The NAGC’s ‘Bold Move’

This week the #gtchat session will focus on the implications of the NAGC’s decision to emphasise Talent Development rather than Giftedness

I noticed that, in preparation, Sprite had printed out a blog post by Lisa Conrad on her Gifted Parenting Support blog
The NAGC’s bold step and what it means for your gifted child http://giftedparentingsupport.blogspot.com/2011/11/nagcs-bold-step-and-what-it-means-for.html
It begins ” In her inaugural message to NAGC members, ‘Taking a Bold Step’, Olszewski-Kubilius states, “I suggest that we take a bold step and consider making talent development, rather than giftedness, the major unifying concept of our field and most importantly, the basis for our practice.” Critics were quick to contend that this was a bold statement for the new president of an organization which is considered to be all about giftedness rather than talent development; even going so far as to suggest it change its name.
Nothing less than a firestorm has erupted in online gifted communities”

As usual the Dabrowski Dogs and Columbus Cheetah had gathered around to read  the article and discuss it with her.

This is the conversation I overheard:

Sprite: What does this mean?

Imaginational: I think it means that they want to broaden their definitions so that more students will have their talents recognised and developed so that they can achieve highly in different areas.

Psycho Motor: Sounds good to me – they might recognise bouncing as a talent!

Sensual (scratching his head) I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right to me somehow.

Intellectual: Well it depends on your definitions of giftedness and talent, levels of giftedness, potential vs. achievement, nature vs. nurture and which development programs you are considering.
(Here Intellectual embarked on a lengthy discourse about definitions of giftedness etc, etc, etc… which could best be understood by visiting  Hoagies Gifted Education Page http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/ or Gifted Phoenix’s blog posts What are the key issues in Global Gifted and Talented Education? at http://giftedphoenix.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/hello-world-2/ and http://giftedphoenix.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/second-life-workshop-a-global-perspective-on-gifted-education/  )

Columbus Cheetah:  I am not sure what it all means. It is OK if it means they will keep Cheetah Programs and also have Fish Programs and Turtle Programs; but I hope it does not mean that Cheetah Programs will turn into Big Cat Programs, then into Feline Programs and end up as Animal Programs.

While Columbus Cheetah was saying this Imaginational was imagining the possible implications for Sprite considering that she is Twice Exceptional – identified as exceptionally gifted but with learning differences and disabilities which make it harder for her to demonstrate achievement and make her studies an exhausting experience for her.

Sprite: But what will it mean for me? Will I still be in The Program? People say I am in The Program because I am smart. Some of the kids in The Program are scary smart but I can keep up with them while we are just discussing and debating but not when we have to write about it. The tests said I was gifted but my work doesn’t look as if I am and I don’t think I have any talents to develop.

Emotional: You play the guitar.

Sprite: Yes, but that is only a hobby for fun. I am not a concert musician or anything.

Emotional: And you have great empathy and concern for the environment and people and animals and you have a good vocabulary and a quirky sense of humour and…

Intellectual: Don’t get worked up about it yet. They are going to discuss it on #gtchat http://www.ingeniosus.net/gtchat this week. We might find out then what it all means and how it will affect you.

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