ERIC Number: ED371560
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
A Paradigm Shift from Giftedness-as-Potential to Giftedness-as-Possibility.
Sparks, Elizabeth E.
This conference presentation interprets the historic-cultural meaning of giftedness-as-potential. In this view, giftedness is seen as a gold mine, and good education results in the mining of the precious golden essence that is buried deep within individual students. The historic roots of this metaphor can be traced back to Plato's plan in "The Republic" in which humans are created in three types: the best are made of gold; the second best made of silver; and the common crowd made of brass and iron. The golden few are provided the best education and groomed for guardianship of the community. Contemporary education continues the Platonic tradition, referring to potential as a "valuable natural resource." This tradition also assumes that giftedness can be defined as an abstract concept and its essential properties known. Hermeneutics, on the other hand, asks questions about conditions under which giftedness might be, or not be, a possibility for all children. This view holds that all those who open themselves to the possibilities of living in the world are already and always on the way to becoming the best they can be. Four horizons of giftedness-as-possibility are discussed: imagination, confusion, questioning, and the fusion of horizons. Education should be concerned with helping all students, who have the potential for excellence rather than with focusing on those identified as "gifted." (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Nurturing Potential, Proceedings of the Society for the Advancement of Gifted Education Annual Conference (4th, Edmonton, Canada, September 24-25, 1993); see EC 303 142. See ED 367 099 for an earlier version.