Mums of older kids - teens/young adults. Has G&t continued.(23 Posts)
Fence sitting on the G&T thing here.
If your child was judged gifted or talented early has it carried through or have they simply reached the same mile stones as peers but earlier?
I'll add my experience when there have been a few posts.
Not a mum of older teens but an aunt. Nephew 1-g&t from an early age, niece 1 required extra maths help from 7-11, nephew 2 Mr average.
They all came out with the same, decent, A level grades in their chosen subject, all did maths and two others.
Ds2 was recognised as gifted soon after he entered nursery. He sailed through school putting in no effort whatsoever. After very good A levels he turned down university including an offer from Cambridge and went to work in Local Government. He swiftly rose through the ranks and manages a team of graduates all ten years or more older than he is. He's almost at the end of his Masters now (final dissertation due in in a fortnight) funded by his workplace. He has put no effort in at all in fact he plays football manager during lectures, and the final 11,000 word dissertation is yet to be started, but he has easily passed every exam and has had plenty of merits regardless.
Should add that he has worked full time, completing the Masters during day release alongside doing a second part time role purely for experience in a field he wants to move into and also tutoring a few students in Maths.
I felt that DS1 was quite clever early on, but mostly I attributed it to maternal pride. He did the odd thing that unnerved me because you don't expect to see a crawling baby figuring out puzzles etc. However, the only children I had to compare with were friends children. There were 5 of them all born within a few weeks of DS. DS just seemed the same as them. Now I know they are all G&T with places in highly selective schools etc.
Ds2 was exactly the same, so I didn't think anything of it. Anyway he didn't speak and that was what really got my attention.
I think i first realised that they were G&T when they started to complain about the lack of challenge at school. (They learned the vocab so this was their exact phrase). I told their teachers, expecting them just to be moved up a group or something and then discovered that they were top set and the school had no intention of differentiating any further. And so it started...!
Now Ds1 is finishing year 8 and Ds2 is in year 6. Both are very able, best in school at certain subjects.I had their IQ tested a couple of years ago and both are off the scale in certain things, but just top 15% in others.
I am fully aware that the critical part where they convert their intelligence into first exam success and then into career success is all still to come and a lot can go wrong.
The state school system strives for children to attain mediocrity, because a homogenous group is easier to teach. I really appreciate those teachers who have stepped outside the norm to give my child an education. Unfortunately, in primary this was only one teacher in one of her school years. We are finding secondary much better.
My oldest has just turned 14, state schooled in France, going up to lycée (sixth form college) in September a year early.
First child so we didn't really notice anything out of the ordinary when she was little, except that she talked very early. Started (french) preschool at 2, teacher recognised her abilities straight away - had her doing activities with children 2 years older, including some phonics. Less than a year later she started reading spontaneously, and when I say reading I don't mean first readers but chapter books within weeks (in two languages).
Tested by school ed psych at 6, verbal reasoning and working memory literally off the scale, non-verbal in top 2%. So objectively very able.
I'd say her ability was less evident in primary - obviously very ahead in reading and writing, but she had some difficulties with concentration which meant that she could seem less gifted elsewhere (for eg understood maths concepts easily but made lots of silly calculation errors). At secondary (ordinary comprehensive) the gap has widened again to the extent that we've had teachers tell us that she should have gone up to lycée this year instead. She's just completed exams which went well. Her abilities are obvious outside school as well - for eg she started formal music theory this year at the local conservatoire and graduated top of a class of students with 7-8 years of theory behind them.
She is obviously always going to have an advantage over most people when it comes to grasping and applying new concepts, but I don't think giftedness necessarily implies brilliant academic results, and I don't really care whether she chooses a competitive or prestigious career or not ... So whether in 10 years I will be able to stand up and say that it "carried on through" I have no idea. It depends what you are measuring!
I was a 'gifted' child, skipped a year in primary, and went on to get scholarships, all As at A-level, a 1st at Cambridge etc, then very sought-after graduate traineeship in a competitive area of work.
DS and DD were also identified as 'gifted' early in primary school and so far look on course to be similar to me. DS is 16 and is on the Oxbridge track at school, got all but one A*s at GCSE etc; DD is 12 and has an academic scholarship and gets rave reports. My nephew was also similar and is now doing brilliantly at Oxford. But of course people can get derailed from the academic track for all sorts of reasons at any stage, and it is not necessarily right for everyone, even if they have high IQs.
I'm not too keen on the 'gifted' label - I would say that all the 'gifted' people in my family (and that is most of us) are just very academically able, but not phenomenally so, i.e. we are maybe in the top 0.5-1% of ability range, not the top 0.001% certified genius sort of level.
Mistigri - is it true that in France, the gifted children study German by tradition and the less able study English?
Thanks all this is interesting.
My kids never had any labels applied - we weren't bothered and it wasn't something the schools did 10+ yrs ago routinely. However they all went to superselective grammars ( so by definition top 5-10%). Dd1 particularly was often top in the class/year for several subjects.
She's clearly gifted in her chosen area of study - Russell group uni - subject and humanties prize as undergrad, easy transition to MA ( winning a period of study abroad) and has a funded phd lined up. Like one of the posters above, it definitely doesn't occupy all her time either . We'll see how far she goes but it makes her happy which is what matters.
var123 pretty much everyone studies english as one of their two foreign languages, but traditionally spanish has been seen as the better option for a second modern foreign language for less academic kids, and German or Russian for brighter ones. And you used to be able to use this to get round the catchment rules, so it was a bit like middle class english parents suddenly acquiring a religion once they have kids .
But this isn't the case any more as you can no longer use languages to force admission to a particular school. Nowadays choice of languages is more dictated by where you live - we are near the spanish border so spanish is the second foreign language in our local comp and indeed in most of the local schools, and one sixth form college offers a bilingual spanish option which leads to the spanish bachillerato (DD is doing this). Some areas offer a similar programme in German but we don't have that here.
