Guest Post - Should Gifted Children Be Separated?

~ Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 7:05 AM ~

Children learn differently. There are those who have stronger learning abilities and there are others who struggle. This is natural. The debate for the separation of the gifted children-the ones who are extremely bright, talented or special from those who aren’t is a hot one. There are those who advocate for the separation. Other debaters and opinion makers believe it’s a waste of time. It should not happen. Gifted and non-gifted children should be treated the same is often their slogan.  This article looks at the issue of gifted children and whether or not they should be separated from their slow peers.

In the ideal classroom scenario, learning happens the same way. Children are exposed to a different set of tasks, academic challenges, english essay, practices and tests. In the ideal world, all the children understand what is taught the way it’s supposed to happen. In reality however, the opposite is true because of the children learning differences mentioned. Some will grasp things faster. Other will grasp nothing. The success of the class or what is being taught can therefore not be measured.

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In the face of these realities, separation of the gifted from the non-gifted enters here. The super bright children need to be put aside from the slow learners. This is because they have to be exposed to different learning conditions to get to the ideal learning experience.

There are different techniques children can be exposed to when they are gifted. In most cases, what determine whether or not a child is gifted are their IQ test scores, and other characteristics that are not normal among peers. They can be put in accelerated classes, individualized education and in clusters with other gifted children. Other separationist programs include paced education, class compacting and many others. All of these are geared at getting the most out of the learning experience.

Even though the separation could work, there are challenges against it. The humanitarians see this as discrimination. This is because why would children expected to be same be exposed to different conditions? This is often their line of argument. Children have to be treated equal. Separating them for exclusivity is not a welcome idea for most people. Besides, children need to be integrated with others. This betters their learning experiences, develops their mentality and understanding of the bigger picture. In a separate environment, this cannot happen.

The other disadvantage of separating is that the underachiever is neglected. Inasmuch as the gifted are of more benefit if they succeed in what they do, the underachievers can make a bigger difference. If they are ignored, invisible talent can be ignored.

The other argument against the separation lies in the fact that current education systems eventually catch up with what the separationist model wants. Eventually, the education system as it advances builds on the difficult and complex. Only the bright or gifted students pass these exams and the non-gifted fail or perform dismally as expected. By the time they get to college, segregation happened naturally. As such, many people see initial separation as a waste of time. In adulthood, it doesn’t matter. However, the morality and benefits of separating gifted from ungifted is a question of fact. It varies from different angles, individuals and real life situations.

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