There is a wonderful, probably reasonably obscure book by Rafael Sabatini called “Bellarion the Fortunate” where the intellectually gifted Bellarion is sent out into the world by his abbot because his reading and reason have lead him to believe – with the certainty of an intellectual who has read all the literature and thought hard about it in his convent – that evil and sin are a construct and do not exist. “But to all the weapons of his saintly rhetoric Bellarion continued to oppose the impenetrable shield of that syllogism of his which the abbot knew at heart to be fallacious, yet whose fallacy he laboured in vain to expose. ”  The book is not a treatise on the reality of good or evil, but an adventure book which ends with a very worldly Bellarion who is very much more aware of his fellow humans after leaving his ivory tower of thought. But I am not writing today to talk about Bellarion and the nature of his discussions on good and evil. I am instead going to write about the work, so far, of Dr Clementine Beauvais, and her blog entries on ‘The Giftedness Project’ .
Much like Bellarion’s abbot, I do not expect to be able to make much of an impression on Dr Beauvais as she has her armour of academic credentials, and the raft of knowledge collected from many thousands of academics discussing ideas among themselves with little reference to the outside world, and that armour is very strong. She has also made clear that she is not interested in the reality of giftedness, which she believes to be largely a construct of society.
In our house, we’ve been having a bit of fun over the last few weeks thinking about thinking. Now I’m not talking about Socratic argument-type ideas. I’m talking quite literally about ‘how’ we think.
If you’ve been reading about education for a while now, you would have run into the idea that people are either visual/spatial or auditory/sequential thinkers. Now, I’m not going to agree with these – nor really disagree. But I am going to separate them out and include a new category – pattern thinking. BTW This is explained in Temple Grandin’s book – The Autistic Brain*, which is an awesome read.
As well as adding pattern thinking, I’m also not terribly happy with attaching sequential to auditory. That’s because I am an auditory thinker – but I am not sequential. I jump around and make intuitive leaps that do not always follow a logical sequence and tend to hold multiple contradictory ideas in my head in a kind of symbolic stew.
I’m also not keen on the idea of spatial being attached to visual (but they go together, don’t they? – not necessarily). What huh? You might say. Let me explain.
*This is a link to but this book – because if you want to read this awesome book, I want to make it easier for you – I am a book-enabler. But you can always hop over to your local library instead – libraries are cool.
For this blog-hop on gifted adults, I decided I would like to write about some of the great portrayals of gifted adults in SF literature.
Here are my set of micro-reviews of some of my favourite SF books on gifted adults. They range in reading demographic from YA to adult-only and these are the books that I keep going back to, again and again. In many ways, they reflect the struggles of the gifted adult – the problems with loneliness, ‘fitting in’ and dealing with thinking differently. Continue reading “Gifted Adults in SF Literature”
It all started rather innocently. A friend who runs one of the gifted support groups I’m involved with had a mum inquire about home education, so she asked me to have a chat and offer some advice. It was awesome, talking to someone local who was also home educating. And then another group asked if I could be the gifted/2e contact for their home education group – they didn’t get many inquiries, but in case they did . . . So I thought, hey, I could write up an article for them on some of the basics of getting started.
But then I thought – maybe I could organise a group meetup for parents and kids of gifted families who are home educating in Melbourne. (“If you build it, they will come.“) So I contacted the lovely people at GHF to ask them about how to go about organising a group.
I know one of the things I really struggle with when I let my kids take the lead is dealing with my own fear. Are they learning everything they need to learn? Are we ‘keeping up’ with whatever imaginary goals I have set – whether that’s state curriculum outlines, or some hybrid of that and what I think they are ready and able to learn? But in reality, it is my fear, not their progress that is really getting in the way.