ERIC Number: ED367098
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
When Giftedness Puts the Child at Risk: Being-at-Risk as a Way of Dwelling in Possibilities for Giftedness.
Sparks, Elizabeth E.
This paper notes that gifted education has been dominated by psychology and proposes, in contrast, to de-psychologize the concept of "giftedness-at-risk" with an alternative model which sees ontological giftedness, becoming the best one can be, as not the property of an elite few but a permanent positive human possibility for all. Hermeneutics is applied to the problem of the gifted underachiever, seen as the paradigm of giftedness-at-risk. The concept of "at risk" is seen to have its origins in ideas of insurance, resulting in technical educational efforts to reduce risk factors and descriptions of gifted students in terms of dehumanized qualities such as IQ scores and discrepancy data. Being "at risk" is redefined to include not only increased vulnerability but also increased access to new possibilities for human fulfillment. A dialogue with one underachieving gifted adolescent illustrates the importance of trust and disclosure for the pedagogical relationship as well as the need for teachers to be enthusiastically engaged with both the curriculum and students. (Contains 33 references.) (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Learned Societies Conference, Canadian Society for the Study of Education (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 10-13, 1993).