I recently stumbled on this site explaining how to spot the gifted child - apparently quite easy to do if you have a trained eye.
My elder son is not included in the G&T (gifted and talented - not gin and tonic) programme at school in spite of the general consensus that he should be, because he didn't score well enough on the test. As it turned out, he was ill the week the tests were taken and had to try to complete them in the back of the room during normal lessons on his return. This might have had something to do with his scores. On one level, I'm kind of sorry - the G&T kids learn thinking and learning skills. On the other hand, this kid already has so much going on in his life - do I really want to add extra lessons at breaktime (recess) to the mix?
The whole thing struck a discord with me on so many levels. First off, because the test was written. Allegedly, gifted children are impatient and just want to get a thing done. A written test is therefore probably not totally conclusive. Quite apart from which, there is no guarantee that a gifted child will be free of learning disabilities such as dyslexia which will hamper his/her performance in a written test. Nor is there any guarantee that a gifted child will not be one of those who goes to pieces under "exam conditions". They don't always have the march on confidence.
To be honest, I recognise my elder son in almost every point on both the positive and negative sides of this document, but I'd still like to know how they came to these conclusions. I was also tickled to see that the gifted child:
- "Demonstrates strong abilities in math" - what if s/he's gifted as an artist, not as a mathematician?
- "Displays unusual academic achievement" - how can this be the case if they're also "off task", "disruptive", "sloppy", "forgetful of homework assignments" and inclined to "leave projects unfinished"? From what little I know of it, it is just as likely that gifted children will underachieve - quite spectacularly at times.