In line with his New Year resolution, that in 2014 he will increase his efforts to bust the myths surrounding giftedness and advocate for acceleration and ability grouping opportunities for gifted students, and in preparation for a webinar and Global GT chat on Twitter for the next two weeks, Columbus Cheetah is updating his myth busting presentations.
Columbus Cheetah’s discussion of the myths surrounding giftedness are based in his own brand of cheetah logic and the wonderful analogy of the cheetah to the gifted person given in Stephanie Tolan’s wonderful article ‘Is it a Cheetah?’
Related to the Nature vs Nurture debate about the origins of giftedness we find the myth that giftedness can be created in any person by training, practice, hard work and attitude.
When linked to the myth “Gifted students have pushy parents” it is worded as
Columbus has already dealt with this myth in a reply to Seth Godin’s assertion that
Actually, it goes the other way
Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact…
It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents.
Talents are labeled gifts.
You’re not born this way, you get this way.
Using Cheetah logic Columbus explains that cheetahs are perfectly designed by nature to run fast. They have the long legs, flexible arched spine and enlarged chest, nostrils and lungs.
While coaching and training members of other species to run fast may improve their performance it will not alter their basic anatomy and physiology.
Prof Francoys Gagne’s DMGT model discusses how various catalysts influence the development of innate giftedness into fully developed talent.
But the talents are being developed from already existing innate giftedness.
Making good choices, developing good habits, practice and persistence are great character attributes for mastering a talent and should be encouraged but they will not create giftedness.
But as we saw in Myth 2 all are NOT gifted and in Myth 3 giftedness is not synonymous with achievement. As Columbus Cheetah says “All cheetahs are animals but very few animals are cheetahs!”