segunda-feira, 8 de novembro de 2010

Multiple Intelligences - eight, no less ;)

According to Howard Gardner, a child has not just one chance to be gifted, but eight! That's because, according to Gardner, there exist eight separable "intelligences"-verbal-linguistic (facility with words and languages), logical-mathematical (facility with logic, abstractions, reasoning, and numbers), spatial (facility with visualizing and mentally manipulating objects), musical (facility with rhythm, music, and hearing), bodily-kinesthetic (facility physical movement), interpersonal (facility interacting with other people), intrapersonal (facility with introspective and self-reflective thought), and naturalist (facility relating to nature) [5]. He is currently considering adding existential intelligence to the lineup (still not clear what that one is all about). He has excluded spiritual and moral intelligences as possibilities [6]. However, breakdancers rejoice! Under Gardner's framework, bodily/kinesthetic ability is considered a form of intelligence.
WICS Model
Robert J. Sternberg views giftedness as the synthesis of wisdom, intelligence (based on his theory of successful intelligence), and creativity [7, 8]. Sternberg argues that in life, people need creative skills and attitudes to produce new and original ideas; analytical skills and attitudes to evaluate the quality of these ideas; practical skills and attitudes to execute ideas and to persuade others of their value, and wisdom-related skills and attitudes in order to ensure that one's ideas help to foster a common good, rather than only the good of oneself and those closely associated with oneself. According to Dr. Sternberg, the child without the synthesis of these abilities does not deserve the label gifted.
So, is every child gifted?
As you can see, whether a child is considered by a particular school as gifted depends on which model of giftedness that that school adopts. Of course, there will be some "special" (I already admitted it, your child is special!) children who just don't possess at the moment any abilities that are at least in the top 20% relative to other children their age, and are simultaneously valued by the school system (forget about society- some abilities are valued by society, but schools just don't have the funding to pay much attention to them). So not every student at any given point in time will be eligible to receive the label "gifted". It stinks (I know!), but that's life for you.
This certainly doesn't mean though that as a parent you shouldn't keep exposing your child to varied experiences, make note of his or her particular interests, and encourage him or her to pursue them. That child just may develop a talent. This is why it's important that schools screen for gifted students repeatedly over the course of the education cycle.
It also certainly doesn't mean that you, as a parent, can't provide additional resources to the child if you can afford it (which, unfortunately, many parents can't). Just don't count on your school system to help out much.
At the end of the day, my suggestion for parents is this: if your child seems to have a particular gift that you think is valued in society, and you want your school to nurture it above and beyond the normal track at school, then research your schools very carefully and find one that values your child's gift and adopts the model of giftedness that best fits your child's ability. For some, just the IQ based model might work. For others, your child may be bursting with a slightly above average IQ, but a high level of creativity and task commitment. So find a school that likes Renzulli's model. Or better yet, go to your school administration and petition to change the system. Some schools, and even school psychologists who are indoctrinated in the IQ model of giftedness, might simply not be familiar with alternative methods of identifying children with extraordinary talent. You are now better informed that there is more than one conceptualization of giftedness.
In other words, if your child can yodel better than Justin Timberlake, then there may in fact be a place for him after all-consider sending him off to a school for the performing arts where he'll fit in quite nicely.

Psychology Today


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