Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask
    earl237's Avatar
    earl237 Posts: 532, Reputation: 57
    Senior Member
     
    #1

    Apr 16, 2009, 05:49 PM
    Gifted Children Ruined By Political Correctness
    I read a good article in Maclean's magazine about how political correctness is ruining the education and potential of gifted children. In the old days, gifted children were allowed to skip grades and were placed in advanced courses, but now because of politically correct nonsense, no one is allowed to be better than anyone else because it will supposedly damage regular kid's self-esteem. It is a shame. Many gifted children end up being bored and get into trouble and even drop out of school which wastes their potential, I have seen it happen. People need to get over this baloney and accept the fact that not everyone is equal in society and there will always be below-average, average, and above-average people who have different needs. Let's hope people smarten up. Any ideas on how to fix this situation?
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
    Uber Member
     
    #2

    Apr 17, 2009, 12:05 PM

    It depends on where you are as policies will be different and how individual situations will be dealt with can be different. I have known of a couple of kids who skipped grades and many who attend enrichment programs outside of their regular grade level.

    When a specific program does not exist, many teachers will have a student attend another class for certain subject areas. For example, I have a student right now who goes to a higher grade for writing and math instruction. He also receives advanced reading instruction in additional to regular class work.

    In the higher grades, students can take honors or advanced placement classes. Many high school students will have an option of dual enrollment so that they can be taking college levels courses as well.

    The opportunities are out there, sometimes parents just have to push for them and perhaps make suggestions. If they don't have enough opportunities as the parent would like, they can always look into advanced tutoring after school to challenge their child more.
    earl237's Avatar
    earl237 Posts: 532, Reputation: 57
    Senior Member
     
    #3

    Apr 17, 2009, 12:13 PM
    Great ideas DoulaLC, I was curious about where you live, I live in Canada where political correctness is rampant, especially in big cities. In Edmonton and other places for example there is a policy called "social promotion" where children from grades 1 to 9 cannot be failed even if they do nothing because it would damage their self-esteem. People are then surprised that high school graduates can barely read and are not prepared for university and flunk out after one semester. Opportunities for gifted children are also limited in small towns.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,813, Reputation: 5427
    Jobs & Parenting Expert
     
    #4

    Apr 17, 2009, 12:33 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by earl237 View Post
    I read a good article in Maclean's magazine about how political correctness is ruining the education and potential of gifted children. In the old days, gifted children were allowed to skip grades and were placed in advanced courses, but now because of politically correct nonsense, no one is allowed to be better than anyone else because it will supposedly damage regular kid's self-esteem. It is a shame. Many gifted children end up being bored and get into trouble and even drop out of school which wastes their potential, I have seen it happen. People need to get over this baloney and accept the fact that not everyone is equal in society and there will always be below-average, average, and above-average people who have different needs. Let's hope people smarten up. Any ideas on how to fix this situation?
    I was one of those gifted kids back before anyone called them that. Was I bored in school? Heck, yes! I would take each new reader home the first night, read it from cover to cover, and then sit through class for weeks while everyone finger-pointed to each word. Until you have endured that, you don't know the meaning of bored. Was my self-esteem damaged? Of course it was! Why did I have to sit there and put up with that nonsense?? Give me something to challenge me. Did I skip grades? Yes, I did. Then my self-esteem was compromised because I became the "baby," the youngest kid in the class. I came home every day from school and flung myself onto my bed, sobbing like my heart would break.

    But then my parents gave me solutions -- patience and understanding and acceptance as well as challenging myself. "Go further," they told me. "Don't wait for anyone to push you or challenge you. Challenge yourself." So I did -- not for extra credit, although sometimes a teacher gave it to me -- but for ME.

    Now, at the end of my life, I look back and am glad my parents said what they did. It still is part of me, to be the best library cataloger I can be, and, if I make a mistake, I make a point to learn from it.

    The old one- or two-room country schools had the best idea for education -- learn at your own pace. An 8 y/o might be studying the same math problems that a 12 y/o was working on, and a 10 y/o as well as an 13 y/o might be trying to figure out the nouns and verbs in a story. The teacher floated around the classroom mentoring everyone, and the students tutored and mentored each other. I was priviliged to be part of that kind of classroom at the end of my elementary years. And I have very definite ideas on how American education can be improved. Teaching sentence diagramming again is one thing on my list.
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
    Uber Member
     
    #5

    Apr 17, 2009, 01:44 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by earl237 View Post
    Great ideas DoulaLC, I was curious about where you live, I live in Canada where political correctness is rampant, especially in big cities. In Edmonton and other places for example there is a policy called "social promotion" where children from grades 1 to 9 cannot be failed even if they do nothing because it would damage their self-esteem. People are then surprised that high school graduates can barely read and are not prepared for university and flunk out after one semester. Opportunities for gifted children are also limited in small towns.

    I'm in Florida... where I am, as it can sometimes vary from school district to school district, social promotion is frowned upon... although there are considerations in place to prevent continued retention. The statement is sometimes made that we can't have our fifth graders driving to school!

    I currently teach third grade. In order for a student to go onto fourth grade they have to show competency in reading of at least a third grade level (the adage of "prior to third you learn to read, after third you read to learn" sort of thing). Whether a student goes on or not is totally out of my hands. They either can show they have met the expectations, through a few different avenues, or they are automatically retained. There are those considerations I mentioned earlier that prevent them from being in third grade indefinitely.

