I often ponder this question and wonder why “gifted” causes teachers, parents and students (some, not all) to bristle at this word. In his address to the Iowa Association for the Gifted (2005) Michael C. Thompson said, “Somehow, in our egalitarian society, the fact of gifted intelligence puts us in a state of ethical dissonance. What we know about gifted children appears to clash with what we know about social equality and universal human value. But the clash is artificial; it is illusory. It is a mis-clash. We are mixing the apples of high intellectual ability with the oranges of human equality. We are all equal, but we are not all identical; these properties exist at different levels of meaning.” You can read the entire speech at http://www.iag-online.org/allchild.htm.
I first read Michael Thompson’s exerpt in the March 2005 Parenting for High Potential (p21). Parents of gifted children may wish to subscribe to this very enlightening journal.
Melissa M. King, M.Ed.
Educational Consultant and President of Learning Curve, LLC