Friday, January 13, 2006
This article reminds me how important it is to give gifted kids the tools and information about their emotional and social development that speak to their intense experiences. I suspect that much of gifted education today only concentrates on fostering intellectual growth, thus holding students back by not giving equal time to their other overexcitability areas. In my experience, the more one area grows without developing the others, the greater the internal tension created.
Gifted kids can feel so lost and alone in their highly coloured emotional worlds, with no map to guide them through the wilderness. It is nearly impossible to be happy and successful (according to western society's standards) unless you have a good understanding of self and of others, no matter how high your intellect soars. Let's at least give them a compass and wise counsel along the way.
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Do you really believe this applies to all western societies? If so, do you think that this principle applies as an absolute correlation between knowledge and happiness, or does the correlation fall apart at some point? How would you graph it -- as a straight line or as a curve?
I meant that I see many gifted people who develop their intellect without developing other skills. Society often does not know how to use the products of a great intellect, witness all the people whose work is only appreciated once they are dead. So to be happy and successful (rich, with good relationships, fame, etc. in your lifetime) one needs an understanding of how to use that intellect in the current social environment.
But I get the feeling you are not asking me that question. When you say knowledge, do you mean self-knowledge and social knowledge or intellectual knowledge?