    The idea of social promotion helping to avoid damage to self-esteem just doesn't pan out. If a child is struggling, how does moving them along, often only to continue to struggle, help their self-esteem? I have had a few retained students in classes, and it just isn't a big deal to the kids in the younger grades. I think parents are far more bothered by the prospect of their child repeating a grade than the child is... and of course the parent's anxiety over it will often cause the child to feel the same.
    N0help4u's Avatar
    N0help4u Posts: 19,825, Reputation: 2035
    Uber Member
     
    #6

    Apr 17, 2009, 06:46 PM

    Also to compile the problem some schools give a grade average according to the class average. Like if 5 kids get an A, 15 kids get a C and 5 kids get an E the entire class gets a C
    So the kids that deserve the A feel less motivated and don't study to get the A then they get B's or C's then the entire class gets a C
    Synnen's Avatar
    Synnen Posts: 7,927, Reputation: 2443
    Expert
     
    #7

    Apr 17, 2009, 07:11 PM

    My fix to the problem:

    1. Let PARENTS worry about their kids' self esteems. School is for learning, which includes learning how the real world works. Teamwork is all well and good, but teaching to the lowest common denominator is well... stupid. Teach to the highest common denominator, the smartest kids in the class, and let the other kids flippin' repeat the class.

    2. School is mandatory only through the 8th grade, and you must prove that you can read and write to an independent board at the end of that time in order to pass the 8th grade. If you can't read, you stay in school until you CAN read.

    3. Make receiving Welfare --and I do mean ALL Welfare and social reform programs, including WIC and Medicare--dependent upon having a high school diploma or GED. If you couldn't get a handout, you'd make damned SURE you wanted to stay in school through 12th grade. Even if it DID take you until you were 22.

    4. Reward with state/federal scholarships ONLY those that show aptitude. Screw giving money to people just because they grew up poor or with a single mother or with foster parents or whatever. I came from a middle class family, and I worked my butt through college---it can be done, if you're motivated enough. If you're not motivated, then don't waste the taxpayers money on your partying--because if you're not motivated, you're not getting an education anyway.

    5. Set up programs for adults for getting your GED/high school diploma, so that working adults can qualify for government aid and post-secondary education.

    6. Teach classes in this country in ENGLISH. If you want to function in our society as a whole, you need to know how to speak, spell, punctuate and read in ENGLISH. If that's not your first language, GREAT! We'll give you extra classes for FREE in your primary schools to help you learn English. One extra hour a day should have you fairly fluent by the end of the school year.

    7. Give teachers POWER again. Suspension, detention, a whack on the knuckles with the ruler, humiliation with a dunce cap--whatever works. Make sure that kids KNOW who is the boss in the classroom, and that they're not going to get away with backtalk, threats, whatever---and that they CAN be failed for attitude.
    sGt HarDKorE's Avatar
    sGt HarDKorE Posts: 656, Reputation: 98
    Senior Member
     
    #8

    Apr 17, 2009, 08:14 PM

    In my school district, students can take AP classes (Advanced Placement classes) which give you college credits if you pass the ap exam. And I haven't heard of anyone skipping grades here, but instead they skip a grade only in classes they are doing well in. Like I'm in advanced math, and I'm actaully 2 years ahead of normal people in my grade. I know one student who is 3 years ahead. We also have a special scool for math and science where a select few students go to learn courses you learn late college when these kids are only in 9th-12th grade. Our school/teachers try to get every kid to take an AP class and maybe that's why it's so successful here. Each student chooses his or her own schedule and can choose easy or hard classes, its up to him or her.
    DoulaLC's Avatar
    DoulaLC Posts: 10,488, Reputation: 1952
    Uber Member
     
    #9

    Apr 18, 2009, 04:12 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by N0help4u View Post
    Also to compile the problem some schools give a grade average according to the class average. Like if 5 kids get an A, 15 kids get a C and 5 kids get an E the entire class gets a C
    so the kids that deserve the A feel less motivated and don't study to get the A then they get B's or C's then the entire class gets a C

    Wow... as a parent, a teacher and a former student I sure wouldn't go for that!
    heidijoanne's Avatar
    heidijoanne Posts: 45, Reputation: 4
    Junior Member
     
    #10

    May 10, 2009, 02:58 AM

    Hmmmmm... not everyone is equal in society?
    We are all equal... and all different and unique in our own ways. To put labels on anyone as to being average, below average, or above is not the fix we all need. We need to look at each person as an individual. If that means fighting for a restructuring of our school systems, so be it. It will only happen once we work together to make it happen.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.


Check out some similar questions!

Political Correctness [ 3 Answers ]

I think it is unfortunate that excessive political correctness is killing comedy and satire. Free speech is in the constitution, yet you can't make jokes that have even the slightest chance of offending some group somewhere. I think that people need to lighten up and not be offended so easily....

What are your thoughts on political correctness? [ 32 Answers ]

Charlton Heston passed away this week, I found this speech that he gave to a Harvard graduating class a few years ago. His thoughts are pungent, do you agree with him? By: Charlton Heston Article Font Size The following is a speech NRA President Charlton Heston gave to the Harvard Law...

Political correctness. [ 39 Answers ]

Sometimes I really wonder about our society and Political correctness gone mad. Yesterday in Sydney , Australia one of the major shopping centres were conducting interviews for this years hoard of Santa Claus's. One of the rules for this year is Santa is not allowed to say" Ho Ho Ho" for fear it...

Is political correctness what it used to be? [ 5 Answers ]

Have we outgrown political correctness, or is it still with us? I get confusing readings from the media on this one. I remember that once upon a time, political correctness was being promoted because many people believe that removing hate speech from public dialogues woud keep the hate from...

Political correctness [ 3 Answers ]

Hello, I am curious as to why in this day and age when every word uttered publicly must be politically correct, (e.g. mailperson as opposed to mailman, and firefighter vis--vis fireman) first year college students are still called freshmen, as opposed to freshstudents, or freshpeople. Mark


View more questions Search