The language of “Giftedness” is double-edged. On the one hand, it provides an easy access point for discussing a certain subset of the population who differ sharply from the norm. On the other hand, it often masks the extremely varied and rich challenges and beauties which that subset experiences, turning a complex and nuanced multi-dimensional landscape into a linear measure: An IQ Range, and a consequent presumption that academic and professional achievement are the primary “upshot”.

A couple of years ago I began tutoring a few gifted children that were referred to me, and it has been amazing. As you can see from my tutoring blogs (below), often what is most important for these students is not going fast, but going deep and wide. Frequently learning by rote or in a formulaic way doesn’t work: not because they can’t store the information that way, but because of the turbulence and psychic drag created by having to narrow their inquiry to what they are expected to know. When provided with an opportunity to dive into the questions and ideas the material inspires, and to develop a wide ranging and personal contextual understanding of the material, they come alive.

I believe this approach can benefit a great many students, but for the “Gifted” subset, this approach can be crucial.

My hope is to continue in this work, and to try to map out successful approaches to learning and exploration for the Gifted and other diverse students.