During the 19th and 20th centuries, more research has been done to understand the geniuses in the population and those who, despite being sub-genius, is still a lot smarter than the normal majority population of humans. Exceptional children may exhibit a set of traits that are noticeable when put into the general population.
These same characteristics may or not be surprising to the family since a child may be far more gifted than the parents or maybe “a chip off the old block” in which case, the traits of giftedness would not be viewed as unusual within the family context. Like with any other “different” characteristics, once apart from the family, the child may appear to be extraordinary to school teachers.
Gifted Research and the Evolution of Gifted Education
Gifted research has focused on how this happens in nature and nurture. Intelligence can be improved during the first six years. As with much else in life, there are both nature and nurture and their relationship. These characteristics tend to run in families and to be predominantly natural even though intelligence can be modified through nurturing.
The Gifted Development Center is one of the organizations in America today devoted to better understanding and caring for the minority gifted population. This organization is directed by Linda Kreger Silverman. She is prominent in the area of gifted research today. She also has a strong web presence.
The Gifted in Schools
Public education has grown increasingly adept at accommodating this minority populace. This has been legally treated as a form of special education within the schools. The gifted population is treated as “differently” by the schools as the developmentally disabled children are. Legislation has improved conditions. The laws have been made to help the society to make the most of these people. Sadly, 50% of those children not recognized as “gifted” – with IQs over 130.
Many who are not properly identified may make trouble in regular classroom situations. These same children typically cease to be behavioral problems when they are placed into classes with their true peers to the great relief of everyone. This is one justification for the use of special classes and differentiated curriculum. This is so that they are not held back and do not give the rest of the children trouble.
Check local and state Department of Education to learn in greater detail what area school systems are doing to handle this relevant matter. Differentiated curriculum within normal schools most benefits the mildly and moderately gifted – people whose IQs are over 120 but below 160. Students whose IQ are over 180 are still better accommodated by special schools designed to handle their needs.