal myself as a gifted advocate or not. The only thing I said in response was, “I understand, I understand.”

In this blog article, I give parents of highly intelligent children advice about how to talk about their children’s successes, challenges, and needs without risking accusations of inequality. I admit that’s a tricky business: avoiding accusations of inequality where inequality obviously exists. But it’s possible. Here’s how.

1. George Orwell’s Horrible Pigs

In the last chapter of 1984

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The Growth Mindset : Telling Penguins to Flap Harder ?

Disappointed Idealist

I’m not sure whether this particular blog might lose me friends. It’s not intended to, but I’m going to stumble into an area where I know some people have very strong views. It was prompted by a post-parents’ evening trawl through some blogs, and I came across this blog by Dylan Wiliam :

I’m generally a fan of Dylan Wiliam, although I once tried to joke with him on Twitter, and I’m not sure my humour survived the transition to 140 characters. If I made any impression, it was almost certainly a bad one. Oh well. In any case, it’s not actually his blog on feedback which is at issue here – it’s a good piece, and I agree with the central message about marking/feedback. The bit I want to write about is this :

“Students must understand that they are not born with talent (or lack of it) and…

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