Are We Failing Our Geniuses?, 16 August 2007, Time magazine [note: article is on four pages]
In 2004-05, the most recent academic year for which the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) has data, U.S. universities awarded 43,354 doctorates–more than ever during the 50 years NORC has gathered the data. But the rate of increase in the number of U.S. doctorates has fallen dramatically since 1970, when it hit nearly 15% for the year; for more than a decade, the number of doctorates has grown less than 3.5% a year. The staggering late-1960s growth in Ph.D.s followed a period of increased attention on gifted kids after Sputnik. Now we’re coasting.
To some extent, complacency is built into the system. American schools spend more than $8 billion a year educating the mentally retarded. Spending on the gifted isn’t even tabulated in some states, but by the most generous calculation, we spend no more than $800 million on gifted programs. …
In [education professor Leta] Hollingworth’s day, when we were a little less sensitive to snobbery, it wasn’t as difficult for high-ability kids to skip grades. But since at least the mid-1980s, schools have often forced gifted students to stay in age-assigned grades–even though a 160-IQ kid trying to learn at the pace of average, 100-IQ kids is akin to an average girl trying to learn at the pace of a retarded girl with an IQ of 40. Advocates for gifted kids consider one of the most pernicious results to be “cooperative learning” arrangements in which high-ability students are paired with struggling kids on projects. …
Currently, gifted programs too often admit marginal, hardworking kids and then mostly assign field trips and extra essays, not truly accelerated course work pegged to a student’s abilities. Ideally, school systems should strive to keep their most talented students through a combination of grade skipping and other approaches (dual enrollment in community colleges, telescoping classwork without grade skipping) that ensure they won’t drop out or feel driven away to Nevada. … We shouldn’t be so wary of those who can move a lot faster than the rest of us.
Related links for homeschoolers:
- Hoagies’ Gifted Education Page
- A to Z Home’s Cool: Gifted
- Gifted Homeschoolers Forum
- Internet Resources for Homeschooling Gifted Students
- Homeschooling Highly Gifted Children, by Kathi Kearney
- The Gifted Child, Theresa Willingham, Hme Education Magazine
posted by Valerie