[Discuss-sudbury-model] Gifted? What does that mean?

From: Shelli Buhr <shellibuhr_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Oct 2 14:14:00 2005


I feel what you are seeking is based on a perception
that simply does not capture the truest essence of a
child - Hope. It is based on a judgment that children
are singled out to be "better than another."

My own school experience was based on 'MGM Programs"
or mentally gifted minors. I know that my mind works
differently than most. I tend to see things in a way
that others cant, or wont, or are in denial of. In
fact, much of my own work on teaching intimacy
workshops is based on the unconscious and belief

Maybe we all start out with the common bond or
essence. The life experience molds our beliefs and
perceptions. Yes, some have more intelligence to begin
with than most. But I am not sure that intelligence is
the only way to measure gifted and talented.

My daughter was a very smart child. She did everything
early- walked, spoke, talked, learning came easily.
Being young and a free spirited, I raised her in a way
to be creative and seek out the answers. She is also
bi-polar, or ADD then, when she first started school.

So those "problems" she had in the classroom were
based more on not following directions, outbursts,
more of what teachers considered to be disciplinary.
She didn't fit into their box. She was expected to
learn in a way that was based on behavior, not
retention. I had to fight the school system in for her

An example being in the 4th grade, she had a teacher
that was young and all of the kids wanted her. During
an IEP meeting, she explained to me that Desiree did
so well with her artwork, but didn't following
directions (in art.. is there such a thing?) and she
wished that Des would focus that attention and apply
it to her her schoolwork.

She had an IEP for modified work. In spelling, the
homework was to write 20 words 5 times each and in a
sentence. Her teacher modified the work to be 20 words
three times each. She could not understand why Desiree
was not able to retain the words with "modified" work.

I tried to explain that having her do the same amount
of words less times, is NOT going to improve retention
by writing them less, in fact, it was probably even
harder. I finally got her to agree to give Des 10
spelling words, 5 times each. And her spelling marks
went up to a "B" average.

It's not that my daughter wasn't capable of learning.
She showed me her brilliance daily, in fact, it was
very difficult to get her into special Ed and under
the IEP to begin with because of her intelligence.

It was how she was taught. Another example: Math
started in the beginning of the year, 4th grade. It
started with addition to subtractions, mult, division,
fractions, and percentages, switching topics every 4
weeks. To make sure the kids got it, they did the same
thing in 5th grade. So if the kids got lost somewhere
in multiplication, the remainder of the school year of
math was lost. And so was their hope and esteem.

After years of oppression, her self esteem is nothing,
and her life is a daily series of events based on the
'I give Up' attitude. She no longer cared about
school, learning, and was never able to grasp a sense
of future.

Children are gifted, as they possess the gift that
adults have forgotten and I feel they are teaching us,
reminding us. We learn by watching them because life
experience does tend to mold us through our judgments
and pain by recreating that mold our belief systems
based on what happened and the past, rather than us
being able to see life through the innocence of the
present moment that children see from. They have
passion and purpose, they are creative and innocent,
and its their energy and drive that gives us strength
and hope often to endure the hardest of experiences.
They are the promise of hope.


Shelli Buhr

--- Mark MacFadyen <macfadyen2002_at_yahoo.ca> wrote:

> Hello,
> I am a Canadian teacher taking a course at Hong Kong
> University on Gifted Education.

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles.

It empties today of its strength... Only Love is Real!

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Received on Sun Oct 02 2005 - 14:13:18 EDT

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