The Gifted Myth Podcast
For many gifted children and their parents, schooling can be a confusing, difficult and sometimes a lonely journey. How’s that even possible? Surely the name says it all, it’s a ‘gift’. But the perception of ‘giftedness’ and the reality can be vastly different. Parents might anticipate their articulate and very bright toddler will arrive at school and breeze through, only to see the opposite happen! This podcast will help parents identify gifted underachievement and provide practical advice on how to turn things around. The Gifted and Talented Children’s Association of WA Kriss Muskett will share the knowledge she’s acquired through decades of research and assisting hundreds of families on their journeys.
There have been 2 Senate inquires into gifted education in Australia,1988 and then again in 2001
Senate Inquiry 1988
The Senate Inquiry into Gifted Education 2001
The 2001 Senate Inquiry into Gifted Education found:
In evidence all types of interest groups agreed that there is a problem with education of gifted children. These children have special needs in the education system; for many their needs are not being met; and many suffer underachievement, boredom, frustration and psychological distress as a result.
The report also noted that in most states of Australia little to no access to pre-service training in gifted education was available, particularly at undergraduate level. Teachers need training to identify and provide for gifted children.
Despite 2 Senate inquires research reveals that in most states of Australia little to no access to pre-service training in gifted education is available. With minimal exposure and training, graduating teachers are perpetuating the misconceptions and myths held about gifted and talented students. This does a grave disservice to both the gifted and talented student and the regular classroom teacher, who is expected to cater for them and maximise their outcomes.
Read article about teacher training.
Lesley Sword an Australian psychologist notes:
The primary factor for chronic underachievement in gifted students appears to be a lack of recognition and support for intellectual potential during the early school years. When highly intelligent children are not challenged academically at an early age, they find the work too easy, become bored, develop poor work habits and often have negative feelings towards school.
Linda Silverman notes gifted children may also be disadvantaged socially:
Many gifted children receive a good foundation for self-esteem within their families. Then something happens: they meet other children. By the age of five or six, openness and confidence are frequently replaced with self-doubt and layers of protective defenses. Being different is a problem in childhood.
Dr Sally Reis notes
Having parents who understand some of the research, who can find strategies that work, and who can use the resources and research cited in this article can aid to challenge and engage their gifted students.
Research conducted by Professor Charles Desforges (2003)
Parents have the greatest influence on the achievement of young people through supporting their learning in the home rather than supporting activities in the school. It is their support of learning within the home environment that makes the maximum difference to achievement.