Monday, August 6, 2012

Genius - Born or Made?

"Genius involves figuring out who you are, and owning yourself. It’s about amplifying your best traits and compensating for the rest. Geniuses grab life by the horns, and persevere amidst setbacks. They take control of their lives, instead of waiting for others to open up doors. In this very important sense, greatness is completely, utterly, made.”

Excellent. Lots of debate still regarding how gifted kids are gifted - nature v. nuture for the helicopter- and vacuum-parenting 21st century. Does it really matter? If we are offering all kids equal opportunities and truly believe that all students can achieve at high levels in some area, isn't that what is important?

I am not in the group that believes all students are gifted; gifted brains function differently. Unlike some people, though, I do not make this distinction in the manner to say gifted = better. Gifted = different.

I do believe that every student has potential to develop brilliantly in an area in which they are passionate and interested. The key is finding out what that area is and nuturing that skill. Not ignoring areas of struggle, but moving away from deficit-model education (which focuses on weaknesses to the detriment of strengths).

The issue is that we are not offering all kids the same opportunities, and education does not believe that all kids are capable of greatness. Imagine what we are missing when all of those kids fall  through the cracks.  Imagine what would happen if we empowered kids to have a say in their schooling.

If what we are doing now isn't working, why not try something new?

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