Rethinking Talent Development

I did mean to write about my 9yo’s schedule, but all I really have to say is that I can’t wait til she can have the routine she craves. It’s been lacking since mid-August, as she’s been sick with whooping cough (and this past week a cold on top of it). Ever heard whooping cough called the 100-Day Cough? Well, there’s a reason for it.

Anyway.

If you aren’t part of the GT education community, you might wonder why a totally benign, focus-grouped phrase like “talent development” has come to be a flashpoint.

My friend Stacia, who has been an advocate for gifted children for many years, put her finger on one part of the “talent development” movement that has always irked me. Talent development tends to mean STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) development, but not all students who have talents to develop want to develop in that direction.

Our society has also begun to send a second message,”Artists and philosophers are not as important to society as scientists and mathematicians.” I beg to differ. There is balance in all things. The great minds of science and mathematics were often also philosophers and artists. We can’t separate out talents like we are separating the wheat from the chaff because art and philosophy are not chaff. They are wheat just like science and mathematics.

It’s not hard to observe this in any circle: the “geniuses” are the ones who go far and fast in math and science. Sometimes I wonder if this is just because so many adults have mediocre math and science educations that they are impressed by what seems impossible to understand — and sometimes I wonder if it’s because they’ve had even worse educations in language and the arts, to the extent that they don’t even know the difference between adequate and excellent.

Anyway.

As homeschoolers we try to have a balance: keeping open as many doors as we can by having a broad-based education, not completely ignoring the necessity of earning a living, and making note of every person we know who earns a living being creative or finds a way to maintain creative pursuits in a busy life. What I’ve observed so far is that telling the wheat from the chaff is a lot harder than you’d think.

And on the other hand, sometimes we watch way too many episodes of My Little Pony while we wait for good health to return.

Truly, Friendship is Magic

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1 Comment

Filed under education, gifted education, Homeschooling

One response to “Rethinking Talent Development

  1. staciataylor

    Wow! I am so honored to be mentioned on your blog. I really appreciate it!

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