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What is an academic child? - Silly Question!

(21 Posts)
Creole Wed 20-Jul-05 13:35:45

Yes, what is all this about? Does this relate to how intelligent the child is or it this something that can be achieved or reinforced.

ScummyMummy Wed 20-Jul-05 13:44:09

A child who does well academically?

woollybaalamp Wed 20-Jul-05 13:48:03

A child who likes to sit down and do work, I thought (and usually reasonably intelligent with it) rather than running screaming round the classroom .

Fran1 Wed 20-Jul-05 13:48:44

Where have you heard that phrase? What age group is it describing and in what context?

Creole Wed 20-Jul-05 13:51:58

I've heard it used here a lot and just wondered what criteria is used or how is it defined.

Not trying to sound thick or anything but just curious, as a lot of parents tend to over exaggerate their kids achievements/successes, if I'm making a sense.

CarolinaMoon Wed 20-Jul-05 13:54:46

think you are right there creole (about the exaggeration). I would guess it's a child who consistently comes top of the class (or maybe top 2 or 3) in tests etc. Depends on the standard of the rest of the class though.

trefusis Wed 20-Jul-05 13:57:12

Message withdrawn

binkie Wed 20-Jul-05 14:10:02

Just describes the child's own leanings I think - towards reading and being curious about stuff - similar sort of description as "sporty" or "musical".

I think "academic" is a neutral word, not loaded or boastful - people are more likely to use "bright" or "gifted" if they're wanting to showing off. Actually if there's any connotation to "academic" it's very slightly negative - I know I use it to hint at my son's lack of social skills.

lemonice Wed 20-Jul-05 14:18:03

I think the label academic shows an above average committment to learning not necessarily an above average intelligence...

Stilltrue Wed 20-Jul-05 17:24:59

I'm with Lemonice and Binkie; in my own family ds1 and 2 are recognised by their school, by their peers, by our friends and by us as intelligent/bright/quick, but one of them is very academic and the other isn't! I agree it's to do with inclination and commitment, but there must be a certain level of highish intelligence too, surely? The well intentioned hard working plodder who nevertheless struggles with schoolwork isn't "academic" in my book.

lemonice Wed 20-Jul-05 17:35:41

Additionally then the ability to digest information and question received ideas rather than regurgitate without understanding

of course the activity of engaging with a subject can in itself boost intelligence, intelligence is itself dynamic, isn't it?

lemonice Wed 20-Jul-05 17:41:48

I think also there is the sense that it is pursuit of learning at times purely for its own sake, rather like answering this thread out of academic interest

Berries Wed 20-Jul-05 17:54:06

I don't think it has too much to do with intelligence, more the ability to process the information given, and an enjoyment in learning for its' own sake. DD1 is (and has been described as) academic because she loves learning. As regards intelligence I think she is a 'good average' (but avg is quite high in school). DD2 is non-academic, not interested in schoolwork unless she sees direct relevance to herself, but scores were off the top of the scale in NVR (IQ?) tests and I (and DH) know she is very bright. I think academic is more about whether your style & preference of learning fits in with the methods used in school, and far less about intelligence (although they tend to do well because they apply themselves & 'enjoy' the school system). BTW 'academic' DD1 is miss popularity, whereas dd2 isn't, so don't think its negative term, but may be considered so for boys (think there is more emphasis on 'sporty' boys being popular)

happymerryberries Wed 20-Jul-05 18:01:24

That would describe the kids I teach in year 10 who have been giving up lunch times and staying after school or a regular basis to get their A grade course work up to and a*

These children are not just bright , they are also motivated and hard working. they set themselves very high goals and push themselved=s to reach them. They are like this in every lesson, always striving to excell

RTKangaMummy Wed 20-Jul-05 18:15:40


Were you prompted by my thread yesterday


What she meant was that he loves to find out as much as he can about whatever subject she is talking about

She says that his games are more on the intellect side rahter than sporty {which isn't surprizing as he has dyspraxia and hypermobility}

So they are more structured, verbal, thinking, games rahter than charging around the playground IYSWIM

Ellbell Wed 20-Jul-05 22:54:31

I have never used 'academic' to describe my kids. Don't like 'labels' personally. Me and my sister both suffered as kids by being labelled, me as the 'clever' one and her as the 'pretty' one.

However, I'm with Binkie... looking back, I'd use 'academic' to describe myself as a child. Couldn't draw, couldn't do sport, couldn't sing, wore thick specs, didn't have many friends (and certainly none of the 'popular' kids...) but loved school for the 'work' side, loved reading, etc.

RTKangaMummy Wed 20-Jul-05 23:20:11

His teacher wasn't using it as a "label" as such

It was really when we asked her about how to choose the correct senior school for him and whether our first choice would be the right one.

So she was kind of saying yes it was, because he did like learning and that he had good potential.

We were wanting to know if she thought he was going to enjoy it there or whether we should go for a less academic school.

So I don't see it as being negative for her to say that. I don't think it is a label as such.

If there was going to be one word to describe DS it would be determined, he does not give up, in whatever it is he is doing, whether it is building a lego model, learning to ride a bike, playing the trumpet, running a race in sports day,

Ellbell Thu 21-Jul-05 10:51:54

Oh, sorry RTKM... My post was in reply to the original question and also to Binkie who said that for her it has slightly negative connotations. Teachers have to use 'labels' (whether on school reports, comments at the bottom of work, or whatever). I am a lecturer and I do it too ('so-and-so is a committed student with particular talents fo x,y and z'). That's a different situation altogether. But I would certainly not (as my parents used to) label my children as 'the academic one', 'the outgoing one', 'the pretty one' or whatever. For example, my sister left school at 16, despite being very very bright, because I was (supposedly) 'the academic one'. That was what I meant about 'labels'. It sounds as if your ds's teacher is able to see all his strong points and is helping him to focus on them, which is great - just what I teacher should be doing (imo). And your ds sound (if I may say so) DEFFO BRILL ! Well done him, and really sorry for any offence.

Ellbell Thu 21-Jul-05 10:54:08

'A teacher' not 'I teacher'. Ha ha... there's me claiming to be 'the academic one' and I can't even write!
Good luck to your ds in his new school RTKM.

binkie Thu 21-Jul-05 11:02:36

Very good point - "academic" when used by a teacher about a pupil is very different to the slightly apologetic use of it by a parent (me). Used by a teacher it isn't negative at all: it means enthusiasm for learning, energy for pushing oneself to do best work possible, that sort of thing.

Sorry if you were upset, RTKM: I hadn't seen your other thread.

RTKangaMummy Fri 22-Jul-05 13:01:34

oke doke thanks guys

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