“It is about WHO the Tweetlets are!” reiterated the Psych Owl ogist “Who…who…who…”
Tweet and Retweet were not sure whether he was still talking to them as he seemed to have gone off into his own reveries.
“What do you mean WHO?” asked Retweet
The Psych Owl ogist shook out his feathers. “Well,” he said “Usually at about this point in the discussion human psychologists and gifted education consultants would refer to an excellent article by Stephanie Tolan Is it a cheetah?
“But I am going to present you with an analogy which is more pertinent to your specific situation.”
Is it an Arctic Tern?
You see a bird and it is wearing a distinctive band and you follow its progress as it completes its migrations and you make a map of the flight paths and see that it travels from its northern breeding grounds along a winding route to the oceans around Antarctica and back, a round trip of about 70,900 km (c. 44,300 miles) each year. This is by far the longest regular migration by any known animal. The Arctic Tern flies as well as glides through the air, performing almost all of its tasks in the air. It nests once every one to three years (depending on its mating cycle); once it has finished nesting it takes to the sky for another long southern migration.
You know it is an Arctic Tern because they are the only bird able to accomplish a migration of this distance.
But what if you see the Arctic Tern when it is sitting on a pylon and it is not wearing a distinguishing band?
Would you still know that it is an Arctic Tern?
You would know if you knew the distinguishing characteristics of an Arctic Tern.
Arctic Terns are medium-sized birds. They have a length of 33–39 cm (13–15 in) and a wingspan of 76–85 cm (26–30 in). They are mainly grey and white plumaged, with a red beak and feet, white forehead, a black nape and crown (streaked white), and white cheeks. The grey mantle is 305 mm, and the scapulae are fringed brown, some tipped white. The upper wing is grey with a white leading edge, and the collar is completely white, as is the rump. The deeply forked tail is whitish, with grey outer webs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Tern
Is it still an Arctic Tern when it is sitting still and not engaged in migration flight?
Of course it is!
Both analogies – the cheetah to the gifted human and the Arctic tern to the gifted Tweetlet – show that giftedness does not have to be demonstrated to be a fact.
Both acknowledge that there are characteristic traits which make it recognisable, without need of demonstrated achievement, which will be obvious to those who know and understand those characteristics
Both analogies discuss that the creature must be fit, supplied with adequate nourishment and suitable environment to be able to produce the phenomenal accomplishments of which the species is capable.
The cheetah analogy is the better one because it also illustrates the scarcity in numbers of the cheetah; which is similar to the rarity of very high IQ in the general human population. It also speaks of the danger of extinction of the cheetah which relates to the section in the Columbus Group definition of giftedness.
‘The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counselling in order for them to develop optimally.”
Fortunately, although the Arctic Tern numbers are dwindling in some areas, the species as a whole is currently considered in the Least Concern category by the IUCN http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/search
The cheetah analogy is also superior because it discusses the camouflage of cheetah cubs which describes well how many gifted students hide their abilities in order to blend in with their surroundings and fellow students to avoid ridicule or pressure.
Both analogies recognise that the creature must be adult to perform the incredible feats.
What about an Arctic Tern chick? Like your Tweetlets, it is not ready to fly yet. Is it an Arctic Tern or just a potential Arctic Tern?