The short answer, using me & 2 DC as outcomes is 'mixed' so far.
2 girls (sisters) I know very well, both obviously very clever as children. One was more obviously 'precocious' than the other, they both continued to perform well throughout school getting straight A/A*s in GCSE and A Level, both went to Oxford then one did a PhD at Cambridge. Both are now working in competitive fields.
I think on the whole it probably doesn't carry through. I have no personal experience / children of that age, but I teach at an Oxbridge college and am usually surprised by the time Finals come round by the relative lack of correlation between interview and school performance and first-class (or top few in year) marks. Maybe this is just in my (humanities) subject, but I feel the true mettle of the students (perseverance, tolerance of boredom, memorisation -- as well as sheer flamboyant 'giftedness') tends to emerge towards the end of the first year, when they are 19/20. I have interviewed and admitted a lot of students over the years who had obviously precocious childhood talents (eg publishing a novel at school, getting multiple A grades at A level in early/ mid teens) but who didn't seem particularly engaged by academic work once they settled into university. The best student I ever had, and one of the few people I've met whom I'd consider bona fide 'gifted', we nearly didn't take because of patchy GCSEs and a not very good school reference. But suspect this would be difference in the case of an early talent at eg maths.
hopsalong you have a rather interestingly biased sample there ;)
For a start, if "gifted" is the top 2% (usual definition outside the UK) then the majority of Oxbridge entrants very likely are "gifted". The ones who do best have something else on top - drive, persistence, motivation - which is not necessarily correlated with intelligence.
Dd1 is almost 12, was flagged up as gifted at beginning of primary, she's now g&t in maths and English and starting high school in September, will be interesting to see if it continues through high school.
Mistigri, would agree that it's the drive that is important. The academics don't "do it" for ds. He was excited about the Masters because he thought it would challenge him, it took a matter of weeks before he realised he didn't need to put any real effort in to get the required results and then he lost interest. He has done enough to get passes and merits and to ensure he came top three in any exams but most dissertations have been churned out the day before they were due in. He's done next to no reading relying on his knowledge and sourcing quotes to support his arguments.
Work though is entirely another matter, he has a drive to be successful, it's a matter of pride that he leads the largest team, his team is the most efficient and enjoys the most success.He likes to know he earns more and has more responsibility (and no student debt) than his many friends. He has gathered knowledge not only for his own role but for all roles leading in and out of it. He's designed systems and programmes to streamline services where their own support staff haven't and alongside he's taken on a part time role because he's looking for his next challenge. Yes his giftedness has enabled him to move quickly through the ranks but it's his drive for success and the desire to earn money that really pushes him on.
I suspect that outside a few select professions where academic brilliance is indispensable, beyond a certain point giftedness becomes irrelevant and success is far more to do with drive and motivation. This is certainly true in most business careers which do not in all honesty require rocket scientists even though they may set high recruitment bars simply because they can (I work in a large company in a department that mostly recruits science and maths PhDs, but the work itself does not require you to be super humanly intelligent - since I can do it with my BA in fine art ).
I think that there is an issue if the child hasn't learnt that they need to work at something to achieve. I had a good friend at school who with no work and no revision got 5 As at A level, in the days when most people did 3 and there were no A*s. He continued in the same way at university and came out with a 3rd because he finally hit a situation where he needed to work but because he had always coasted he didn't know how.
I'm dubious that a first degree has ever required that much work. Back in the day when an A grade was an A grade and hardly anyone did more than 3 A levels, there were also student grants and no fees. So there was less pressure and a lot of bright undergraduates - like my OH - spent 3 years doing no work and lots of illegal substances, and not surprisingly did not get very good grades.
Ds ribs his friends mercilessly about having spent three years doing a degree when he found his Masters a doddle that he could fit in round a ft and pt job,tutoring maths students and a hectic social life and serious gym habit. His workplace would fund a phd but he doesn't know if he can be bothered with the tedium and fundamentally it won't add to his earning power so it's not a priority.
I was considered a gifted child and have a PhD in the sciences. I think by the time you get to this level it is all about drive as no amount of giftedness is going to compensate for the sheer hard work it takes to complete a PhD. I work in a building with at least 100 other people with the same level of qualification. Without asking them all I can't of course be certain but I'm sure they weren't all classed as gifted as children.
It must to some extent depend on career choice as well as I would expect that a gifted musician or artist might find it easier to reach PhD level through their gift alone whereas no amount of giftedness is going to help you become a brain surgeon if you don't actually learn the basics of human medicine by making a concerted effort to go to the lectures!
There are a surprising number of undergraduate science students who despite getting A* in all of their a-levels end up dropping out at the end of year one because all of a sudden they have to use a completely new technique of learning an research that can't just be copied from a text book! Often the ones who are ultimately most successful are those who didn't get such good school results but who have a real determination to put the work into their studies.
Interesting article on some of these issues here: www.stephanietolan.com/gifted_ex-child.htm
I agree with those saying it's drive and commitment that achieve things not just pure intelligence/giftedness. But when both intelligence and drive are put together, that's when really remarkable things happen. I don't think educators - or parents - can disown responsibility. How many of the children who even out in the end do so because they've just never learned to work, like mrsmortis's friend? Isn't that why it does matter how gifted children are taught? If we can set them on a path where they are used to being challenged and seeking out challenge then perhaps they will put together their raw talent with hard work and achieve truly groundbreaking things.
PS redkite, isn't that the wrong way round? PhDs in art or music are weighty hard researched tomes, it's in maths or sciences that a truly brilliant student can hand in a thesis 30 pages long.
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